Let's talk elliptic curves and Bitcoin

Mar 24, 2021
1:30 pm

Bitcoin is the world's largest deployment of elliptic curve cryptography, which was once classified as "weapons-grade munition" by the US military. Learning about elliptic curves may seem intimidating at first, but is necessary for understanding Bitcoin from first principles. In this talk, we'll explore how simple building blocks in elliptic curve cryptography underpins the 1 trillion dollar economy of Bitcoin. We'll cover basic algebra and develop a visual understanding of elliptic curves, and discuss how they are used for signing and verifying transactions. We'll further explore what Ledger hardware wallets really do under the hood in order to secure the Bitcoins of millions of users across the world. As a final takeaway from the talk, I'll present my argument of why Bitcoin is literally free speech and is something that cannot be banned.

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Anirudha Bose