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Understanding blockchain: Tutorial for CIOs

In this SearchCIO blockchain tutorial, read recent blockchain news and tips to learn the whats, whys and hows of this emerging technology.

Introduction

Blockchain technology -- which underpins Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies -- could change the nature of financial and other types of transactions. And an ecosystem is quickly developing around blockchain: Startups in this space are raking in venture capital money, global consultancies are developing practices around it, big vendors like IBM and Microsoft are positioning themselves to lead the tech industry in blockchain products and services, and IT organizations are developing proofs of concept and field trials. 

While stories of the benefits of blockchain abound in the press, the technology carries with it processing overhead that may make its use impractical in many scenarios, and it brings along many uncertainties in terms of scalability, integration, cultural adoption, privacy, security and regulatory status. IT leaders will be -- or already are -- tasked with determining whether blockchain offers their companies cost savings, productivity efficiencies or competitive advantage. Answering that question will require, at the very least, a thorough understanding of how the technology works, proposals of where the technology might be used and then a discerning eye toward whether blockchain is the right technology, or whether something simpler would suffice.

In this SearchCIO blockchain tutorial, we help CIOs and IT executives get started on the discovery process of understanding blockchain.

1What and why-

What blockchain is, and why CIOs should care

Industry experts say blockchain technology could alter the very nature of financial and other types of transactions. In the first section of this blockchain tutorial, learn how the technology works, what's involved in implementation and how CIOs and other C-level execs will become involved.

Feature

Infographic: Blockchain explained

Are you a visual learner? This blockchain explainer features a step-by-step infographic depicting how blockchain works. Continue Reading

Feature

A step-by-step guide to blockchain Implementation

To keep up with your competitors, keep up with blockchain. Part one of this two-part primer discusses how to get started with blockchain. Continue Reading

Feature

Blockchain implementation: Proof of concept and field trial

In part two of the blockchain feature mentioned above, learn how to conduct a blockchain proof of concept, field trial and beyond. Continue Reading

Tip

IBM blockchain expert answers three big questions

Blockchain expert Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of research at IBM, answers questions about blockchain scalability, how consensus works and data ownership. Continue Reading

Answer

Why CFOs should care about blockchain

Blockchain technology is making its way into IT first and foremost through the financial services industry. Get a preview of what chief financial officers can expect from blockchain's use by financial institutions. Continue Reading

2Blockchain benefits and trends-

Reasons to consider blockchain implementation

Blockchain technology is expected to be used in a variety of industries and for a variety of reasons. In this section, flip through a SearchCIO photo story and content from other TechTarget sites.

Photo story: Seven blockchain benefits

The list of blockchain benefits span from lowering transaction costs to making transactions transparent to immutability of records. In this photo story, read seven benefits according to Don Tapscott. Continue Reading

Feature

Developer view of blockchain: Best practices and rewards

Software developers have plenty to learn from the manner in which Bitcoins are processed, mined, verified and validated. This report from TheServerSide's Cameron McKenzie explains why. Continue Reading

News

Blockchain as a service

If your IT department isn't thinking about how to use blockchain and digital payments yet, there is no time to waste. SearchCRM reports from the Microsoft Envision conference. Continue Reading

3Blockchain concerns-

Implementation road blocks: Security and immaturity

Whenever a new technology comes along, the technology community is often faced with difficult questions about potential problems. Blockchain is no different. The technology is immature, and there is uncertainty regarding integration, cultural adoption, privacy, security and regulatory status. Find out more in this section of the blockchain tutorial.

News

Forrester analyst: Press pause on blockchain implementation -- for now

Some experts are urging CIOs to hold off on blockchain and to look first to existing technology to solve problems. Find out why. Continue Reading

News

Congress questions blockchain security, cybercrime

Earlier this year a congressional subcommittee heard testimony about blockchain and had a lot of questions about the risk it presents. Continue Reading

Feature

Experts shine a light on blockchain security issues

Along with all of the blockchain hype, there have been a lot of questions -- particularly around securing the technology. Read our feature story over on SearchCompliance. Continue Reading

Blog Post

U.S. representative to fintech community: Educate Congress

Visit SearchCIO's TotalCIO blog for Sue Troy's reporting from the DC Blockchain Summit in Washington, D.C. Continue Reading

Feature

Experts discuss privacy and digital identity on MIT panel

The very nature of blockchain technology and how it works has raised concerns about digital identity and privacy. Read more reporting from the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium blockchain panel session. Continue Reading

4Blockchain use cases-

Where, how blockchain could be put into practice

As blockchain technology evolves, so does its list of use cases. In the final section of this blockchain tutorial, read coverage from SearchCIO and other TechTarget sites about where the technology does and doesn't make sense.

Feature

Blockchain panel members discuss supply chain use cases

Companies interested in blockchain need to carefully consider where the technology does -- or doesn't -- make sense. Read what experts had to say about its use in the supply chain in this SearchCIO feature. Continue Reading

Feature

Fixing land title issues in Honduras

Populations like those in Honduras struggle with the corruption of land titles. Blockchain could help prevent land registry hacks and unwarranted title alterations, according to Gartner. Continue Reading

Feature

Legal field: Blockchain could virtually eliminate uncertainty in transactions

Editorial director Sue Troy talked to expert Alec Ross about blockchain's implication in the legal space. In this feature, Ross predicts blockchain technology will remove an "enormous amount of friction" from legal processes. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Microsoft homes in on the consumer case

In this blog post, read up on how Microsoft is approaching blockchain for the consumer. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Financial services reaps blockchain benefits

Blockchain is expected to have a huge impact on the financial industry. In this TotalCIO blog post, features writer Jason Sparapani discusses financial and banking use cases. Continue Reading

Blog Post

IoT applications: Blockchain and smart machines

Blockchain use in the internet of things has great potential, but this can't be realized without a big shift in business and economic models. Read more in this blog post by IoT Agenda contributor Jeremy Green. Continue Reading

Feature

How blockchain could improve recruitment and other HR concerns

Expert Pam Baker provides an in-depth look at the realities of using blockchain for improving recruitment and other HR processes. Continue Reading

5Blockchain glossary-

Key terms to know

Review commonly encountered terminology to gain a better understanding of blockchain technology.

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