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Bitcoin for the Befuddled

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  216 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Bitcoin is an international digital currency known for its independence from a central bank or government. Already used by people and companies around the world, many forecast that Bitcoin could radically transform the global economy. The value of a bitcoin has soared from less than a dollar in 2011 to well over $1000 in 2013, with many spikes and crashes along the way. Th ...more
Paperback, 1st Edition, 249 pages
Published November 2014 by No Starch Press (first published July 25th 2014)
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Devorah Royal
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book! The author explains the bitcoin phenomenon with clarity. It is not a book that you can just breeze through though. It takes a little concentrated effort, but it is well worth it. You will emerge from this experience with an entirely new aquired knowledge that will serve you well. Especially if you want to get into the bitcoin game. Loved it! Highly recommended.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-reads
Don't be fooled by the cheesy cover! A very in-depth explanation of bitcoin. Some of the math was over my head but concepts were clear and engaging. I was fascinated by the cryptography behind bitcoin.
Filip Kis
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an interesting read to fill some of the gaps I had in understanding Bitcoin technology, and for that reason I would recommend it to tech savvy people or maybe only programmers.

And that is where the problem lies. The book positions itself as a sort of intro to the topic, and uses many analogies and even occasionally comic book format to make the understanding easier, however this falls short in my opinion. Some of the key concepts needed to understand (e.g. public/private keys) are poorly
Marsha Altman
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bitcoin
A pretty good book, I guess. The comics are poorly-drawn but help explain things.
Gustav Tonér
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
A bit dated and too basic for my taste but still a good introduction to Bitcoin.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, non-fiction
This is pretty much what the title promises: an introduction to Bitcoin for the novice who wants to know more. Barski covers the history of Bitcoin, what makes it different from dollars or Euros, how to get started, and more, even going so far as to provide instructions on how to automate certain Bitcoin operations with JavaScript.
Along the way, he provides a lot of detail about topics that the average person may not need, such as public-key and elliptical path cryptography, the Byzantine Genera
PJ Wallachia
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
Clear and concise. Authors explained complex topics in an easy to understand format.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent rundown on Bitcoin - I'm going to be revisiting as there is no way to absorb all of it in one reading. Also, I love coding examples.
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humble-bundle
If you only read one book on bitcoin, you could do much worse than choosing this book as your one book. It has many details other books have glossed over, or left out entirely. It goes into detail about the important things to know about bitcoin, and how it can be used. It even has sample programs for those developers who might choose to learn more about bitcoin and other digital currencies. It takes a lot of the mystery out of bitcoin specifically, and digital currencies in general, and even of ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
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Get your dividends a
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I was browsing the stacks and saw this funny looking book. I thought it had to be from at least 10 years ago, but it was written in 2015! I needed a simple reference to understand blockchain and it didn't have everything I need on distributed ledger technology because its focus is how to use and understand Bitcoin. I read the non-blockchain parts though and they were good. The occasional comic with Crowley the Crocodile is cute. I saved it to try the short JavaScript programs in the appendices. ...more
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good introduction for bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. I liked the short stories representing usage of cryptocurrencies and introduction to software running bitcoin and software development for bitcoin.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An informative book that provides basic understanding on Bitcoin and its system.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bitcoin
Great introduction into bitcoin and understanding the fundamentals behind it.
Miguel Veliz
Great book specially the cocodrile cartoon that has inside :-)
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
The first part of the book is about bitcoins, wallets, buying and selling, security and privacy from a user's point of view. The second part, which I speed-read, is about the blockchain, cryptography, mining, programming bitcoin apps, ... from a developer's point of view. The book contains a lot of information, too much to memorise after just one reading. Probably going to read it again later this year.
Jon Chin
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book was written clearly and addressed many common bitcoin concerns. The scenarios and pictures were rather corny. There were typos throughout the book.
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I recently got this book from a humble bundle sale for close to a dollar and I have to say it's one of the best purchases I've done this year. For the price of a dollar, I've learnt so much about bitcoins and the mathematics behind it. Granted I might not have understood the entirety of Elliptical Curve Cryptography or even how bitcoin mining works but I've walked away with a big appreciation and respect for the genius of "Satoshi", a supposed 37-year old man from Japan that came up with the Mat ...more
Hugh Smalley
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Bitcoin is an international digital currency known for its independence from a central bank or government. Already used by people and companies around the world, many forecast that Bitcoin could radically transform the global economy. The value of a bitcoin has soared from less than a dollar in 2011 to well over $1000 in 2013, with many spikes and crashes along the way. The rise in value has brought Bitcoin into the public eye, but the cryptocurrency still confuses many people. *Bitcoin for the ...more
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: practical
I guess the level of satisfaction you will get from this book, depends heavily from the level of experience you have with bitcoin. I don't think this book is targeted to people that are totally new to bitcoin, even though it might be advertised this way.

The reason why I am saying this is because some parts are not covered in enough detail, especially at the beginning of the book. In some cases (not so many though) some terms are left hanging without explanation, something that might hinder the c
Richard Pavlovsky
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed this book; this was the second book I've read on the topic and this one was infinitely better than the other (Bitcoin Exposed by Mark Forrester). This book answered by fundamental questions of what is bitcoin mining and why, it also explained mathematically why i'd have no chance of mining a block on my iMac in the days of custom ASICs. The bits on encryption and explain the how but also the why of cryptocurrency and a theoretical future that may or may not include bitcoin. T ...more
Mark Hillick
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable book and great introduction for beginners to bitcoin. It actually gives one of the best explanations of cryptography and the maths antics behind it that I've ever read, especially when it walks through Elliptical Curve Cryptography.

The book succinctly and clearly explains the technology behind Bitcoin, why certain decisions have been made and does s great job detailing how bitcoin is currently used and could be used in the future.

I would like to see more in-depth discussions on so
Dan Watts
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a rare gem among technology books, since it covers the topic from a layman's perspective (with comics!), but occasionally dives deeper into the technical details. Whether you have a passing interest in the topic, or you actually want to start using Bitcoins, you should find this to be well worth reading. Personally, the book didn't convince me that Bitcoins would be of any use to me, and to its credit it doesn't try that hard to sell that idea. However, the last chapter in particular con ...more
Bob Anderson
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
While I don’t expect to be buying Bitcoins and getting involved in that scene, the idea has intrigued me. This book was a great explainer of the ideas behind and technicalities of Bitcoin (though it helps if you’re already at least partially familiar with cryptography), and it helped me transition from someone with an uninformed reluctance to participate in the currency to someone with an informed reluctance. The cute cartoons didn't hurt at all, either.
Nathan Ethridge
Nov 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Good info. Entertaining if outlandish examples. The problem is that it gets fairly dry and boring after a certain point and the majority of the info is impractical and not very useful outside of the world of cryptocurrency, which made finishing this a struggle. This is not so much a fault of the authors, but rather a problem with the subject matter. That being said, I did learn a good deal about Bitcoin and know more about its history and inner workings than I did before I picked this up.
Pedro Stein
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a really good book. Very easy to understand for begginers and very useful to learn easier ways to talk about bitcoins for people that already know something about it. Some parts related to maths are very complex to understand, but those are not escential in order to understand the whole book ;)
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technology
It gets the best rating because it's well-written, understandable, and most of all: very well organized. It first gives an overview, so the reader knows what is Bitcoin even supposed to be and do, then explains how to use it, and only then, when the reader has an idea of what we're talking about, delves into the more "technical" stuff and the underlying principles.
Deane Barker
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Clear, fun, thorough explanation of bitcoins and blockchain technology.
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