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*** THIS IS A PREVIEW PRINT ***
As IBM´s official liaison to the Ethereum core developers I gave talks on blockchain topics pretty much around the world. After one keynote I was asked for a non-technical guide to understand blockchains. This is it.
The book aims to help you get your head around blockchains in general and around Ethereum specifically. Since Ethereum is currently the pre-imminent blockchain, it makes sense as reference point. The essential stuff is the same for any blockchain.
This text was written for people with a fast grasp, who are not programmers. Reading this should give you the basics to cut through the hype and to identify blockchain opportunities in your professional domain. There are tiny bits of code, which can be admired and skipped.
We´ll look at Ethereum´s benefits first, how it is used and what can be done with it; then explain blockchain machinery, visiting the terms that you´ll be confronted with in every discussion about its application. Exactly what you need to tell the signal from the noise in the echo chamber of honest misunderstandings and desperate marketing.
We take a good hard look at limitations, throw in some history and names and give a realistic outlook.
The index reads like an FAQ and you can use the book like that. However, there is a strong build up, one chapter leading to the next, as optimized path to understanding all the interconnected, moving parts. There´s quite a number of them.
Blockchains are not a trivial topic. The fact that blockchain client programs are small has fooled many people into believing it can´t possibly be that hard. The challenges are in the implications though.
But what’s in this book will put you ahead of almost everyone outside the core bubble.
A deep dive into this field now – at least getting started – will help you to become part of the fun ahead. It should allow you to stand out, land deals or a great job.
It will also make you see first hand how early we are in the game.
Hopefully, we will find a contributor to the blockchain community in you, strengthening the portfolio of real-world use cases. Ideally, you´ll learn to navigate your own uncharted course through your domain and revolutionize it.
From the Book’s Index:
What is Ethereum?
What is Ether?
What is Ethereum Not?
What is Ethereum Used for?
Create Your Own Digital Currency!
How Does Ethereum Compare?
How Does Ethereum Work?
What is a Blockchain?
What is Cryptography?
What´s the Magic?
What is Holding It Back?
What is a Cryptocurrency?
What is a Digital Currency?
What is a Digital Asset?
What is a Mirror Asset?
What is Consensus?
What is Proof–of–Work?
What is Proof–of–Stake?
What is a Hard–Fork?
What is Mining?
What is Decentralized Code?
What is a Decentralized Application (Dapp)?
What is a Smart Contract?
What is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)?
What is an Oracle?
What is Timestamping?
What is a Private Chain?
What is the EVM?
What is Gas?
What is Solidity?
How Fast is Ethereum / Latency?
What is Ethereum´s Capacity / Throughput?
What is Probabilistic Finality?
How Ready is Ethereum?
Is Ethereum Legal?
How did Bitcoin Start?
What’s the Story Behind Ethereum?
What is The DAO?
What is Ethereum Classic?
What is all the Hype about?
What’s the Future?
Will Ethereum Change the World?
APPENDIX with technical notes
Drafts of the book have been run by core Ethereum people and highest ranking IBM engineers in a bid to ensure accuracy.
I’ll be happy to hear what you felt was missing or presented out of order, no matter your background.
Opinions in this book are mine, not that of IBM.
I am not an Ethereum spokesperson either.