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Blockchain 101

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In this primer, you will be introduced to blockchain technology, the different structures for a blockchain, how it provides security and why it is considered to be unchangeable, and a brief history of the technology.

  • Blockchain is the foundation of cryptoassets. A blockchain is simply a distributed ledger that records information and transactions that cannot be manipulated.
  • Blockchains publicly verified by miners or stakeholders, also known as permissionless blockchains, allow anyone with internet access to see the transactions on the blockchain.
  • Blockchains rely on cryptography to provide the security of verified transactions.
  • Open blockchains are permissionless and entirely decentralized. Closed blockchains are permissioned and governed by a central authority, negating the main functions of decentralization.

To understand cryptoassets, you must first understand what a blockchain is. Don’t stress, the inventor of Bitcoin didn’t even use the word “blockchain” in the white paper that started it all; Satoshi Nakamoto referred to it as “proof of work chain”. The term blockchain came about in 2014, used as a corporate moniker to help market and sell the technology.

Blockchain technology, also known as distributed ledger technology or DLT, is the foundation on which all of the decentralized finance rests. If coins, tokens, and NFTs were cars, blockchains would be the interstates, streets, and country roads. If you’ve ever balanced a checkbook, this concept should resonate with you. Ledgers record transaction details; they keep track of where items (typically money) have been in the past, and how they change hands over time.

The entire ledger is a series of blocks listing transactions chained together as they are created. Hence why this technology is called blockchain. A ‘coinbase transaction’ (yes, this is where the now public company derived its name) is the first transaction in a block.

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Onramp Academy is an evolving resource on cryptoassets for financial advisors. We understand that education is at the core of the financial advisor-client relationship, and that the most impactful financial advisors educate their clients, empowering them to make sound financial decisions. We created Onramp Academy to expose, educate, and empower financial advisors with the tools to confidently explore and introduce cryptoassets to their clients.

The Academy is supported by traditional legacy brands that advisors know and trust. In partnership with these firms, the Onramp team has curated a wealth of resources to assist advisors in becoming educated on the crypto economy and better serve their clients. The Academy consists of hand-selected written content, videos, podcasts, and other tools to help financial advisors sort through the minutia and get straight to the information that will directly impact their practice.

This material is presented for general information purposes only, and does not constitute an offer to buy or sell securities. This publication does not constitute general or personal investment advice or take into account the individual financial circumstances or investment objectives, or financial conditions of the individuals who receive it. This does not constitute an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any securities or Funds, nor shall any securities be offered or sold to any person in any jurisdiction in which an offer, solicitation, purchase, or sale would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.