- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (February 8, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1491920491
- ISBN-13: 978-1491920497
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 49 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
|Mastering Bitcoin||Blockchain||Decentralized Applications||Bitcoin, the Blockchain, and Their Potential to Change Our World|
|Related Cryptocurrency Titles||Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies||Blueprint for a New Economy||Harnessing Bitcoin's Blockchain Technology||What You Need to Know About Mining, Exchanges, Wallets, Payments, Security and More|
About the Author
Melanie Swan is the Founder of the Institute for Blockchain Studies and a Contemporary Philosophy MA candidate at Kingston University London and Université Paris VIII. She has a traditional markets background with an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and work experience at Fidelity and JP Morgan. She has a new markets background as an entrepreneur and advisor to startups GroupPurchase and Prosper, and developed virtual world digital asset valuation and accounting principles for Deloitte. She was involved in the early stages of the Quantified Self movement, and founded DIYgenomics in 2010, an organization that pioneered the crowdsourced health research study. She is an instructor at Singularity University, an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and a contributor to the Edge’s Annual Essay Question.
Top customer reviews
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Reading it (at least the first 46% of it, where I gave up) was like waking up back in the dot.com days with a hyperactive sales evangelist cornering me in a jammed elevator, making claim after hyperbolic claim (distributed artificial intelligence, world peace, godhood!) about Blockchain while doing very little to explain what it actually was. Actually on reflection some of the claims seem conflated with those of the Kurzweil Singularity stuff - yes sure Blockchain might be a part of that, but it doesn't help to include it in the book.
I'm sorry, I know writing and editing books is very hard work, and the author's excitement about Blockchain is palpable if rather unfocused, but this one really feels like it was a padded-out dash to a deadline. Maybe it would have been better as a shorter essay.
On the other hand there is the incredibly poor research that the book is based on. Posts in chatrooms and at the bottom of some blog count for the author as substance enough to expound on the great potentials already being worked out in the blockchain community. Fair enough, this kind of research will save you the time of browsing a few websites yourself; the problem, though, is that the author seems to make the subtle leap from the sometimes interesting content of these internet-comments to deducing broad academic significance of them and elaborating them in an academic language that seems to establish their significance as already accepted(Deleuze and Heidegger get mentioned a couple times, strangely). That, unfortunately is far from the truth and what you end-up with is an endlessly recurring confrontation with the naivete of the author and or their ignorance of what should count as real research on a topic and or their attempt to evangelize something in a revolutionary language in order to drum-up interest, all integrity put aside. And that's also the problem I see in this space generally: one 'white-paper' after another, another long 'logical analysis' of the security of a 'coin' decomposing into increasingly complex system of conditional 'proofs' relying on nothing more than basic natural language for their establishment. Too much of it is amateurs simulating professionalism or ignorance masquerading as intelligence..
Anyway, apologies for my rant. I think this stuff is interesting, the blockchain, etc. But this book doesn't amount to much more than a collection of notes that would probably, if properly edited, fit on a single sheet of paper front and maybe back.
Ms. Swan is clearly knowledgable in this area (or fakes it really well - I cannot judge). And she was working at a disadvantage in writing this book in 2014, when bitcoin was just getting up and running. (The book is copyrighted 2015, and I assume it went to the publisher well before that.) It may well be that there are some really great insights here.
But oh, how will we ever know? The information and the judgments are hidden under some of the worst prose I have seen in some time, even in a tech book. One example at random, the first sentence of Chapter 3: "Not only is there the possibility that blockchain technology could reinvent every category of monetary markets, payments, financial services, and economics..." and so on for another two lines. I count three trisylables, 4 quatrosylables, and one pentasylable. In two lines. Part of one sentence. At this point I gave up.
Doesn't O'Reilly have any editors anymore?