Explore the future of value beyond money in a dynamic workshop activity

The world has changed. The push economy that has long dominated the way we consume products and services has been disrupted by a new pull economy, characterised by platforms such as Uber and Airbnb, where consumers take part in providing and shaping the services provided. The rise of the digital currency Bitcoin, along with its supporting technology Blockchain, offers a radical new model of peer-to-peer trading, which raises questions about our existing economic models, and threatens to undermine long accepted financial power structures. This has precipitated an explosion of new products and thinking around decentralised trading of goods and services. This workshop is for anyone interested in exploring this rapidly developing new territory.

Workshop Material

Block Exchange is a fast-paced workshop activity that will open minds to the future possibilities of value exchange. Using Lego to simulate the Blockchain participants will experiment with trading as economic models shift from the basic acquisition of resources, through a fluctuating market and finally into peer-to-peer trading of value where anything goes!

Manual & Resource Cards

Preview the instructions for the facilitator and resource cards. Download both in the zip below.

Number Puzzle for Miners

You can find our suggested number puzzle here and links to other puzzles.

Simple explanations of Bitcoin and Blockchain

UK Digital Currency Association
Straightforward text descriptions of Bitcoin and Blockchain

Explain Bitcoin Like I’m Five
An easy to understand description of Bitcoin trading using an apple analogy

Avoiding pointless Blockchain projects
Another way to understand Blockchain by looking at what it is not

Bitcoin is the Sewer Rat of Currencies, interview with Andreas Antonopoulos
Transcript available here.
A fun interview which provides insight into the current state of Bitcoin and Blockchain

In depth reading on Bitcoin, Blockchain and Currency

Original Bitcoin paper published by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008
Primarily for the technically minded, and gets into the specifics on the second page

Distributed Ledger Technology: Beyond Blockchain, UK Government Office for Science, 2016
 A government perspective and a call to arms for UK industry and research to explore the area for the benefit of the UK

How is Bitcoin Money? By Ole Bjerg, 2016, In Theory Culture and Society, Volume 331(1) pp 53-72
This paper describes how the value of fiat currency has developed, and how Bitcoin works in relation

Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking digital Cryptocurrencies by Andreas Antonopoulos, published by O’ Reilly Media 2014
Technically focussed guide to Bitcoin. It includes a broad introduction, technical explanations and concepts, and describes a wealth of off-shoots and related technologies

EpiCenter Bitcoin
Podcasts discussing Bitcoin – particular good for finding out more about the workings behind some of the new Bitcoin related applications and technologies

Debt: The First 5,000 years by David Graeber
Alternative view on the origins of currency and explores the beginnings of debt

Technology that builds on Bitcoin and Blockchain

Colored Coins
This is an example of using Bitcoins to exchange other forms of data together with the Bitcoin

Everledger uses the Blockchain to track the provenance of diamonds

Smart contracts
First proposed in 1994 by Nick Szabo, who offers examples of smart digital contracts and smart physical objects too

Ethereum is a development platform that enables the use of smart contracts as part of bitcoin transactions

Hyperledger Fabric
An efficient and scalable blockchain infrastructure built for permissioned business to business networks, where all members are known and trusted

Using the Blockchain to register artwork or copy

Introductory video produced by Nice & Serious, and funded by IoTUK


Please let us know what you thought of the workshop, if you think that anything could be improved, and what interesting new ideas it has triggered.

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