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Blockchains from the ground up

Using a scenario that begins with the exchange of apples for oranges, understand the essential concepts and advantages of blockchains.

By John Mathews

May 25 2017

This is part 1 of an introduction to the key features of a generalised blockchain. I haven’t included references to Bitcoin or any particular digital currencies or blockchain implementations. This is because a digital currency is just one application of blockchain technology.
Create a financial document that cannot be forged or disputed
Let’s imagine there is a village somewhere where people still trade by bartering. John has some apples whilst Lizzie has some oranges. John would like an orange, and offers Lizzie an apple in exchange. She accepts, and writes John a receipt.
Date: 1234
From: Lizzie
To: John
What: 1 Orange
Price: 1 Apple

So far, so good. The receipt is evidence of the transaction. The next day John wants an


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