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Bitcoin has brought about a true revolution in how we think about money. In one fell stroke it solved the main problems that afflicted previous attempts at a truly digital currency: distributed consensus, double spending, and external attacks. Perhaps more importantly, it provided the first working version of a blockchain or distributed ledger. However, despite their relative simplicity, the underlying concepts on which these technologies are built are not well known and often obscured by hype and technical jargon.
Since the days of Bitcoin’s founding, many other crypto-currencies have been proposed and released. This tutorial will introduce these technologies in an intuitive way for data scientists, explaining their driving algorithms, motivations, and data structures.