Bitcoin boffins have been gifted a 300-page tome on the workings of their favourite crypto-currency as told by the academics of Princeton and Stanford universities.
The first draft of the book written in a conversational narrative rather than binary research paper format is geared to the those with at least a basic understanding of computer science with some programming experience.
The book Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies [PDF] is written by Princeton assistant professor Arvind Narayanan; professor Edward Felten; PhD Steven Goldfeder; Stanford University postdoctoral researcher Joseph Bonneau; Concordia Institute assistant professor Steven Goldfeder, and University of Maryland PhD Andrew Miller.
It addresses the "important questions about Bitcoin" including security, anonymity, and regulation.
"Each chapter has a series of homework questions to help you understand these questions at a deeper level," the authors write.
"After reading this book, you’ll know everything you need to be able to separate fact from fiction when reading claims about Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.
"You’ll have the conceptual foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network and you’ll be able to integrate ideas from Bitcoin into your own projects."
Readers are given programming assignments to implement Bitcoin components into simple models. They can step up their education and enroll in Narayanan's free online Bitcoin course.
The authors say Bitcoin is exciting because of its technology which the describe as "deep, novel, and interesting" that will break its present obscurity to find commercial and social success.
Readers are invited to submit comments on the draft. The final text will be published later this year.
Narayanan says the authors will published an improved version soon that will include elements of Stanford University's programming assignments. ®