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Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies Paperback – Dec 20 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (Dec 20 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449374042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449374044
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.7 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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 and serves as the Chief Security Officer of Blockchain.

From the Publisher

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Une référence pour toute personne qui désire découvrir le pourquoi et comment de bitcoin.

Certains chapitres rentrent en détail dans le fonctionnement du protocole et peuvent être dur à suivre pour un novice. Heureusement il n’est pas indispensable de comprendre tout à 100% pour avoir une bonne idée de comment cette crypto monnaie fonctionne et quel est son potentiel pour révolutionner le monde de la finance et l’internet.

Tous informaticiens ou personnes travaillant/étudiant dans les domaines de l’informatique, la finance, l’innovation, etc. devrait comprendre:
- comment il est possible de créer du consensus dans un système décentralisé
- comment la blockchain fonctionne et son intérêt
- comment une monnaie comme bitcoin rend obsolète le système traditionnel
- quels sont les enjeux de sécurité avec ces nouveaux concepts

Bitcoin et les innovations qu’il apporte ne sont que le début d’une révolution !
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any Bitcoin apprentice should read it. Best intro i've seen yet
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Helpful information for the regular bitcoin enthusiast. Hard core users usually know more than the book contents .. it's hard to come out with a book for geeks, telling them something new in a domain they're into.

Very good for the newcomers to the electronic currencies out there.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really good introduction to bitcoin and the bitcoin core code. Even if you already understand bitcoin, this book is worth having.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa15ecc00) out of 5 stars 73 reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa27c9798) out of 5 stars Best of breed regarding Bitcoin technical fundamentals Dec 27 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a pleasure for me to write this review. I don't know the author or have any affiliation with him or the businesses that he consults with. I can't say enough good things about this book. I actually got the paper version of this. If you are a technical sort of person, this book is for you. I would say if you do tech support, system admin, programming, system security or anything where you have a baseline knowledge of digital systems, then this book will be good for you. If you know nothing of computer systems, then you may want to work up to this book. This text goes into the nuts and bolts of Bitcoin, the protocol, payment system and crypto-systems. I don't want to scare anyone away, however. This is a very quick read (something like 260 pages). I am not certain if the reason for this is that Andreas is just a great writer and was able to condense a broad topic in very few pages -or- Bitcoin itself just isn't overly complicated and lends itself to a concise text. I do know that I started reading this book with a ton of knowledge about Bitcoin (I thought), yet I still got a ton of information. It was though this book tied a bunch of free-floating ideas that weren't linked before. Instead of endlessly reading the Bitcoin wiki, the Bitcoin Core (formerly Satoshi client) source code, changelogs, bitcointalk forum and attempting to piece all of that together, this book does all that for you. I do think that reading those outlets IS important, but this book is key to jump start your understanding if you aren't a super genius (I'm not). Undoubtedly, you will come away with more questions about cryptocurrencies then when you started the book, but this is what is beautiful about life sometimes. One questions unlocks many more. I feel, after reading this book, that I can have an intelligent discussion with some high level people in the cryptocurrency world. The sorts of questions that I can ask someone like Gavin Andresen go beyond "what wallet would you recommend" to "let's discuss set reconciliation and the its importance to the p2p world at large". I feel like I have the fundamentals down thanks to this book.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By Nicholas Galunic - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this after listening to Antonoplouos on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. It is excellent and if you want to learn Bitcoin, this is a great place to start. It really shines when he goes into detail of how to use open source code to noodle around with the blockchain and the client. It is not perfect though. The order of it feels reversed. The first few chapters are hard to understand without having a broad understanding of Bitcoin already. Also, the text assumes the graphics are in color but they are not. This makes it hard to follow some of the examples. The online version of the book (free) is actually better for this reason. Finally, it lacks motivation for why the protocol is structured as it is. For instance, it's not really clear here why Proof of Work is necessary. This blog post does a much better job:
Otherwise, very well researched and clearly written.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa27c9d38) out of 5 stars This is a great book if you want to understand the inner workings ... Feb. 17 2015
By Skajake - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a great book if you want to understand the inner workings of the bitcoin protocol. Be warned however that the second half of the book is quite technical and is really directed to programmers.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa27c9db0) out of 5 stars Awesome read! Also highly technical. Feb. 8 2015
By Jake S - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book covers everything you could want to know about the technical aspects Bitcoin. If you are as passionate about Bitcoin as I am, you want to know the internal rules that govern the Bitcoin network; this book will teach you more things about bitcoin and it's evolving protocols.

