Before We Begin

2 minute read

This guide will help you develop a mental model of blockchain technology in order to help you understand its impact on society and business. By the end of this book you should have basic knowledge of the underpinnings of blockchain technology, specifically the Ethereum blockchain.

This guide does not have to be read start to finish. Rather, it is an index of subjects which you can reference to get an understanding of certain concepts. The blockchain industry is a collaborative one, and as such, this guide will cite materials both internal and external to ConsenSys. We believe these materials are key in pushing the discussion further than the limitations of this book.

Is this guide for me?

This guide is designed for anyone who is looking to wrap their head around blockchain technology, how it works, and how it could affect the world around them.

If you have a more technical background, such as a developer with experience building software, please look out for our coding based offerings, which cover setting up the developer tools and building on top of the Ethereum blockchain.

What this guide is not

This guide is not how to set up a wallet and start buying and trading cryptocurrencies. It does not give you advice on which cryptocurrencies to buy. Other resources are a better fit for that, such as Pro-Tips for Ethereum Wallet Management by Nick Dodson, for an example of a wallet set up resource.

Overlapping resources

Because this guide is an introduction to key concepts, there will be times when sections might overlap in content or scope. This guide was written to explain blockchain simply and concisely, so many ideas will be repeated. There are links to additional information to offer different mediums of communication (video, for example) to fit diverse learning styles. It is suggested that a complete beginner read all of the sections of this guide. Going over the topics in multiple sections can be a good review of material and are presented using different examples. However, how you use this guide is up to you, and if you ever encounter a topic you feel you are already familiar with, feel free to skip it and move on.


Due to the nature of this ever growing and changing space, purchasers of this book will get updates via the publishing platform when they are available. This will allow you to keep up to date about what is going on. We will also include relevant information about in-person or virtual discussions of topics within the book and how those will be facilitated.