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Best (Short) Explanations of “What is Blockchain?”

  • Stay tuned to this subsection as we add to this list and curate the best (and short) videos, podcasts, and articles on the topic of “what is blockchain”?

  • A blockchain explanation your Mum could understand by Jamie Skella

  • WTF is the Blockchain? – a nicely facilitated 10-15 minute read from Mohit Mamoria, explaining the way a public blockchain works.

  • Blockchain Demystified <– 10 minute video from Westpac (Australia’s largest bank) that I think really demonstrates well the core concepts of a blockchain.

  • What is Blockchain <– interesting illustration of comparing Wikipedia’s ‘architecture’ vs. blockchain.



What is a Blockchain: less than one minute – shows you a good analogy between blockchain and the operating systems of computers (e.g. Windows, Mac). Produced by Laurie Rosini, attorney at Perkins Cole.

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System <– The original 8 page PDF, published in 2008 by “Satoshi Nakamoto” that started it all.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchain, Tokens, ICOs: Why should anyone care? <– good discussion on the building blocks of blockchain enabled applications. Also illuminating description of the difference between tokens used to drive blockchain usage (e.g. Ether to drive Ethereum mining) vs. tokens not directly tied to economic incentives to drive blockchain utilization (e.g. “assets”).  By  Preethi Kaireddy 

Trustless Trust by Kevin D. Werbach (9/2016) <– Very well written explanation of what “trust” actually is in terms of how societies operate, the general types of trust, and how blockchain can be used to set/up a system where all parties trust the system without having to trust any of the participants. 79 pages.


Blockchain and Healthcare <– Short 9 page primer on Blockchain by Henry Perretta (6/2016)

Using Blockchain Technology for Healthcare Administration <– A short 7 page paper by Henry Perretta (8/2016)

15 Winning HHS Papers on Blockchain – 09.2016 <– The winners of US Health & Human Services 2016 Blockchain Challenge – all in one PDF, bookmarked and watermarked.


Short Videos (10 mins or less)

Blockchain Demystified <– 10 minute video from Westpac (Australia’s largest bank) that I think really demonstrates well the core concepts of a blockchain.

Medium Length Videos (up to 30 minutes)

Big Picture

How the blockchain is changing money and business <– about 20 minutes.

The Technology Itself

Blockchain 101 (17 Minutes) <– if you want to really get the gist of how a blockchain works from a software perspective – this is your video.

How Bitcoin Works Under the Hood <– The title notwithstanding – this 20 minute video gives you a good idea of how distributed ledgers work, how transactions are verified, and how blockchains are updated. The video moves along quickly – so you may like to read this graphical scripted version after viewing.


Architecture / Technology

Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas M. Antonopoulos <– Although this book is  focused on Bitcoin, it is a very good primer on how a blockchain application (in this case: Bitcoin) actually works.

Business Oriented

Blockchain for Dummies by Tiana Laurence.  Released 5/2017.

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money <– A history of crypto-currencies, the cypherpunk movement, Bitcoin and blockchain. This is not a technology book – it’s the true story of a cast of characters who got Bitcoin up and running – sort of a “Big Short” of blockchain.

Industry Specific

The Power of Blockchain for Healthcare by Peter Nichol. Released 5/2017

Websites (Informational)


Blockchain Glossary

Blocktonite’s ENTIRE Library of Collated References

Click here to access a PDF with links to the over 1,000 categorized blockchain references we have catalogued here at Blocktonite.