The Princeton Textbook on Bitcoin is Available Free of Charge
The Princeton Universtity textbook on Bitcoin, accompanying the corresponding course of lectures, has been released and now available for no charge. The book contains over 300 pages and essentially covers almost everything related to the cryptocurrency.
“If you’re looking to truly understand how Bitcoin works at a technical level and have a basic familiarity with computer science and programming, this book is for you. Researchers and advanced students will find the book useful as well,” said Arvind Narayanan, one of the textbook’s authors.
Arvind Narayanan, Edward W. Felten, Andrew Miller, Steven Goldfeder, and Jeremy Clark, experts in computer science and technology. They explain their incentive to write a book on Bitcoin as follows:
“We got into Bitcoin because we believe in the power of its technology, and we think it’s deeply connected to the rest of computer science. While we’ve highlighted how seemingly amazing new technology can struggle to displace established institutions, we believe that in the long run, people will continue to find new commercially and socially useful things to do with cryptocurrency technology. Even if your interest is primarily commercial, you’d do well to master the underlying technology â€” understanding its power and limitations will help you better weather the market’s hype cycles.”
The topics covered in the book span from the history of cryptocurrencies, which includes “corpses of failed attempts” undertaken prior to emergence of Bitcoin, to the comprehensibly described technical details of cryptocurrency operation. Chapters of the book generally follow the course of lectures published earlier, and include:
- How Bitcoin Achieves Decentralization
- Mechanics of Bitcoin
- How to Store and Use Bitcoins
- Bitcoin mining
- Bitcoin and anonymity
- Community, Politics, and Regulation
- Alternative Mining Puzzles
- Bitcoin as a platform
- Altcoins and the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
- The future of Bitcoin?
- History of cryptocurrencies
According to Narayanan, earlier versions of the textbook have been employed in some of lectures, which had proved extremely successful. He says that the course of lectures “had 30,000 students in its first version, and it was a success based on engagement and end-of-course feedback.” However, the book is slightly different from the lectures, and has some supplementary materials added, like a section on Ethereum in Chapter 10.
The whole book is now available online free of charge for anyone willing to read it.
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