About BlockExchange

Crypto-currency Bitcoin and its underlying technology Blockchain have opened up the prospect of significant changes to the present-day use of fiat currencies as the primary method of value exchange. Complex and challenging to understand, this workshop allows participants to explore some of the basic principles of how Blockchain works, but more importantly to anticipate the social, technical and economic opportunities that Distributed Ledger Technologies, such as Blockchain, may offer to society.

It is intended to provoke thinking on new methods of value exchange and lead participants to consider what might happen if money is no longer the mainstay of value exchange.

The workshop provides a light overview of the concepts in a video presentation and uses Lego bricks to make tangible the very intangible aspects of how the Blockchain works. Participants will use the Lego to experiment with peer-to-peer trading and create a tangible blockchain to record their trades in a game-like activity played out in 3 stages. It culminates with a session on innovating and presenting new ideas in this area.

Inevitably the workshop involves a simplification of Blockchain technology and it is not designed as a comprehensive or accurate explanation, but to encourage free thinking and discussion about what might happen when we move beyond traditional currencies that is not constrained by what may or may not be currently feasible.

Reflections on Block Exchange, produced by Nice & Serious, and funded by IoTUK

Who it is for

This activity is aimed primarily at people with non-technical backgrounds who want to begin exploring the possibilities of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies to envisage the potential for social change and disruption, and the wealth of new scenarios and applications. People skilled with technology may also benefit from involvement in the activity, especially if they are new to Blockchain, as this is more about opening up ideas on value rather than a technological explanation. The inclusion of technical people in the activity can therefore enhance the overall experience of the group, by bringing this expertise into the conversation.

Organising the activity

This activity works best if there is a person designated as facilitator to run the activity. Ideally this person will have experience in facilitating this type of activity, and a basic understanding of Bitcoin, Blockchain and DLT’s.

The ideal number of participants at the event would normally be between 15-30, and at this number it is useful for the facilitator to have someone assisting with practical aspects. 10 participants would be a minimum, with less the workshop would lack the energy without sufficient participants to make the trading process exciting. It is possible to scale up participant numbers, with an extra assistant required for every 20 extra participants.

Overall the activity will take around 90 – 120 mins but could be condensed into a shorter session. Either by skipping or shortening one of the steps.

What you will need

This workshop requires minimal resources. As long as you have a room large enough for the participants, an experienced facilitator to lead, a video projector plus computer, some stationary and the all-important Lego, you’re all set to go!

You will find all material needed in our toolkit package below (zip).