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Author Topic: Best books/videos for high-level technical information about cryptocurrency?  (Read 199 times)
KingZee
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November 05, 2018, 06:16:02 PM
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I'm trying to learn cryptocurrency, but I want to find information and answers that aren't just "go read bitcoin-core source code".

What I'm asking for would be something like the original satoshi whitepaper, except in much much more details. What is the cryptography behind a transaction (or any coin), or a signature, what defines a block, and some more technical questions that aren't answered in the whitepaper.

And these are just the bitcoin-related questions, ethereum also comes with a massively fresh technology that is smart-contracts and how they're implemented in the blockchain.

So, the whitepapers for both those coin don't include every aspect of how the code can be used, like for bitcoin : multi-sig, time-locked transactions, how are hashes generated for pretty much everything, and I'm sure there's a lot more uses that I don't know etc.. And the same thing for Ethereum.

So before trying to understand purely technical source code, I'd like to have an extensive idea about the high level concepts of these 2 coins mostly, link any books, or videos you think are useful! Who knows, maybe this link will help out future developers to innovate as well.

I promise I am going to try and go through everything you share here (Except shills for new altcoins). Here are the books I found that seemed to touch into the inner workings of just bitcoin while still keeping a high-level generalisations of the concepts :

Chris Clark - Bitcoin Internals A Technical Guide to Bitcoin (2013)
[The Wiley Finance Series] Pedro Franco - Understanding Bitcoin Cryptography, Engineering and Economics (2014, Wiley)
Andreas M. Antonopoulos - Mastering Bitcoin Programming the Open Blockchain (2017, O’Reilly Media)
Ghassan Karame, Elli Androulaki - Bitcoin and Blockchain Security (2017, Artech)

I only just started reading the first one, so if any of you already has opinions about these let me know what you think! Cheers.

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November 05, 2018, 07:01:17 PM
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It depends on your style of learning. I like to read books and then practice the exercises or preferably applying the knowledge in a practical way. Andreas M. Antonopoulos' book has a lot of images to visualize the concepts, which is very useful. I have not read the other books you mentioned, but I highly recommend this one. This simple simulation could help you to understand the blockchain concept better.
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November 05, 2018, 07:47:22 PM
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It depends on your style of learning. I like to read books and then practice the exercises or preferably applying the knowledge in a practical way. Andreas M. Antonopoulos' book has a lot of images to visualize the concepts, which is very useful. I have not read the other books you mentioned, but I highly recommend this one. This simple simulation could help you to understand the blockchain concept better.

Thanks! that was an interesting watch. I watched the videos he put up with the simulations. They do explain an overview of what's a blockchain, txs, and how every block is computed from the previous one, but it's still too superficial. I'd love material that is quite a bit more in-depth than these.

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November 06, 2018, 02:05:59 AM
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From book you mentioned, i only read "Andreas M. Antonopoulos - Mastering Bitcoin Programming the Open Blockchain (2017, O’Reilly Media)".
The explanation is easy to understand and have some good visualization. If you plan to read it, make sure you read 2nd edition of the book since it's more up-to-date.

I prefer read book/article rather than watch video, so i only can recommend youtube channel Simply Explained - Savjee. Watch it if you haven't look at in-depth technical details.
But for new/upcoming features, you should check medium.com, stackexchange.com or search for it's white paper.

I'm trying to learn cryptocurrency, but I want to find information and answers that aren't just "go read bitcoin-core source code".

Any sane people won't recommend read source-code directly Tongue



I also mentioned list of cryptocurrency paper/book/research in past, you might be interested if you're looking for specific topic.

Since you have intermediate blockchain knowledge, surely these lists shouldn't too difficult for you :
https://github.com/decrypto-org/blockchain-papers
https://github.com/coderplex/awesome-blockchain

You also could check these cryptocurrency specific lists, but might be difficult for you (and me) :
https://github.com/igorbarinov/awesome-bitcoin
https://github.com/Scanate/EthList
https://github.com/jashmenn/bitcoin-reading-list

The lists i mentioned aren't courses, but i'm sure you would get more knowledge/info with shorter time.

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November 06, 2018, 05:06:18 PM
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I prefer read book/article rather than watch video, so i only can recommend youtube channel Simply Explained - Savjee. Watch it if you haven't look at in-depth technical details.
But for new/upcoming features, you should check medium.com, stackexchange.com or search for it's white paper.

I'm trying to learn cryptocurrency, but I want to find information and answers that aren't just "go read bitcoin-core source code".

Any sane people won't recommend read source-code directly Tongue



I also mentioned list of cryptocurrency paper/book/research in past, you might be interested if you're looking for specific topic.

