Blockchain Overview for Beginners

In this course, you will

  • Learn about the technology behind the blockchain, how it works and how to has evolved over time

  • Discover how the blockchain can decentralize organizations, economic institutions and governments, transforming the organization paradigm we have known since the dawn of the industrial age

  • Understand the principles behind token economies and how they enable the Internet of Value (IoV) and the Internet of Things (IoT)

  • Discover examples of blockchain applications in the technology, economic, and environmental sectors. See also how it can enable social reform.

What you'll learn

In this engineering PDH course, we'll answer the following questions

  • Technology

    How does the blockchain work?
    When was it first designed and how has it evolved since then?

  • Decentralization

    How could the blockchain transfer power in our economic, social and governmental institutions from the few (centralized) to the many (decentralized)?

  • Token Economies

    What are token economies?
    How would they work?
    What technologies or platforms could enable their existence?
    What advantages would they offer?

  • Applications and Sustainability

    What are some technological, economic, environmental and social applications of the blockchain? How would these changes lead us towards a more sustainable world?


  • Duration : 4 hours

    This course allows participants to earn 4 engineering PDH (professional development hours).

  • Level: Introductory

    The course is non-technical in nature. It is an introductory course and thus all terms will be explained it should be accessible to anyone with a basic understanding of web technologies and economics.

  • Audience

    Engineering, accounting, business and legal professionals • Anyone interested in learning the basics of the blockchain and its applications

  • Requirements

    No prerequisites needed

  • Format: 100% online

    Start instantly and learn at your own schedule • On-demand video • 30-day access from mobile telephone and computer

  • Shareable Certificate: Yes

    Earn a shareable completion certificate indicating that you have earned 4 engineering PDH (Professional Development Hours).

How could the blockchain transform the world as we know it?

The prominent blockchain thinker Primavera De Filippi summarizes nicely much of the significance of the blockchain as an institutional technology when she notes, 

"Today the blockchain is marking the beginning of a new digital revolution whose focus is not just human communication but rather human interaction and cooperation. What the internet has done to achieve global interpersonal communication the blockchain could do today to achieve global and systematic collaboration."

We see from this statement that the blockchain is much more than just a new technology. Blockchain thinkers, scientists, engineers and enthusiasts have created a culture and community that is passionate about creating a more equitable and sustainable world through decentralization of power and control and eliminate the opacity that has veiled our economic, social and governmental institutions. Its objective is to transfer power from the elite few to the many.

Throughout the course, we will introduce you to this culture and its aspirations.

Read more

For the move into the information age to be viable and sustainable, the internet needs to become a global, public, secure, trusted, distributed cloud computing infrastructure, and that is the potential of the blockchain and indeed what makes it of critical importance to where we are as a burgeoning global civilization. With this IT infrastructure, we are able to revisit all these systems of organization and question what is the underlying value or service they deliver and then rebuilt token economies to reflect that value and function as a distributed management system replacing the centralized management structures of the past.

 Edison solar energy quote

In this course, we will be looking at these four aspects of blockchain technology:

1. The Technology

2. The Trust Machine

3. Token Economies

4. Applications of the Blockchain

Here's a summary of what we will be discussing.


In the first section of this engineering PDH course, we give an overview to the blockchain both on a technical and nontechnical level we also discuss the importance of the blockchain within the context of the emerging next generation internet.

Trust Machine

In the second section we talk about the blockchain as a so call "trust machine" and how it enables transparency and collaboration. We will look at distributed ledger technology, and talk about smart contracts, Ethereum, and decentralized applications.

Token Economies

In the third section, we introduce you to the workings of token economies illustrating how the blockchain and distributed ledgers can work to build vibrant ecosystems through the use of tokens to incentivize behaviour.

SOURCE:  pwc


In the last section of the course, we will be looking at specific applications of the blockchain to economy, society, technology, and environment, looking at both existing practical applications and potential future applications.


Video Lesson Sample


What engineers are saying about this course

Very well-organized and informative. Covered the overview very well.

- TG from Illinois, USA


Shareable Certificate

Enroll in the full course

Instantly download your certificate when you complete this course. It will state that you've earned 4 professional development hours (4 PDH). 

Share your course completion certificate directly from your student dashboard by:

1. Posting directly to social media:  Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter

2. Sharing its link

3. Downloading it as a PDF

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Enrollment Options

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Option 2:

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Disruptive Technologies of the Information Age Course Bundle (8h)

This course bundle includes two courses:
(1) Big Data and Machine Learning Explained (4h)
(2) The Blockchain: More than Cryptocurrency (4h)

Buy these courses together and save 25%. Complete both courses to earn 8 engineering PDH. Click below for details.
Information Age Course Bundle

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Systems Thinking Expert

Joss Colchester

Joss has extensive experience within the domain of complex systems both within academic research (mathematical modelling of complex systems and network analysis) and practical systems engineering (designing and developing complex web-based information systems). He has a passion for taking abstract and complex concepts and making them concrete and accessible to as broad an audience as possible by combining clear graphics with well-structured course content.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are you an approved professional development course provider in Canada?

    Approval is not required. Canadian engineering boards do not approve, recommend or endorse any professional development course providers or courses.

  • Are you an approved professional development course provider in the USA?

    Approval is not required except in the following states: Florida, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland, and Indiana.

    iPolytek has not yet sought to be approved in these states. Therefore, engineers from these state should not use our courses to accumulate professional development hours. If you are from one of these states and would like to take our courses in the future, let us know.

  • How long do I have to complete the course once I have purchased it?

    You have 30 days to complete this course.

  • What is your refund policy?

    Due to the digital nature of our courses, we do not issue refunds. We encourage you to preview our courses and download the course notes for free before purchasing.


    The engineering boards of Florida, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland, and Indiana require pre-approval of professional development course providers.

    iPolytek has not yet sought to be approved in these states. Therefore, engineers from these state cannot use our courses to accumulate professional development hours.

Professional Development

This course has been written to meet the professional development requirements defined by the orders of engineers of the following Canadian provinces and territories and the engineering boards of the following US states. These governing bodies do not require pre-approval of courses or course providers. For more information on the continuing education requirements set forth by your order or board, please click on your province or state below. 




AL, AK, AZ*, AR, CA*, CO*, CT*, DE, GA, HI*, ID, IL, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MA*, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI*, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA*, WV, WI, WY

* These states do not have a professional development policy at this time.

It remains the engineer’s responsibility to determine whether an activity meets the guidelines set by their licensing body. It is also the engineer's responsibility to maintain and submit records of professional development activities to their engineering board.

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