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The Bitcoin Standard

The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking
Narrated by: James Fouhey
Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (322 ratings)

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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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    5 out of 5 stars

My perspective on the world turned upside down

Want to find out why the world is the way it is today? Look no further than this book. This book is about more than just Bitcoin. It’s about what makes good hard money and the consequences on society for not choosing hard money and instead choosing easy, infinitely printed money. Wonder why it’s so much harder to get onto the property ladder today and much more? Look no further than the printing press of your central bank. This book is amazing and must be read by everyone. The only slight small thing I’m not in agreement with however is that blockchain has no use outside of digital cash. I agree that projects should not call themselves decentralised if they can alter the blockchain when events don’t go their way but I do think Bitcoin and blockchain will have a profound impact on our society for years to come. The possibilities and future events are yet to be imagined. Im so excited for what happens next in this space.

7 people found this helpful

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This is one of the best books I have ever read

I highly recommend this book, not just for a great understanding of Bitcoin but for economics and money explained in an easy to follow manner.

2 people found this helpful

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  • LC
  • 18-12-18

Disappointing due to bias

Some interesting points made but it is clearly very biased and is providing a one sided subset of the facts which are presented in a distorted and misleading way. There is also a huge amount of repetition, strongly pushing the favoured viewpoint.

5 people found this helpful

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Outstanding Book

A great book on Bitcoin. Loved the history of money chapters which showed why Bitcoin is hard money. Would highly recommend. Some real lightbulb moments whilst reading.

4 people found this helpful

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Rants detract from story

The author strays too often into areas that he seems ill-equipped to handle. His analysis of the history of money is selective. His biographical arguments on Keynes are evidentially thin. His analysis of modern music and art is weak. These positions may be grounded in some truth, but they appear in the text as opinions not well reasoned arguments. And what are they doing here anyway? There is no need for these digressions: it undermines the obvious authority the author displays elsewhere and makes a reader question his overall rigour. One is left with the impression not of a careful academic study but of an ideological project. This is a shame because parts of the book are excellent when the topic sticks to the proposed subject ie Bitcoin.

1 person found this helpful

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Highly recommended

Very interesting. A whole history of money and where bitcoin fits into it. Great read!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but very smug

Contains quite a lot of interesting material but is rather spoilt by the many extended passages dedicated to telling us how stupid, lazy and greedy most people are.

After listening to this I invested in some bitcoin. It lost 10% of it's value in one day and is still falling. Sound money indeed.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book for understanding the advantages of the gold standard and its relationship to bitcoin

The first few chapters of this book are not really about bitcoin but rather about the gold standard and the libertarian argument for keeping this. The book then goes on to argue that bitcoin is a modern replacement for gold, that it alone (rather than any other cryptocurrency) has particular strengths, such as immutability and being out of control (having no one in charge). These make it an ideal replacement for gold and a long-term store of value.

1 person found this helpful

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This book will go down as the bible of Bitcoin

This book goes into huge depth about the history and fundamentals of Bitcoin, a must for anyone thinking or already into bitcoin that wants a better understanding of the blockchain and everything bitcoin.

1 person found this helpful

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Bitcoin and other currencies

This book explains a lot more than bitcoin. Fascinating stuff! Worth a second listen for sure.

1 person found this helpful

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  • eric olszewski
  • 11-08-18

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

6 people found this helpful

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  • PG
  • 22-06-18

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.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mihir Patel
  • 20-01-20

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • stenver
  • 21-12-19

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

3 people found this helpful

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  • bk
  • 17-01-20

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?

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean
  • 12-07-18

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • hrobbins
  • 03-07-18

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cleber O.
  • 26-06-18

the best economic of money

the best economic review about money ever created with history and very good explanation what is bitcoin.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AW
  • 23-06-18

A Must Read for Anyone Investing in Cryptocurrency

The most clear and compelling argument for Bitcoin Maximalists to date. A must read for anyone investing in cryptocurrency.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-07-18

Bit monotone but great info

audio speaker is a bit monotone and can drone on. info however is very good for anyone looking to invest in bitcoin or looking for info on it.

4 people found this helpful