Data-X: Videobook Explains Blockchain Technology

Want to know more about blockchain? Many have heard of the distributed ledger technology that is currently most well-known as the technological basis for Bitcoin, but its potential uses expand far beyond the crypto-currency. Marc Andreessen from VC firm Andreessen Horowitz has called Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology a “breakthrough in computer science”.

To help students (and anyone else) interested in understanding the opportunities and applications for Blockchain, Prof. Ikhlaq Sidhu has created an introductory videobook chapter. This video book is part of the  DATA-X series.

Slides are Available Here

Section 1: What is blockchain?

Exercise Questions:

  1. In your own words, what is Blockchain?


Section 2: What does blockchain do for us?

Exercise Questions:
  1. How do transactions get communicate between the sender and receiver?
  2. Who else has a copy of the transaction sent from user Alice to user Bob?


Section 3: How is blockchain organized?


Exercise Questions:

  1. How easy or hard is it for anyone to edit a past transaction?
  2. Are the transaction fields are exactly the same as a check? How are they different?
  3. How would the blockchain know which of two transactions submitted is fraudulent?
  4. What are the problems of the public blockchain today?
  5. Would there be cases where you would want to make a private blockchain?



Section 4: Blockchain Applications


Exercise Questions:

  1. Provide 2 example areas besides transacting money where blockchain can be helpful.


Section 5: The Challenge and Opportunity?

Exercise Questions:

  1. Write down a  business of today.  Now imagine and write down in 3-5 sentences how that business would run differently if blockchain technology was integrated as part of it.

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