Introducing the Academy

Since we have an incredible amount to learn ourselves, we wanted a good way to share the best Blockchain related content we find with our community. Our goal is to collect here the best ideas, simplest explanations, and most inspirational stories that exist in the Blockchain World.

We’ll be adding a lot more to The Academy, but for starters, we’ve identified The Top 10 resources for jumping in and gaining a basic understanding. These are the main articles we studied when we first started learning about the Blockchain. So, without further ado, The Top 10 Resources for Getting Started with the Blockchain:

 

Why Bitcoin Matters by Marc Andreesen

 

What do personal computers, the internet, and Bitcoin all have in common? They were ridiculed, only adopted initially by hobbyists and tinkerers, and all have the potential to change the world. Gain a high level overview of Blockchain and Bitcoin from one of the greatest minds in technology, and learn why Marc Andreesen believes that blockchain is the key to helping the “unbanked”, sending money globally as fast and as cheap as sending an email, and providing a new way for artists to monetize their work.

Bitcoin White Paper by Satoshi Nakamoto

This is where it all began. This is the original white paper that the anonymous and controversial “Satoshi Nakamoto” published which in turn lead to the Bitcoin revolution.  This document outlines the vision of electronic cash that can be sent securely around the globe without the need for a trusted third party. It can get a bit technical, but this is a must read in understanding the broader Blockchain picture.

Explain Bitcoin Like I’m 5 by Nik Custodio

Having a hard time wrapping your head around bitcoins and hashing? Somehow apples and park benches make these concepts a lot easier to grasp. The key takeaway from this blogpost is that the blockchain allows for transfer of a digital asset (or some other value) in the same, secure way that we can transfer physical assets between two people.

What is Bitcoin? By WeUseCoins

A very simple, short yet thorough video describing the concept of blockchain, bitcoin, and the process of mining bitcoin.

How the Blockchain is Changing Money and Business By Don Tapscott (TED Talk)

What is the blockchain? If you don’t know, you should! Don provides a very easy to understand overview of the technology and more importantly why it matters to the world. He offers five ways which blockchain could improve the way we live and work, and how this could result in an improved economic situation for everyone.

A Look at Blockchain Tech: Infographic by PWC

With the help of a useful infographic, PWC outlines the basics of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, the future implications of this technology, and how business and industries could potentially change.

Ethereum is the Forefront of Digital Currency by Fred Ehrsam

Bitcoin has been the only successful cryptocurrency for almost 7 years now. Hundreds of other digital coins exist but none have really taken off, until Ethereum. In only nine months, Ethereum established a $1 billion dollar market cap. The main differentiator is that Ethereum is a platform that developers can use to build apps. While this concept kind of existed with Bitcoin, Ethereum makes this process much easier.  In this paper you’ll learn more about how this works through “smart contracts” and “distributed applications (dapps)”. Major banks and tech companies like Santander and Microsoft are already exploring use cases.

Banking on the Blockchain by Adam Ludwin (a16z Podcast)

Adam Ludwin, CEO and Founder of Chain, sits down with the team from Andreesen Horowitz to talk about his experiences on the frontlines of implementing blockchain technology with some of the largest enterprises out there. He also poses the notion of Central Banks eventually issuing a form of digital currency, and concludes with some new app ideas that are now possible thanks to the blockchain.

Fat Protocols by Joel Monegro

Internet applications like Google & Facebook are built on top of the internet protocols. It’s the applications that garnered all the value instead of the protocols. Blockchain flips this concept on its head. Now the protocols, valued by digital currencies, are maintaining most of the value instead of the applications built on top of the protocols. This is because now the data is decentralized instead of siloed, and because the protocol itself has speculative value. Because of these two factors, the market cap of the protocol will always grow faster than the combined value of the applications built on top. As apps succeed, speculation at the protocol layer increases and the protocol layer succeeds faster.

Bitcoin: Ringing the Bell for a New Asset Class by Ark Invest + Coinbase

Should you include Bitcoin within your investment portfolio? Yes! The authors of this white paper make the case that you should. They identify several factors of an asset class including: investability, risk, political & economic factors, and correlation to other asset classes. Learn how investing in Bitcoin can actually increase your potential return and decrease your overall risk.