Mastering Blockchain

Book description

The future will be increasingly distributed. As the publicity surrounding Bitcoin and blockchain has shown, distributed technology and business models are gaining popularity. Yet the disruptive potential of this technology is often obscured by hype and misconception. This detailed guide distills the complex, fast moving ideas behind blockchain into an easily digestible reference manual, showing what's really going on under the hood.

Finance and technology pros will learn how a blockchain works as they explore the evolution and current state of the technology, including the functions of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. This book is for anyone evaluating whether to invest time in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. Go beyond buzzwords and see what the technology really has to offer.

  • Learn why Bitcoin was fundamentally important in blockchain's birth
  • Learn how Ethereum has created a fertile ground for new innovations like Decentralized Finance (DeFi), Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Flash Loans
  • Discover the secrets behind cryptocurrency prices and different forces that affect the highly volatile cryptocurrency markets
  • Learn how cryptocurrencies are used by criminals to carry out nefarious activities
  • Discover how enterprise and governments are leveraging the blockchain including Facebook
  • Understand the challenges of scaling and forking a blockchain
  • Learn how different blockchains work
  • Learn the language of blockchain as industry terms are explained

Table of contents

  1. Preface
    1. Conventions Used in This Book
    2. Using Code Examples
    3. O’Reilly Online Learning
    4. How to Contact Us
    5. Acknowledgments
  2. 1. Origins of Blockchain Technology
    1. Electronic Systems and Trust
    2. Distributed Versus Centralized Versus Decentralized
    3. Bitcoin Predecessors
      1. DigiCash
      2. E-Gold
      3. Hashcash
      4. B-Money
      5. Bit Gold
    4. The Bitcoin Experiment
      1. The 2008 Financial Crisis
      2. The Whitepaper
      3. Introducing the Timestamp Server
      4. Storing Data in a Chain of Blocks
    5. Bringing Bitcoin to Life
      1. Compelling Components
      2. Achieving Consensus
      3. An Early Vulnerability
      4. Adoption
    6. Summary
  3. 2. Cryptocurrency Fundamentals
    1. Public and Private Keys in Cryptocurrency Systems
    2. The UTXO Model
    3. Transactions
      1. The Merkle Root
      2. Signing and Validating Transactions
      3. The Coinbase Transaction
      4. Bitcoin Transaction Security
    4. Hashes
      1. Block Hashes
    5. Custody: Who Holds the Keys
      1. Wallet Types: Custodial Versus Noncustodial
      2. Wallet Type Variations
    6. Security Fundamentals
      1. Recovery Seed
    7. Mining
      1. Mining Is About Incentives
      2. Block Generation
    8. Consensus
      1. Proof-of-Work
      2. Proof-of-Stake
      3. Other Concepts for Consensus
    9. Stakeholders
      1. Brokerages
      2. Exchanges
      3. Custody
      4. Analytics
      5. Information
    10. Summary
  4. 3. Forks and Altchains
    1. Bitcoin Improvement Proposals
    2. Understanding Forks
      1. Contentious Hard Forks
    3. The Bitcoin Cash Fork
    4. Altcoins
      1. Litecoin
      2. More Altcoin Experiments
    5. “2.0” Chains
      1. NXT
      2. Counterparty
    6. Privacy-Focused Cryptocurrencies
      1. Dash
      2. Monero
      3. Zcash
    7. Ripple and Stellar
      1. Ripple
      2. Stellar
    8. Scaling Blockchains
      1. SegWit
      2. Lightning
      3. Other Altchain Solutions
    9. The Ethereum Classic Fork
    10. Summary
  5. 4. The Evolution to Ethereum
    1. Improving Bitcoin’s Limited Functionality
      1. Colored Coins and Tokens
      2. Mastercoin and Smart Contracts
      3. Understanding Omni Layer
    2. Ethereum: Taking Mastercoin to the Next Level
      1. Ether and Gas
      2. Use Cases: ICOs
      3. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations
      4. Key Organizations in the Ethereum Ecosystem
    3. Decentralized Applications (Dapps)
      1. Use Cases
      2. Challenges in Developing Dapps
    4. Deploying and Executing Smart Contracts in Ethereum
      1. The Ethereum Virtual Machine
      2. Gas and Pricing
