How to use the Blockchain Canvas


  • Blockchain Technologies and Crypto Assets are becoming part of our daily life. However the level of noise around them is proportional to the level of misunderstanding.
  • One thing you want to avoid is using Blockchain in a way that isn’t relevant to your use case.
    Not only will that be inefficient, but it might also cost you to waste precious ressources (money, time).
  • The learning curve for Blockchain and Crypto is sometimes slow. So if you don’t want to wait several weeks or months to get started on your project, use tools designed by experts to go faster in your process. You will figure things out as you go and learn by doing.
  • The Blockchain Canvas was born after I organized and mentored a lot of blockchain hackathons where teams usually had 48 hours to come up with an idea, design a decentralized application, code it, and present their project to a jury with a demo. So this tool is designed to work fast, under heavy time constraints and with maximum impact (results).



  • First, if you are a complete beginner, I would recommend you do a little reading on the blog to get familiarized with blockchain and the main concepts behind decentralization.
  • Getting started: take a look at the canvas. You can fill it from left to right, top to bottom. Or you can start wherever you want. Each box is like a “section”. It contains important questions to guide you and ask you to describe your project with as much details as you have at the moment.
  • You can write your ideas on post its for each section (keep the color code so you don’t get lost) and put them all around the canvas or as a grid below the canvas. Whatever you are more comfortable with visually.
  • Using post its has the following advantage: it give your the room to expand your thoughts, brainstorm, without space constraints.
  • You can also zoom in and start writing the text in the box directly.
  • Writing the text in the box of your canvas has the following advantage: it gives you a compact format that you can download or screenshot and then reuse as an image (read more about this in “How to recycle your results”).
  • What I have noticed in workshops is that some participants usually start with post its when they are brainstorming (sometimes on several ideas at the same time). Only when they feel like they have selected an idea and figured out most of the answers, they start filling the canvas itself because they want to present it as a poster (when we work on paper) or on a slide (googles slides, powerpoint etc.) in a compact and clean way.


Visual support

  • My favorite way of recycling a canvas is probably in a Slide Deck. You can present an entire project with just one slide from the Blockchain Canvas. Display it on screen and start going through the different sections so you don’t get lost and forget to say something important. You can even “hide” some sections and reveal them as you go for a more entertaining experience.
  • You can also use it as a figure or appendix in your Documentation: on your website, in your readme on Github.

Preliminary outline

  • You might want to write a document to present your project. Maybe because you need a white paper to introduce your dApp to the community, maybe because you are applying for a grant and need to write a proposal.
  • In any case, if you break down the canvas linearly, from left to right, from top to bottom, you will have a great outline for your project.
  • A little advice: depending on your end goal, you might want to complement this canvas with other tools more oriented towards Business and Project Management (say for a grant Proposal, or if you are pitching Investors).

Technical specifications

  • This really is the perfect tool to structure your thoughts alone or with your team but also start drafting the blueprint of your future dApp. You don’t need to be an engineer or a developer for that. Follow the questions and you will end up with a “Description of workflows”, a list of “Requirements”, a description of the “Payload” and of your “Smart Contracts” (functions, permissions etc.), and you will see that these will help a lot any technical team to come up with an MVP that fits the vision.
    Other tools more dedicated to Technical Design of dApps will be available here soon.