Interest in the Blockchain technology is ever growing and so is the technology itself. At Wharton and UPenn, we have had industry led full house sessions on blockchain and its application and a lot of students have reached out to learn more about this space. In fact, with everyday interesting developments at protocol, platform, and application level, it’s hard to keep up even for people actively involved in this space.
I have compiled below a living list of resources (Podcast/YouTube/blogs etc.) to give an overview of the technology as well as promote continuous self learning. The list also includes information on key companies and people in this space in case you would like to follow them on Twitter/Medium. Please do share feedback and help improve this list.
Finally, for beginners, re-sharing a link to my previous post explaining “Bitcoin and Blockchain through board games”. I am new to twitter(@vivchauh) but plan to use it to continue to learn and share about this space.
The Blockchain technology is still in its nascent stage and 2018 is going to be an exciting year.
HODL your breath!!
1) How Bitcoin works: Basics of the blockchain technology as used in Bitcoin. Great place to start.
2) Cryptography behind blockchain: An overview of public key cryptography and RSA encryption algorithm which secures the exchange of value on a blockchain
3) Hashing used in blockchain: Great overview of Secure Hashing Algorithm (SHA) used in blockchain to construct the database
4) Game theory and Network attacks: One of the most important pillars of public blockchain networks is game theory. Game theory promotes anonymized and distributed participants to cooperate. The first 30% of the video also discusses Miners, who are one of the most important players of public blockchain.
5) What’s a smart contract: Neither Contracts nor Smart, but Smart contracts truly unleash the power of blockchain technology.
6) What is Proof of Work? Proof of stake?
7) Public Vs Permissioned Vs consortium Blockchain: An overview of 3 common implementations of technology.
8) Common misconceptions about blockchain: Worth glancing through the listed common misconceptions.
9) Do you even need blockchain? Blockchain is not suitable for all applications. In-fact blockchain is useful for only certain business processes. Please see a flowchart below from the article to check.
10) Other interesting reads:
10.1) Glimpse of consulting/Finance industries view on the technology:
- Deep Dive by BCG
- Goldman’s deep dive into blockchain
- Overview by Deloitte
- Some Articles from Mckinsey: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/how-blockchains-could-change-the-world and https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/the-promise-of-blockchain
- Bain on Blockchain in Financial Markets
- Accenture’s “What every CEO should know about blockchain”
10.2) Academic coverage of the technology
- Harvard Business Review articles: https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-truth-about-blockchain and https://hbr.org/2017/03/the-blockchain-will-do-to-banks-and-law-firms-what-the-internet-did-to-media
- Academic adoption of blockchain
10.3) Legal coverage
- Blockchain’s big hurdle by Stanford Law Review
- Overview of key issues by DLA Piper
- Joshua Ashley Klayman’s take on the need for new legal models to adapt to rapid growth in this space
11) Use cases of Blockchain: There are many use cases of the technology and companies are already well beyond the proof of concept stage. Sharing some interesting article to get started (do checkout the “interesting read” section above)
- An amazing list of non-financial use cases along with names of startups working on it
- Starting 16 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHe_ow9v094
12) Keys companies and disruptive start-ups
12.1) Permissioned, Semi-permissioned and consortium blockchains:
i. IBM and Hyperledger Fabric: One of the market leaders on permissioned blockchains, IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric is an open source blockchain implementation for enterprise and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by the Linux Foundation. From supply chain to financial services, IBM is actively working with market leaders across industries on blockchain real world use cases and have already run successful proof of concepts. Along with infrastructure capacities like Cloud, Watson etc it has been able to capture mind share of a lot of enterprise clients. Some links below.
- Quick Intro to Hyperledger fabric
- Great Youtube series on Hyperledger fabric by Ivan
- One stop shop for all info on Fabric (including the white paper)
ii. Microsoft: Microsoft has been platform agnostic and working across platforms like Ethereum, Hyperledger, R3 etc. to facilitate business applications by leveraging the Azure infrastructure..
- They have also developed the Coco framework for enterprise blockchains.
