A Short But Comprehensive Guide To BTC

Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas Antonopoulos, a Greek-British tech entrepreneur and teaching fellow for the Master of Science at the University of Nicosia, is a short guide introducing people who know little to nothing about cryptocurrencies to the king of them all: Bitcoin (BTC). Below is a quick summary of the book.

What Is Bitcoin?

What Is Bitcoin?

In this section, you will learn what Bitcoin is exactly, how it’s more secure than traditional banking systems which use a central bank or single administrator, along with other relevant facts that make Bitcoin possible.

You will learn also learn about its history; about a mysterious man or group named Nakamoto who first launched Bitcoin in 2009 after releasing a white paper in 2008  “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System,” authored by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Antonopoulos then tells of Bitcoin “Uses, Users, and Their Stories.” This section takes you through various individual user experiences and how Bitcoin revolutionized their businesses. He will go onto explain how to use Bitcoin from start to finish.

How BTC Works

In this section of the guide, Antonopoulos explains in greater detail how to use Bitcoin responsibly and safely.  Additionally, you’ll learn a lot about the mining process in this section since mining has a lot to do with transactions.

How BTC Works

Bitcoin Clients

Also known as the “Satoshi client,” the book discusses in great detail about the reference client Bitcoin Core; which is what implements all aspects of the Bitcoin system, including wallets, a transaction verification engine with a full copy of the entire transaction ledger (blockchain), and a comprehensive network node in the peer-to-peer Bitcoin network.

Further on in this section, the author delves into the complexity of code architecture and how it all looks in its naked form. This includes exploring the block chain’s intricate design.

Bitcoin Client Version Network Distribution
Bitcoin Client Version Network Distribution

A Guide To Keys, Addresses, and Wallets

In this section, Antonopoulos covers yet another large number of subject that include:

  • Public Key Cryptography and Cryptocurrency
  • Private and Public Keys
  • Elliptic Curve Cryptography Explained
  • Generating a Public Key
  • Bitcoin Addresses
  • Base58 and Base58Check Encoding
  • Implementing Keys and Addresses in Python
  • Nondeterministic (Random) Wallets
  • Deterministic (Seeded) Wallets
  • Mnemonic Code Words
  • Hierarchical Deterministic Wallets (BIP0032/BIP0044)

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