Blockchain for Associations

In the spring of 2018, I had the opportunity to attend one of my favorite conferences in the association year: digitalNOW. At that event, among all the cutting-edge content, I heard one word over and over: blockchain. Two things quickly became apparent to me: one, it was an emerging trend associations should pay attention to and two, nobody seemed to really understand it all that well.Image of cover page of whitepaper

  • What is blockchain?
  • How does it work?
  • How does it relate to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
  • Are there other applications of the technology?
  • What does it all mean for associations?

Those are some of the questions Shelly Alcorn (Alcorn Associates Management Consulting and Ubiquity University) and I seek to answer in our new collaborative whitepaper, Blockchain for Associations: Separating the Hype from the Promise

The whitepaper includes an interview with Tim Haynes, founder of Signal and Story, who you may have heard speaking on blockchain at ASAE’s 2018 Tech Conference last December, and a case study from Central New Mexico Community College, which, under the direction of CIO Feng Hou, has been at the forefront of student-owned and -administered credentials maintained on the blockchain. It also includes an extensive bibliography for those who wish to REALLY geek out.

I’ll be blogging about the whitepaper in the coming days, highlighting some of our major findings, but in the meantime I invite you to download your free copy at – we don’t collect any data on you to get it, and you won’t end up on some mailing list you didn’t ask for. We just use the as an easy mechanism to count the number of times it’s been downloaded.

The complete whitepaper team – Shelly Alcorn, Tim Haynes, Feng Hou, and myself – will also be participating in SURGE Co-Creation, a free interactive virtual conference on May 1-3 hosted by You can find out more about the event as a whole and our session at (You can also register, which is required, but is, as mentioned above, free.)

And don’t forget to check out the other FREE Spark whitepapers, too: