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Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  448 ratings  ·  65 reviews
In 25 concise steps, you will learn the basics of blockchain technology. No mathematical formulas, program code, or computer science jargon are used. No previous knowledge in computer science, mathematics, programming, or cryptography is required. Terminology is explained through pictures, analogies, and metaphors.

This book bridges the gap that exists between purely techni
Paperback, 255 pages
Published March 16th 2017 by Apress
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Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is NOT entertaining. It is however one of the best books I have ever read in terms of explaining a complex idea or system. The continuous metaphors and repetition and summaries are what allow any somewhat patient reader to understand the basics of the blockchain with very very limited mathematics. It is not very long either. If you are interested in learning about the concepts behind the blockchain I cannot recommend this more highly
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book delivers the non-technical introduction it promises in a clear way with metaphors in each step. My most favourite metaphor in the book is the one where author explains how Blockchain algorithm implements consensus in a distributed peer to peer system. It compares it to the way dirt pavements are naturally evolved in parks in addition to existing pre-planned ones.

If you have a technical background and understand at least the basics of distributed systems and security(authentication, auth
Ahmad hosseini
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blockchain
This book teaches the basic concepts that make up the blockchain in a nontechnical fashion and in a concise and comprehensible. It addresses the three big questions that arise when being introduced to a new technology: What is it? Why do we need it? How does it work?
It creates interesting metaphors for each of the major components that I liked them.
What is blockchain?
The blockchain is a purely distributed peer-to-peer system of ledgers that utilizes a software unit that consist of an algorithm,
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very basic. Good for beginners. It doesn't cover all the topics about blockchain.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a good introduction to the concept of blockchain. It covers the basics and creates interesting metaphors for each of the major components. I picked it up to give me an overview of the terms and logic blocks.

While it says it is in a conversational style, it actually is pretty dry. The first half is fast, while the second half begins to get thick as the concepts layer on top of one another. The book could have been condensed even further if it didn't stick to its structure, which lends its
Javier Lorenzana
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: to-build
Blockchain Basics does exactly what it sets out to do. It presents a non-technical introduction to blockchain technology in a way that is very easy to understand. Its use of metaphors for each component of the blockchain data-structure makes it very understandable to the average reader.

Beyond this, it also dives into the potential applications for blockchain technology, its limitations, and how these can eventually be overcome. It also paints a very guided - yet optimistic - future with this tec
Conrad Mason
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it
a great intro to the blockchain for someone who is not to technically minded
Warren Mcpherson
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookchain
Probably a good introduction for people who are uncomfortable with bitcoin but want to understand blockchain technology.
The descriptions are a bit abstract, the first chapters are "terminology and technical foundations" and "thinking in layers and aspects". Systematic descriptions of critical ideas have a satisfyingly thorough feel. The chapters are short with pretty good descriptions. It is sometimes not clear that most of the ideas have a history of their own. For instance "gossip" is used as
Lisa Neo
May 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Though this book is a non-technical book but I can't help get quite hung up on the definition or terminologies in the first 3 chapters. And some concepts can be misleading to non-technical readers. For example, in chapter 4, author talks about integrity threat in P2P systems, citing technical failures as 1 of 2 threats for distributed system. But technical failures is a threat to any system, distributed or centralised.

I'm still reading but am wondering if it's worth reading. This book is still o
Thomas Sauvajon
Oct 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: tech
Not very well written and it repeats itself 3 or 4 times on each concept.
Though, it delivers what you expect from it : explaining the basics of the blockchain.
Arun Mahendrakar
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found the content of this book great for beginners like me. It helped me understand the intricacies of blockchain data structure.

The author starts by conveying the limitations of centralized systems and segues into why a distributed architecture is required. Before describing a blockchain components, the author provides an analogy of real world example which definitely helped me perceive those concepts to a greater extent.

Chapters on hashing and the hash puzzle are explained in extremely simpl
Roozbeh Daneshvar
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I think this was a very good book to gain a big picture of blockchain and understand the major components. I also liked that it did not fall into the trap of talking about cryptocurrencies only and contained the discussions around blockchains in general. It seemed that the book was written in a haste, as the large number of typos and grammatical mistakes suggested that it was not even edited once. Also, there was plenty of repetition in the text. I do not mind repetitions if they help in conveyi ...more
Michael Heinz
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here is a short review of the Blockchain book by Mr. Drescher:
In 25 logical steps Daniel builds up the understanding of a highly complex subject matter! And the clarity and straightforwardness of those steps, using everyday concepts as a basis, helps tremendously to fully grasp the uniqueness of a highly promising technology (primarily software pls. certain mathematical-cryptographic underpinnings).

Blockchain is the basis for cryptocurrencies and digital assets but for many other applications a
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was looking for a book that would on approachable level goes through the potential applications of the Blockchain. This book didn't cover this for me for two main reasons:

First - Too much of the book is actually on the technical level explaining how does the blockchain works. Basically it is distributed system using cryptographical knowledge to enable distributed identification, authentication and authorization - This information is covered in around 50% of the book.

