I've been thinking a lot lately about how to tell the story of blockchain technology more straightforwardly. This is a big problem for both the industry and the public, clearly.

Most non-geeks at this point are vaguely aware that blockchain technology is promising – and sometimes lucrative – but their eyes quickly glaze over once you start getting into the details. At the same time, the industry urgently needs to expand its appeal to grow beyond just a few early adopters who all attend the same unfortunate yacht parties in San Francisco.

In that spirit, I wanted to pass along a couple of my favorite Blockchain 101 resources to get an understanding of the basics really, really quickly.

The chief one I'd recommend is the video below in which entrepreneur and researcher Bettina Warburg explains blockchain at five different levels of understanding, from a five-year-old up to a fellow expert. This was posted about a year ago by Wired magazine, but it still holds up as the best newbie explainer I've ever seen, all in less than 20 minutes. (Even shorter if you stop after Warburg has covered the five-year-old 😉)  

If that video whets your appetite and you want to delve deeper into blockchain, I'd recommend checking out a handy list of "crypto canon" links maintained by the venture-capital firm Andreesen Horowitz. Their list includes various articles on every facet of the industry, from business cases to the technical lowdown.

A hat tip is also in order here to my friend Chikodi Chima, who turned me onto the "crypto canon" when I started working at the crypto startup Dispatch in San Francisco earlier this year. Reviewing the canon helped me a lot at the time, as did asking a whole lot of dumb questions of the ever-patient Chikodi offline. If you ever get an opportunity to do that, I'd recommend it as well.