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Ask HN: Bitcoin Christmas reading
54 points by porjo on Dec 21, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 24 comments
Looking for recommendations on books to read over the Christmas break about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies generally. eBook format preferred.

It's so obvious it shouldn't be said, but I've met many who want to dive into blockchain and cryptocurrencies yet haven't read Satoshi's whitepaper.

Thanks for the reminder. I see somebody claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto is flogging it on Amazon..no thanks! I found a Kindle friendly version (.mobi) here instead: http://www.readliberty.org/books/bitcoin-a-peer-to-peer-elec...

Canonical source is of course https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

I can't imagine very many of the people FOMOing in in recent months could understand the whitepaper even if they tried to read it.

The extent of their knowledge is usually something along the lines of "my friend/grandson/etc who fixed my computer once told me it would make me rich".

The biggest problem right now facing Bitcoin is the scaling problem. The current debate is between the "small-blockers", which support scaling bitcoin by limited block size increases and implementing off-chain transactions, and "large-blockers", which advocate continuous block-size increases. I personally don't think either method will scale in the long term, especially considering the original goals of decentralized digital cash. It is my opinion that both scaling paths force centralization of the network. This paper details Lightning Network, the current best design of off-chain scaling https://lightning.network/lightning-network-paper.pdf

Bitcoin is a gold standard and it will be used to settle multimillion-dollar agreements between large organizations or nations states. It's not relevant as a currency, other alternatives are already there.

David Gerard is definitely a hater, but he knows more than 99.9% of BTC people https://www.amazon.com/Attack-50-Foot-Blockchain-Contracts-e...

Agreed; I'm a total believer in bitcoin but the people who are publicly skeptical tend to be the ones who are making the most sense and David Gerard is firmly within that group. This book is a pretty easy weekend read. You won't find in-depth technical analyses but you'll get a lot of funny stories about the crazy times we live in and some good criticisms of the entire space.

I second this book. While Gerard's writing is cynical and definitely biased against cryptocurrency and everything about them, nothing in it is actually wrong.

That being said, if you were looking for something more like a deep dive into the technical side of things, this isn't the right book.

Depends on what is the context. Is it technical then I guess: https://www.amazon.de/Mastering-Bitcoin-Unlocking-Digital-Cr...

But, if you are looking from a usage perspective it is kind of difficult. You can check this blog too:


Self-promotion: here's a booklet I wrote to describe Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain to barely technical people who kept asking me to describe it all over again: http://scepticsguide.ivoras.net/ . It covers some history, the hows and the whys, and takes a "don't rush in just because everyone's doing it" stance. It's a light read.

This playlist is very good. Watch it on 1.5x or 2x speed.


Jw, is this book a newer version of the one you posted? https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Bitcoin-Programming-Open-Bl...

Same author, reviews make it seem the same

Just came out and published by McGraw-Hill. Cryptoassets by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar. It approaches crypto as an asset class and isn't very technical. Very much written for fund managers and active investors. Highly recommended.

If you haven't already read it, Fermat's Library has the original Bitcoin paper [0] with helpful annotations.

[0] - http://fermatslibrary.com/s/bitcoin

"Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds", published 1841.

I'm making a website for beginners: http://learnmeabitcoin.com/

I'm trying to make it as easy as possible to understand (and work with) bitcoin data.

Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper is incredible context.

The book of satoshi by Phil champagne, basically comment on every email interaction he had. Nice read

Any resource on the range of dapps that may suite this space that isn’t hand wavy?

Another one on Coursera, "IBM Blockchain Foundation for Developers".


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