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Best 10 Blockchain Books 2019: 10 Books You Should Read First

  • Denys Serhiichuk
    📚 WikiCoin

    ⛓️📚👀 Blockchain technologies have become so popular that lots of books are written on this topic


Best 10 Blockchain Books 2019: 10 Books You Should Read First
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Contents

From the first time, it is difficult to fully understand how blockchain technologies operate. At the moment, the topic of cryptocurrency is one of the most discussed in the field of financial literature.

In this regard, we have prepared a list of the most interesting and informative books that will give answers to all questions about blockchain, ICO, Bitcoin, and other digital assets.


If you want to understand these questions in more detail, read one or more books from this list.

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Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper. Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money

This book written by New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper was published just a few years ago and has become one of the well-known best business books. The detailed work of this author gives you a chance to quickly immerse yourself in the nuances of the economic system. Popper notes that Digital Gold is an attempt to understand the position of Bitcoin in the modern world and its history associated with breakthrough innovations.

Overall, the book is devoted to the emergence of the idea of digital assets and its development in different countries. The narration is conducted on behalf of various heroes: an Argentine millionaire, a Chinese businessman, Americans, the Winklevoss brothers – who had legal proceedings with Zuckerberg – heads of banks, prosecutors and the unknown creator of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto. Popper does not only describe in detail the main events of this story but also analyzes the reasons why Bitcoin turned from a technological phenomenon into a social one, uniting a huge number of people throughout the world with its democratic standards.

“Digital Gold” by Nathaniel Popper

It is very easy to read the book, as it is not overloaded with technical details. The main focus is on the course of events, and not on the details of the blockchain structure or Bitcoin. “Digital Gold” is more targeted at a wide audience. There are various interesting stories about people who came into contact with cryptocurrency during its development.

Blockchain Revolution by Don Tapscott. How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World

Don Tapscott assumes that the blockchain will easily destroy Uber and similar services. The world is waiting for the revolution – the revolution of the blockchain.

It is worth reading for those who are interested in the practical application of this technology. The author predicts the democratization of society on the basis of the blockchain.

Book about Blockchain Revolution

In this book, he writes about blockchain as a technological breakthrough that can change global business practices. It can be split into two parts: the first is a story about the blockchain, its strengths, and weaknesses. In the second part, he explains the causes for the influence of blockchain technology on world society and the growing number of investments in digital currencies.

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy

“Blueprint for a New Economy” book

Perhaps one of the best books on this list a theoretical work on distributed registry technology. Melanie Swan describes in detail the three “generations” of the blockchain - 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. Blockchain 1.0 is a Bitcoin blockchain. It will be replaced by a more complex blockchain 2.0 with smart contracts and the merger of financial organizations. Blockchain 3.0 is the so-called “blockchain of everything” (by analogy with the “Internet of everything”), a comprehensive system in which information about any object is stored safely and publicly. An example of using the third generation blockchain is works of art for which you will create your own unique identifier in the system, and they can never be stolen or forged. Separate parts of the book are committed to the functional qualities of the blockchain, the possibilities of its use for tracking online operations and possible areas of application.

Mastering the Bitcoin

“Mastering the Bitcoin” book

This book is about the first successful operating cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. The author reveals the following points:

  • The basic features of blockchain technology

  • Scientific and software development used by the creators

  • Peculiarities of a distributed registry and cryptography

  • Pros and cons of electronic money

In this edition, there is necessary information for a detailed study of Bitcoin: the functionality of the decentralized network; information security protocols; implementation of peer-to-peer technology; conducting transactions; and code samples of applications.

The book does not teach the development or earnings of digital currency – it only helps to get the principles of the blockchain on the example of the Bitcoin payment system and other coins.

The Age of Cryptocurrency by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey. How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order

“The Age of Cryptocurrency” book

The authors write that Bitcoin has gained world fame literally overnight. Everyone and everywhere has started writing about it. This is the currency with which you can buy almost anything, starting with a cup of coffee and ending with a car. The book says that the common man needs to treat digital currencies with a certain degree of caution. According to Vigna and Casey, the purpose of cryptocurrency is to change the economic and social structure of our world. They make it possible to conduct financial transactions without an intermediary; it is a system that belongs to people and is protected from a crisis similar which happened in 2008. The world's largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has many useful applications, but one of them is obviously the main one: Bitcoin is money.

