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Table of Contents:


The remainder of this book is organized as follows.

In Chapter 2, we start with an overview of the predecessors of Bitcoin and their associated crypto-based payment schemes, with a particular focus on their security, privacy provisions, and implementation deficiencies. We also define the notions of payment security and privacy as considered in existing payment systems. As such, this chapter provides the necessary background knowledge for readers to assess cryptocurrencies that emerged prior to Bitcoin and understand the various gaps that could not be captured by previous proposals—these were mainly the gaps that Bitcoin promises to fill.

In Chapter 3, we detail the operation of Bitcoin and summarize the main scalability measures integrated in the system. We explain the cryptographic building blocks that Bitcoin leverages and detail the various data structures used in the Bitcoin system. We also describe the different roles that participants can assume in the Bitcoin ecosystem. As such, this chapter lays down those foundations of the Bitcoin protocol that are essential for the readers to dive into the security and privacy provisions of the system in the following chapters.

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