Use Bitcoin with confidence.

Understand the hidden potential and risks of the world's most dynamic form of money.

Owning Bitcoin

Have you given up hope of understanding Bitcoin? Are there parts of Bitcoin that just don’t make sense? Do you worry about losing money to mistakes or thefts? Do you trust an exchange to store your bitcoin more than you trust yourself? Do you wonder what the block chain reveals about your personal financial history? Are you concerned about Bitcoin’s ability to technologically compete against hundreds of alternatives?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this e-book was written for you. Owning Bitcoin reveals Bitcoin’s inner workings in a technically-grounded yet approachable way. Whether you’re still on the sidelines or an aspiring hodler, this book contains page after page of actionable information. No previous experience with cryptography or computer science is needed.

A Systematic Approach to Learning Bitcoin

You can learn Bitcoin, but you’ll need a system to do it. Owning Bitcoin leads you, step-by-step through this system. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • understand the technical basis for Bitcoin and other digital currencies;
  • know what Bitcoin security requires you to protect and how to do it;
  • create a “financial firewall” to protect your money from loss and theft, while at the same time keeping it accessible;
  • practice cold storage, a technique for protecting private keys from loss to network-based attackers, while putting none of your hard-earned money at risk;
  • evaluate wallet features against your security and privacy goals;
  • recognize the unique financial privacy risks that using Bitcoin exposes you to;
  • follow exciting new Bitcoin developments, including Lightning Network, Segregated Witness, and new kinds of smart contracts;
  • avoid the most common mistakes made by beginning and intermediate Bitcoin users.
Trapdoor Function
Exerpt from Chapter 2, covering cryptography and authentication.

What’s Inside

  • Eight Detail-Packed Chapters. No fuzzy analogies or fluffy language. Just eight chapters and 600 pages that guide you through Bitcoin’s underlying technology in theory and practice.
  • Definitions. Every new concept is explained up-front so there’s no need to guess at meaning.
  • Copious Cross-Links. Easily jump to previous content with in-book hyperlinks.
  • Rich Detail. Hundreds of footnotes provide historical context, links to online demos, and jumping-off points for further exploration.
  • Over 300 Figures. Captioned, high-resolution graphics flatten Bitcoin’s notoriously-steep learning curve.
OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY
Exerpt from Chapter 3, covering transactions and programmable money.

Avoid these Costly Mistakes

Bitcoin punishes technical ignorance with cold, mechanical impartiality. Consider these staggering losses:

  • Stone Man, who lost ฿8,999 due to misunderstanding how his wallet managed backups;
  • the producers of Bitcoin’s first explainer video, who locked themselves out of ฿7,003 by losing an encryption key;
  • Allinvain, who lost ฿25,000 through a network-based attack;
  • Cdecker, who lost ฿9,222 through a backup that was found by an attacker;
  • ask_for_pgp, who lost ฿13 to malware that replaced his intended payment address with that of an attacker;
  • James Howells, who threw a hard drive with private keys controlling ฿7,500 into his local landfill;
  • thonbrocket, who created an insecure brain wallet and lost ฿4 to an attacker who guessed it.

Owning Bitcoin was written to help you avoid these and many other preventable financial tragedies.

Joint Control
Exerpt from Chapter 6, covering security.

Topics Covered

Owning Bitcoin is organized into eight chapters, each of which describes Bitcoin from a unique angle. The first six chapters reveal Bitcoin’s technological underpinnings and the last two walk you through the steps needed manage your own money.

  1. Bitcoin from Scratch. A high-level overview of Bitcoin’s key systems.
  2. Authentication. In-depth exploration of Bitcoin’s digital signature system.
  3. Authorization. Transactions, the built-in programming language that makes them work, and smart contracts are all covered here.
  4. Network. Block chain, memory pool, double spending attacks, consensus, hard/soft forks, governance, and scaling solutions.
  5. Privacy. The block chain is a permanent public record that allows many new kinds of investigations. Understand the risks, and don’t become a victim.
  6. Security. What to protect, why it should be protected, and how to protect it.
  7. Wallets. Practical tips for navigating the Bitcoin software landscape.
  8. Bitcoin in Practice. A hands-on tutorial explaining how to buy, secure, and spend bitcoin.
Electrum
Exerpt from Chapter 8, covering cold storage and money management.

What You’ll Get

A purchase gives you the Owning Bitcoin e-book in two digital formats for your reading convenience. For maximal functionality, use EPUB3. iBooks for iOS, Gitden Reader for Android, and Calibre for desktops and laptops are known to work well. If your reader doesn’t yet fully support EPUB3, PDF is a good alternative.

Both file formats are DRM-free so you can read them on any of your devices.

Money Back Guarantee

If for any reason you don’t think that Owning Bitcoin was worth the price you paid, write me at bitzuma@gmail.com for a full refund.