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The Bitcoin Big Bang: How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World Hardcover – November 17, 2014
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Bitcoin gained notoriety among the public when it was linked to global black market trading rings, but the technology behind Bitcoin makes it far more interesting than your average alternative currency. The Bitcoin Big Bang approaches Bitcoin from a more complex perspective than has previously been attempted. Brian Kelly, a currency investment specialist with over 20 years of experience, conducted extensive research into the Bitcoin revolution and discovered a potential for widespread social transformation.
An understanding of how Bitcoin is changing the future of finance, and even the nature of the Internet itself, is mandatory for anyone looking to invest in or prepare for new trading platforms. Uniquely, The Bitcoin Big Bang emphasizes the technological underpinning of Bitcointhe "blockchain." Whether Bitcoin is or isn't a legitimate currency is, according to Brian Kelly, next to irrelevant. With its ability to record every Bitcoin transaction and securely transfer value over insecure networks, the blockchain is a game changer. A world without identity theft, an Internet without passwords, a decentralized financial system, self-securing investmentsall these previously unthinkable advances are possible using a technology that was given away for free by an enigmatic developer.
Those who are interested in investing in Bitcoin through purchasing or "mining" will find enough information to get started in The Bitcoin Big Bang. However, this book goes further than Bitcoin 101. Business readers will appreciate the in-depth look at regulatory issues and the discussions of cryptography, business strategy, human resource management, and the sharing economy. This is the long view. Looking beyond the bubble to the new reality of digital currency trading is a move any smart investor ought to make. Ultimately, The Bitcoin Big Bang answers one of the most pressing questions in finance, business, government, and beyond: "What is Bitcoin and how will it change the world?"
From the Back Cover
Praise for The Bitcoin Big Bang
"Is Bitcoin the investment of the century or one giant bubble about to pop? The Bitcoin Big Bang provides the background and context to understand why many investors, economists, technologists, and thought leaders are calling Bitcoin and the blockchain the most important invention since the Internet…or even the printing press."
Barry E. Silbert, Founder, SecondMarket and Founder, Digital Currency Group
"Want to know why prominent venture capitalists have compared Bitcoin today to the Internet in 1994? Brian Kelly goes beyond the hype to explain why this technology is transformative and prepares you for the digital currency revolution."
Melissa Lee, Host, CNBC's Fast Money
"Whether Bitcoin is a currency or not doesn't matter, according to Brian Kelly. It's the technology behind Bitcoin that will shape financial services in the years to come. The Bitcoin Big Bang is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the dramatic changes about to happen in how we pay for goods and services."
Dan Nathan, Founder, RiskReversal.com and Contributor to CNBC's Fast Money and Options Action
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Top Customer Reviews
Blockchains, miners, digital wallets, enormous computing power, and thousands of autonomous geeks around the world all play a role in creating a universal set of digital currencies that may replace money, banking, bureaucratic nightmares, and the necessary and understandable lack of trust associated with the financial sectors. First we learn about Bitcoin — the powerful emotion and skepticism surrounding it, the concept of currency, and money itself. Then the mysterious mathematics and their secret creator or creators that make it all possible for free — thanks to the open-source concept and the hard-fought rules of "creative commons" (Kelly correctly does not go into these but the IT folks will immediately see the connection).
All through the book we see that he recognizes that the inherent problem with digital currencies is one of universal acceptance by the average person. This caution exists because the technology, the math, the secrecy of the inventor, and the emotional attachment to paper money, etc. makes any rational person very skeptical. So Mr. Kelly, with refreshing humor, walks us through his own doubts and foibles on the path to his own acceptance and bursting enthusiasm.
Personally, I cannot quite get my emotional and cognitive arms around the concept of digital currencies yet. However, thanks to this book, I am aware, excited, and fully understand the revolutionary potential.
Probably the best compliment that a reviewer can give to a book that he or she likes is to find only marginally related things to complain about. So here it goes. If Kelly would just jump on the "big money out of politics" band wagon, he just might find the right tool to regulate digital currencies in a way that works — indeed in a way that would make Kelly's dream possible. That is, toward the end of the book, he makes a big point about his fears of getting the regulatory part wrong — and getting it wrong is virtually guaranteed if elected officials must keep secretly shifting their positions toward the lobby money, thus guaranteeing that there will be no politician in a position to guard against "regulatory capture", which is a legitimate concern originating out of the Chicago School of Economics. This area is something that I wish the book would have at least acknowledged, especially considering its frequent references to the economics of Friedrich Hayek, the Chicago School's hero.
The only other negative about the book, and it is minor, is that Mr. Kelly, like most finance folks, seems to focus too much on the role of the Federal Reserve (e.g., I for one, am on Warren Buffet's side with his gratitude that our government can indeed print money!). Without question, monetary policy is the weaker of the two economic pillars but Kelly and the rest of us are thankful that the Fed. did what it did to mitigate the dual catastrophes of the banking meltdown and the too-late and too-much of a supply side stimulus on the fiscal side. John Maynard Keynes had it right all along but we only see mention of Friedrich Hayek in the book, who Keynes would have persuaded except for his untimely death.
I am glad that I bought the book and I await for the stars to be formed after this digital "big bang". Thank you Mr. Kelly.
John V. Lesko, Ph.D.
CNBC's Fast Money contributor Brian Kelly does a great job of explaining this relatively complicated subject to anyone who is unfamiliar with the subject and even describes his efforts to create his own alternative coin, or "alt coin," to bitcoin. Despite the complaints of some other reviewers, the book is not riddled with typos; I only noticed a couple.
The author continues to pound the Bitcoin drum, as well he should, making the case on last night's "Fast Money" episode of how bitcoin is already disrupting companies such as Western Union. Read this book to find out why and how many other industries will be affected by The Big Bang.
Would have liked a step by step how to purchase Bitcoin instruction, though.
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