NOT a book for someone who is just getting into the Bitcoin scene. There are FREE websites that can give you beginner information. Please play it safe..backup wallets, paper wallets, etc. I've lost thousands of dollars in bitcoin because I was too eager to make bitcoins; no backups, no paper wallet;
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa27c9d08) out of 5 stars Poor structure and flow July 2 2015
By Karra - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am a professional programmer / product manager and have worked on low level embedded operating systems and compilers. With all the buzz around Bitcoin I picked up this book after reading all the rave reviews and noting that I was well in the target audience for this book ("programmers"). I was extremely disappointed; it was the most frustrating read of all O'Reilly books I own.

O'Reilly themselves have done a shoddy job with the overall production and editing. All diagrams are in B&W, but the author assumes they are in color and explains concepts based on that ("Let's follow the Green line to trace the transaction propagation" or words to that effect).

Even more importantly the book's organisation leaves a lot to be desired. It is impossible to read in serial order and completely understand what has been said. Time and time again I had to suspend my understanding of a concept because it was poorly explained or because the author promised to cover in depth 3 or 5 chapters later. Take this sampler from the very first chapter:

"History of Bitcoin

Bitcoin was invented in 2008 with the publication of a paper titled "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System," written under the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto combined several prior inventions such as b-money and HashCash to create a completely decentralized electronic cash system that does not rely on a central authority for currency issuance or settlement and validation of transactions. The key innovation was to use a distributed computation system (called a "proof-of-work" algorithm) to conduct a global "election" every 10 minutes, allowing the decentralized network to arrive at consensus about the state of transactions. This elegantly solves the issue of double-spend where a single currency unit can be spent twice. Previously, the double-spend problem was a weakness of digital currency and was addressed by clearing all transactions through a central clearinghouse."

Look at the part about the "Key innovation". For a reader new to the technology that sentence is impossible to internalize. It introduce 4 new phrases that do not enlighten the reader. Not to say anything how it solves anything, let alone "elegantly". One might say this is just the first chapter and one should allow the author to explain these in time. The problem is the entire book is like this. The book keeps switching between explaining trivial concepts, a man-page-like attention to minute detail and high level, poorly explained, sweeping paragraphs like the one quoted above. It is an absolutely infuriating experience.

Let's look at another example - the section on Merkle Trees in the Chapter titled 'The Blockchain', immediately after the section "Linking Blocks in the Blockchain". Given its position in the flow, and based on how he talks about 'validating transactions', I had to assume Merkle Trees were an important aspect of all Blocks and had something to do with validating transactions as part of the regular blockchain building. But for 6 painful pages there was no hint on answers to painful questions like: "who provides the Merkle path", "when and where does this validation happen". Instead the author goes on to explain what a 'Tree' in Computer Science is and how to build Merkle Trees (referencing colored diagrams that are in the author's head, but we get only B&W diagrams to look at, of course) with a C++ program for added pleasure. On the 7th page there is a section on 'Merkle Trees and SPV Nodes' where we finally hear about the merkleblock message, and how a Merkle Tree is used. I still do not know if only SPV nodes bother with Merkle Trees or not. In any case, this is totally upside down, and it sucks that the reader has to be kept guessing like this. Again, this pattern repeats over and over through the book.

The author has been kind enough to make his entire book available under a Creative Commons License on Github. I would recommend all prospective buyers to peruse it here: [...] and then if you feel sufficiently satisfied about the value it is adding to you then reward the author by purchasing a dead wood version.