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Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts Paperback – July 24, 2017
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About the Author
David Gerard is a Unix system administrator by day. His job includes keeping track of exciting new technologies and advising against the bad ones. He was previously an award-winning music journalist, and has blogged about music at Rocknerd.co.uk since 2001. He is a volunteer spokesman for Wikipedia, and is on the board of the RationalMedia Foundation, host of skeptical wiki RationalWiki.org. His website is davidgerard.co.uk. He lives in east London with his spouse Arkady and their daughter. Until he reinstalled the laptop they were on, he was the proud owner of six Dogecoins.
Top customer reviews
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I look forward to reading the one star reviews of the true believers. Everything in this book is well sourced.
If you've ever had a passing interest in crypto-currency and wondered what all the hype was about, or if you've watched the story unfold from Bitcoin to Ethereum from a distance and want a good timeline and some cutting commentary this book is worth it.
Aside from the great overview of the technologies, personalities and ideologies at play, this is a fantastic resource for the sheer number of references and links. Reading this is like a weirdly specific wikichaining binge.
The book is very readable and gives a detailed discussion of the potentials of the technology and how to approach working with it. I have heard and read a lot about the potential of blockchain over the past year; but I could never be convinced of how blockchain would either solve the problem or be superior to exiting alternatives. This book offers a well researched explanation; for most use cases it does not solve the major problems or is far more inefficient than alternatives.
Unlike most discussions of Bitcoin and blockchain, Mr. Gerard's discussion integrates the technological, economic, financial and human aspects of the problems tackled at hand. This especially stands out in his discussion of smart contracts and why "code is law" does not work.
Gerard is a tech professional and decent writer. He does a good job outlining the technical details in things like the hack of The DAO or the absurdity of using a blockchain as a database without getting too into the weeds.
While little in this book was new to me, the sheer magnitude of serial hucksters and scams helped me understand why bitcoin - and ethereum - still endures. They are the world's biggest and best unregulated casino/exchange. That they are unscalable, inconvenient, and unsafe is no obstacle so long as they provide the world's scammers with a target rich environment.