Bitcoin is money. It is a network protocol which allows individuals and businesses transfer value for goods and services – without middlemen, banks, brokers and custodians. While it can be extremely confusing to try to understand the entire bitcoin ecosystem, it might help to start with a few of the well respected resources available to you.

I recommending diving in with these publications:

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System
Author: Satoshi Nakamoto
This is the nine page document that started the bitcoin revolution. Written by an anonymous programmer, who called him/her self Satoshi Nakamoto. This paper was released in late 2009, and by early 2010, bitcoins were trading with assigned value against the US Dollar and a basket of other world currencies.

Mastering Bitcoin: Programming The Open Blockchain
Author: Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Considered one of the founding father’s and evangelists for Bitcoin, Andreas has travelled the world lecturing to individuals and businesses about Bitcoin. This book offers both a practical look at the use of bitcoin as well as a fairly advanced, programmatic look at how the bitcoin protocol works from the ground up. Highly recommended within the Bitcoin developer community.

The Bitcoin Standard
Author: Saifedean Ammous
In this instant classic, Saifedean has made an impressive argument for why Bitcoin may eventually become of the primary base layer for money. He carefully explains the benefits of an immutable ledger (commonly called ‘The Blockchain’) and why bitcoin, in his research, is a better store of value than the U.S. Dollar. This book is a fairly quick read and it will absolutely further your interest in monetary economics in the U.S., and the world.

The Bitcoin Guidebook
Author: Ian DeMartino
This is an excellent book and reference guide, which covers the common Who, What, Where, When and How of Bitcoin. One of the best ‘non-technical’ books out on Bitcoin. First published in 2016, the book gives a fantastic overview of how bitcoin came to be, the players involved and how anyone can become involved with bitcoin, from a simple purchase, to understanding what bitcoin mining is.

The Internet of Money
Author: Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Another excellent Bitcoin reference. This book is the first in a series of three collections of lectures Andreas has given on a variety of bitcoin topics.

Programming Bitcoin
Author: Jimmy Song
Considered one of the core developers and an extremely wise voice in the bitcoin world, Jimmy’s book takes you the math and programming journey required to understand bitcoin development. Jimmy has coded the bitcoin protocol, and he understands the nuts and bolts. If you are an aspiring programming with some experience in Python and mathematical programming, this book is for you.

Check out some of these highly informative videos as well.