The book tells the narratives of early followers and miners of Bitcoin: Austin and Becke Craig, Gabriel Abed, who founded Barbados' own digital currency, and Silicon Valley developers who are trying to guess the possible needs of potential customers of blockchain applications. In this book, the use and advantages of technology become clearer.

The People's Money - Bitcoin

Book about Bitcoin

The author of the book is Adam Tepper, the general director of the Australian stock exchange Independent Reserve and a successful programmer in the past. In February 2015, the entrepreneur died, crashing into a pole on his motorcycle at great speed. At that time, he worked on the book Bitcoin - Money for All. After Tepper’s death, his friend Adrian and the Australian Bitcoin Association jointly released his work. In his book, Adam described the importance of cryptocurrency as an engine of the financial market. In the book, much attention is paid to investment in crypto assets. The author argues that it is obligatory to invest in digital currencies right now, since in the near future their price will rise, and all thanks to their introduction into the global financial turnover.

The Business Blockchain

Book about Blockchain use

The author of “The Business Blockchain” is an American publicist and part-time startup mentor William Mougayar. His book gives the impression of a futuristic forecast of how the world will change when all or almost all processes, not only business, move to the blockchain, which Mougayar describes with the adjective “polymorphic”. First, we cannot predict how the world will change under the influence of this technology. Secondly, the blockchain, according to the author, is able to solve not only business problems but also eliminate many of the limitations that characterize our thinking so far and teach us to think differently.

The Science of the Blockchain by Roger Wattenhofer

The Science of the Blockchain

The book is written by a professor in the field of information technology. The language of it is for beginners. Almost all of it consists of various technical details that will be difficult to understand by any “non-technical” readers. Therefore, the main audience is development specialists.

Wattenhofer explains how distributed systems are built and parses several existing ones. All this is a scientific language. The book carries the greatest practical benefit to the “builder” of the new Internet.

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Blockchain Contracts and Cyberlaw

Pavan Duggal does not look into the very distant future, as Melanie Swan does. The author examines only the second generation of the blockchain: smart contracts. According to him, “cyber law” is based on them.

“Blockchain Contracts and Cyberlaw” is largely about this topic. It is suitable primarily for those who are keen on the blockchain innovation in the context of improving copyright, tangible and intangible law.

Bitcoin: Money Without Borders

Book about Bitcoin

As the author writes, this book is a brief and objective guide to the use of Bitcoin. For example, it tells how you can use digital currency together with the Facebook social network to increase revenue or for charity purposes.

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SegWit Explained: What Is Bitcoin's Segregated Witness?


SegWit Explained: What Is Bitcoin's Segregated Witness?
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Contents

 

Segregated Witness (SegWit) is an implemented protocol update that solves the problem of the Bitcoin’s blockchain transaction malleability. The point is in one of the transaction components. The first part is the Basic information (the sender, the amount, the recipient). And the second part — Witness — carries a special cryptographic signature (code). This code is a confirmation of the virtual transaction in Bitcoin currency.

Witness’ signature creates difficulties for the blockchain because the form can be changed after the appearance in the block. Bitcoin will still reach the addressee, but the construction of new transactions will be complicated because they all go along the chain. Unconfirmed transactions slow down the speed of new ones, reducing the overall Bitcoin network performance due to pulling data from a past virtual transaction.


The current Bitcoin protocol makes it difficult to implement large-scale updates, as well as to conduct fast transfers. The problematic network feature is called the “transaction malleability”. Against this background began the movement for the introduction of SegWit.

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The goals of SegWit

Segregated Witness must restore the Bitcoin network and adapt the blockchain technology to new realities. The main task is to solve transaction malleability and scalability. SegWit optimizes the transaction process and creates conditions for the subsequent increase in virtual block size. SegWit has to solve such problems and questions:

  • If Witness signature is segregated from a block of Bitcoin increases size and bandwidth of the entire network.

  • The transaction size is reduced by 2 times.

  • Reducing the blockchain size, which saves disk virtual space for nodes.

  • Starting and synchronization of nodes speed up significantly.

  • The enhanced spam protection mechanism of Bitcoin currency.

It follows that SegWit addresses the most important aspects for Bitcoin: scalability, protection level, transactions speed, and interaction with new protocols.

The story of Segregated Witness

The first talk about the need to modernize Bitcoin’s protocol and about possible ways to solve the transaction malleability problem appeared in 2012. Bitcoin-Core developers Russell O’Connor, Luke Dashir, Gregory Maxwell and others became initiators. Active actions for the currency began in the summer of 2014, when Maxwell, Pieter Wuille and cryptographer Adam Back launched the blockchain research company called Blockstream. In this environment, they found a solution to Bitcoin’s problem. It was decided to separate special cryptographic signature from the main part of the transaction. They called this function Segregated Witness.

