Put open source to work
July 16–17, 2018: Training & Tutorials
July 18–19, 2018: Conference
Portland, OR

Coding a basic blockchain

Josh Butikofer (Adobe)
11:00am11:40am Thursday, July 19, 2018
Live coding
Location: Portland 252
Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.83, 6 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Developers and engineers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with CS concepts like hashing, public/private keys, digital signatures, and Linux containers
  • A basic understanding of cryptocurrency or the blockchain (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Explore blockchain technology as you build a very basic blockchain


Blockchain == Buzzword * 10^10. By now, most of us have heard something about blockchains, Bitcoin, and distributed ledgers. You probably know someone who claims you can get obscenely rich (or, more likely, devastatingly poor) by investing in {FAVORITE_ALTCOIN_HERE}.

All this hyped-up coverage still leaves the curious wanting more in-depth information about the underlying technology of blockchain (aka distributed ledgers). Josh Butikofer walks you through building a very basic blockchain to demonstrate how the underlying technologies work and what they might be good for besides the cryptocurrency use case. Join in to go beyond yet another alt-coin to invest in and dig deeper into the tech.

Topics include:

  • Transactions, blocks, and immutable chains
  • Distributed consensus
  • Proof-of-work mining (or other forms of establishing distributed consensus)
  • Cryptographic hashing and signatures
  • How blockchain tech works together
Photo of Josh Butikofer

Josh Butikofer


Josh Butikofer is a senior architect at Adobe, where he helps wrangle trillions of transactions for Adobe’s analytics and marketing customers. With two decades of engineering experience in both startups and enterprises (and three kids at home), he is hopefully starting to figure things out. Josh has been an open source enthusiast and avid user since discovering Linux in 1998. He holds a BS in computer science from Brigham Young University. Josh has many interests: software, of course, but also creativity through technology, genre fiction, writing, cycling, and achieving success in the family.

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Picture of Josh Butikofer
07/19/2018 4:56am PDT

This presentation had no slides (they weren’t allowed for Live Coding), but I do have a link to the Jupyter Notebooks I used during the session available here: https://github.com/butikofer/coding_a_basic_blockchain.