16.3 Bitcoin Overview

In this section we provide a brief overview of Bitcoin. For those interested in the broader issues behind the design of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, we refer to the next section.

Bitcoin is an example of a ledger-based cryptocurrency that uses a combination of cryptography and decentralized consensus to keep track of all of the transactions related to the creation and exchange of virtual coins, known as bitcoins.

Bitcoin is a very sophisticated collection of cryptography and communication protocols, but the basic structure behind the operation of Bitcoin can be summarized as having five main stages:

  • Users maintain a transaction ledger;

  • Users make transactions and announce their transactions;

  • Users gather transactions ...

Get Introduction to Cryptography with Coding Theory, 3rd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.