I've had problems with bitcoins, but that's okay, because I did invest 100$ back when litecoins were 5$/LTC. Right now, they're growing crazily fast, and faster than bitcoins.
Yahoo has a great article dedicated to that amazing fact:
Here's What You Need To Know About The Digital Currency Growing Faster Than Bitcoin
And here's a reddit thread on /r/litecoin called : For begginers : How to buy LTC.
Bitcoin reached 877$/bitcoin today. I had 11 bitcoins that I bought for 450$ in total (40$/bitcoin) and which I lost trading and losing my wallet as well. I'm raging every time I think of the free holidays I could have paid myself with them.
But not all is lost, I have some litecoins and they just reached a peak of 14$ / litecoin. They're following bitcoins' rate closely and they're just waiting to become "mainstream" as well to boom.
8 pages of simple explanations
and a "explain me like I'm 5" post on http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1reu69/if_you_have_not_read_satoshi_nakamotos_original/cdmlnfd?context=1" target="_blank">reddit :
Bitcoin is a giant public ledger saying who sent what coins to whom.
People have private keys, which they use to sign coin transfers. It's easy to verify signatures. That way only you can give away your coins.
But that doesn't prevent you from giving the same coins to multiple people. For that we have the ledger, which puts all the transfers in a particular order that everyone agrees on so you can't pay someone with coins you already spent.
Transactions are published on a p2p network. To put them in order, people take sets of transactions, add a random number, and make a cryptographic hash of the whole thing. (Feed data into a hash function and you get an unpredictable number.) If the hash is a low enough number it's a valid block and it becomes part of the blockchain. If it's too high, you change the random number and try again.
The block also includes the hash of the previous block, so that puts everything in sequence. It takes a lot of tries to get a low-enough number, so only one block is published every ten minutes or so, by some random person who got lucky. This puts everything in order.
It's expensive to do that, so when someone successfully generates a block, they get paid by a special bitcoin transaction that awards them some brand-new coins. That's mining.
"We've heard a good bit in this courtroom about public key encryption," said Albright. "Are you familiar with that?"
"Yes, I am," said Diffie, in what surely qualified as the biggest understatement of the trial.
"And how is it that you're familiar with public key encryption?"
"I invented it."
A nice piece of journalism about how Diffie stood out in court to "knock out the Jones patent with "clear and convincing" evidence (which is the standard for invalidating a patent).".
Learning more about the guy who is behind the Diffie-Hellman">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffie%E2%80%93Hellman_key_exchange">Diffie-Hellman handshake.
more info here
Ever heard of visual cryptography ? It's a simple method of cryptography that doesn't involve computing.
There's a nice blog post about it http://datagenetics.com/blog/november32013/index.html" target="_blank">here