Since you have intermediate blockchain knowledge, surely these lists shouldn't too difficult for you :
https://github.com/decrypto-org/blockchain-papers
https://github.com/coderplex/awesome-blockchain

You also could check these cryptocurrency specific lists, but might be difficult for you (and me) :
https://github.com/igorbarinov/awesome-bitcoin
https://github.com/Scanate/EthList
https://github.com/jashmenn/bitcoin-reading-list

The lists i mentioned aren't courses, but i'm sure you would get more knowledge/info with shorter time.

Thanks a lot! These 4 reading lists for blockchain, ETH and BTC seem pretty extensive. I'll try to flip through them and see if I can shortlist some really good articles and put them here.

I checked out the youtube channel you linked too, it did provide a good overview of basic concepts, but I mostly like that the content isn't strictly bitcoin or blockchain related, so it covered a lot of niche subjects including ethereum and cryptography in general, so it deserved a subscribe.

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November 07, 2018, 04:05:04 PM
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It depends on your style of learning. I like to read books and then practice the exercises or preferably applying the knowledge in a practical way. Andreas M. Antonopoulos' book has a lot of images to visualize the concepts, which is very useful. I have not read the other books you mentioned, but I highly recommend this one. This simple simulation could help you to understand the blockchain concept better.

Thanks! that was an interesting watch. I watched the videos he put up with the simulations. They do explain an overview of what's a blockchain, txs, and how every block is computed from the previous one, but it's still too superficial. I'd love material that is quite a bit more in-depth than these.

I can understand that.
Books are the best resource for in-depth information, as videos tend to be a little simplified compared to reality.
You also could try different cryptography related books to enhance your knowledge, for instance, elliptic curves.
Another way to understand Bitcoin is to use a wallet in expert mode, preferably on the testnet (to not lose your valuable BTC by mistake).


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November 07, 2018, 06:38:24 PM
 #7

Thanks! that was an interesting watch. I watched the videos he put up with the simulations. They do explain an overview of what's a blockchain, txs, and how every block is computed from the previous one, but it's still too superficial. I'd love material that is quite a bit more in-depth than these.

I can understand that.
Books are the best resource for in-depth information, as videos tend to be a little simplified compared to reality.
You also could try different cryptography related books to enhance your knowledge, for instance, elliptic curves.
Another way to understand Bitcoin is to use a wallet in expert mode, preferably on the testnet (to not lose your valuable BTC by mistake).


Yeah after a while, I do feel like that even for completely new concepts like Ethereum or POS coins, the main ingredient that I first need to hone up on would be cryptography. Only after that can I start experimenting with new structures or different logic.

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November 10, 2018, 12:22:02 AM
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I just made those two posts on information about ethereum. I believe they fit here.

Vitalik Buterin likes to do interviews a lot. He has many interviews where he explains ethereum as a "world computer"

He really has many interviews
This is a classic:

Decentralizing Everything with Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin | Disrupt SF 2017

And this one, by Ethereum co founder Gavin wood
 Ethereum - The World's Computer" - Gavin Wood

I am reading mastering ethereum, which is a very good book by Antonopoulos.
You can read it for free here

https://github.com/ethereumbook/ethereumbook

I also made this post about ethereum fees;
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3285767.msg34270190#msg34270190

KingZee
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November 10, 2018, 10:29:38 PM
 #9

I just made those two posts on information about ethereum. I believe they fit here.

Vitalik Buterin likes to do interviews a lot. He has many interviews where he explains ethereum as a "world computer"

He really has many interviews
This is a classic:

Decentralizing Everything with Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin | Disrupt SF 2017

And this one, by Ethereum co founder Gavin wood
 Ethereum - The World's Computer" - Gavin Wood

I am reading mastering ethereum, which is a very good book by Antonopoulos.
You can read it for free here

https://github.com/ethereumbook/ethereumbook

I also made this post about ethereum fees;
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3285767.msg34270190#msg34270190

I finished watching the Vitalik interview, I'll watch the other one later (and may come edit this post if it's worth adding another note).

Ethereum is definitely an interesting beast on its own. If you consider functionality, while Satoshi may have created bitcoin for a specific goal, Vitalik definitely outclassed him using ethereum considering how much practicality it provides. We can already see it from the flow of tokens and icos based on ether that are popping left and right, which while it might look like a bad thing from an economic standpoint, I honestly think it's a drive in the right direction to come up with truly innovative ideas, that can bring decentralization & smartcontract-driven rules to more software we use in our daily lives.

As for the book it's a shame it's not a pdf, so I might not read it as soon as I could, but I'll add it to my list, I'll definitely make more time for it down the line.

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