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Programming Bitcoin by Jimmy Song

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Chapter 14. Advanced Topics and Next Steps

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’ve learned a lot about Bitcoin’s inner workings, and hopefully you are inspired to learn a lot more. This book has only scratched the surface. In this chapter, we’ll go through some other topics you might want to explore, how to bootstrap your career as a Bitcoin developer, and ways to contribute to the community.

Suggested Topics to Study Next

Wallets

Creating a wallet is a challenging task because securing private keys is very difficult. That said, there are a bunch of standards for creating wallets that can help.

Hierarchical Deterministic Wallets

For privacy purposes, reusing addresses is very bad (see Chapter 7). That means we need to create lots of addresses. Unfortunately, storing a different secret for each address generated can become a security and backup problem. How do you back them all up in a secure way? Do you generate a ton of secrets and then back them up? What if you run out of secrets? How do you back them up again? What system can you use to ensure that the backups are current?

To combat this problem, Armory, an early Bitcoin wallet, first implemented deterministic wallets. The idea of a deterministic wallet is that you can generate one seed and create lots and lots of different addresses with that one seed. The Armory-style deterministic wallets were great, except people wanted some grouping of addresses—so, the hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallet standard, BIP0032, ...

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