O’Reilly as a publisher have a rich history in producing technical books and are a brand you can normally really trust with techie content, the tradition continues with the excellent Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas Antonopoulos.
Whilst opinion, fluff and focus on the price are the norm in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space, this book takes an extremely detailed and thorough look into the technology behind Bitcoin. An understanding of the technology to the level offered by this book is certainly not necessary for would be crypto investors, it is however useful and will set you aside from the crowd. The book focuses entirely on Bitcoin, however there is value in understanding its technical underpinning’s since it was the original cryptocurrency and many that have followed share or build upon Bitcoin’s technology.
Some kind of technical background would assist in understanding this book but is not necessary as long as you can understand technical abstractions. The language and tone used is clear and anyone wishing to take the time and effort to read it should be able to derive some benefit. Even if you do not make it past the beginning two sections of the book this still offers the most complete end to end explanations of Bitcoin that I have seen. The rest of the book goes on to cover sections including:
- Running a Bitcoin node
- Wallets, Keys and Addresses
- The Blockchain
The latest edition, 2e is up-to-date covering topics such as Segwit 2 and The Lightning Network.
This is an academic style textbook, it is not necessary to read it end to end in order to benefit, should you wish to dive into any of the sections such as gaining a greater understanding of mining you should be able to read this as a stand-alone section.
The book is available in several formats and can be purchased from Amazon in paperback or Kindle format and is also available to read online for free on GitHub. Later in the year Mastering Ethereum is expected, based or Mastering Bitcoin this should be an essential read.
One review on Amazon called this the Bitcoin Bible, this is a must for any keen Bitcoin or cryptocurrency fan. There is no other place that explains Bitcoin end to end in so much detail. The book does benefit from an element of technical knowledge or at least keen interest, for those looking for a lighter read or who I’m more focused on why cryptocurrencies are useful check out the Internet of Money.