Layer What?? Explaining the Architecture of Blockchain

A presentation at THAT Conference in in Round Rock, TX, USA by Ben Greenberg

While the why and the why not of blockchain has been widely discussed and debated, many still grapple with understanding its underlying architecture. This session is not aimed at explaining the philosophical or socio-economic motivations behind blockchain; instead, it ventures deep into the core structure and components that form this technology. Blockchain is often a maze of complex terminologies and concepts for both the uninitiated and those somewhat familiar with it. This talk aims to be your compass, guiding you through the intricate paths and introducing you to the core concepts within: - Consensus Mechanisms: Understand the heart of every blockchain which ensures all players are in agreement. Dive into Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, and more, learning how they ensure trust in a trustless environment. - Layers: From base layers that form the foundation of blockchains to second-layer solutions that scale and extend their functionalities. Explore how these layers interact and come together to form a cohesive system. - Protocols: These are the rules of the game. Learn about the different protocols that dictate how data is added and verified, ensuring the security and stability of the entire network. - dApps (Decentralized Applications): Beyond simple transactions, blockchains host applications with no central authority. Delve into how dApps are built, deployed and used. - Smart Contracts: Discover the self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into code lines. Understand their role in automating and ensuring trust in various processes on the blockchain. - Nodes: Grasp the significance of these essential components that store, spread, and maintain the blockchain, ensuring its decentralization. By the end of this session, attendees will have a comprehensive understanding of the architectural nuances of blockchain technology. Whether you are interested in blockchain, started working with it already or hate it, this session will give you more knowledge on the architecture that powers them and make you a more informed member of the tech community.


The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.