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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.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

1 person 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.

1 person found this helpful

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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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"Bitcoin - An Alien Gift"

Bitcoin - Blockchain, is far too polished, far to technically advanced, so psychologically in-tune with human nature....greed, money, power to believe that this was human created. Bitcoin, covers off ALL those realities of our time.

Being so perfect out of the gate, yet allowing the tech geniuses of our time to add their signature makes me believe that this is merely a planned diversion to its origin.

The book was fabulous, easily understood even as a first introduction to Bitcoin and the Blockchain. Very well written, logical and extremely interesting.

My only criticism is the authors opinion which seems to deny the benefit, reliability or likely success of ANY other existing or to be released alternative to Bitcoin. This seems extremely closed minded in our world of tech, clearly advancing FAR faster and further than most of us can imagine.

Great book, thoroughly enjoyable!

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Bitcoin Is here to stay. It is the future.

A must read for anyone wanting to stay ahead in the coming transformation and adoption of global cash.
Remember the adage ... “if you snooze you lose”.

Stay ahead or you will be left behind and you will forever kick yourself.

Your grandchildren and their grandchildren will forever thank you.

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One of the top books of my life

The story of currencies over time.

Incredible book.

You will better understand the world we live in

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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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Must Read

Explains how we got into this financial mess and how bitcoin may be the answer.

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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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enlightening

if you wanna understand money, here it is. If we could move into a more responsible economic environment, we are going to need to understand these concepts.

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  • stenver
  • 2019-12-21

book is a subjective opinion of random person

lots of invalid facts, conviniently forgetting to mention important things and lots of topics where is clear the author has no idea what he is talking about

it's like listening somebody talk drunk in bar and connecting random dots in history while leaving out many important dots

8 people found this helpful

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  • eric olszewski
  • 2018-08-11

Good Austrian economics, poorly presented

great dialogue and a convincing story, but it was astonishingly redundant and stressed the same points throughout (which is fine, to a degree). I much more appreciated the general economics information than anything else

8 people found this helpful

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  • PG
  • 2018-06-22

Must read

This book is a must read for everyone interested in economics, finance or politics. Bitcoin will change the world as we know it today.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Brian Considine
  • 2019-07-19

Less Bitcoin, more old Austrian Economics Vendetta

Working about 75% thru this book on Audible. Most of it is economics from the Austrian POV. Long story short everything was great under the gold standard and bad before and since. Bitcoin is the next gold so bring it on.

The economic theory here is a missed opportunity for advocates of this economic school to be serious, instead they are not. Fallacies galore combined with implausible claims. For example, Mozart was great art made under gold, while today Miley Cyres 'twerks' under fiat money. Possibly but we know about Mozart today because he made it through the great filter of history. Plenty of ribald ballads were sung in Mozart's time that were forgotten about. It's absurd to evaluate the art of today without understanding the fact that we know more about today's art than we ever will of a previous eras because the forgettable has yet to be forgotten.

The author considers a cartoon version of Keynesian economics (and quite frankly is pretty rude about Keynes the man, claiming he never read classical economics and alleging he had sex with children. The first is clearly false, I don't know about the second but it's suspect when an author writes a book on theory that only does personal attacks on theorists he doesn't like. If you are writing biography or history then do so).

A more serious book would have attempted to wrestle with the actual challenge Keynes poised to the Austrian view of money. The first is clearly the gold standard did not last very long and by the author's admission quickly became consumed by banks that issued paper against their gold holdings. If it was so good why did it fail? Government control was not really the issue. Even when private gold holdings were illegal, gold jewelry was an option and even today is often used as a way to hold gold.

The book confuses savings with investment badly by failing to consider investment is spending. Very little savings is in the form of money, for good reason. Money, at best, can give one a 0% return. Stuff $100 under a mattress and ten years later you will only have a $100 bill. The investment the author equates to savings only happens when money is spent directly by the 'saver' (say a person uses some of his income to buy work tools) or loaned to a business that is doing investment (you save $100 in the bank, the bank loans $100 to the pizza place that uses it upgrade its oven). Savers in a modern economy are investors.

