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Book Review: Bitcoin The future of money


The future of money?

The future of money?

Dominic Frisby

Economists, anarchists, speculators, computer coders, libertarians, criminals and entrepreneurs were inspired across the world. Early adopters would make a return two million times larger than their investment. Now it seems that Bitcoin will do to banking and finance what email did to the postal service and what the internet did to publishing: destroy old monopolies and create opportunities for the masses. Some even suggest that the technology behind Bitcoin will usurp our Western systems of representative democracy.

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Going down the Cryptocurrency rabbit hole is a learning experience of a lifetime, it is something that has required me to learn a lot more than just computer code. Although Cryptocurrency may at first seem to be the domain of computer geeks, the reality is it really requires an in depth knowledge of a number subjects including Economics, Mathematics, Sociology and Political philosophies.

For many The Bitcoin Standard is the minimum required reading when entering this space, which helps to explain the operation of bitcoin in a functional and intuitive way, as a distributed software that converts electricity and processing power into indisputably accurate records, thus allowing its users to utilise the Internet to perform the traditional functions of money without having to rely on, or trust, any authorities or infrastructure in the physical world. 

The Bitcoin Standard

The Bitcoin Standard

The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking

The Bitcoin Standard analyses the historical context to the rise of Bitcoin, the economic properties that have allowed it to grow quickly, and its likely economic, political, and social implications

Why I read this book

Once you start your journey into understanding Bitcoin, you'll find there is a lot of disinformation, hype, hysteria and contradictions from all sides and it can be quite confusing trying to figure it all out. I was looking for something to read from somebody who had been on the journey before and figured out all the hard parts for me.

Having previously read Daylight Robbery: How tax shaped our past and will change our future and been really impressed with how entertaining, thorough and an easy read it was. I thought I would give the author another try, when I seen he had also published a book on Bitcoin.

I was really impressed with the authors work on Daylight Robbery with the level of detail and research he had put into the subject matter. He also provided an exhaustive and extensive list of further sources to reference.

He does not disappoint with this effort either. I found the book thoroughly informative and entertaining.

Daylight Robbery

How Tax Shaped Our Past and Will Change Our Future

Dominic Frisby

traces the origins of taxation, from its roots in the ancient world, through to today. He explores the role of tax in the formation of our global religions, the part tax played in wars and revolutions throughout the ages, why, at one stage, we paid tax for daylight or for growing a beard. Ranging from the despotic to the absurd, the tax laws of the past reveal so much about how we got to where we are today and what we can do to build a system fit for the future.

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What I like about this book

The book is very well written, informative , thorough and humorous. I read the book cover to cover in two evenings, I literally couldn't put it down. Which is as one could imagine one hell of an accomplishment for a boot mostly about Economics and finance.

The book was originally published in 2014, so it covers the bitcoin story up until that point, which is still actually quite important to understand. Covering details about who or what is the enigma of Satoshi Nakamoto and even offers a theory on who it could be. Obviously with the passage of time it could be wrong.

Most importantly in my view, the book provides a lot of the ground work that lead up to the introduction of Bitcoin and why it is different to other Financial Technologies available.

The book is still very relevant, although upon researching a few of the points and cross references which with the passage of time have either been removed or disappeared.

The book provides important coverage of the whole Silk Road affair, which is actually an important bit of history when it comes to Bitcoin. Having heard about it at the time, I hadn't realised just how intertwined the two were. It is also the reason why Bitcoin has ever since been tainted with slur that it is only used by criminals. A slur as anyone who gets involved in this space for longer than 5 minutes undoubtedly will conclude it simply isn't true. Still its good to understand the history.

Its interesting to note, just how many people have been connected to the success of Bitcoin and the roles they have played in order to deliver this truly trans-formative technology to the benefit of mankind.

... exchange is the crucial process by which mankind prospers and progresses

Dominic Frisby

One of the stand out parts of this book is that Frisby provides explanations in Laymans terms just how bitcoin works.

I particularly enjoyed the chapter 7 , Why Bitcoin is the enemy of the state, which incidently also lead me to read Frisby's other book Life after the state : Why we don't need governments. The chapter outlines why Bitcoin is so appealing to those with libertarian ideals.

Independent money limits wars

Dominic Frisby

This book covers a lot of the information and guidance required for those who are starting out their journey down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole , providing the right amount of data and references you need. Whilst also ensuring you understand why bitcoin is different to everything else.

Bitcoin is different. There is no single compnay that issues the coins or maintains the system . It is a distributed network - there is no central point of failure

Dominic Frisby

Why I recommend this book

It is a really interesting exercise in reflection, comparing the authors view then on how Bitcoin will be the enemy of the state, and the economic analysis and straw man arguments presented then (2012 -2014) to what has actually occurred and continues. I will leave it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions, after all that is the fun of reading.

This is a very good book for those looking to find out more about the bitcoin history. Easy read and very entertaining, and a must read for anyone who wants to understand the history of Bitcoin.


The future of money

 A new form of money was born: electronic cash. Does Bitcoin have the potential to change how the world transacts financially? 

 This book provides an informative read for any layman to understand the potential as to why Bitcoin could become the leading global currency standard.

Gary Woodfine
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