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In parallel with Segregated Witness, the idea of ​​optimizing Bitcoin’s blockchain by increasing the block size (the default is 1 megabyte) appeared. It could be realized only through a hard fork — a rigid network separation through the introduction of changes incompatible with the current protocol. SegWit, on the contrary, was a soft fork or partial update of Bitcoin’s protocol. To implement it, the Witness’s signature must be segregated in a new part of the virtual block. And its anchor (Merkle Root) recorded in the transaction of miners’ fees. As a result, more space remained in Bitcoin’s block, and its size increased without actually increasing. This result allowed us to solve the problem of the Bitcoin network scalability, which was also quite acute.

After the appearance of the second idea, a real war broke out, including among the developers of Bitcoin currency. Miners and pools couldn’t come to a consensus from 2015 to August 2017. As a result, SegWit was accepted and activated. A special code called BIP91, developed by Bitmain engineer James Hilliard, turned out to be the best compromise among all the proposals received over several years.

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The main advantages of Segregated Witness

The list of benefits which will be received by the Bitcoin network with the introduction of SegWit is very large, we focus the main ones:

  1. The third party will lose any options of signature’s changing, which will facilitate the development of new smart contracts.

  2. Dividing special cryptographic signature from Basic data will significantly increase transaction size and Bitcoin’s blockchain bandwidth, and the average virtual block size will be 1.7-2 MB.

  3. With Segregated protocol, transactions in Bitcoin currency will remain available to participants who have accepted SegWit, and those who refuse to do so. At the same time, users with an updated protocol will work with smaller commissions.

  4. The adoption of SegWit greatly simplifies the implementation of new soft forks, allowing to introduce new ideas to improve the security of Bitcoin currency.

  5. The block validation rate and transaction security will increase due to a change in the signature hash function from linear to exponential.

  6. A segregated signature will reduce the currency’s charging fees.

  7. SegWit will have a positive impact on the Bitcoin ecosystem here and now, as well as create a springboard for further development.

Arguments against SegWit

Even today, Segregated Witness is not fully accepted by the Bitcoin network. Sceptics believe that this will take years because the number of nodes has already exceeded 10,000. An increase in the number of participants and a virtual transaction will result in a Bitcoin’s block size of 2 MB is small for the needs of the ecosystem.

Partial centralization of Bitcoin’s system due to the implementation of the SegWit protocol will increase the number of unconfirmed transactions, which will strip the network and make currency vulnerable to hacker attacks.

Some Bitcoin developers and pools believe the adoption of SegWit is dictated by the economic gain of Blockstream, which owns the Lightning Network protocol. Its technical implementation in the Bitcoin network without Segregated Witness is almost impossible.

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Will the time come for SegWit2x?

Speaking about the implementation of Segregated Witness and Bitcoin currency, it is impossible not to mention the postponed indefinitely SegWit2x. The agreement was the result of heated discussions and a search for consensus. It was decided to make a hard fork, after which the block size should increase to 2 megabytes. The split was scheduled for mid-November 2017. In fact, Bitcoin would split into two networks with its own coin, rules, signatures and standards.

However, the idea was not destined to come true. Firstly, the negative attitude of the developer community and the launched NO2X campaign did not play into the hands of the “Segregated” protocol. Secondly, BIP91 was implemented earlier and it was successful.

As a result, on November 8, 2017, the complete closure of the project was announced. But there were people who positively evaluated the results for Bitcoin. For example, the head of Blockchain.info, Peter Smith, who initially supported the Segwit2x idea, spoke as follows:

“We’re relieved. The goal of the NYA was to bring the community together and keep the majority of the users on the same chain for at least a little while longer.”

SegWit usage metrics
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Results for Bitcoin and blockchain

From the moment of implementation of Segregated Witness, a year and a half has passed, but the protocol is not accepted by 70%. Many large services have not yet implemented it into their processes. However, positive changes are already visible, especially for ordinary users. Now the average transaction cost with confirmation within 20 minutes, according to Bitcoin Core Fees, is estimated at 5 satoshi/byte, that is, about $ 0.08 for the entire virtual transaction.

Spam attacks on the Bitcoin network have also stopped, the mempool remains free, and the average block size has exceeded 1 MB. In addition, the activation of SegWit has opened the doors to the implementation of new solutions and prospects for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general.

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