Learn coding concepts by building real projects with modern technologies
• ## Base64 vs Base58 Encoding

### Nov 03, 2020 by Lane Wagner

Base64 is one of the most popular encoding formats for representing data. Have some binary data? Base64 encodes it for convenient readability and parsing. Base58 is just another encoding format (with 58 characters instead of 64, and has gained popularity largely due to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Also, if you came here confused, encryption and encoding are not the same! Take a look at this article for more information on encryption vs encoding.

• ## Elliptic Curve Cryptography: A Basic Introduction

### Sep 17, 2020 by Lane Wagner

Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) is a modern public-key encryption technique famous for being smaller, faster, and more efficient than incumbents. Bitcoin, for example, uses ECC as its asymmetric cryptosystem because it is so lightweight. The mathematical entity that makes all of this possible is the elliptic curve, so read on to learn how these curves enable some of the most advanced cryptography in the world. What is elliptic curve cryptography used for?

• ## How SHA-256 Works Step-By-Step

### Jul 08, 2020 by Lane Wagner

SHA-2 (Secure Hash Algorithm 2), of which SHA-256 is a part, is one of the most popular hash algorithms around. A cryptographic hash, also often referred to as a “digest”, “fingerprint” or “signature”, is an almost perfectly unique string of characters that is generated from a separate piece of input text. For example, SHA-256 generates a 256-bit (32-byte) signature. Further down in this article, we will break down each step of SHA 256’s cryptographic algorithm and work through a real example by hand.

• ## Achieving Data Integrity Using Cryptography

### May 04, 2020 by Lane Wagner

Data integrity refers to the accuracy, legitimacy, and consistency of information in a system. When a message is sent, particularly using an untrusted medium, data integrity provides us confidence that the message wasn’t tampered with. For example, the SSL signature of Boot.dev provides confidence that the webpage and data coming from our servers are really coming from us and not the NSA. What Are Potential Causes of Illegitimate Data? Data integrity provides protection from a wide range of problems which involve data being mutated against the purposes of the system.

• ## Top 8 Online Crypto Communities

### Jan 08, 2020 by Lane Wagner

Crypto has been explosive in 2021. The gains have been even better than the memes! While dancing cat videos are fun, the wise will also take advantage of the various communities as an opportunity to learn more about the technology that supports decentralized money. I’ve put together a small list of the top crypto communities for you to check out this year! #1 Bitcointalk Bitcointalk is undoubtedly the gold standard for the crypto community on the web.

• ## (Very) Basic Intro to Hash Functions (SHA-256, MD5, etc)

### Jan 01, 2020 by Lane Wagner

Hash functions are used to securely store passwords, find duplicate records, quickly store and retrieve data, among other useful computational tasks. As a practical example, all user passwords on boot.dev are hashed using Bcrypt to ensure that if an attacker were ever to gain access to our database our user’s passwords wouldn’t be compromised. I want to focus on several important features of cryptographic hash functions, arguably the most important features:

• ## How to Secure Your Bitcoin

### Aug 30, 2019 by Lane Wagner

If you’re new to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, you may have heard the common phrase not your keys not your coins. While self-custody isn’t for everyone, its the only way to truly have exclusive control over your funds. If that’s what you’re into, read on. Dangers of storing your own Bitcoin In order to spend your Bitcoin, you need to have access to your wallet or to the seed phrase that was created alongside the wallet.

• ## BIP 32 Watch-Only Wallets

### Jul 25, 2019 by Lane Wagner

Bitcoin improvement proposal 32 is, in my opinion, one of the most important BIPs we have. (Thanks Peter Wuille!) BIP 32 gave us Hierarchical Deterministic Wallets. That is, the ability to create a tree of keys from a single seed. In the early days of Bitcoin, each time a user wanted to receive new coins, their wallet would randomly generate a new Bitcoin private key, along with the associated public key and address.

• ## Trustworthy vs Trustless Apps

### Jul 23, 2019 by Lane Wagner

In the wake of the hearings about Facebook’s new Libra blockchain, it is more important than ever that we all understand the difference between trustworthy and trustless apps. A trustworthy app is an app whose developers are known and trusted by the community. The developer’s reputations and businesses are on the line, so it motivates them to make sure their applications have few bugs and no malicious code. A trustless app is an app whose code is open-source so that the community can see for themselves that the code has few bugs and no malicious code.