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This book clearly explains why our current financial system will fail ...and soon. It proves that we’ve been duped for decades about how country’s economies are supposedly ‘managed’ by governments.
It reminds me of the way we were told that fat makes you fat and now we know it was actually sugar all along. The same is true of our economic theories. We’ve been sold a lie and our currencies are heading to zero.
Our modern levels of debt and quantitative easing are now unsustainable so either we return to the gold standard or we move on.
Although an initially interesting read, about the evolution of the monetary system it quickly becomes full of factual inaccuracies and over simplification of the monetary system as a whole. The book completely fails to mention the essential role of debt in the economy once. Instead this book pushes a dogmatic narrative argued by getting essential and easily to check facts COMPLETELY wrong. Also mentions very little about bitcoin.
I haven't even finished this book yet but I know that it's one of the best books I have ever read, and I read quite a lot of economics, bitcoin and finance. I usually don't leave comments on Amazon but felt like I want more people to read this. I am now surprised that I have never before come across a condensed book of economics that resonates so much with observations I have made about the financial and economic world of today.
Truly an eye opening book, especially the first half of it. If you can even borrow it from a friend, I recommend you do.
I got the audible version as well as paperback. Will sit nicely next to Mises in my library.
The book was first ordered by my friend to my address as he lives abroad and was planning to pick it up in a couple of weeks. I expected a slightly boring book with some propoganda, like Dr Julian Hosp's one, but I was pleasantly surprised to be very wrong. I ordered my own copy immediately.
Look up the phrase "hard money" there I saved you reading this.
Randian level Austrian economics, right wing market fundimentalism.
Ammous has mixed up socialism and statism: Socialism is when the workers own the means of production. Not as stated in this book, the government. And socialism does not preclude market mechanisms as this book says it does.
Better sources of information are, 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang. And the bitcoin white paper.
'The Bitcoin Standard' is an enjoyable, well-written account of the economic theory and history behind Bitcoin, particularly behind the idea of Bitcoin as 'digital gold'. Most of the book is devoted to a fairly detailed account of the history of money, as seen from Ammous's distinctively Austrian School point of view. Whether or not one agrees with this point of view, the historical account is vigorously and entertainingly argued; Ammous is not afraid to call out what he sees as the economic crimes of past and present, particularly with regards to fiat currency, socialist governments, and Keynesian central banking.
Ammous argues that the gold standard was a far superior system to the fiat currency system we have today, and that the 'Bitcoin standard' will be its digital reincarnation. While this veneration of the gold standard may seem surprising or implausible to modern readers, Ammous argues his case well, citing the remarkable, indeed almost uninterrupted, economic boom that much of the West enjoyed during the years of the gold standard. This long period of prosperity under the gold standard is contrasted with the depressingly familiar 'boom and bust' cycle that has characterised the global economy since the abandonment of the gold standard in favour of the present system of 'fiat' currencies.
Having established his theoretical and historical case for why we need 'sound money', such as gold, Ammous spends the remainder of the book arguing why Bitcoin, and Bitcoin alone, is suited to perform the function of digital sound money. He argues that none of the alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) can fulfil this function, and that therefore Bitcoin itself should be the focus of any efforts to create a superior alternative to the current currency system. Finally he presents an idea for how Bitcoin could scale to the point of true worldwide use for the whole human population, namely a network of banks issuing currency backed by Bitcoin, thus the 'Bitcoin Standard' that gives the book its name.
My main quibble with the book is that Ammous only gives us a cursory explanation of how his long-term vision for Bitcoin as an international settlement currency would work. He states that Bitcoin's current transaction capacity of approximately 350,000 transactions per day would allow each bank in a network of 850 central banks to perform one final settlement transaction with every other bank in the network per day, and that if each of these banks served 10 million customers this would allow Bitcoin (or at least a central bank derived version of it) to be used by the world's entire population. Even putting aside the many significant problems that this approach would introduce, such as a return to (semi) trusted third parties and the possibility of these central banks running fractional reserve systems, Ammous never gives us any explanation of how this system would actually work, even in broad terms. For that reason I would rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars if Amazon allowed such a rating.
With that aside, I would nonetheless very much recommend this book for anyone interested in the economic, monetary, and historical case for Bitcoin as 'digital gold'. If Ammous's predictions for the future of Bitcoin and the world monetary system come to pass then it will be not only a highly entertaining and interesting book but an important one too.
Reading this book critically, it is, on the whole well-structured and provides explanations of complex ideas. However, the author has a tendency to rely on long metaphors and drawing conclusions from his own statements (using his own conclusions as objective truth. Valid as they may be, he does not provide the core evidence at key points in the book). With that in mind, it is still an interesting exploration of the history of money, the lessons we can draw from that and how that applies to the current economic climate and takes a critical look at commonly spouted economic theory (e.g. Keynesian economics).
An absolutely superb book but be warned that it is more about bitcoin’s place in the world as a currency, rather than any tech details. Much of the book is concerned with general economics and excellently argued critiques of the current world order, laying the foundations for why bitcoin is so useful and necessary. It was written before the covid-19 outbreak but I suspect the arguments are all the more relevant now national governments will aim to inflate their way out of trouble. Read it - it’ll change the way you view the world and your hard-earned money.
Slightly biased as a 30 year old man, child of the internet age, who lost his faith in the current banking system back in 2008, watching banks getting bailouts whilst family and friends lost pensions, savings, and housing investments plummeting. This book explains the worlds monetary history before going into the benefits of a blockchain, decentralised store of value. If you find cryptocurrency interesting, this is for you. If you find monetary systems interesting, this is for you. If you're a John Keynes fanboy, this book is not for you.
As many other readers have pointed out, this book is full of unreferenced, opinionated and one-sided whining. I stuck with it though, because there are some very good sections.
As someone with an Economics degree who has studied the authors much hated Keynesian-style economics, this certainly was an eye-opener for me, and while I respect conflicting opinions and was open to the idea of throwing my degree in the bin, the author should have delivered his anti-government hate with a far more reasoned approach in order to convince readers, rather than just being repetitively nasty. Repetitive being the key word here, as the author seems to go on and on and on without really making further justifications or additional points.
That being said, I'm glad I've read it, as I had no idea about gold-standard economics and the author makes a great point about our education being heavily biased towards government-controlled economics and explains well the disasters that have occurred because of government intervention. Indeed, if I recall correctly my degree covered only what currently happens in the modern economy, and never once discussed whether or not this is a good thing.
There are some absolute gems in here too, which I why I kept reading despite my frustration. The book opens with a few fantastic chapters on the history of money, and when it finally gets onto Bitcoin (it isn't covered until the last few chapters of the book) there is some brief explanation of the technicalities but the scene is well set for discussing the economic impact of such a currency.
I feel the editing quality could have been better, as there is a completely irrelevant chapter / rant about modern artists vs traditional art, and many sentences are repeated/re-worded within the same paragraph throughout the book.
The book talks more about the global history of money and currency than it does about Bitcoin. You would think a book whose title starts off with the word bitcoin would devote most of its content to it. The majority of the book's content is about how people moved away from using primitive materials as currency to using gold. The author is a critic of socialism and wants the role of government to be reduced.
The biggest problem with the book is that the author only begins talking about bitcoin in depth on page 167 instead of page 1. The book has 272 page of content.