Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain, Edition 2

"O'Reilly Media, Inc."
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Join the technological revolution that’s taking the financial world by storm. Mastering Bitcoin is your guide through the seemingly complex world of bitcoin, providing the knowledge you need to participate in the internet of money. Whether you’re building the next killer app, investing in a startup, or simply curious about the technology, this revised and expanded second edition provides essential detail to get you started.

Bitcoin, the first successful decentralized digital currency, is still in its early stages and yet it’s already spawned a multi-billion-dollar global economy open to anyone with the knowledge and passion to participate. Mastering Bitcoin provides the knowledge. You simply supply the passion.

The second edition includes:

  • A broad introduction of bitcoin and its underlying blockchain—ideal for non-technical users, investors, and business executives
  • An explanation of the technical foundations of bitcoin and cryptographic currencies for developers, engineers, and software and systems architects
  • Details of the bitcoin decentralized network, peer-to-peer architecture, transaction lifecycle, and security principles
  • New developments such as Segregated Witness, Payment Channels, and Lightning Network
  • A deep dive into blockchain applications, including how to combine the building blocks offered by this platform into higher-level applications
  • User stories, analogies, examples, and code snippets illustrating key technical concepts
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About the author

Andreas is a passionate technologist, who is well-versed in many technical subjects. He is a serial tech-entrepreneur, having launched businesses in London, New York, and California. He has earned degrees in Computer Science and Data Communications and Distributed Systems from UCL. With experience ranging from hardware and electronics to high level business and financial systems technology consulting and years as CTO/CIO/CSO in many companies — he combines authority and deep knowledge with an ability to make complex subjects easy to understand. More than 200 of his articles on security, cloud computing and data centers have been published in print and syndicated worldwide. His expertise includes Bitcoin, crypto-currencies, Information Security, Cryptography, Cloud Computing, Data Centers, Linux, Open Source and robotics software development. He also has been CISSP certified for 12 years.

As a bitcoin entrepreneur, Andreas has founded three bitcoin businesses and launched several community open-source projects. He often writes articles and blog posts on bitcoin, is a permanent host on Let’s Talk Bitcoin and prolific public speaker at technology events. Andreas serves on the advisory boards of several bitcoin startups.

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Additional Information

Publisher
"O'Reilly Media, Inc."
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Published on
Jun 12, 2017
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781491954348
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / E-Commerce / General
Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
Business & Economics / Finance / General
Business & Economics / Money & Monetary Policy
Computers / Electronic Commerce
Computers / Security / Cryptography
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Discover Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has the finance world buzzing

Bitcoin is arguably one of the biggest developments in finance since the advent of fiat currency. With Understanding Bitcoin, expert author Pedro Franco provides finance professionals with a complete technical guide and resource to the cryptography, engineering and economic development of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This comprehensive, yet accessible work fully explores the supporting economic realities and technological advances of Bitcoin, and presents positive and negative arguments from various economic schools regarding its continued viability.

This authoritative text provides a step-by-step description of how Bitcoin works, starting with public key cryptography and moving on to explain transaction processing, the blockchain and mining technologies. This vital resource reviews Bitcoin from the broader perspective of digital currencies and explores historical attempts at cryptographic currencies. Bitcoin is, after all, not just a digital currency; it's a modern approach to the secure transfer of value using cryptography. This book is a detailed guide to what it is, how it works, and how it just may jumpstart a change in the way digital value changes hands.

Understand how Bitcoin works, and the technology behind it Delve into the economics of Bitcoin, and its impact on the financial industry Discover alt-coins and other available cryptocurrencies Explore the ideas behind Bitcoin 2.0 technologies Learn transaction protocols, micropayment channels, atomic cross-chain trading, and more

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Introducing Bitcoin
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Even if you think you know everything discussed here, give this book a shot. It's an informative and entertaining read, and you may pick up some valuable tools and new ways of thinking you've never read or heard of before.

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See you inside!

When a pseudonymous programmer introduced “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party” to a small online mailing list in 2008, very few paid attention. Ten years later, and against all odds, this upstart autonomous decentralized software offers an unstoppable and globally-accessible hard money alternative to modern central banks. The Bitcoin Standard analyzes the historical context to the rise of Bitcoin, the economic properties that have allowed it to grow quickly, and its likely economic, political, and social implications.

While Bitcoin is a new invention of the digital age, the problem it purports to solve is as old as human society itself: transferring value across time and space. Ammous takes the reader on an engaging journey through the history of technologies performing the functions of money, from primitive systems of trading limestones and seashells, to metals, coins, the gold standard, and modern government debt. Exploring what gave these technologies their monetary role, and how most lost it, provides the reader with a good idea of what makes for sound money, and sets the stage for an economic discussion of its consequences for individual and societal future-orientation, capital accumulation, trade, peace, culture, and art. Compellingly, Ammous shows that it is no coincidence that the loftiest achievements of humanity have come in societies enjoying the benefits of sound monetary regimes, nor is it coincidental that monetary collapse has usually accompanied civilizational collapse.

With this background in place, the book moves on to explain the operation of Bitcoin in a functional and intuitive way. Bitcoin is a decentralized, distributed piece of software that converts electricity and processing power into indisputably accurate records, thus allowing its users to utilize the Internet to perform the traditional functions of money without having to rely on, or trust, any authorities or infrastructure in the physical world. Bitcoin is thus best understood as the first successfully implemented form of digital cash and digital hard money. With an automated and perfectly predictable monetary policy, and the ability to perform final settlement of large sums across the world in a matter of minutes, Bitcoin’s real competitive edge might just be as a store of value and network for final settlement of large payments—a digital form of gold with a built-in settlement infrastructure.

