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Blockchain is a foundational, revolutionary tech much like the internet. What I mean by foundational is that it is a bedrock technology over which other applications are built. Sort of like how email, the world wide web and google maps are built on the internet backbone.
What this means is that the applications for blockchain are truly limitless. Cryptocurrencies are just one such application that are built on the blockchain backbone. Other blockchain applications in governance, finance, trade, medicine, law, copyright and intellectual property management, commerce etc are already mushrooming and gaining traction.
When I was an intern, a lot of the senior bankers would lament how they missed the internet boom. Well, the blockchain revolution is well underway and anyone who is not onboard is likely to miss this one too. At the very least, i think everyone in the business world should be aware of what blockchain is and what it can do. I have selected a list of books that I think achieve just that.
1. Best overall book on the Blockchain tech
I reviewed a lot of blockchain books for this article, and finally settled on this one for my top recommendation. It offers a beginner friendly look at what blockchain is but also caters to intermediate users who might want to learn more than just the very basics. The best part about it is the approachability. The book is divided into 25 concise steps that slowly guide you through your journey into the world of blockchain. While you do not need any prior mathematical or programming experience, you still feel like you are learning at a more advanced level.
It is amazing how the author has managed to explain complex topics like hashing and cryptography in a way that does not require prior knowledge of these concepts. This book is an excellent bridge between highly technical developer manuals on the blockchain and books that dumb things down to the point that you barely learn anything new. I highly recommend this book for all but the most advanced users and blockchain developers.
2. Best technical book on blockchain
If you are in the mood for something more tech heavy, then this is your best bet. This book ahs been designed to give you a deep understanding of the blockchain technology and it’s real-world applications. The main area of focus includes Ethereum 2.0, cryptography, decentralisation, enterprise blockchain, tokenisation, solidity, Web3, smart contracts, distributed ledger platforms and so on. You will also learn about Ethereum call mom Bitcoin, hyperledger fabric, coda, Quorum and their respective architectures.
Facebook not only looks at the basics but also provides a technical foundation to those looking to create their own locked in based applications and solutions. You get to explore research topics and futuristic applications by identifying solutions beyond cryptocurrencies. This is a heavy resource for those who really want to deep dive into blockchain. If you’re technically inclined then you will certainly find this book to be of immense value.
3. Best blockchain book for total beginners
If you’re absolutely new to blockchain or online technologies in general, then perhaps Blockchain for Dummies is perhaps the best starting point. It gives you a clear and concise view into the world of blockchain without bogging it down with too much jargon or technicalities instead. You will learn just what a blockchain is and what it can do including cryptocurrencies, smart contracts and other blockchain based applications. You will also learn about the current block chain platforms, the use of blockchain in Internet security and the impact of blockchain on other industries.
Blockchain is a complex technology, and the author had the unenvious task of explaining it to complete beginners. While the book is not perfect, I think the author does a good job providing an easy entry point with approachable examples for absolute beginners.
4. Best book about the legal aspects of blockchain technologies
Blockchain and the Law focuses on the legal aspects of blockchain and how it fits into the current legal and social order. New technologies are always disruptive and for ones that are as broad as blockchain, the implications for society are widespread. Some applications of blockchain like anonymous cryptocurrencies are often used for tax evasion of money laundering. These issues are very important to resolve if such applications of blockchain are to see wider public and business adoption.
The author discusses these legal issues and how governments might approach them. The early days of the internet were just as chaotic and even today social media regulation is a complicated subject. We are likely to face similar issues with blockchain and this book is essential reading for anyone attempting to answer them.
5. If you want to build your own blockchain
Are you the type of person more interested in doing rather than just reading about other people doing things? If so, then this is the book for you. the aim of this book is to guide you through the process of creating your own blockchain which may be used for various applications. It could be a cryptocurrency or a smart contract or anything else that is blockchain based. It might seem like a mammoth undertaking, but this book is also suitable for beginner’s don’t have a lot of experience in this field.
The primary focus area is of course Distributed Ledger Technology and its various mathematical and conceptual underpinnings. Consider this a combination of both academic and practical insight into distributed Ledger technology. There are plenty of practical examples and workshop exercises to help you really cemented understanding of the heavy concepts discussed within its pages.
6. Best book on blockchain regulation
This a more technical book that will appeal to legal consultants, lawyers, blockchain entrepreneurs, regulators or business leaders that need to know how the legal system and regulatory agencies approach blockchain. Regulations are usually a few steps behind the tech curve, and that can lead to confusion and arbitrary enforcement. The authors here do a wonderful job at trying to create a structurally sound framework for regulation in the blockchain world.
The book explores regulations surrounding payments and money transfer, smart contracts, taxation and even criminal law. You will find actual analyses from leading attorneys about these real-world problems and how they deal with them from a practical perspective. There is also a summary of the approach adopted by regulatory authorities like the SEC, CFTC, IRS etc. in the United States.