According to Jaxxy the question “what is bitcoin about?” has been asked more than 29000 times including by me! I have read a couple of books on it now so I’m starting to learn more every day and I am currently reading another with a fourth lurking in my email. I will attempt to shed what light I have gathered on the subject thus far….
The first book I read was a ‘bitcoin for 5 year olds’ type called Bitcoin Money – A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money. Written by Michael Caras it features children living in the fictional town of Bitville where they all have a trade which they start off bartering then being paid firstly with coins then with paper money until one day a newcomer suggests a different currency – Bitcoin!
The book walks you through the history of money, explaining in a simple to understand way which properties constitute ‘good’ money and why bitcoin is better than fiat. I have used it to explain bitcoin to my cubs, the language is suitable for all ages and it is illustrated too.
The next book I picked up was called Bitcoin Billionaires – A True Story of Genius, Betrayal and Redemption about twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (the boys that had all that beef with Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook – see film The Social Network) who met a man called Charlie Shrem who introduced them to Bitcoin and they ran with it or rowed with it (read the book-it’s entertaining and illuminating to noobs!) so much so that they now have their own cryptocurrency called Gemini and their own exchange ( https://gemini.com/) which I discovered you need a passport to join, must sort mine!
You hear other ‘crypto’ names like Roger Ver, founder of Bitcoin Cash, Ross Ulbricht, founder of the notorious Silk Road (responsible for a lot of crypto’s bad press) Mt Gox, early failed crypto exchange and of course author Ben Mezrich (who also wrote The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook)
It’s a great true life story that teaches you about the benefits of ‘getting in early’ and thankfully it’s still dawn for bitcoin’s sun, it’s day will be here soon and hopefully its sun will not set for many years.
I am currently reading The Bitcoin Standard – The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous which I have found so far to be a much more ‘grown up’ version of Bitcoin Money and in fact Michael Caras’ research credits included this book.
I will review it properly when I’ve finished it.
You’d think an economics professor would be unable to explain things to lay people without being too technical but Saifedean explains it all using big enough words that I needed a Collins (the dictionary not the cocktail!) to hand but still knew what he was saying.
My fourth book is an ebook called Blockchain, Bitcoin and What The Difference Means To You written by Temple Melville (CEO of The Scotcoin Project) which I have yet to open but I am looking forward to reading after I have finished The Bitcoin Standard. I will be promoting this one along with The Scotcoin Project so watch this space!
What I have taken from these books and my other research over the past year is that bitcoin is about choice and freedom – two things we all hold dear. The freedom to choose whom we give our money to wherever they may be as easily as if they were standing right in front of you. When I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul I don’t also have to shell out to Tom, Dick and Harry!
We’re all already using digital cash every single day, we’re paid in it (BACS) we shop with it (VISA/AMEX) we pay our bills with it (DD/STO) but all these methods of either payment or receipt of cash incur fees payable to Tom (bank), Dick (broker) Harry (processing centre) and quite a few of their pals.
Because Bitcoin and other crypto are peer to peer (ie directly from one computer to another) these fees are either negligible or significantly lower because Peter can just give the money directly to Paul without having to pass it to the other lads first.
And that dear reader is, for me anyway, what bitcoin is about xx