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What is blockchain? What Am I missing?

The new Blockchain for Dummies has use cases describing real blockchain networks, the latest from the IBM Blockchain Platform and more.

Download Blockchain for Dummies, 2nd IBM Limited Edition

Blockchain can do for business what the internet did for communication

Every second of every day, businesses exchange value with suppliers, partners, customers and others. By value, we mean goods, services, money, data and more.

Each exchange of value is a transaction. Successful transactions need to be fast, precise and easily agreed on by parties participating in the transaction.

Blockchain for business provides a way to execute many more of these transactions — a much better way.

View our What is Blockchain infographic (378 KB)

View our What is Blockchain infographic (PDF, 378 KB)

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

Show me how

How can blockchain help you?

Four people looking at a board with sticky notes

Create new business value

Organizations must continually improve business processes and explore new opportunities.

Blockchain helps build more efficient, enterprise business models.

A man and a woman talking on a factory

Optimize ecosystems

Facilitating transactions with suppliers, partners and customers helps streamline business processes and transactions.

Blue image with the world map, a hexagon net and padlocks

Reduce risk

With blockchain, your business process network creates transactions using a distributed, permissioned, immutable ledger.

Leverage blockchain to transform your business

Show me how

Blockchain FAQ

What’s the difference between blockchain and bitcoin?

How are the IBM Blockchain Platform and Hyperledger related?

What are smart contracts?

How can blockchain impact an entire industry?

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.

Explore industry applications

See the latest blockchain news

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