Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies Paperback – Dec 20 2014
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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 and serves as the Chief Security Officer of Blockchain.
From the Publisher
The Extended Bitcoin Network
Different types of nodes on the extended bitcoin network
- Reference Client
- Full Block Chain Node
- Solo Miner
- Lightweight (SPV) wallet
- Pool Protocol Servers
- Mining Nodes
- Lightweight (SPV) Stratum wallet
This book is mostly intended for coders. If you can use a programming language, this book will teach you how cryptographic currencies work, how to use them, and how to develop software that works with them. The first few chapters are also suitable as an indepth introduction to bitcoin for noncoders—those trying to understand the inner workings of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
- A broad introduction to bitcoin—ideal for non-tech users, investors, and business executives.
- 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, elegant analogies, examples, and code snippets illustrating key technical concepts.
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Top Customer Reviews
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 !
Very good for the newcomers to the electronic currencies out there.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Otherwise, very well researched and clearly written.
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;
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.
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