Ammous’ firm grasp of the technological possibilities as well as the historical realities of monetary evolution provides for a fascinating exploration of the ramifications of voluntary free market money. As it challenges the most sacred of government monopolies, Bitcoin shifts the pendulum of sovereignty away from governments in favor of individuals, offering us the tantalizing possibility of a world where money is fully extricated from politics and unrestrained by borders.

The final chapter of the book explores some of the most common questions surrounding Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin mining a waste of energy? Is Bitcoin for criminals? Who controls Bitcoin, and can they change it if they please? How can Bitcoin be killed? And what to make of all the thousands of Bitcoin knock-offs, and the many supposed applications of Bitcoin’s ‘blockchain technology’? The Bitcoin Standard is the essential resource for a clear understanding of the rise of the Internet’s decentralized, apolitical, free-market alternative to national central banks.

Bitcoin became a buzzword overnight. A cyber-enigma with an enthusiastic following, it pops up in headlines and fuels endless media debate. You can apparently use it to buy almost anything from coffee to cars, yet few people seem to truly understand what it is. This raises the question: Why should anyone care about Bitcoin?

In THE AGE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY, Wall Street journalists Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey deliver the definitive answer to this question. Cybermoney is poised to launch a revolution, one that could entirely re-invent traditional financial and social structures while bringing the world's billions of "unbanked" individuals into a new global economy. Cryptocurrency represents the promise of a financial system without a middleman, one owned by the people who use it and one safeguarded from the devastation of a 2008-type crash.

But bitcoin, the most famous of the cybermonies, brings with it a reputation for instability, wild fluctuation, and illicit business; some fear it has the power to eliminate jobs and to upend the concept of a nation-state. It implies, above all, monumental and wide-reaching change—for better and for worse. But it is here to stay, and you ignore it at your peril.

Vigna and Casey demystify the concept of cryptocurrency, detailing its origins, its function, and what you need to know to navigate a cyber-economy. The digital currency world will look very different from the paper currency world; THE AGE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY will teach you how to be ready for it.

Bitcoin is starting to come into its own as a digital currency, but the blockchain technology behind it could prove to be much more significant. This book takes you beyond the currency ("Blockchain 1.0") and smart contracts ("Blockchain 2.0") to demonstrate how the blockchain is in position to become the fifth disruptive computing paradigm after mainframes, PCs, the Internet, and mobile/social networking.

Author Melanie Swan, Founder of the Institute for Blockchain Studies, explains that the blockchain is essentially a public ledger with potential as a worldwide, decentralized record for the registration, inventory, and transfer of all assets—not just finances, but property and intangible assets such as votes, software, health data, and ideas.

Topics include:

Concepts, features, and functionality of Bitcoin and the blockchainUsing the blockchain for automated tracking of all digital endeavorsEnabling censorship?resistant organizational modelsCreating a decentralized digital repository to verify identityPossibility of cheaper, more efficient services traditionally provided by nationsBlockchain for science: making better use of the data-mining networkPersonal health record storage, including access to one’s own genomic dataOpen access academic publishing on the blockchain

This book is part of an ongoing O’Reilly series. Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Crypto-Currencies introduces Bitcoin and describes the technology behind Bitcoin and the blockchain. Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy considers theoretical, philosophical, and societal impact of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.

Distributed ledgers, decentralization and smart contracts explainedAbout This BookGet to grips with the underlying technical principles and implementations of blockchain.Build powerful applications using Ethereum to secure transactions and create smart contracts.Explore cryptography, mine cryptocurrencies, and solve scalability issues with this comprehensive guide.Who This Book Is For

This book appeals to those who wish to build fast, highly secure, transactional applications. This book is for those who are familiar with the concept of blockchain and are comfortable with a programming language.

What You Will LearnMaster the theoretical and technical foundations of blockchain technologyFully comprehend the concept of decentralization, its impact and relationship with blockchain technologyExperience how cryptography is used to secure data with practical examplesGrasp the inner workings of blockchain and relevant mechanisms behind Bitcoin and alternative cryptocurrenciesUnderstand theoretical foundations of smart contractsIdentify and examine applications of blockchain technology outside of currenciesInvestigate alternate blockchain solutions including Hyperledger, Corda, and many moreExplore research topics and future scope of blockchain technologyIn Detail

Blockchain is a distributed database that enables permanent, transparent, and secure storage of data. The blockchain technology is the backbone of cryptocurrency – in fact, it's the shared public ledger upon which the entire Bitcoin network relies – and it's gaining popularity with people who work in finance, government, and the arts.

Blockhchain technology uses cryptography to keep data secure. This book gives a detailed description of this leading technology and its implementation in the real world.

This book begins with the technical foundations of blockchain, teaching you the fundamentals of cryptography and how it keeps data secure. You will learn about the mechanisms behind cryptocurrencies and how to develop applications using Ethereum, a decentralized virtual machine. You will explore different blockchain solutions and get an exclusive preview into Hyperledger, an upcoming blockchain solution from IBM and the Linux Foundation. You will also be shown how to implement blockchain beyond currencies, scability with blockchain, and the future scope of this fascinating and powerful technology.

Style and approach

This comprehensive guide allows you to build smart blockchain applications and explore the power of this database. The book will let you quickly brush up on the basics of the blockchain database, followed by advanced implementations of blockchain in currency, smart contracts, decentralization, and so on.

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