- Publisher: Portfolio (2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0241237858
- ISBN-13: 978-0241237854
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 193 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World Paperback – 2016
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The first book to explain why blockchain technology will fundamentally change our lives
Blockchain is the ingeniously simple technology that powers Bitcoin. But it is much more than that, too. It is a public ledger to which everyone has access, but which no single person controls. It allows for companies and individuals to collaborate with an unprecedented degree of trust and transparency. It is cryptographically secure, but fundamentally open. And soon it will be everywhere.
In Blockchain Revolution, Don and Alex Tapscott reveal how this game-changing technology will shape the future of the world economy, dramatically improving everything from healthcare records to online voting, and from insurance claims to artist royalty payments. Brilliantly researched and highly accessible, this is the essential text on the next major paradigm shift. Read it, or be left behind.
'Blockchain Revolution is a highly readable introduction to a bamboozling but increasingly important field' - Guardian
Don Tapscott is one of the most influential living theorists about business and society. He is the bestselling author of Wikinomics, The Digital Economy, and a dozen other acclaimed books about technology, business, and society.
Alex Tapscott is the CEO and founder of Northwest Passage Ventures, an advisory firm building blockchain companies. Previously, he worked for seven years in investment banking in New York and Toronto.
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Would have expected a better "primer" on how block chain actually works. Given the audience this tome appears aimed at, a few paragraphs ("How this worldwide ledger works") seems a bit under-serving - particularly for such an avowedly history-changing paradigm. Readers must understand this thing before trusting it, which for the most part is mysterious and geeky. Demystification would help move blockchain out of the comfort zone of PhD's into the realm of the mere unwashed (in which this reviewer sits). And nothing on the mystery surrounding Satoshi himself - what's up with that? Given that we're dealing with a new trust paradigm, doesn't the fact of his anonymity (existence?) not at least merit some comment?
Only part I would recommend is found at Chapter 10 "Showstopper issues"... Ironic, of course but best analysis is here!
Be aware that the book does approach the problems from a very liberal perspective. We're constantly reminded that lots of people are disenfranchised by governments and big business (third-parties), for example, and you don't get too much defense of existing third-party systems that actually work well.
The details of how blockchain itself works are not discussed in any detail, so if you are looking for this kind of info, look elsewhere.
I do have 2 big criticisms:
1. The authors hold the distinct belief that if we just make data (like the kinds of data managed by big corporations and governments) transparent through a blockchain that it will presumably be put to good, beneficial use for society. After all, blockchains are specifically intended to remove governing third parties. Little is mentioned on how to replace the "good" parts of the things these third parties do - it just magically takes care of itself because the data is transparent. It's a stretch.
2. While the book provides a broad look at how many areas of our lives can be impacted by blockchain, there is a strong tendency for the authors to misappropriate other (re)evolutionary trends in technology (like IoT) and claim they are significantly enhanced because of blockchain. While there are some elements of truth here, the benefits of many of them (like IoT) as they describe them are 99% achievable without a blockchain - they simply don't make their case that blockchain makes it better very well.
These aside, this book offers great broad perspectives on the possibilities of a blockchain-enabled world. It also provides great overviews of some work-in-flight initiatives.
Read this with an appropriately-sized grain of salt, and you can't lose. A must-read for the blockchain-curious and futurists out there.
Worse yet, the audio book has an extremely enthusiastic narrator who knows nothing about the tech or the content, and thus puts emphasis in all the wrong places. He is clearly caught up in the hucksterism of the text. I got about half way through the audio and couldn't take it anymore - I switched to text, but nonetheless came away disappointed. I kept waiting for something meaty, but these authors can't seem to get away from blather and fluff.
It barely considers the environmental consequences of putting everything on the blockchain... that is a huge consideration.