The Building Blocks of the Blockchain

May 20, 2019

Blockchain. The term is ubiquitous—it’s going to protect everyone’s data, provide the backbone of every supply chain, make every contract smart, and so much more. But what is blockchain, actually? And can it really do all of this? (No.)

This article is for those who want to learn the basics about this technology. I will describe the essential fundamentals of Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, and blockchain. I will explore the technology behind blockchain, including an explanation of what “mining” is and how it helps users trust information on a blockchain. I will also explain some of the ways that blockchain is changing the law and legal practice—and why lawyers and law faculty should pay attention to these developments.