Despite it being a cornerstone in the development of cryptocurrency, surprisingly few South African cryptocurrency investors have actually read the whitepaper that started it all.

First published in 1998 and written by the still-mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, the 9 page whitepaper lays out the underling thinking behind the blockchain that underpins Bitcoin.

You can download the original whitepaper here.

Annotated bitcoin whitepaper

If you’re not familiar with the language used in the whitepaper, it can be difficult to understand.

This annotated version of the bitcoin whitepaper makes it slightly easier to decipher and also provides more context to allow you to dig further into how Bitcoin actually works.

Even with the annotations, the whitepaper can be quite difficult to understand if some of the basic concepts aren’t already understood. Our articles on blockchain and proof of work may be helpful to help understand some of the ideas discussed.

Audio version of the bitcoin whitepaper

If you’re more of an audio-learner, it can be useful to listen to the whitepaper, rather than read it: