Mastering Bitcoin
Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2014
Pages: 298

Want to join the technological revolution that’s taking the world of finance by storm? Mastering Bitcoin is your guide through the seemingly complex world of bitcoin, providing the requisite knowledge to help you 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 practical book is essential reading.

Bitcoin, the first successful decentralized digital currency, is still in its infancy and it’s already spawned a multi-billion dollar global economy. This economy is open to anyone with the knowledge and passion to participate. Mastering Bitcoin provides you with the knowledge you need (passion not included).

This book includes:

  • A broad introduction to bitcoin—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
  • Offshoots of the bitcoin and blockchain inventions, including alternative chains, currencies, and applications
  • User stories, analogies, examples, and code snippets illustrating key technical concepts
Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Colophon
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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oreillyMastering Bitcoin
 
4.0

(based on 18 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (12)
  • Concise (12)
  • Well-written (12)
  • Easy to understand (11)
  • Helpful examples (7)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (12)
    • Novice (6)
    • Expert (5)
    • Student (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (7), Educator (5), Maker (5), Sys admin (4)

    Reviewed by 18 customers

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    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    good for an outsider not an investor

    By ASICSPACE Mining Co.

    from Cashmere, WA. USA

    About Me Maker, Sys Admin

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Too many errors

    Best Uses

    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Mastering Bitcoin:

    great at explaining how bitcoin works. Doesn't provide enough info to see where the weakness and strengths of bitcoin lay.

    maybe mastering bitcoin 2 will have this info :)

    We shared this book with our client base.

     
    5.0

    Very complete treatment

    By The 2nd Law

    from Phoenix, AZ

    About Me Developer, Educator

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Mastering Bitcoin:

      Very easy to understand yet doesn't skip on details. If you want to really understand the blockchain and what it can do, this is the book for you!

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent resource

      By toneloc

      from Chicago, IL

      About Me Developer, Sys Admin

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Well-written

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Mastering Bitcoin:

      Excellent resource. The book is chock-full of rich information that to date has not been compiled in such an authoritative monograph. I find myself returning to it again and again as I learn the fundamental building blocks of Bitcoin. The writing is clear and concise, but the subject matter is tough.

      I would not recommend the book to readers who know nothing about Bitcoin. I'd start somewhere else first. This book is for developers and technical implementation of Bitcoin.

      Overall, a great purchase that will last me for years to come.

       
      5.0

      Solid Book

      By smorgantwo

      from carlsbad, ca

      About Me Maker

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Expert
        • Intermediate
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Mastering Bitcoin:

        I usually do not give a book 5 stars, but in the rare case it deserves it, as with this publiction, I am more than willing to do so. At first I was a skeptic, as Satoshi's White paper is only 9 pages long with one page for reference, so why the big book? After reading Satoshi's White Paper about 90 times I realized the devil is in the details and this book goes into them at great, well needed, lenghts. The book gets to the heart of bitcoin and perhaps more importantly the block chain which it rides on. Truly Bitcoin is Money for Adults and this book does a great job in explaining exactly what that means. Thank you Mr. Antonopoulos for a worthy undertaking.

         
        5.0

        Best btc book once you understand basics

        By Diana Miller

        from Houston TX

        About Me Educator, Maker

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate

          Comments about oreilly Mastering Bitcoin:

          Andreas has a gift for explaining the complex in an easy way, although some topics require to be more technical than some would understand. Great book.

           
          5.0

          Clear, concise, and enlightening

          By Alex

          from Washington, DC

          About Me Consultant

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Comprehensive
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate
            • Novice

            Comments about oreilly Mastering Bitcoin:

            Picked this up primarily to learn about blockchains in general rather than bitcoin per se, and ended up very pleasantly surprised with both how good of an understanding of blockchains it provided, and how interesting it revealed the inner workings of bitcoin specifically to be. I'd read a good number of articles and explanations of how the bitcoin system works prior to this book, and none of them came close in terms of conveying the kind of comprehensive understanding that Antonopoulos does.

            (5 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            A flood of misinformation and mistakes.

            By Anonymous

            from San Francisco, CA

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

              Cons

              • Confused Target Audience
              • Largely Incorrect
              • Misses Vital Concepts

              Best Uses

                Comments about oreilly Mastering Bitcoin:

                This text is not what you want to be reading on any level. For the casual learner most of the concepts explained lack the foreknowledge, for the more technical reader it jumps into long analogies that do nothing but waste the readers time. It's very unclear who this is written for.

                Much of the information stated in the book as fact is either a misunderstanding of the core concepts, misappropriation of content copied from the Bitcoin Wiki, or simply just plain wrong. Information that is correct is buried between tables about binary formats which are of absolutely no value to anybody who is not attempting to clone the behaviour of the client (in which case, there's not enough information to do even that). A selection of the worst of these are visible in the errata section of this book's listing on oreilly.com.

                Some of the pieces of example code are downright dangerous, such as using insecure RNG to make private keys, using un-audited JavaScript websites for cryptography, and making Bitcoin transactions without signatures. All of these will lead to loss or theft if used in the real world, and are not indicative of best practice.

                This is by far not up to the standards of the usually great O'Reilly books.

                (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Should I invest in Bitcoin?

                By Kamp

                from Hong Kong SAR, China

                About Me Designer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Concise
                • Easy to understand

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Intermediate

                  Comments about oreilly Mastering Bitcoin:

                  I started paying attention to Bitcoin when a Bitcoin ATM is installed in my local gadget outlet. I just hope I will be the next Norwegian student while researching encryption bought just over $20 worth of Bitcoin and made enough to pay cash for a new apartment. If you think this book will help you buy the apartment, you will be disappointed. However, it is a good introduction to all the technical background behind the new financial instrument. Since Bitcoin is such a new concept, the book cannot cover the latest events such as the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox and its "endorsement" by some government. If you want to learn the technical knowhow, this is definitely worth reading.

                   
                  5.0

                  This is going to be the Bitcoin Bible.

                  By evilmatt

                  from Honolulu, HI

                  About Me Developer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Accurate
                  • Concise
                  • Easy to understand
                  • Helpful examples
                  • Well-written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about oreilly Mastering Bitcoin:

                      Absolutetly the best available book on Bitcoins. I've already recommended it to several friends.

                      I only came across one issue in the entire book (not sure if it can be fixed before going to print): in the section on script validation, please provide a brief explanation of how the signature checked by OP_CHECKSIG or OP_CHECKSIG_VERIFY is generated. You clearly explain the entire operation of signature validation, but never explain how the signature was derived or what it's compared against (that being said, this is easy to look up elsewhere).

                      Other than that, the book is complete and far exceeded my expectations.

                      Mahalo!

                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Its a book that will spark a new era

                      By CrOblet

                      from Calgary

                      About Me Maker

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Bitcoin
                      • Concise
                      • Easy to understand
                      • Well-written

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Intermediate

                        Comments about oreilly Mastering Bitcoin:

                        I used the product to help with project DilBitcoin
                        a digital energy currency using blockchain technology protocols

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKnLCf8tt9w

                        The Book was highly organized, very logically laid out, an absolute fantastic read for those with a technical appetite.

                        I look forward to future revisions or versions as this technology unfolds, but I think one day folks will look back to this, the way they might look at the discovery of Electro-Magnetism in 1821, the first IBM in 1965, the launch of WWW in 1993. The stars are aligning for BTC and the best is yet to come.

                        Its a brilliant idea, and to be able to tinker in this sandbox is a delight.

                        meetup.com/croblet-calgary

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