This book has 3 reviews with an average rating of 5 stars.
This really is an excellent book and follow up to Life After the State. In the first book Frisby argues so convincingly that bigger government and state meddling in the minutiae of our lives is not good. It wasn't always like this and pre welfare state the poor were taken care of thru friendly societies and other philanthropic groups. Now in Bitcoin he looks to the future. The Bitcoin protocols and blockchain technology is a work of genius permitting the secure transfer of funds over a completely peer to peer network with no trust in a third party and as yet has proved unhackable. Bitcoin may or may not survive [personally I hope it does as an investor and miner] but the concept of blockchain technology could give the entire world access to financial services completely independent of government and the bankers. Even more blockchain technology could provide the technology to build any peer to peer app without any need or trust in a third party and yet secure. Amazing read. Couldn't put it down.
The book is concise, complete, correct, entertaining, and a very good introduction to what Bitcoin is all about. If you are confused about Bitcoin, this will make it all clear. If you already know about Bitcoin, there are some good stories you won't have heard before, some interesting history you've probably forgotten, and a good summary of the current state of play. The first chapter describes what Bitcoin is and how it works. The achievement of this chapter is that Dominic has described Bitcoin in plain English without missing any important details and without simplifying to the point of error. Too often when I read writing intended for the general audience about something I know about, I notice how wrong it is and how ill informed the general audience must be about all things. Not here. Technical description out of the way, the rest of the book deals with the culture of Bitcoin’s early adopters, the various scandals we may have heard about and what they mean, what Bitcoin means for the state and for you, and what the future might hold for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. The longest chapter is about the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, who wrote the original paper and developed the first versions of the software, and who has successfully remained anonymous. It is not particularly relevant to understanding Bitcoin, but it is very intriguing, and I think there is a good chance Dominic has reached the right conclusion about Satoshi’s identity. There is discussion of the problems of inflationary fiat currency: the author has read his Detlev Schlicter. There is discussion of how the decentralised nature of Bitcoin sidelines governments and opens up new markets with people who are otherwise difficult to trade with. And there is discussion of the problems, too: the volatility, the technical challenges, and the dangers of being defrauded in a new marketplace where we are still learning what are the best business practices and how to decide who to trust. Finally, there is some advice about where to buy Bitcoins. It is not out of date yet!
Wow what a fresh and clean way of approaching a extremely complicated subject (for me anyway!) of digital currencies. Bought on impulse (already had at least an interest in the subject) and could not put down. Has a lot of in depth research and relevant web sites for follow up research.