The Princeton Bitcoin textbook, explaining how bitcoin works on the technical level, is now available online. This is officially the first complete draft of the book to be published by Princeton University Press in 2016.

The book is seen by its authors Arvind Narayanan, Joseph Bonneau, Edward Felten, Andrew Miller and Steven Goldfeder as a guide for undergraduate and graduate students of computer science, software developers, entrepreneurs and technology hobbyists with basic programming experience.

It promises to help “cut through the hype and get to the core of what makes Bitcoin unique,” claiming to provide clear answers on how bitcoin functions, to which extent it is secure and anonymous, which applications can already be built using bitcoin and what its most likely perspectives are.

Designed as a textbook, the paper includes homework questions and a series of programming assignments, giving readers an opportunity to try themselves on simplified models. As the result, the readers are promised to get enough conceptual foundations to engineer secure software and tell “fact from fiction” about bitcoin.

“We’re very happy with how the book turned out: it’s comprehensive, at over 300 pages, but has a conversational style that keeps it readable,” Arvind Narayanan, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Princeton, writes in his blog.

Earlier the Princeton's team of researchers launched with Coursera an online course on bitcoin which gathered more than 30,000 students. It is expected to move further, recording new videos to accompany the Bitcoin textbook, including ones dedicated to Ethereum.

Maria Rudina