Blockchain is an emerging technology that is often termed disruptive, with tremendous potential to change a multitude of today's business practices, processes and operations.

This topic provides an understanding of blockchain including its historical background, architecture, applications, concerns and the decision process. The discussions in this topic are intended to provide an initial overview of blockchains for any interested reader, not just a technical professional. It is designed as a quick read for a decision-maker or other interested reader anyone who needs an quick understanding of the blockchain topic at a high level or for a decision-maker who needs to get up-to-speed.

This topic is organized into the following sections, which may be navigated using the topic menus on the right of the screen.

  • Introduction provides an overview which includes a short history and an understanding of why blockchain is broadly considered a disruptive technology.
  • Architecture contains a definition of terms and concepts to be used throughout this topic, and the operational flow of a blockchain.
  • Commercial Examples summarizes examples of blockchains in various stages of deployment in diverse areas including finance, supply chain management, healthcare, energy, cybersecurity, and real estate.
  • Commercial Products provides a sampling of some of the major commercial blockchain products in the today's tech world.
  • Government Initiatives describes some of the US Government initiatives related to blockchain including applications, rules, regulations, policies, and standards.
  • Concerns addresses many related issues, among them: hype, scalability, security, environmental cost, standards, regulation, and human error.
  • Decision Process builds on the previous section to describe an approach to determine if blockchain is suitable and appropriate to a business model.
  • Summary and Conclusions, provides a synopsis of the topic and concludes that blockchain is not a silver bullet, but may potentially be a major part of how entire industries conduct business in the future.

Begin with the Introduction to Blockchain.