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  • The Bitcoin Standard

  • The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking
  • Written by: Saifedean Ammous
  • Narrated by: James Fouhey
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (570 ratings)

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The Bitcoin Standard

Written by: Saifedean Ammous
Narrated by: James Fouhey
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Publisher's Summary

When a pseudonymous programmer introduced “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party” to a small Online mailing list in 2008, very few paid attention. Ten years later, and against all odds, this upstart autonomous decentralized software offers an unstoppable and globally-accessible hard money alternative to modern central banks. The Bitcoin Standard analyzes the historical context to the rise of bitcoin, the economic properties that have allowed it to grow quickly, and its likely economic, political, and social implications. 

While bitcoin is a new invention of the digital age, the problem it purports to solve is as old as human society itself: transferring value across time and space. Ammous takes the listener on an engaging journey through the history of technologies performing the functions of money, from primitive systems of trading limestones and seashells, to metals, coins, the gold standard, and modern government debt. Exploring what gave these technologies their monetary role, and how most lost it, provides the listener with a good idea of what makes for sound money, and sets the stage for an economic discussion of its consequences for individual and societal future-orientation, capital accumulation, trade, peace, culture, and art. Compellingly, Ammous shows that it is no coincidence that the loftiest achievements of humanity have come in societies enjoying the benefits of sound monetary regimes, nor is it coincidental that monetary collapse has usually accompanied the collapse of a civilization. 

With this background in place, the book moves on to explain the operation of bitcoin in a functional and intuitive way. Bitcoin is a decentralized, distributed piece of software that converts electricity and processing power into indisputably accurate records, thus allowing its users to utilize the Internet to perform the traditional functions of money without having to rely on, or trust, any authorities or infrastructure in the physical world. Bitcoin is thus best understood as the first successfully implemented form of digital cash and digital hard money. With an automated and perfectly predictable monetary policy, and the ability to perform final settlement of large sums across the world in a matter of minutes, Bitcoin’s real competitive edge might just be as a store of value and network for final settlement of large payments - a digital form of gold with a built-in settlement infrastructure. 

Ammous’ firm grasp of the technological possibilities as well as the historical realities of monetary evolution provides for a fascinating exploration of the ramifications of voluntary free market money.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.  

©2018 Saifedean Ammous (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Bitcoin Standard

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Author writes like a fanatic religious

Good coverage regarding Bitcoin and some of the money theory background, but author makes huge affirmation based on its own beliefs as if it was the only truth. Moreover, his statements makes clear that all his opinions (libertarian) are fully correct and any other points of view are utterly wrong, life matters aren’t that dualistic. His has an aggressive way of writing where sometime gets close to be disrespectful.

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8 people found this helpful

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Great Macro View - perfect timing for 2020

I actually got through this fairly quickly. It's got a lot of tech-talk, but its more macro in the approach and describes the monetary system currently, past systems, and how we got here. I'm not as keen on the technicals so it was very good for what I was looking for. Given our current central bank/printing money issues, BTC and gold will become more and more important going forward so this is perfect timing.
My next read on BTC will be a more current and where do we go from here viewpoint.

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One sided

Interesting but the author is very one sided. The first half of the book is big rant on how awesome the gold standard was and how everything that we did in the last 100 years is because of the gold standard. Apparently everything we did after 1914 is crap or only a result If bunch of minor improvements. It’s a bit over the top. Read with a grain of salt.

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3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

Great overview on the history and function of money and how Bitcoin could quite possibly be the best version of money that ever existed. Excellent overview on Austrian economic theory and how this approach directly addresses the problems in modern day Keynesian economics that society is facing today. Finally tying it all together with the concept of a game theoretical model that is decentralized, open, borderless, and censorship resistant. The book clearly shows that the Bitcoin network is truly the best example of what a blockchain is best suited for; to build a decentralized network of trust based on verifiable mathematical calculations and transparency, eliminating the need for unnecessary human intervention and the potential for corruption.

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2 people found this helpful

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Amazing context for Bitcoin’s use case

The monetary history, explanation of Austrian economic theories, and dispelling of Keynesian myths makes this book an incredible overview of the context in which Bitcoin gets its powerful use case. The only wish I have is that the author used less rhetorical attacks against ideas and people that he didn’t like, and instead stuck to critiquing the evidence that makes the ideas inferior in his opinion

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1 person found this helpful

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Great introduction to the history of currency.

Fantastic introduction to what you need to know about decentralized currency, bitcoin. This book answers alot of your questions.

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Great boom from understand Bitcoin

This book was great for explaining both the gold standard, easy money and bit coin in the modern world .


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good explanation

Explained very well what bitcoin is good for and what's it's not good for. Also explains well the advantageous and disadvantages of bitcoin. It goes onto say how bitcoin may be used in the future.

I wish though in explaining the workings of the classic gold standard, and the gold exchange standard, there was a little more detail and examples of how these systems worked for the world.

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Navigating the Future of Currency with Unparalleled Insight

“The Bitcoin Standard” by Saifedean Ammous is not merely a book about cryptocurrency; it is a journey, a deep dive into the financial evolution that is reshaping the global economic landscape. Ammous doesn’t just explore Bitcoin as a technological invention, but elegantly threads it into the tapestry of the history of money, providing a robust framework for understanding the role it plays in a broader economic context.

One cannot help but be enthralled by the author’s mastery in weaving through historical, economic, and technological facets, crafting a narrative that is both enlightening and compelling. Ammous elucidates the emergence of Bitcoin in the aftermath of financial crises, distinguishing it as not just a digital currency but as a potential gold standard for the digital age. His arguments are methodically structured, demonstrating an impeccable blend of academic rigor and accessible prose, making complex economic theories and technological concepts digestible for readers across spectra.

Ammous doesn’t merely present Bitcoin; he explores its inherent value, its potential impact on future economies, and how it could shape our understanding and utilization of money. He manages to transport readers through the epochs of monetary evolution, meticulously tying threads between the historical uses of various commodities as money and the emergence of Bitcoin as a viable digital successor.

“The Bitcoin Standard” is an enlightening beacon amidst the often murky discussions surrounding cryptocurrencies. It stands out as a seminal work, providing a thoroughly-researched, thought-provoking perspective on the role of Bitcoin in navigating through the tumultuous seas of the modern financial system. This is a must-read for anyone looking to understand the intersection of technology, economics, and the future of global finance, wrapped in a narrative that is as engaging as it is informative.

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Great learning

I'll have to re listen a few times as there was a bunch that is new to me. Logical argument for bitcoin that builds up. Great book

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