Blockchain and Fintech Primer for 2018

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Image credit: ComputerWorld UK

Blockchain, bitcoin, ethereum, crypto, digital wallets, fintech – from obscure tech blogs to mainstream media, suddenly, everyone has something to say about the impending future of the financial system. Is it all hype? Buzzwords? A bubble? What if we told you that this technology might restructure the entire fabric of the internet – and society itself?

First, let’s take a step back. In the current cryptocurrency frenzy, terms tend to blend together, obscuring their meanings and utilities in the process. Blockchain and Bitcoin are not the same thing. Blockchain is a radical new technology, not exclusive to fintech (see more, below), but perhaps most well-known currently as the technological basis of the cryptocurrency movement. Cryptocurrency refers to a digital assets that can be traded over the blockchain network using a digital wallet, such as Coinbase or, soon, Robinhood; you’ve probably heard of Bitcoin, the most famous, but not the only cryptocurrency out there right now (Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple are others, to name a few).

The technology itself has been around for nearly a decade (Bitcoin was first introduced in 2009), however, it was only during the last year that the vocabulary of cryptocurrency – and, thus, of blockchain – really entered the mainstream. This piece, published earlier this month in the New York Times Magazine, particularly generated a lot of conversation amongst MassTLC members last week. It provides a great overview of the past, present, and potential future of blockchain technology, from how it came to be to how it works today.

That started us thinking: whether you are a fintech veteran who has been following the evolution of blockchain from Day 1 or a complete newbie to the industry, chances are, the blockchain is going to affect you, your job, your business, or your life in some way in the not-so-distant-future. As such, you’ll want to stay informed.

To help you do exactly that, we compiled a list of resources, our own blockchain and fintech primer for 2018. Wherever you are in your blockchain understanding, we have something for you to add to your reading lists:

Overviews of blockchain, what is it, how it works, and how it will shape the future:

Overviews of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency:

An in-depth look at the foundations of Bitcoin:

In-depth looks at the current cryptocurrency market:

Blockchain applications beyond fintech:

2018 fintech and blockchain trend forecasting:

We hope this comprehensive list gives you somewhere to start. The blockchain conversation is only beginning, and we can’t wait to continue it here with you.