cryptocurrencies, taking the reader from a passing knowledge of Bitcoin to a
deeper understanding of the economics and the technology behind it. Newer ideas
such as autonomous agents and meta-coins, privacy-enhancing techniques and even
fully anonymous cryptocurrencies based on zero-knowledge proofs are discussed.
This book assists the reader to understand all the buzz and excitement around
these innovative technologies. Part I first introduces the Bitcoin protocol in
non-technical terms, it then presents how the different economic schools
interpret Bitcoin. It concludes with an introduction to several of the business
models in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Part II explains the technology behind Bitcoin.
The treatment is thorough although no prior knowledge of cryptography is
assumed and all cryptographic primitives are properly introduced. This part
concludes with a review of the wallet and mining technologies. Part III covers
Bitcoin from the broader perspective of digital currencies. It presents
previous attempts at cryptographic currencies, other cryptocurrencies (alt-coins,
meta-coins) and innovative applications of cryptocurrencies such as autonomous
agents. The tension between those who want to break Bitcoin's privacy (using
big-data techniques) and those creating technologies to increase it is also
covered, including cutting edge proposals to create fully anonymous
decentralized cryptocurrencies based on cryptographic zero-knowledge proofs.
This part concludes by discussing miscellaneous topics from quantum computing
to recent advances in cryptography.
PEDRO FRANCO holds an MSc in Electrical Engineering from ICAI, a BSc in Economics and an MBA from INSEAD. He has been a consultant with McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group, as well as a researcher with IIT, prior to gaining more than 10 years of experience in financial markets, holding Quant and Trading positions in Credit, Counterparty Risk, Inflation and Interest Rates. He has created various mathematical libraries for financial derivatives, and managed teams of software developers. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.