5 Essential Resources for Understanding Bitcoin and the Blockchain

Bitcoin is having its best year yet, as companies like Tesla and PayPal invest billions and send the value skyward. Unlike previous booms, institutional investors are taking a serious look at Bitcoin and getting on board themselves. JP Morgan predicted bitcoin could rally up to $146,000 and suggested investors allocate at least 1% of their portfolio for Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Citi recently said Bitcoin is at a tipping point of mainstream acceptance and is already establishing itself as a global store of value, and could one day become the currency of choice for international trade.

The more momentum builds, the more people ask me for resources to understand Bitcoin and blockchain technology in general. To answer these questions, I have compiled some of the most helpful resources I’ve seen over the years. Below, you’ll find enough to give you a basic understanding of Bitcoin and why it is poised to transform the global economy.

1. The Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology Explained

Uploaded by Odyssey

If you only have time to look at one resource here, this is the one. This 6-minute video succinctly explains how Bitcoin works and captures its transformative power to support a decentralized, efficient and transparent financial system. But it also shows the value of blockchain technology beyond financial transactions: how Bitcoin can be used to represent non-monetary digital properties such as corporate shares, deeds, award credits, or votes in an election; automate compliance to eliminate bureaucracy; and enable an internet of things economy.

2. Bitcoin Explained

https://www.upfolio.com/ultimate-bitcoin-guide

Upfolio

This is another great starting point for wrapping your head around Bitcoin. Upfolio does an excellent job making Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies accessible with simple explanations and fun illustrations. Their guide makes the benefits of Bitcoin clear and contrasts it with the traditional system of banks, credit card companies, and other global financial institutions.

3. The Bitcoin Standard

Presented by Saifedean Ammous, Author of The Bitcoin Standard

In this video, Saifedean Ammous presents the key ideas of his seminal book, The Bitcoin Standard, for an audience in Zurich. This one is a little longer than the previous two resources, but you only need to watch the first 30 minutes to understand why Bitcoin is unique, what it’s good for, and its potential as a new global store of value.

4. Fat Protocols

https://www.usv.com/writing/2016/08/fat-protocols/

Union Square Ventures

This article from Union Square Ventures is a great read for investors looking to understand where the value in Bitcoin is generated. Unlike the internet, the value of the blockchain is concentrated in the protocol layer instead of the application layer built on top of it. And as the value of the protocol layer grows, so too does the value of the application layer. After reading, you’ll see how the boom and bust cycles of speculation driving the surge in Bitcoin’s price are also the engine of adoption, innovation, and ultimately, value. It’s a good starting point to understand the tokenized economies that will be ushered in by Bitcoin and blockchain.

5. Why Bitcoin Matters

https://a16z.com/2014/01/21/why-bitcoin-matters-nyt/

By Marc Andreessen, Co-Founder and General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz

In this article originally published in the New York Times, Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and the influential Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, draws parallels between Bitcoin and previous technological revolutions like personal computing and the internet. It not only explains how Bitcoin works, but also why it has such disruptive potential. It’s a must-read for anybody interested in investing in Bitcoin, written by one of the most successful tech visionaries of all time.

I trust you will find these resources helpful and have little doubt that they will spark further interest in this revolutionary technology.