learn me a bitcoin

Learn Me A Bitcoin

My name is Greg Walker and I'm 35 years old.

I first used Bitcoin in 2013 and I thought it was really cool. I couldn't believe that it actually worked, and I wondered why a system like this hadn't existed before.

So I started looking in to how it worked. And that's how all this began.

I started work on this website in 2015 to try and explain how Bitcoin works in a way that everyone can understand. I think it's an incredibly useful technology, and if it's going to become used by more and more people, I think everyone should be able to understand how it actually works if they want to.

So this website is my attempt to explain how Bitcoin works, how to use it, and how to work with it as a programmer (if you want to).

Good luck.

Where do I start?

This website is split in to four sections:

  1. Beginners – Simple explanations of how Bitcoin works and how to use it.
  2. Technical – Technical explanations of how Bitcoin works for programmers.
  3. Tools – Tools for working with raw Bitcoin data for programmers.
  4. Explorer – A basic blockchain explorer that allows you to look at raw Bitcoin data.

If you're completely new to Bitcoin, start with How Does Bitcoin Work?

If you want to start actually using Bitcoin, check out the guides in the beginners section. This section also contains further explanations on how Bitcoin works in as simple terms as possible.

If you're more interested in the technical side of things and want to start creating your own tools for Bitcoin, check out the technical section. This contains more advanced explanations in to the internals of Bitcoin, but I've tried to keep them as straightforward as possible.

But ultimately, you can start wherever you want.

Use the search bar at the top of the page if you're looking for a specific term.

Why did you make this website?

Because I wanted to make Bitcoin easier to understand.

I think the problem with Bitcoin is how complicated it all seems. It's really annoying to keep running in to terms like "blockchain", "private keys", and "nodes", yet still have no idea what's going on.

So this is my attempt to make Bitcoin less annoying.

You don't need to understand everything about Bitcoin to be able to use it, but it's nice to be able to learn enough to be able to use it confidently.

But more than that, Bitcoin is an open-source program, so you can work with it to develop your own tools and improve the overall system if you want to. And the more people there are working on Bitcoin, the better it gets.

Why is this website free?

Why not.

The Bitcoin software was given away freely, so I think it's only fair that education is given away freely too.

I think it would be a shame if you could only learn how to work with Bitcoin by paying someone else to teach you, so this is my effort to prevent that from happening. I'm not going to say this is the best resource for learning how Bitcoin works, but if nothing else, it should help get you going.

How did you learn how Bitcoin works?

I learnt through programming.

It took a while, but I got the hang of it eventually.

Bitcoin is an open-source program, so you can read the code and write your own code to interact with it if you want to. I found the best way to learn how it works is to create your own simple tools.

So if you're reading a technical article on this website, I've already coded it so that I know how it works first. My language of choice is Ruby, but you can use whichever programming language you like the most.

I have no formal qualification in Bitcoin (they didn't exist when I started), nor do you need one (which is good because I probably wouldn't pass one if I tried).

All you need is the motivation to create something cool, and you can figure out the rest as you go along.

What's behind the name of this website?

I thought it would be funny to create a seriously good educational resource and juxtapose it with a seriously bad grammatical error.

You don't have to be serious to explain how something works.

Take that academia.

Credit to Learn You A Haskell for the influence.