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I enjoyed this book, but it is far from what I was expecting. Having an Economics Degree, I thought that the first half of the book would be revision. But no, the authors stance is quite radical and requires thought to process in places. The second half on Bitcoin again challenges what you commonly read in the press.
While the author makes a forceful case, and has got me to think, it is let down in several places, as instead of challenging ideas, the author goes after individuals, whether named or those who hold certain ideas. Hence it lost a star.
This book has given me plenty to think about and while a lot of it goes against my education, it is a worthy read.
I agree with some of the points of other reviewers. This is really not a good book to understand bitcoin. For a start the first 2/3rds of the book are about money, fine if you want to know how we got here, the problem is that the potted history given by the author is so dogmatic and one-sided , that at times it makes it unreadable.
His loathing for Keynes seems to blind him from any sense of objectivity - at one point resorting to calling Keynes a pedophile to back up his point (Keynes certainly did have an interest in boys, but there precise age is unclear, but the issue here is that the author should demolish Keynes based on his arguments, not sexual proclivities).
He goes into a dad rant too about modern art and modern culture (it's all crap, the old stuff was great). But my biggest ire is held for the contempt he has for government spending, he simply labels it all as evil, labeling the Victorian Belle Epoch as the time we should all aspire to where capital ran riot and innovation was everywhere. At no point does he ever discuss the other side of the equation ie the huge disparity in Victorian wealth, the sickening conditions, child mortality rates, death disease misery etc. or modern 20th century governments that have brought sanitation, housing,education etc to the masses, all through the government controlling the money. In other words, it's a far more complex picture than the author presents. I see no equivalence between a government inflating it's money supply to drop liquid petroleum on children and a government borrowing to build housing or to embark on a polio innoculation campaign. To the author, they are all bad.
In the end, it feels like a missed opportunity. Apart from the fact that a lot of it is simply venting and grandstanding from the author who clearly has a chip on his shoulder, it concerns me that people reading this might assume all bitcoiners think like the author. I am left on the political spectrum, I too want to see sound money and want my govt to stop borrowing to fund foreign wars, but I in no way align myself with the Randian wet-dream promlugated by this author, where bitcoin is a tool for the strongest to survive and for the devil to take the hindmost, this will just result in one corrupt financial elite being replaced by another.
In short bitcoin deserves a more balanced and rational cheerleader than this author and bitcoin newbies would be better served looking elsewhere.
You may agree or not with the message but this is a nice book with original content. The author gives an economical backing of Bitcoin linking it to Austrian school of economics. Sometimes a bit too mich bashing keynsian thinking but overall a good addition to Bitcoin literature.
Overall a really interesting read which clearly lays out the case for Bitcoin as a new currency. However, the book is full of repetitions and is ideologically stacked against Keynes. One can make a point on the merits of sound money, such as Bitcoin, without a 300-page binge thrashing the Keynesian school of thought, while advocating a highly questionable and extreme libertarian view of life.
Further, the book is full of tenuous shortcuts, For example, “unsound money management = extreme loss of life in the wars of the 21 st century. I personally find this view highly questionable. What does one make of technical progress and innovation, which made killing on an industrial scale possible in WWI and WWII? Was that all linked to unsound money policy?
Last but not least, a key question remains unaddressed by the author. Is there any room for fiat currencies if and when a Bitcoin standard is established? Using his example of gold vs all other metal substitutes, he demonstrated how alternatives, such as silver and bronze disappeared over time, as they could not compete against gold as a store of value. It would have been useful to understand where S. Ammous saw the ultimate faith of fiat currencies in a Bitcoin standard world order.
Despite the aforementioned comments, I highly recommend this thought provoking book.
This is a profound book. Easy to read and so well explained from start to finish . It gives an accurate, economics lesson showing the pitfalls of the fiat based monetary system. How easy it is for governments and large corporates to take advantage of it and how it had ignited all the world wars and the cause of much of the human suffering on this planet. The solution is unbelievable , yet simple. A must read for anyone who is at all curious or suspicious of those in control of ‘OUR MONEY’. A detailed journey how money must hold an intrinsic value to hold any lasting worth. A great introduction to how bitcoin addresses virtually all of our current world problems.
1. The forward was far too heavy and put me off, but when I got to the book it was a much better introduction, teaching me well.
2. It becomes a bit anti left and polemic, which is not a problem itself, I just wanted a book about bitcoin.
3. It went off on an anti modern art tangent, as a sign of the age of leftist big government socialist decay of lost (?protestant?) work ethic values. Kind of fun to read, bit of a mish mash of political opinion, but I wanted a book about bitcoin.
4. Excellent discussion about what is money, why fait is being abused, how this will hurt us, why we got here, why we are still doing it, and what the fix is likely to be.
5. I think it could have been much better if it made some attempt to win over critics, rather than bash them. The economics (I'm numerate but not an economist) seem pretty well demonstrated, but the politics (should there be any in a book about bitcoin?) is opinionated.
The author spent a long time looking at the history of currencies, which was very interesting to see how currencies have changed over time.
The author gave a very biased account of the gold standard, only looking at the cons and completely brushing over the flaws.
Then the author proposed all banks should go onto a "Bitcoin Standard". If they wanted to fix their currencies against each other, why would they pick bitcoin and not make their own system just for banking that wouldn't make the last bank on make the first banks on very wealthy in bitcoin price deflation.
When the author moved from currency to bitcoin he made me realise how flawed bitcoin is. It's incredibly power hungry by design. Being decentralized prevents it from scaling. Visa has to run data centers with hundreds of servers to keep up with a high volume of transactions. High latency transactions up to 10 minutes.
I previously had an interest in Bitcoin but didn't profess to know too much about it - just what I had read through mainstream media. This book totally changed how I understood Bitcoin - with confidence. It was a lightbulb moment. An immensely crucial and significant part of this book is dedicated is to the history of money and the part money played in the the downfall of previous civilisations; the properties of money and most importantly what defines the hardness of money. Once you understand this - you understand the importance of Bitcoin
The book is so well written and in a manner which is objective and impartial.
It is now quoted as the 'go to' book - I would go so far as to say, this is probably one of the most important books I have ever read in my life.
I tend to believe we evolve as a species but when I watch the news, I see more crimes, more deaths, more prisoners, more sad people more destruction, more poor people so at a cost of the huge amount of resources we cant still feed the 1% of rich elites not matter the casualty. Instead of using our 10% brainpower to make a circular and renewable monetary system we still use Capitalism witch is toxic and primitive, If our purpose as a species is to acquire individual infinite properties and possession rather than a balanced world based on individual IQ on a well made and fair system , we humans failed we continue to fail and we can destroy ourself and next generations in the process because Earth has limited resources also stop deforesting cap population at 2 kids per families in high populated areas do something, if things wont get better in the next 5 years I hope I get abducted by aliens I know what we can do already and is so primitive still. Jokes aside read the book spread the word.
I bought this on the recommendation of some crypto investors not anybody with any economics qualifications. I'm around 100 pages in and the book has caused me to cringe so many times I was embarrassed for the author. It's completely naive on so many points. His personalised attacks on Keynes (regardless of what you think about his policies) are so childish no editor should have allowed them in. His understanding of history both economic and political is so bad it's outrageous. He also has a bizzare foray into sociology where he blames the breakdown of marriages due to unsound money i.e. the lack of gold standard in currencies. I'm struggling to get through this book it is so bad. I can't recommend avoiding this book enough and I would be be avoiding any book from this publisher in future if this is a sample of their standard output