There's a lot of excitement, hype and misinformation surrounding cryptocurrencies, blockchains and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
These technologies are enabling new kinds of decentralized trust at the intersection of cryptography and economics, but it's not always easy to tell apart the scammers from the genuine technologists. When the definition of trust is in flux, it also attracts those who would exploit the confusion.
This brand new book by startup veteran Pauli Olavi Ojala takes a sober and grounded look at the topic. Starting from first principles, the book explains blockchains with understandable practical examples and then expands to topics like smart contracts, decentralization, token valuation methods, and the legal situation of ICOs. Technology platforms including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar and EOSIO are covered in detail.
If you're looking to understand blockchains as a technology opportunity or ICOs as an investment, you need this book. It gives you an overview of what's actually feasible today, tells you how to read a whitepaper, and gives a list of warning signs to watch out for.
Read the first chapter at Medium, where it was featured as "article of the day" by the Medium editor team.