February 19, 2018

The Princeton Bitcoin textbook is now freely available

The first complete draft of the Princeton Bitcoin textbook is now freely available. We’re very happy with how the book turned out: it’s comprehensive, at over 300 pages, but has a conversational style that keeps it readable.

If you’re looking to truly understand how Bitcoin works at a technical level and have a basic familiarity with computer science and programming, this book is for you. Researchers and advanced students will find the book useful as well — starting around Chapter 5, most chapters have novel intellectual contributions.

Princeton University Press is publishing the official, peer-reviewed, polished, and professionally done version of this book. It will be out this summer. If you’d like to be notified when it comes out, you should sign up here. UPDATE: The book came out in the summer of 2016, and was the runner up for the 2017 PROSE Award in Computing and Information Sciences, Association of American Publishers. Check it out here.

Several courses have already used an earlier draft of the book in their classes, including Stanford’s CS 251. If you’re an instructor looking to use the book in your class, we welcome you to , and we’d be happy to share additional teaching materials with you.

Online course and supplementary materials. The Coursera course accompanying this book had 30,000 students in its first version, and it was a success based on engagement and end-of-course feedback. 

We plan to offer a version with some improvements shortly. Specifically, we’ll be integrating the programming assignments developed for the Stanford course with our own, with Dan Boneh’s gracious permission. We also have tenative plans to record a lecture on Ethereum (we’ve added a discussion of Ethereum to the book in Chapter 10).

Finally, graduate students at Princeton have been leading the charge on several exciting research projects in this space. Watch this blog or my Twitter for updates.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Arvind , thanks for the update , drop a mail
    for me on roman /at/ ether /dot/ camp
    maybe I can help here.

  2. The Bitcoin Rat (@BitcoinRat) says:

    The Rat congratulates you all on a superb and inspiring piece of work. As a “non-techie” this book was easily readable and should be a required bedside book for all CEO’s and media personnel ( there is sill so much ignorance and misinformation at large in society )
    Bravo mes braves !

  3. Thanks Arvind!! I was in attendance in the course at Coursera and you guys did a bang up job, even though I did have previous experience with Bitcoin there were many things that were brought to my attention going through the course and I congratulate you for your hard work in not only course instruction but now with the first Bitcoin textbook to be published in the academic world… I am excited to obtain one for myself!!

  4. Congrats Arvind, would you like this book to be translated into Chinese? Contact me at if you like the idea. Thanks and best regards, Eric Mu

  5. Pindar Wong says:

    Hi Arvind! Many thanks for writing this important work at this important time. It’s so important to have scholarly work that helps put the Bitcoin protocol into some kind of accessible technical context. A first step along a road less traveled by…

  6. Peter Wayner says:

    Thanks for circulating this. It looks like a wonderful book.

  7. Vassili Zaitzev says:

    Could you please release the book in EPUB format or similar (to enjoy it on ebook readers)? Thanks!

  8. Eric Hellman says:

    PUP is not exactly into open access, nor are they the most cutting edge UP, (that would be MIT or UMich) but you have a good case for giving this book a creative commons license. Please help drag PUP into the 21st century!

    I enjoyed giving feedback on the early drafts while doing the first bitcoin course; the textbook was and will be excellent.

  9. Eric Hellman says:

    Also, if you give it a CC licence, I will personally make a top notch EPUB for you, and I’ll embed code to pay tips to your bitcoin address!

  10. Can you add an index?

  11. Thank you very much. Was looking for a starting place for Bitcoin. Hope this helps

  12. Could you please release an e-book version in EPub format or the like. Pre-formatted PDFs in Letter or A4 are a hard read on a standard sized readers like Amazon’s Kindle. The type is simply too small.

  13. YES, Arvind….Please, please, please !
    Request, demand, claim, beg to the publisher to include a downloadable electronic version! (EPub, Kindle, etc).
    Great book, lots to read & learn.
    Will the official 1st edition have the exercises solutions at the book’s end?
    Looking forward to the final publishing.
    Thank you very much.

  14. Herve Moal says:

    is il possible to have the video of your lessons
    Best regards

  15. Hi, could you please use hyperref package? And it seems like this book was made in msword, you can easily convert it into latex using pandoc.