Bitcoin: Learning path


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ELI5 Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that works without a central bank and can be sent from a user to another user without a third-party intermediary. BTC is the abbreviation for Bitcoin currency similar to USD for the US Dollar. Essentially, you own a Bank in your own pocket when you use Bitcoin. Bitcoin exists only in a digital form unlike the paper form of traditional currencies like USD, EURO. The Bitcoin network is powered by bitcoin nodes spread across the Earth making it a decentralized currency. The Bitcoin transactions are immutable i.e., Bitcoin sent to a user cannot be reverted after a certain number of confirmation blocks. The key advantages of using Bitcoin are its low transaction fees and relatively faster transaction time. There are numerous forks of Bitcoin known as Altcoins.

Learning path

I shall share the resources that I used to learn about Bitcoin and its technology in this micro article.

  • Bitcoin is a digital currency. So, I decided to learn what money is

    I found the youtube series named 'The Hidden Secrets of Money' by Mike Maloney to be very helpful.

  • The creation of Bitcoin was motivated by the financial crisis of 2008. Back then I did not know much about it

    I decided to do some research about the 2008 crisis and found this interesting movie named The Big Short | imdb. This was very insightful.

  • Learning from online videos can sometimes be intuitive

    There is a youtube channel by Andreas Antonopoulos. I highly recommend his channel if you want to keep yourself updated on Bitcoin technology.

  • You are into learning from books and is interested in fundamental analysis of Bitcoin and its technology

    I recommend the book named 'Cryptoassets' by Chris Burniske. If I recall correctly, this book is not strictly covering the technical aspect of Bitcoin but skims through some of the underlying technology and various components in the Bitcoin ecosystem. I believe that having broad knowledge is always useful and hence mentioning it here.

  • Technical book on Bitcoin

    Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas Antonopoulos is one of the best technical books I have read on Bitcoin technology.

  • Technical book on Ethereum or Altcoins

    Mastering Ethereum by Andreas Antonopoulos dives deep into the smart contract platform Ethereum.

  • Online forums for discussions

    There are many telegram channels and subreddits for discussions on Bitcoin or Altcoins (WARNING: too many scams) but I found bitcointalk to be the most useful.

  • Educational video courses

    Coursera has some very good courses on Bitcoin technology.

  • DIY weekend project

    Try to play around with Ethereum or other Bitcoin technology. Making a smart contract on the testnet might give you further insights into how things work and help break the analysis paralysis.

Summary

Bitcoin technology solves some real-world problems. It is not a silver bullet but knowing the Bitcoin technology can be very helpful for a Software Engineer.

Good luck!!