Do you want to understand blockchains? Learn about bitcoin in plain English? Navigate the basic concepts of the cryptocurrency world? I have been trying those things too, for almost 2 years now.
There are so many sources, so many people trying to explain the concepts that it becomes a nightmare to sort through the haystack to get the needle.
So, I will not add to the pile of poor explanations. Instead I will share here the best sources of explanation I came across so far in order to ease the pain for those who are getting now into this crypto world.
FYI – I have no interest (personal or commercial) in promoting the links on this post. This is just my honest sharing of the most useful things that I bumped into.
1. What is Bitcoin? It all begins with the Satoshi White Paper.
Although we still do not know who Satoshi Nakamoto is (man, woman, group of people), we know that on October, 31, 2008, Satoshi has shared with the world a proposal for a decentralized electronic peer-to-peer payment system. The white paper is just 8 pages – and you probably will not understand bitcoin by reading it (I did not). But it is worthy reference. If you get deeper into the crypto rabbit hole, it might be interesting to come back to it and apply what you already know into trying to understand it.
Now for the easier part:
(a) Bitcoin and Blockchain Explained (6 min video)
2. What is Blockchain? To be honest, bitcoin is not that hard of a concept. It is a digital coin. You can get some from whoever has some, and then send some to anyone. It is like any other asset, like gold for instance. A harder question is: what exactly is the blockchain? I have spent a long time accepting the fact a blockchain is the “network” behind the bitcoin (or whatever other currency) and that transactions are recorded there, without having a clear idea of how it worked. I still wanted to see it, visualize the recording of transactions and more than anything understand why it was supposedly sooo If (like me) you are a visual person and want to understand how the blockchain works, invest 18 minutes paying attention to this video below. It is also the step stone to understand other important concepts. I wish I had seen it before.
And, while you are on it, you can also watch the sequel on public/private keys, another “key” concept when dealing with cryptocurrencies.
- Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World, by Don Tapscott and Alan Tapscott. The authors are industry references on the matter and the book is complete enough for a full understanding of the concept (but it helps if you watched the video before)
- The Blockchain: A Guide for Legal and
BusinessProfessionals, by Josias Dewey, Shawn Amuial and Jeffrey Seul. A great guide into the understanding of the basics, explained in a way that makes a lot of sense. Josias Dewey also an important reference in the area today.
- Documentaries. Here are some documentaries that helped me a lot into understanding the cryptocurrency concepts.
There are certainly more, but these are the ones I have seen and found really useful.
The follow-up posts will deal with other references I found useful.