The book focuses on one aspect of danger with fiat money, runaway money printing either by a malicious or incompetent government. But the book acknowledges banks will create money based on fractional reserves (you put 100 gold nuggets in the bank, the bank loans out paper for 90 of them figuring on any given day only a small portion of people will show up demanding actual nuggets). Since this is a known issue with money, how can fiat money 'steal savings' when contracts can easily be written with inflation adjustments built in or it is easy to hedge against inflation risk in the financial markets? The hyper inflation of a desperate government (usually losing or almost losing a war) looks less like the theft of savings as the destruction of value....which is what happens when a nation loses a war. The Confederate States of America, for example, didn't 'steal' savings from Southerners, the assets Southerns had were destroyed as war devastated the nation. Sure if you were a plantation owner who sold his plantation for gold before the Civil War, you would have gold after the Civil War. But whoever brought your plantation wouldn't be as well off.

The gist of this is that the system seems to both demand that money be a store of value AND it provide some inflationary stimulus. The author takes the position that money is neutral...as long as we can divide it into as small units as we need, it doesn't matter if currency is 1 g gold bars or 0.001 g gold bars. But then how can inflation cause such problems? If money was neutral then inflation would simply be neutralized by the market. A 10% increase in prices would be meet with 10% increased wages and 10% increase in debts leaving everyone in the same position as before. If, however, money is not neutral out the window goes the assumption that money needs to be a 'store of value' above all else and a hard money supply will only produce good things and habits for the economy.

I suspect bitcoin will take the place of gold. It's a 'hard money' check on very dysfunctional governments...a great way for people in bad countries to escape the capital controls and bank freezes of a collapsing government...but ultimately not a money replacement.

7 people found this helpful

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  • kameir
  • 2018-08-26

Mislabeled

The title suggests that the book would be dealing with Bitcoin, instead, it talks mostly about the gold standard and the history of money (albeit badly covered). The author seems to have picked the title to seem more current than what the content of the book provides.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew Cruz
  • 2019-11-15

First and last third of the book are 5 stars

The portions of the book dedicated to Bitcoin (the first and final thirds) are illuminating a describe it’s importance, applications, and uniqueness of the technology.

However, because I’m not an economist and I don’t have a strong foundation of Keynes vs Austrian school of thought. The authors aggressive bias and negativity throughout the middle of the book is off putting. I think this portion would have been better suited in another work where he could flesh out his ideas and provide stronger evidence. Instead of requiring me to take his word on the subject with very selective references and “evidence”.

Overall I think it was a good listen to highlight Bitcoins under examined qualities.

5 people found this helpful

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  • hrobbins
  • 2018-07-03

Must read.

Might be an artifact of the translation into audiobook, but I noticed a lot of repetition and belaboring points. Also a clear bit of bias at points and what occasionally felt like adhominem attacks. Overall though, it's probably the best overall analysis of the potential and pitfalls of bitcoin and blockchain technology I've seen in one place.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mihir Patel
  • 2020-01-20

Extrapolation Crazy, need another book on bitcoin

This guy makes crazy assumptions about the present as to why art is the way it is from economics. I’ve never heard of someone so thick headed that their opinions bleed their own biases into what was supposed to be researched writing. Anyone can go on and make up explanations that sound right.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sean
  • 2018-07-12

instant classic

The only book that I have purchased in both print and audible format. Of the books I listen to repeatedly, this book will stand alone for the foreseeable future. Years of common Bitcoin lore backed up by a history of economics and statistics reveal why and how it is unlikely that I will ever see Bitcoin dethroned.

4 people found this helpful

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  • bk
  • 2020-01-17

Interesting but not convincing

This book is useful to know the limitations of Bitcoin and I don't think I want to use it after reading this book.

Who want to mind Bitcoin when Bitcoin does not generate any new coins?
What happens when nobody is maintaining Bitcoin blocks?

3 people found this helpful

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  • Olkhova
  • 2021-01-22

Incroyable et très détaillée histoire d’argent

En tant que débutant complet, j’ai avalé le livre sans aucun moment d’incompréhension. Facile, fascinant récit. Donne envie d’approfondir les thèmes abordés. Je recommande a tout profil