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Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptoassets

Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptoassets

English translation of the Book "Bitcoin, Blockchain und Kryptoassets" by Fabian Schär and Aleksander Berentsen published by The MIT Press

The blockchain is considered to be the greatest innovation of the decade and to have the capacity to impact the world to the same degree that the advent of the Internet did.This book contains all the information that is required to understand this fascinating technology.  The book’s interdisciplinary perspective and its technical comprehensiveness ensure that it will be equally interesting and readable for beginners and advanced learners. This makes it indispensable reading for everyone who wishes to obtain a solid grounding in the subject.


An introduction to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology; a guide for practitioners and students.

Bitcoin and blockchain enable the ownership of virtual property without the need for a central authority. Additionally, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies make up an entirely new class of assets that have the potential for fundamental change in the current financial system. This book offers an introduction to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology that begins from the perspective of monetary economics.

The book first presents a nontechnical discussion of monetary theory, enabling readers to understand how cryptocurrencies are a radical departure from existing monetary instruments, and provides an overview of blockchain technology and the Bitcoin system. It then takes up technical aspects of Bitcoin in more detail, covering such topics as the Bitcoin network, its communications protocol, the mathematics underpinning decentralized validation, transaction types, the data structure of blocks, the proof-of-work consensus mechanism, and game theory. Finally, the book discusses specific issues and applications, including price volatility, regulatory uncertainty, and central bank cryptocurrencies, as well as such alternative applications as decentralized verification and attestation, tokens, and smart contracts. The concluding chapter offers practical advice on getting started with Bitcoin. End-of-chapter exercises allow readers to test their knowledge. Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptoassets is suitable for classroom use and as a reference for practitioners.

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Fabian Schär

Fabian Schär is Professor of Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology, and Fintech at the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Basel and Director of the Center for Innovative Finance.

Aleksander Berentsen

Aleksander Berentsen is Professor of Economic Theory at the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Basel and Chairman of the Board of the Center for Innovative Finance.



This terrific book lucidly explains the key components of Bitcoin and Blockchain, including hashing, public key cryptography, and smart contracts, embedded in an excellent presentation of key concepts from monetary economics and discussion of recent challenges for cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies. If you are looking for one book on this topic, this is it.

Prof. Dr. Harald Uhlig, University of Chicago

“Bitcoin made a big splash in the financial world. This accessible book is an excellent introduction to both monetary theory and crypto technology”

Prof. Dr. Markus K. Brunnermeier, Princeton University

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