Regular price: $20.99
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $20.99
I learned a tremendous amount about Bitcoin, but more importantly about digital currency the blockchain and technologies that will change the way we do commerce.
At first glance you might think this book would be boring but it's fascinating definitely a must read for any serious person today
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
The good: here is a fine, plain-spoken introduction to this field and its early leading lights. Also, midway in the book, emerges almost another book, which is giving an eye-opening tour of emerging ideas in autonomous business systems, automation, and new permutations of the "sharing" economy (finding and prying new value out of existing assets in the manner of uber, airBnB, etc.). That really got me thinking. In this segment, the book wanders away from "currency" per se and ruminates (quite usefully) about various possible branches of the technology, particularly the blockchain, and more generations and spin-offs to come.
The bad: not since the "dot bomb" era circa 1999 have I heard such journalistic fluffery, "gee whiz, it's so now, so hot, and these people are so so smart, blah blah" kind of tone, and such willingness to ignore (and brush aside) the downsides. Yes, there is some hedging sprinkled across the author's descriptions, but I can see issues that are casually brushed aside to keep the whole (nowadays tedious) "wow, hip and cool" tonality going. It crosses the line between advocacy and reporting, without being transparent (enough for me) about it. Yes, it is a popularization, I get it, and I am a little testy with the casualness of that format. And sheer academic density and dullness can have its own problems. But it is SO breezy, as we are introduced to a bunch of whiz kids many of whom, young and green, (with suitable 60s razzle-dazzle San Francisco dreamin' journalistic puffery) sit in lofts coding and seemingly know next to nothing about business, monetary theory, rudiments of finance, etc., and demonstrate this by apparently making the most simple and boneheaded of mistakes occasioning various reversals. I envision a fair number of them in years hence still without any assets, scraping up pin money and perhaps some turning to cybercrime, for excessive youthful hipness and lack of respect for the ABCs that less hip people bother to learn. (It is good to hear here, some Silicon Valley luminaries are bothering to get some education to these people.) It is a problem I try to warn particularly my more creative students about: don't disable yourself in your desire to be pure in your artistry, as you will be raw meat for many more crafty people, who will extract the value leaving you little. I must allow for the authors that this IS a fast-breaking field (with new headlines the week of this writing), and a lot of the problems have not shown up yet.
Likewise, how are these newfangled automated self-executing contracts going to replace people? As a contracts expert I can see realms of implementation problems blithely brushed aside here. This utopia is a lot further away than it might look here.
In all, I'm very glad I heard this. I just want to add my caveats. Many are the people who want to write a new world. Many are the razzle dazzle salespeople around them, full of sizzle.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful