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But how does bitcoin actually work?

The math behind cryptocurrencies.
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Some people have asked if this channel accepts contributions in cryptocurrency form. As a matter of fact, it does:

2^256 video:

Music by Vincent Rubinetti:

Here are a few other resources I’d recommend:

Original Bitcoin paper:

Block explorer:

Blog post by Michael Nielsen:
(This is particularly good for understanding the details of what transactions look like, which is something this video did not cover)

Video by CuriousInventor:

Video by Anders Brownworth:

Ethereum white paper:

Animations largely made using manim, a scrappy open source python library.

If you want to check it out, I feel compelled to warn you that it’s not the most well-documented tool, and has many other quirks you might expect in a library someone wrote with only their own use in mind.

Music by Vincent Rubinetti.
Download the music on Bandcamp:

Stream the music on Spotify:

If you want to contribute translated subtitles or to help review those that have already been made by others and need approval, you can click the gear icon in the video and go to subtitles/cc, then “add subtitles/cc”. I really appreciate those who do this, as it helps make the lessons accessible to more people.

3blue1brown is a channel about animating math, in all senses of the word animate. And you know the drill with YouTube, if you want to stay posted on new videos, subscribe, and click the bell to receive notifications (if you’re into that).

If you are new to this channel and want to see more, a good place to start is this playlist:

Various social media stuffs:


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20 thoughts on “But how does bitcoin actually work?

  1. Now is the perfect time to buy the dip and accumulate irrespective of the bulls being under pressure. The mooning of bitcoin is inevitable and would see the price of bitcoin surpass it’s all-time highs. What better way than to accumulate your holdings as an investor you should have at least 20 btc in your portfolio before the imminent bull run. I trade daily using signals provided by Caleb Easterby and I have been able to accumulate 15 btc in just two months. His signals are prolific, accurate and easy to implement in your own trade. Caleb can be reached via WhatsApp +31 635250332 or Telegram @Easterby for more insights into bitcoin trading.

  2. Before last year I have been hearing about Bitcoin but I don't know what it is and how I can gain from it and due to my busy schedule I was not able to make out time and do proper research on it but last year I decided to go into it and learn more about it and I saw the reason why people are really into it but though I still have limited knowledge and I decided to give it a try. Most of my friends where against it as they do not believe in it but I took the risk and bought 7 BTC, and I left it in my wallet expecting the price to increase in some months time because 2017 I saw an incredible increase in price. I was following update on Bitcoin every day but the price keep dropping and it left me with no choice than to find an alternative of how to gain more value for my crypto as the price I bought them and the current price they are have result in a decline. This now led me to carry out proper research until I found a beginners trading post talking about a strategy on how to trade and make profit so I contacted the person in charge, Mrs. Linda Stewart, and she explained to me the different ways to make profit in this bearish market. I invested 3 BTC of my coin, and it quickly rose to 9 BTC towards the end of December 2018, and I was convinced that this is the best way to make a good profit from Bitcoin. If you're still confused about the steps to take this year I urge you to contact Miss Linda on telegram @lindastewart or whatsapp: +447723712364 for all your cryptocurrency questions, strategy and beginners coaching.

  3. So if someone does have more than 50% of the whole world's computational power, what could we do to prevent that person from falsifying transactions? I'm guessing some of the alternate methods solves that problem?

  4. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, I have made up my mind decide to give up on bitcoin script after I was scammed severally until I met a bitcoin guru called Mr. Crystal he gave me a script immediately he confirm my payment and the script earn me (0.05)BTC every 8 hours, I personally recommend him too you all you can contact him via his email jaylouis989@gmail-com or +1 (778) 771-0228 through Whatsapp

  5. This is the best explanation out there I’ve found, and I even took a class with Oxford university about blockchain

  6. A Question that is bugging me:

    If ONLY the first miner is rewarded, there is no incentive for the rest of the miners in the world to keep solving a block once it is already solved. Thus, the minute a block is solved, and added to the chain, shouldn't all other miners stop working and wait for next block? And IF they do that, wouldn't that make fraudulent transactions possible? Like if Alice WON by chance and added her FAKE block to the ledger, would the other miners just stop and save their electricity/computing power for the next block? Or do they not even know she did it yet and just solve it. Making EVERY miner solve it sooner or later but only 1 is rewarded?

  7. @4:47 your explanation of signature is not quite correct… and a bit confusing. The graphic show that the Alice signature changes from one message to another message is not quite what you showed. Here is correct sequence of event:
    1 – Alice use an hash algorithm tool – SHA256 – for example to produce a hash from her message. The hash copy is called "message digest".
    2 – Alice then signs the "message digest" with her private key. The result of this is a digital signature. Now keep in mind Alice always uses her private key to sign any "message digest" and there private key never changes. Your animation shows that the signature Alice keeps changing from one message digest to other is quite confusing and technical speaking is not correct. In other words, you short cut the step of how Alice produces the "message digest". No, Alice does not sign a message with her private key. Alice signs the "message digest" with her private key. This is huge difference.

  8. I've been studying a Blockchain course and was looking for a better explanation – especially that relates to proof of work. Found this and OMG! This explanation is fantabulous and I can't believe I'm watching this for free!

  9. I didn't understand much, but I know it's because of me and not you. I enjoy your videos. The flow, quality and beauty of your math explanations is amazing. I think if Leonardo da Vinci were alive, he would definitely subscribe! When you show graphs, geometry etc. it is so very enjoyable even just for its beauty, which reminds me of Leonardo's artwork on maps, anatomy and machines. You know, that smooth, precise, clear beauty.

    BTW: the iris of my right eye is three quarters blue and one quarter brown. I notice the name and the logo of your channel. What up with that?? Hahaha, I was just wondering, because to me it seems like a wonderful coincidence.

  10. 18:57 I don't understand how a non-miner adds a transaction to the block chain without doing the mining work. Does he just broadcast it and waits for a block to arrive with the transaction in it?

  11. The question I have at the end of the video is this: If Bitcoin is simply a decentralized currency, which is ultimately useless if you cannot exchange this currency for real goods, why would a centralized, ESTABLISHED currency ever assign value to it? Currency value assumes the institution enforcing it will continue to exist enforcing it. Using Bitcoin is essentially a slap to the face to any established centralized currency. The bitcoin user benefits if local available currency is less stable, but adds unnecessary risk+hassle if the local currency IS stable. In fact, using Bitcoin in an economy already distributing a valued currency is actively hedging that the valued currency will eventually fall. Is this the ultimate idea behind using Bitcoin? Investing in the failure of the USD, or the Euro, or whatever local centralized currency you have the choice to use?

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