Navigating-Bitcoin: A Gentle Introduction to its Fields of Study and Key Concepts.
So you finally decided you want to learn more about Bitcoin but need to figure out where to start. That's great! Let me help you with that!
However, I will not attempt to explain it all myself. Instead, I'll introduce you to the vocabulary, some areas of study, and key concepts that will help you better narrow down and articulate the questions you care the most about. Remember, sometimes, getting to the truth is a matter of asking the right questions.
At its core, Bitcoin is a simple system; anyone can learn its basics. There's a catch, understanding it requires you to realize that it comprehends multiple domains of knowledge simultaneously.
- Computer Science: The Bitcoin network is a worldwide distributed system of computers owned by companies and individuals. Similar to the Internet.
- Cryptography: Transactions and the creation of new coins are secured by public-key cryptography and digital signatures. Similar to the bank tokens we use for online banking.
- Economics: The Bitcoin network is a financial system that can exist independently or interoperate with others. Similar to how each country has its own currency and money creation rules (monetary policy).
- Sociology: Bitcoin is challenging the status quo in the relationship between society, money, and government. Not long ago, religion and government used to be tied together in most territories. It raises the question, should governments control money?
- Game theory: This field of mathematics study models strategic situations for human and non-human behaviors. The game design in the Bitcoin network guarantees nobody can cheat it.
Today we can find a plethora of online resources about Bitcoin. But finding the ones that address your questions in the sequence that results in a logical and linear educational progression that makes sense for each person is impossible.
By casting a light on how Bitcoin exists at the intersection of these academic fields, I hope you'll have an easier time discerning what educational materials are best for your curiosity.
Money used to be backed by gold, but not anymore. The gold standard was dropped in 1971; see: The Gold Standard Explained in One Minute
I know what money is; I use it every day! Perhaps; see: The History of Paper Money - Origins of Exchange - Extra History
Most money already is digital; see: How Much Money Have Humans Created?
Anyone can copy the code and create another Bitcoin. Many have tried already and failed, proving this is not possible. A more complete answer requires a blog post of its own.
Andreas Antonopoulos has been producing high-quality Bitcoin content for many years; this YouTube playlist will certainly have something for you: Introduction to Bitcoin: what is Bitcoin and why does it matter?
In Why Buy Bitcoin, you'll learn about the role of money in our economy, the current state of the financial system, and what role Bitcoin could play. Why Buy Bitcoin: Investing Today in the Money of Tomorrow