|Print List Price:||$8.99|
Save $5.00 (56%)
What's the Big Deal About Bitcoin? Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I have a better answer now: Bitcoin is a digital currency that's both fascinating and important because it's decentralized, it's secure, and it's convenient.
Because no one company, organization, government, bank, or person controls Bitcoin (it's run entirely by independent, mathematical algorithms), it can't be artificially inflated. Bitcoin is secure because you are essentially your own bank. You have a public address and a private key to access the Bitcoin at your address. Ideally, only you own your key. You don't share your key with third parties and vendors, unlike current payment options (credit/debit cards). The other remarkable thing about Bitcoin is its convenience. You can instantly transfer funds (and potentially assets!) to anyone in the world with (potentially) a single swipe. There's no middle man and no fees. Everything is instant, too.
Anyway, on to the book itself. The book was organized into three sections. The first talks about what Bitcoin is, the second talks about all the possibilities of Bitcoin and what's it's becoming, and the third discusses all of the potential threats and problems with Bitcoin.
The writing was superb. I have no formal knowledge of economics or programming, and everything was still crystal clear to me. It took me around 1.5-2 hours to finish the book. It came and went really quickly. Everything was genuinely engaging.
It was also interesting how the author compared Bitcoin with paper money and gold. He pointed out the problems with traditional currencies and compared and contrasted those with the potential problems/benefits of Bitcoin.
If you're like me, just a regular guy or gal who wants to know what Bitcoin is and why it's so important, pick up this book!
Patterson hits on a few limitations/reservations about bitcoin which Ridley did not touch upon:
1) Danger of 51% Attack...ie: 51% or more of the bitcoin miners collude (or partner up, if you prefer a less nefarious way of putting it), and become owned by one entity. In this case, currency manipulation could occur, with double billing possible. So far, the bitcoin community has avoided that happening by "forking" the system whenever it got close. At one time, the number reached 50%. Definitely an issue of concern. Bitcoin folks are modifying code to mitigate this being possible. We hear.
2) Bitcoin is very volatile. Patterson is nervous about that aspect, but brings up the swings in gold that have been going on fairly recently. And gold has been around a long time. Patterson thinks volatility is due to relatively small amount of bitcoin in circulation (he says around $4 billion [Ridley says $6 billion], as opposed to say, the net value of the global stock market, which is I believe he states $69 trillion). Patterson thinks bitcoin's volatility will likely diminish greatly over time.
3) Actually having possession of your own bitcoin, on your own system, is the most secure. Then there is no margin for criminality by a third party exchange or holding company (like Mt Gox fiasco). But as it stands, taking the possession of bitcoin is very tech intensive, and can't be easily done by the average person. It would require technical assistance to set things up properly, and is far too tedious as to be practical. Patterson thinks eventually it will be easier and become more commonplace.
4) Patterson's largest reservation about bitcoin, as it is I think Ridley's, is the unknown future actions of governments to kill bitcoin. It threatens their power and ability to attach the money of citizens and monitor the flow, and anything historically that does so gets put down by the power mongers. Some countries have already banned bitcoin. There are 1000 different altcoin types out there, according to Patterson, so it will certainly be tedious for governments to continually stamp out peer-to-peer currency exchange. But they will try. However, while they can make it illegal, they can't make it go away, and if it achieves complete anonymity (the ultimate goal of bitcoin creators), the black market will thrive despite any actions by government to stop it.
Bitcoin offers some intriguing possible manifestations. With colored bitcoin, you could conceivably create X amount of bitcoin for your daughter to spend on education, and that is the only way it could be spent. The possibilities are endless. Something fungible cash can't be made to do. According to Patterson, bitcoin meets the five criteria for any successful currency: Scarcity, Divisibility, Portability, Non-perishable, and Maintains value over time.
Personally, I hope bitcoin is here to stay, and it eventually becomes full fledged money (the most popular medium of exchange in a given country) versus simply another currency. Just as a win in a general election by a libertarian candidate isn't much more than a pipe dream at this time, at least there is an outside chance it could happen. Same for bitcoin, The tides of change are building, and statism has oppressed people across the globe to the point where perhaps the citizens of many countries are ready to take back their natural rights, to things like the free exchange of goods.
If you're at all interested in learning more about Bitcoin, this is the place to start. Not only does Patterson highlight bitcoins potential implications and functionality but he touches on common misconceptions and qualms with the currency.
I can now explain Bitcoins basic features to anyone. I also know more about money and currency in general than I had before.
A seriously good read.
The author is quite competent as an audiobook narrator, too