Learning Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies 1 Basic Concepts


What is Bitcoin?

Basic Concept

The first and most widely used cryptocurrency: completely digital, decentralized, currency built on principles of computer science, cryptography, and economics

Bitcoin: refers to the community, the network, and the software

bitcoins: the currency itself, a unit

Inspiration for the blockchain: the underlying data structure that stores a permanent history of all transactions to ever occur the history of bitcoin

The Cypherpunks Movement

Cypherpunks = a group of people who advocate for the protection of privacy using cyptography

Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. He created the first ever decentralized, pseudonymous, and trustless system for transactions

Satoshi Nakamoto’s Innovation

Bitcoin attempts to solve two problems that decentralized networks typically face:

  • Inconsistent transactions records held by different nodes
  • Malicious pseudonymous actors might broadcast false messages and divide the network

Double spending attack: asynchronous records held by different nodes

The blockchain and consensus protocol are the solution

Bitcoin vs. Banks

Banks Services

Account and identity management


Record management



BerkeleyX: CS198.1x Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencie