Blockchain Bubble or Revolution: The Future of Bitcoin, Blockchains, and Cryptocurrencies Paperback – 12 June 2019
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Some experts say that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are just a scam; others say they're "the most important invention since the internet." It's hard to tell who's right.
Authored by Silicon Valley leaders from Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, Bubble or Revolution cuts through the hype to offer a balanced, comprehensive, and accessible analysis of blockchains and cryptocurrencies.
You'll learn the core concepts of Bitcoin and blockchain technologies to understand their strengths and weaknesses from real-world case studies; dive deep into their technical, economic, political, and legal complexities; and gain insights about their future from exclusive interviews with dozens of tech industry leaders.
Are blockchains and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin a bubble or a revolution? We'll help you decide for yourself.
Bitcoin and the blockchain
- How Bitcoin and blockchains work from a technical perspective with no assumed technical knowledge
- Satoshi Nakamoto and the history of Bitcoin, the original blockchain
- A thorough overview of crucial crypto concepts (eg. blocks, keys, mining, nodes, etc.)
- Frameworks for understanding when it actually makes sense to use blockchain
- Major application scenarios for blockchain and cryptocurrencies and where it'll fall flat
Public blockchains and altcoins
- Emerging trends in blockchain technology
- What you should know before buying any cryptocurrency
- An overview of Etherum and smart contracts
- An overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the top altcoins and stable coins, including Monero (XMR), Tether (USDT), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Alternatives to blockchain and cryptocurrencies
- New kinds of decentralized ledger technology (DLT)
- The economics of both traditional payment methods and cryptocurrencies
- Cryptocurrency security best practices and major breach case studies
- How blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and traditional banking and finance will interact with one another in the future
- Public blockchains vs private blockchains
- Limitations and shortcomings of public blockchains and cryptocurrencies
- The role of blockchain in the strategy of top tech companies like Facebook and Microsoft
- Case studies of how non-tech companies are effectively utilizing blockchain (eg. Walmart using it to prevent foodborne illness)
- Business blockchain case studies ranging from gaming (e.g. Xbox) to cloud services (e.g. Microsoft Azure's blockchain-as-a-service and Amazon's AWS offering)
- Blockchain's use for big data, internet of things (IoT), and machine learning (ML)
Cryptocurrency regulation and policy
- ICOs vs STOs vs IPOs
- KYC and AML laws
- The debate over whether cryptocurrencies are securities
- The official stance of various countries on crypto
- An overview of crypto policy and regulatory hurdles
- The role of crypto in emerging markets and China
- Digital democracy and voting on the blockchain
The future of decentralized technology
- If, how, and when the tokenization of national currencies will play out
- Facebook and WhatsApp's upcoming cryptocurrencies
- Currency tokenization and China's efforts to tokenize the yuan
- Blockchain, IoT, and the tangle
- Cryptocurrencies vs. fiat vs. the gold standard
- Predictions about the future of money, business, and currency
- Why blockchains would do better on Mars than Earth
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Review this product
Reviewed in Singapore on 5 July 2021
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By Gary Ng on 5 July 2021
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And yes, it was that, an introduction into bitcoin, bitcoin mining, blockchain, Altcoins, business on the blockchain examples, private blockchain examples, plus an overview of the market. The good and the bad. The book does just that, very entry level, just enough detail that I can have conversations. It’s very easy to use, with simple examples, highly recommend to anybody that wants to know more.
Moreover, the authors lack an understanding of the subject. By using a shared Excel spreadsheet as a metaphor for blockchain (p. 18), the authors show that they have not understood this technology even at the most basic level. A shared Excel spreadsheet is ONE file that many users access. It is therefore a central point of truth. If that ONE file is damaged, corrupted, or deleted, that central point of truth becomes a central point of failure, which is the exact opposite of Blockchain. It seems that the authors have not understood that Blockchain at best corresponds to a large number of identical copies of an Excel spreadsheet, distributed among many independent users, who in turn have incentives to maintain the correctness of their individual copy of the spreadsheet, with the goal of avoiding any central point of failure. The undifferentiated and sloppy use of the terms 'distributed', 'decentralised' and 'shared' confirms the impression that the authors themselves have not understood even basic concepts of blockchain.
It is particularly unpleasant that there are no references in the book. Although the text contains reference numbers to sources, these are not resolved at any time in the book! To see the references, you have to search on the authors' website. The authors justify this unusual decision with the noble aim of keeping the paperback version slim. However, this noble goal did not prevent the authors from adding three additional pages to the book to promote themselves as speakers and to market their previous book. All this gives readers the feeling of being instrumentalised to increase the number of visits to the author's website and thus supporting their efforts to promote themselves.
In summary, the book seems to me like a transcript of one of those infamous marketing speeches so often given at crypto or blockchain conferences: a few entertaining episodes and anecdotes about crypto and blockchain without depth or any intellectual pretension. You can get this kind of content on youtube anytime and in large quantities for free and then it is up to date at least.
By the end of reading it, I've been able to give my verdict on what parts of the tech are bubble and which are evolution.
The book is full of balanced stats and data which help put key points across and it was an easy and fun read.