Second - In the part expla
Dolf van der Haven
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blockchain
This book is excellent. It manages to explain the concepts, technology and workings of blockchain in concise, simple words, without resorting to unnecessary technical, mathematical or programming language. Not only does it explain the concepts, it also explains why technical elements are necessary in its architecture and how these work logically together.
Happily, it stays away from the focus on bitcoin and the likes that other books on blockchain often emphasise.
The only thing I am missing are c
Amin Mo
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most fulfilling books I ever read, it’s manifestation of explaining a complex idea or system is well done. Although the topic is more computer related, the writer finds very comprehensive ways to get his ideas into the mind of the reader by giving day-today explanations.
I’m more into reading about cryptocurrency, and had in mind that if I read about the blockchain it would be only one book, and it couldn’t been a better book to purchase and read. At first it’s a bit puzzling,
Nick Van Brunt
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a very impressive and methodical approach to teaching blockchain to the novice. The book goes from a rudimentary discussion of peer-to-peer systems through a user-friendly explication of how the blockchain works. While I am no computer scientist and I do not purport to have understood every concept discussed herein intuitively, the author does an excellent job of analogizing each aspect of the blockchain to “real life”, before addressing the problem to be solved, the building blocks to ...more
Mostafa Esmat
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like this books alot!!
i'm starting to read about blockchain. This book is an amazing introduction to the technology and how it works. It's chapters are short and simple. Unlike other books on the same topic, you dont feel lost reading this book.

It's kinda technical in the sense that it shares with you broadlines. If you're interested to know, it makes it very easy to point you to the right direction.

I will definetly recommend this as the very first book to read on the topic, but shouldnt be yo
Jim Olson
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my 3rd "what the heck is this Blockchain thing?" book. The 1st 2 were very basic, and this was a great follow-up to them, going into more detail about the nuts-and-bolts without it being a truly technical/know-how dissertation. I'm an IT professional just trying to get a grasp on the technology to see if there is any reason I should give it any more mind-share for work - or if we can just ignore it. Especially after reading the equivalent of "Blockchain for dummies" (but not literally) ...more
Henk Devos
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This book has a bit of a strange format that you have to get used to.
It gives a good overview mostly of bitcoin, and after reading this book you should understand how bitcoin works.
The book also goes into some alternatives, possible future developments, etc. but that is really very limited. For example Proof of Stake is mentioned but not explained. A few extra chapters to explain the non-bitcoin blockchain concepts better would be helpful.
Juraj Húska
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
If you are unfamiliar with the blockchain, this is a solid introduction. The whole topic is divided into smaller chunks, which are alone easier to comprehend. The learning path author chose for you, by selecting just enough of information into each chapter is just good. I liked also the methapors from the real world used to simplify abstract concepts. Of constructive feedback, is in relation to repeating information several times over multiple chapters. Imho book can be more concise.
Andrew Pratley
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A very clearly explained introduction into the emerging world of Blockchain. Since this innovation will influence much of how our future lives are lived & organized it is really worth the effort to understand both the idea of it & its implications for all of us.

We could be moving into an era of less centralization & much greater decentralization. A world encompassing more choice & greater freedom. The Blockchain is designed with a view of helping us to get there.

Highly recommended.
Kariuki Njiru
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I recently had an argument with a friend about bitcoin and the block chain. Mid-argument I discovered I knew very little to form a comprehensive argument on the subject. I picked this book to try to remedy that problem.

Was the book informative? Yes.

The book explains in a simple non-technical ways in how the block chain works. It also excels in that it is not in "your face" marketing on the block chain but rather a non-biased view of what it can do and what it can't achieve.

Aldwin Susantio
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good book for those who are new to blockchain.

This book explain :
(+)many concepts related to blockchain
(+)Brief explanation of how blockchain work
(+)Advantage and disadvantage of blockchain
(+)Applications of blockchain
(+)Challenges to implement blockchain

The explanation is easy to understand and using parable, so readers with no technical background can understand this book. Overall, this book successfully satisfy my curiousity about blockchain.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written book on Blockchain technology for non-technical readers, or technical readers who just want a high level understanding of the technology. If you are already familiar with distributed systems, public key encryption, digital authorization and publishing, you can probably skip 1/3 of the book.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a good non-technical introduction to blockchains. The focus is on what a blockchain is and how it works. This book could use a good edit to remove the continuous repetition, but it still offers a relatively clean overview with clearly defined concepts organized into chapters and point-form summaries at the end of each chapter.
Stephen Wellbow
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the best general explanation of blockchain technology that I've encountered to date.

Despite the sub-title, there is a good technical breakdown of the blockchain's operation (if not taken to the level of code). The author also describes the blockchain's purpose, component parts, drawbacks, areas of potential improvement, and use cases.
Vikash Anand
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Each industry that mainly acts as a middleman between producers and customers of immaterial or digital goods and services is vulnerable to being replaced by a peer to peer system. The analogies used in the book to explain things or process related to blockchain is superb. Asbolutely awesome book for anyone who wants to understand the technology and concept of blockchain.
Akshay Sapre
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book explains all the basic concepts. If you are new to computer science and do not understand the basic concept such as Cryptography, hashing, etc. This book is for you.
The best part of this book is it explains all the concept in very simple language.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Was generally helpful, but a very dry style and difficult to get through. If not for the fact that I had a personal interest in understanding blockchain for possible future use I would not have finished the book. I think for non-technical audience it needs to be written differently.
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