Learn more with Blockchain for Dummies, IBM Limited Edition

Chapters include:

  • Grasping blockchain fundamentals
  • Taking a look at how blockchain works
  • Propelling business with blockchain
  • Blockchain in action: Use cases
  • Hyperledger, hosted by the Linux Foundation
  • Ten steps to your first blockchain application

How does blockchain work?

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As each transaction occurs – and the parties agree to its details – it’s encoded into a block of digital data and uniquely signed or identified.

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Each block is connected to the one before and after it — creating an irreversible, immutable chain.

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Blocks are chained together, preventing any block from being altered or a block being inserted between two existing blocks.

What makes blockchain for business better for business?

It’s distributed

Blockchain creates a shared system of record among business network members, eliminating the need to reconcile disparate ledgers.

It’s permissioned

Each member of the network must have access privileges. Information is shared only on a need-to-know basis.

It’s immutable

Consensus is required from all members and all validated transactions are permanently recorded. Even a system administrator can’t delete a transaction.

Blockchain networks are changing how business works

How is blockchain being used right now?

Making our food supply safer and smarter

How well do we know our food? Learn how blockchain is making it possible for growers, processors, distributors, retailers and consumers to feel more confident about food's journey from farm to fork.

Helping small and medium sized businesses grow

Trade finance keeps goods moving around the globe. But for small and medium sized businesses, costs and complexity often stand in the way – until now.

Finding new ways to work together

In order to be truly successful, a blockchain solution requires different companies – even competitors – to collaborate openly as they work on a common goal.

Learn even more about blockchain's impact

Blockchain FAQ

What's the difference between blockchain and bitcoin?

Bitcoin is an unregulated, digital currency. Bitcoin uses blockchain technology as its transaction ledger.

This video illustrates the distinction between the two.

How are the IBM Blockchain Platform and Hyperledger related?

The IBM Blockchain Platform is powered by Hyperledger technology.

This blockchain solution can help turn any developer into a blockchain developer.

Visit the Hyperledger web site for details.

What are smart contracts?

Smart contracts are an integral part of blockchain technology. They automatically execute transactions and record information onto the ledger without human intervention.

Conditions of smart contracts are mutually agreed on by network members. They’re a key component for establishing trust and efficiency between parties.

Smart contracts eliminate essentially all the paperwork, streamlining the entire process and saving time and money.

To help you learn more about smart contracts, Nigel Gopie, PhD, the IBM Food Trust Global Marketing Leader - IBM Blockchain, has written a blog post that explains smart contracts in more detail.

How can blockchain impact an entire industry?

Blockchain enables businesses to rethink the way they work.

In the diamond industry, for example, each party can access:

  • High-resolution photos
  • Immutable payment records
  • Certificates of authenticity and more.

I need more detailed information. Where is it?

For a more detailed look at how a blockchain network operates and how you can use it, read the Introduction to distributed ledgers.

→ Learn more from the blockchain tutorial on developerWorks.


Explore the capabilities of the IBM Blockchain Platform - the only fully integrated enterprise-ready blockchain platform designed to help you accelerate the development, governance and operation of a multi-institution business network.

→ Register to download the IBM Blockchain Platform white paper.


Get the details on Hyperledger Fabric and discover what's unique  about it, why it matters to business networks, and how to start using it.

→ Visit the Hyperledger page on developerWorks.


The quick-start guide for developers explains how to build a kick-starter blockchain network and start coding with the IBM Blockchain Platform Starter Plan.

→ View the quick start guide for developers.

What can we solve together?

Discover how clients use IBM Blockchain now to transform their business.