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Bitcoin for the Befuddled by Chris Wilmer, Conrad Barski

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7

The Cryptography Behind Bitcoin

Bitcoin relies on cryptography to function, which is why it is sometimes called a cryptocurrency.1 But what role does cryptography play in Bitcoin, and why is it needed? We’ll begin with a short introduction to some necessary cryptography concepts (if they are familiar to you, you can just skip to “The Reasons Bitcoin Needs Cryptography” on page 137), and then we’ll explore the specific cryptographic methods used in Bitcoin.

If you flipped to this chapter only because you wanted to know whether the cryptography used by Bitcoin is safe, you can rest easy knowing that Bitcoin uses only tried-and-tested cryptographic techniques: All of the cryptographic methods used by Bitcoin have been widely used in the past by ...

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