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

Breaking down the blockchain (without one mention of Bitcoin)

Erin Morrissey (Capital One Investing)
11:00am11:40am Thursday, July 19, 2018
Location: Portland 256
Level: Beginner
Average rating: ****.
(4.38, 8 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Software developers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • An understanding of software development principles
  • No blockchain knowledge required

What you'll learn

  • Understand blockchain basics and underlying technical concepts
  • Learn where and how the blockchain may disrupt some of the apps and services you use in day-to-day life


The blockchain is a formerly niche idea that’s on the path to becoming a standard technology (think responsive design or containers). An open source technology that represents a brand new type of application infrastructure, the blockchain is largely thought by many—business analysts, designers, developers, etc.—to be the next big business disruptor because of its democratizing potential. Industries from global shipping to healthcare to the internet of things are experimenting with blockchain technology, hoping its promises—trust, transparency, security—can drastically improve how they transact and document business.

However, when learning about the blockchain, it’s hard to see past the buzzwords and the cryptocurrency craze. Erin Morrissey covers the why and how of the blockchain from a developer’s perspective, using the basic example of a ledger that tracks ownership transactions—without resorting to jargon. Erin walks you through the technical components of a blockchain (fun stuff like digital fingerprints, hash puzzles, and Merkle trees) and explains how each piece contributes to the many promises of this quickly growing technology. You’ll leave with a mental model of the underlying technology and an understanding of the pros and cons, use cases, and fundamental ideas (from product lifecycle tracking to secure information sharing to, yes, cryptocurrency), so you can see how the blockchain may radically impact our lives, and soon.

Photo of Erin Morrissey

Erin Morrissey

Capital One Investing

Erin Morrissey is a developer, designer, observer, and oyster lover currently helping build software at Capital One in Seattle, Washington. Erin is diligent, passionate, driven, and entrepreneurial and is always learning. Her work is richly informed by her wide range of ecommerce experience, strong design background, and Midwest upbringing.