Novice to Coin Introduction

In this series of blog posts, the concepts needed to understand and implement the fundamentals of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies will be introduced. During each post a new cryptocurrency concept will be introduced, then the technical details will be implemented as a practical demonstration of how they work. The currency will be implemented with Kotlin, which I've found to be expressive while maintaining readability. Future iterations of this project may include alternate implementations in other languages.

This series will be broken into several parts:
  1. Data Structure
  2. Currency and Transactions
  3. Decentralization and Mining
  4. Optimization: Merkle Trees
Data Structure
An introduction to the mechanisms that allow us to verify that data in the chain has not been tampered with. We'll begin with a high-level explanation of how it works and move onto a succinct implementation which will serve as a stepping stone for the following posts.

Currency and Transactions
Once familiar with the basic construction of a blockchain, we'll dive deeper and introduce the concepts of currency and transactions. Once transactions are part of the chain we can also investigate transaction validation. With this, we begin to see the underpinnings that will later allow our currency to be decentralized.

Decentralization and Mining
We'll discuss some of the concepts that allow us to create a trustless peer to peer network by introducing the Byzantine Generals Problem and how it is solved by Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. Our toy implementation goes distributed as we create a small web service to submit blocks.

Optimization: Merkle Trees
Now that we have a decentralized cryptocurrency we can begin looking into various optimizations to make them more usable. One of the most important ideas involves the usage of Merkle Tree's, their use allows us to validate transactions in a block without downloading the entire blockchain.

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