Start working with blockchain


No doubt you’re aware of the buzz around blockchain these days. Maybe you’re just getting started and need to get the basics on distributed ledger technology. Or maybe you’re further along in your journey and need to build on what you already know. Either way, you’re sure to find something useful in the modules below, which start with the fundamentals and then show you how to build apps of increasing complexity. You can then explore various use cases to get an expanded view of all that blockchain has to offer.


Upon completion of this series, you will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamental concepts behind digitial ledgers and, more specifically, blockchain technology, as well as the open source Hyperledger projects.
  • Spin up a blockchain network based on the open source Hyperledger Fabric framework.
  • Develop a smart contract with the IBM Blockchain Platform VS Code extension.
  • Build a basic blockchain network, create and execute a blockchain smart contract, and emit events from the blockchain platform.
  • Build a more advanced app using Blockchain Solution Manager and Blockchain Document Store, connected with the IBM Blockchain Platform.
  • Deploy Hyperledger Fabric locally with Ethereum Virtual Machine and create a proxy for interacting with a smart contract through a Node.js web app.
  • Draw on your understanding of a broad range of blockchain use cases, including insurance, finance, and retail.

Prerequisite knowledge

Since this series is designed for beginners, no prerequisite knowledge is required to begin. However, as you progress through the modules, you will draw on the skills and knowledge you have gained along the way, and you will need to have some practical knowledge of Visual Studio Code, Node.js, Kubernetes, and Docker containers.

Skill level

The skill level of this series is beginner to intermediate.

Estimated time to complete

Depending on your level of expertise, it should take you about 12 hours to complete all of the modules in this series:

  • Blockchain fundamentals — 3 hours
  • Start building blockchain applications — 2 hours
  • Move on to more advanced apps — 2 hours
  • Use cases: See blockchain in action — 5 hours


This series consists of the following modules:

Blockchain fundamentals

  • Blockchain basics: Introduction to distributed ledgers

    This tutorial looks at how a blockchain network operates, how you can take advantage of it, and how IBM and other companies are collaborating to advance the technology across a spectrum of industries.

  • Blockchain basics: Glossary and use cases

    Written to accompany the previous tutorial, this reference doc provides an overview of the lingo and shows you how businesses can capitalize on this powerful emerging technology.

  • IBM Blockchain 101: Quick-start guide for developers

    This quick-start guide is for application developers who are exploring blockchain technology and want to quickly spin up a blockchain pre-production network, deploy sample applications, and develop and deploy client applications.

Start building blockchain applications

  • Develop a smart contract with the IBM Blockchain Platform VS Code extension

    Learn the process of using IBM Blockchain Platform’s VS Code extension to streamline the process of developing, testing, and deploying a smart contract. This tutorial shows you how to quickly develop, demo, and deploy your blockchain application on a local Hyperledger Fabric network using VS Code.

  • Build your first blockchain application

    This series of developer code patterns takes you step-by-step through the process of building a working blockchain application. You’ll learn how to build a basic blockchain network, create and execute a blockchain smart contract, and emit events from the blockchain platform.

Move on to more advanced apps

Use cases: See blockchain in action

  • Build a blockchain insurance app

    Blockchain is revolutionizing the way financial organizations do business, and the insurance industry is no exception. This code pattern shows you how to implement a web-based blockchain app using Hyperledger Fabric to facilitate insurance sales and claims.

  • Create a fair trade supply chain network

    Learn how to create a blockchain app that increases visibility and efficiency in the supply chain of a coffee retailer, enabling a traceable, trackable coffee trade. See how blockchain can help farmers, roasters, and everyone in between bring you a fresher, fairer cup.

  • Create a global finance blockchain application with IBM Blockchain Platform Extension for VS Code

    This application uses blockchain technology to track actions on an order by the the various members of a network — buyer, seller, provider, shipper, and finance company. See how the app tracks these actions, and see how dispute resolution can be applied across industry verticals to resolve disputes.

Next steps