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
What Is Bitcoin?
History of Bitcoin
Bitcoin Uses, Users, and Their Stories
Chapter 2How Bitcoin Works
Transactions, Blocks, Mining, and the Blockchain
Constructing a Transaction
Mining Transactions in Blocks
Spending the Transaction
Chapter 3Bitcoin Core: The Reference Implementation
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 and serves as the Chief Security Officer of Blockchain.
The animal on the cover of Mastering Bitcoin is a leafcutter ant (Atta colombica). The leafcutter ant (a nongeneric name) is a tropical, fungus-growing ant endemic to South and Central America, Mexico, and southern United States. Aside from humans, leafcutter ants form the largest and most complex animal societies on the planet. They are named for the way they chew leaves, which serve as nutrition for their fungal garden.
Winged ants, both male and female, take part in a mass exit of their nest known as the revoada, or a nuptial flight. Females mate with multiple males to collect the 300 million sperm necessary to set up a colony. Females also store bits of the parental fungus garden mycelium in the infrabuccal pocket located in their oral cavity; they will use this to start their own fungal gardens. Once grounded, the female loses its wings and sets up an underground lair for her colony. The success rate for new queens is low: 2.5% establish a long-lived colony.
Once a colony has matured, ants are divided into castes based on size, with each caste performing various functions. There are usually four castes: minims, the smallest workers that tend to the young and fungus gardens; minors, slightly larger than minima, are the first line of defense for the colony and patrol the surrounding terrain and attack enemies; mediae, the general foragers that cut leaves and bring back leaf fragments to the nest; and majors, the largest worker ants that act as soldiers, defending the nest from intruders. Recent research has shown that majors also clear main foraging trails and carry bulky items back to the nest.