Book briefs

2018-01-17 06:01

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Digital Gold – Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires trying to Reinvent Money
Author: Nathaniel Popper

ON November 2008, the mysterious (and still unidentified) Satoshi Nakamoto revealed the Bitcoin “white paper”, his proposal for a decentralised digital currency that could usher in an age of borderless and anonymous financial transactions.

A decade later, while it may have entered the mainstream consciousness mostly due to its meteoric rise in value, none can deny that Bitcoin and the technology it is built upon has the potential to revolutionise money the same way Napster revolutionised music (even if no one talks about Napster anymore).

This book then, is the human story behind the cryptocurrency phenomenon, chronicling the tale of a diverse group of internet enthusiasts who came together with different motivations in the hope of nurturing yet another online invention that would shake the status quo before any authority had the chance to even be bothered by it.

What then follows is an interesting twist wherein, to keep Bitcoin growing once it became a sizable entity, the more seasoned and marketable of its originators were forced to step up and start shaking hands with the very governments, banks and institutions they were trying to thwart.

With all the third-party hacks and untested ground it still has to endure, Bitcoin may not be in the clear yet.

Still, the story of its early years will be one for the grandchildren regardless of its fate.

I don’t think I’ve fought off so much sleep for any other read, so if you’ve been wanting to know what all the fuss is about and have been looking for an accessible introduction, this may be the best place to start.

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