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Blockchain Explained

Top 10 Books About Crypto, DeFi, and Blockchain Security


Rob Behnke

March 10th, 2022

Blockchain isn’t just a crypto buzzword – it’s an incredible technology that’s reinventing the financial industry, the Internet, and how business is done.  From Bitcoin, which implemented a decentralized financial system, blockchain has expanded to incorporate smart contract platforms that allow decentralized programs to run on top of the blockchain.

Blockchain will play a critical role in the future of technology, and understanding how it works is essential to participating in the space.  The following are some of the best books on blockchain that we recommend if you want to learn more about this revolutionary technology.

1) Mastering Blockchain

Mastering Blockchain Imran Bashir

Mastering Blockchain by Imran Bashir provides a deep dive into how blockchain technology works under the hood.  It describes how each layer of the blockchain infrastructure works independently and how they interoperate to create blockchain systems.  With a combination of theory and hands-on exercises with leading blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, and Quorum, this provides a solid foundation for working with blockchain technology.

2) Mastering Bitcoin

Mastering Bitcoin Andreas Antonopoulos

Mastering Bitcoin was written by Andreas Antonopoulos, one of the biggest names in the blockchain space.  This book provides a comprehensive introduction to Bitcoin, combining explanations of how Bitcoin works with code samples demonstrating implementation details.  This in-depth guide to Bitcoin is essential to using and working with the Bitcoin platform.

3) Mastering Ethereum

Mastering Ethereum Antonopoulos Gavin Wood

Also written by Andreas Antonopoulos, in partnership with Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, the book Mastering Ethereum provides an introduction to smart contract platforms.  Ethereum, as the first smart contract platform, is an ideal example of how these systems operate.  This book describes both the theory and the practice of writing smart contracts and implementing distributed applications (DApps) on Ethereum and other smart contract platforms.

4) Build Your Own Blockchain (Management for Professionals)

Build Your Own Blockchain Daniel Hellwig

Build Your Own Blockchain by Daniel Hellwig, Goran Karlic, and Arnd Huchzermeier teaches the mechanics of how blockchain technology works by walking readers through the process of implementing a blockchain.  It assumes some prior knowledge of the blockchain, so it should follow one of the earlier books.  Given that foundation, the book reinforces and cements an understanding of how blockchain technology really works.

5) Token Economy: How the Web3 Reinvents the Internet

Token Economy Shermin Voshmgir

Web3 is the next iteration of the Internet, built on blockchain technology.  Token Economy by Shermin Voshmgir explores the promise of Web3, describing its economic impacts and ability to redesign how web applications work.  In contrast to earlier books in this list, this book focuses on the “why” of blockchain technology rather than the “how”.

6) Black Hat Rust

Black Hat Rust Sylvain Kerkour

While not a book about blockchain, Black Hat Rust by Sylvain Kerkour, can be an invaluable resource for those wanting to learn more about blockchain security.  Blockchain security testing requires knowledge of how to write scripts and use them to automate information gathering, vulnerability scanning, and other aspects of the security testing process.  This book provides a clear hands-on discussion of how to write offensive security code in Rust that can be applied to securing the blockchain or IT systems in general.

7) Cryptographic Primitives in Blockchain Technology: A Mathematical Introduction

Cryptographic Primitives Andreas Bolfing

Blockchain technology is built on cryptography, which provides it with certain protections and guarantees, such as the immutability of the digital ledger and the authenticity of blockchain transactions.  Cryptographic Primitives by Andreas Bolfing explores how cryptographic primitives are used in blockchain technology.  This understanding of cryptography is crucial to an understanding of how blockchain security works.

8) Serious Cryptography – A Practical Introduction to Modern Encryption

Serious Cryptography Jean-Philippe Aumasson

For those wanting to go beyond the basics of cryptography in the blockchain, Serious Cryptography by Jean-Philippe Aumasson is an invaluable resource.  Cryptography can be a dense, highly theoretical subject, but this book breaks down key cryptographic concepts in an accessible way.  The information provided in this book is useful for understanding both the fundamental cryptography used in blockchain technology as well as more advanced cryptographic primitives, such as zk-SNARKs.

9) How to DeFi: Advanced Paperback

How to DeFi CoinGecko

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has become one of the biggest and most valuable applications of blockchain technology.  As these platforms and projects revolutionize the financial industry, the How to DeFi guide by CoinGecko has become an invaluable resource.  The book describes how these protocols work under the hood, how to evaluate protocols, and some of the common causes of DeFi exploits.

10) Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money

Digital Gold Nathaniel Popper

In Digital Gold, New York Times fintech reporter Nathaniel Popper explores the history of blockchain technology and the people behind it.  It tells the stories of some of the main personalities in the blockchain movement and their roles in shaping the technology and encouraging its growth.

Securing the Decentralized Ecosystem

Blockchain is built on the principles of accessibility and decentralization, allowing anyone to participate in the space and eliminating traditional gatekeepers and centralized authorities.  Anyone can build blockchain-based applications and help to revolutionize how finance and other industries operate.

When building DApps and blockchain projects, security is a major concern.  DeFi projects commonly have valuations in the millions, and attacks are commonplace.  To learn more about securing your blockchain platform, reach out at halborn@protonmail.com.