- Interesting podcast on Coco
- For more info on Azure Blockchain Services check this link
iii. R3 and Corda: R3 is a distributed database technology company and leads a consortium of financial institutions in R&D of distributed ledger technology (DLT) use case for financial services. Their open source DLT platform is called Corda and is customization of blockchain fundamentals to suit financial services implementations.
iv. Ripple and XRP: Ripple is an RTGS system, currency exchange, and remittance network. It is technically a public blockchain but is privately controlled through centralized ownership of the underlying currency. Their underlying technology, Ripple Protocol, is based on shared public ledger and enables movement of value directly between financial institutions across different networks, geographic borders or currencies. XRP, the native cryptocurrency in the Ripple network, facilitates the flow of value across the network. XRP is also the 3rd largest Cryptocurrency by market cap.
12.2) Public blockchain platforms/companies:
i. Ethereum and Consensys: Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract functionality. It has quickly established itself as the preferred platform for development of decentralized applications (DApps). With more than 50% share of new project launches and a rapidly growing community of DApp developers, Ethereum has successfully grabbed mind share of the blockchain community. Ether, the native cryptocurrency in the Ethereum platform, is the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
Here are some amazing podcasts on Ethereum by its co-founder Vitalik Buterin.
- TechCrunch coverage of the platform
- Great interview on Decentralizing everything with Ethereum
- Ethereum and Decentralized future
- Evolution of Ethereum and steps ahead
- An interesting take on the value of Ether
Consensys, currently the epicentre of blockchain activities, started as a blockchain venture product studio that builds decentralized application on the Ethereum platform. Over the last year, it has spread across the blockchain ecosystem with JV’s, Partnerships, Consensys Capital, Consensys Labs etc.
- Short overview of Consensys
- Slightly longer overview of Consensys
- Consensys houses more than 35 startup’s working on diverse blockchain use cases. You can check them out here.
ii. NEO: Popularly referred to as the Ethereum of China, NEO has lately grabbed a lot of developer attention and differentiated itself based on speed and its modified Proof of stake consensus protocol. It also has the 3rd largest follower base on Reddit and is among the top 10 Cryptocurrencies.
- Neo Founders public address: Great place to start
- How does it differ from Ethereum
- Interesting article advocating for NEO
13) Favorite Podcasts/YouTube channels/Blogs: There are some amazing podcasts covering blockchain and cryptocurrencies. They are a great way to be in touch with the rapid developments in this space and a also a source of in-depth discussions about blockchain projects, new developments, ideas, and stories. I have listed some of my favorite below.
- The Ether Review
- Blockchain Curated
- Blockchain Innovation
- Multicoin Capital
- Jake Brukhman covers investment topics
14) Crypto Currencies/Token/Digital Assets
14.1) What is a Cryptocurrency: Crypto currencies are one of the application of blockchain. These are token/coins native to a blockchain and might be designed to serve many different purpose such as store of value (Bitcoin), or medium of exchange of services (Augur) etc. Here is a good short video on CryptoCurrencies and here is a longer yet funnier take by John Oliver.
There are more than 2600 cryptocurrencies out there, most of them are likely crap. if you want to hunt of the next bitcoin, you can scan the universe at upfolio for summaries, videos, tech, financials, team and much more!
14.2) How do I value them: This is an open questions. I have seem people use a range of valuation methods and some of the best primers are here, here and here. I am also a huge fan of Multicoin capital blog (link above) which covers the topic of token valuation in depth.
14.3) How to invest: There are a lot of exchanges which offer access to cyptocurrencies. Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken are most popular for Fiat to crypto exchange and Binance, Poloniex, and Bitmex are popular for crypto to crypto exchange. There has been a lot of work on decentralized exchange lately and you can check out Airswap and bisq.
14.4) how to store crypto: There are many wallet options to store your assets. You can learn more about hot wallets and cold wallets from the hyperlinks. I personally use the cold wallet ledger to be safe. Exchanges get hacked all the time. you can learn more about difference between hot and cold wallet here, and more about wallets in general here.
Beware of Cryptocurrency scammers. they are dime a dozen on twitter and make fake profiles to dupe retail investors with rosy promises.
15) Keys people/feeds I follow:
- Vitalik Buterin: One of the most renowned person in this space.
- Naval Ravikant: CEO and a co-founder of AngelList
- Joseph Lubin: Co-founder of Ethereum and Consensys
- Brian Armstrong: CEO of Coinbase
- Ari Paul: CIO of BlockTower Capital
- Brad Garlinghouse: CEO of Ripple
- IBM Blockchain twitter feed
- Consensys Medium account
- Marco Santori: Chief Legal officer of Blockchain.com