Book Image

Learning Bitcoin

Book Image

Learning Bitcoin

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Learning Bitcoin
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Chapter 4. Understanding the Blockchain


"With e-currency based on cryptographic proof, without the need to trust a third party middleman, money can be secure and transactions effortless."

 --Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin developer

Bitcoin's underlying transaction database is called the Blockchain. Its novel design, as a distributed ledger, allows it to function without any trusted central authority. Understanding how it works is essential for integrating information systems with Bitcoin. In this chapter, you will be given a simplified explanation of the blockchain's internal mechanisms. Building on the previous chapters, we'll cover the following subjects in more detail:

  • Keys, transactions, and blocks

  • Digital signatures

  • Cryptographic hashes

  • The Blockchain

  • Nodes and miners

  • Decentralized design

  • Network attacks

  • Alternative coins