      3. Interacting with Code
    5. Summary
  6. 5. Tokenize Everything
    1. Tokens on the Ethereum Platform
      1. Fungible and Nonfungible Tokens
      2. Is a Token Necessary?
      3. Airdrops
      4. Different Token Types
    2. Understanding Ethereum Requests for Comment
      1. ERC-20
      2. ERC-721
      3. ERC-777
      4. ERC-1155
    3. Multisignature Contracts
    4. Decentralized Exchange Contracts
    5. Summary
  7. 6. Market Infrastructure
    1. Evolution of the Price of Bitcoin
    2. The Role of Exchanges
      1. Order Books
      2. Slippage
      3. Depth Charts
      4. Jurisdiction
      5. Wash Trading
      6. Whales
      7. Derivatives
    3. Cryptocurrency Market Structure
      1. Arbitrage
      2. Counterparty Risk
      3. Market Data
    4. Analysis
      1. Fundamental Cryptocurrency Analysis
      2. Technical Cryptocurrency Analysis
    5. Arbitrage Trading
      1. Timing and Managing Float
      2. Float Configuration 1
      3. Float Configuration 2
      4. Float Configuration 3
    6. Regulatory Challenges
      1. Banking Risk
      2. Exchange Risk
      3. Basic Mistakes
    7. Exchange APIs and Trading Bots
      1. Open Source Trading Tech
      2. Rate Limiting
      3. REST Versus WebSocket
      4. Testing in a Sandbox
      5. Market Aggregators
    8. Summary
  8. 7. Decentralizing Finance and the Web
    1. Redistribution of Trust
      1. Identity and the Dangers of Hacking
      2. Wallets
      3. Private Keys
      4. Naming Services
    2. Decentralizing Finance
      1. Important Definitions
      2. Stablecoins
    3. DeFi Services
      1. Lending
      2. Savings
      3. Derivatives
    4. Decentralized Exchanges
      1. Decentralized Versus Centralized Exchanges
    5. Flash Loans
      1. Creating a Flash Loan Contract
      2. Deploying the Contract
      3. Executing a Flash Loan
      4. Flash Loans for Arbitrage
      5. The Fulcrum Exploit
    6. Privacy
      1. Zero-Knowledge Proof
      2. Zcash
      3. Ring Signatures
    7. Web 3.0
    8. Summary
  9. 8. Catch Me If You Can
    1. The Evolution of Crypto Laundering
    2. FinCEN Guidance and the Beginning of Regulation
    3. The FATF and the Travel Rule
    4. Skirting the Laws
    5. Avoiding Scrutiny: Regulatory Arbitrage
      1. Malta
      2. Singapore
      3. Hong Kong
      4. Bahamas
    6. Crypto-Based Stablecoins
      1. NuBits
      2. Digix
      3. Basis
      4. Tether
    7. Initial Coin Offerings
      1. Founder Intentions
      2. Token Economics
      3. Whitepaper
    8. Exchange Hacks
      1. Mt. Gox
      2. Bitfinex
      3. Coincheck
      4. NiceHash
    9. Other Hacks
      1. Bloomberg TV BTC Stolen
      2. EtherDelta Redirection
      3. CryptoLocker and Ransomware
      4. SIM Swapping
    10. Summary
  10. 9. Other Blockchains
    1. What Are Blockchains Good For?
    2. Databases and Ledgers
    3. Decentralization Versus Centralization
      1. Participants
      2. Key Properties of Distributed Verifiable Ledgers
    4. Ethereum-Based Privacy Implementations
      1. Nightfall
      2. Quorum
    5. Enterprise Implementations
      1. Hyperledger
      2. Corda
      3. DAML
    6. Blockchain as a Service
    7. Banking
      1. The Royal Mint
      2. Banque de France
      3. China
      4. US Federal Reserve
      5. JPMorgan
    8. Permissioned Ledger Uses
      1. IT
      2. Banking
      3. Central Bank Digital Currencies
      4. Legal
      5. Gaming
      6. Health Care
      7. Internet of Things
      8. Payments
    9. Libra
      1. The Libra Association
      2. Borrowing from Existing Blockchains
      3. Novi
      4. How the Libra Protocol Works
    10. Summary
  11. 10. The Future of Blockchain
    1. The More Things Change
    2. Blockchains to Watch
      1. How Monero Works
      2. Mimblewimble, Beam, and Grin
    3. The Scaling Problem
      1. Sidechains
      2. Sharding
      3. STARKs
      4. DAGs
      5. Avalanche
      6. Liquid
      7. Lightning
      8. Ethereum Scaling
    4. Privacy
    5. Interoperability
    6. Tokenize Everything
    7. Summary
  12. Index

Product information

  • Title: Mastering Blockchain
  • Author(s): Lorne Lantz, Daniel Cawrey
  • Release date: November 2020
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781492054702