We're group of bitcoin enthusiasts. We get together, have a beer, and talk about whatever is on everyone's mind in regard to Bitcoin.
Lately we've been recording our meetups as a podcast: anchor.fm/raleigh-bitcoin-meetup/
New people are always welcome. There are some very experienced bitcoiners in the group who are happy to answer questions.
Below are some of the topics we like to discuss:
What is money? An overview of why money arises in a society and the forms it has taken in the past. Topics: history of money, desirable properties of money, our money today, fractional reserve banking, Keynesian vs. Austrian economics, inflationary vs. deflationary forms of money, centralized vs. decentralized forms of money.
The Invention of Bitcoin. A summary of the build up, release, and aftermath of Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention. Topics: the cypherpunk movement, the open source community, technologies that led up to Bitcoin such as hash-cash and e-gold, the anonymity and accusations of the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, early collaborations and message board activity of Satoshi, overview of the Bitcoin white paper.
Cryptography. The fundamental principles of computer science and mathematics necessary to understand how Bitcoin works. Topics: the P = NP problem in mathematics, randomness and pseudo-randomness, one-way functions, hash functions, elliptic curves, proof-of-work.
Bitcoin Addresses. How Bitcoin addresses are created and used. Topics: the difference between public and private keys, how to generate a private key from randomness, the one way function between private and public keys, the final structure of a Bitcoin address, how to generate multiple private/public key pairs from a single seed.
Bitcoin Transactions. How Bitcoin is transferred from one address to another. Topics: Anatomy of a transaction, transaction types, inputs and outputs, digitally signing a transaction with a private key, broadcasting the signed transaction to the network, transaction fees.
Blockchain and Mining. What is the Blockchain and how does mining work. Topics: the goal of decentralization, the memory pool of new transactions, collecting transactions into a block, hashing the block and random numbers in attempt to solve the proof of work puzzle (mining), difficulty of the puzzle, difficulty re-targeting, mining reward, propagation of the successfully mined block to the rest of the network, the deflationary mining reward curve.
Wallets and Security. What are the current providers of wallet software and best practices for using them. Topics: online vs offline wallets, hot vs cold storage of private keys, passphrases and seed words used to initialize wallets, popular wallet service providers, best practices for using wallets and protecting private keys.
Exchanges and Government Regulation. How are US dollars and other currencies traded in exchange for Bitcoin and how is this regulated. Topics: How cryptocurrency exchanges work, online vs in-person exchange, popular online sites, cases of fraudulent exchanges, decentralized exchanges, best practices when using exchanges, overview of the current regulatory environment, statements on crypto currencies released by the IRS.