Digital Gold

Digital Gold

Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money

eBook - 2015
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A "New York Times" technology and business reporter charts the rise of Bitcoin technology, which has threatened to decentralize some of society's most basic institutions, by profiling the colorful characters who are striving to create a new global currency for the Internet age.
"A New York Times technology and business reporter charts the dramatic rise of Bitcoin and the fascinating personalities who are striving to create a new global money for the Internet age.Digital Gold is New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper's brilliant and engrossing history of Bitcoin, the landmark digital money and financial technology that has spawned a global social movement.The notion of a new currency, maintained by the computers of users around the world, has been the butt of many jokes, but that has not stopped it from growing into a technology worth billions of dollars, supported by the hordes of followers who have come to view it as the most important new idea since the creation of the Internet. Believers from Beijing to Buenos Aires see the potential for a financial system free from banks and governments. More than just a tech industry fad, Bitcoin has threatened to decentralize some of society's most basic institutions.An unusual tale of group invention, Digital Gold charts the rise of the Bitcoin technology through the eyes of the movement's colorful central characters, including a British anarchist, an Argentinian millionaire, a Chinese entrepreneur, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and Bitcoin's elusive creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Already, Bitcoin has led to untold riches for some, and prison terms for others.Digital Gold includes 16 pages of black-and-white photos"--
Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062362513
0062362518
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xv, 398 pages)
text file, rda
Additional Contributors: Axis 360 (Firm)

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Lord_Vad3r Apr 29, 2019

One day I woke up with a brilliant idea: to make my own money. First, I had to decide what to call it. It had to be something catchy, something easy to remember.That was when I had my second flash of inspiration. I would my money Timmybucks. Then I had to ponder all of the various characteristics Timmybucks would need to be a good form of currency. It would have to. be divisible, durable, portable, scarce, and uniform.

I decided right away to get rid of coinage. No longer would things cost $14.99. From here on out it will be $15. Timmybucks will only be available in whole dollars. The great ideas just keep coming. I am a genius.

For my design I did zentangles on some post it notes. I printed $100,000 worth in denominations of 1 and 5 dollars, or Timmybucks if you will, and laminated them. That takes care of scarcity, divisibility, and durability. Now I’m ready to head to Vegas.

Yes, this all sounds crazy and maybe more than a little narcissistic but this is the essence of what the creators of bitcoin did.

After the global meltdown in 2008 and the subsequent bank bailouts, certain subsets of society started looking for ways to cut central banks, credit card companies, and governments out of the money equation. Bitcoin never really lived up to the ideal of eliminating a central authority. Every system devised for managing the coins ended up relying on one company or worse, one person. Setting that failure aside, bitcoin succeeded in one amazing and critical way: they got people to believe in the system and to trade goods and services for it. I could take Timmybucks to the black jack table at Treasure Island but it probably wouldn’t be long until I was chucked out on my ear.

The first items bought with bitcoin were two Papa John’s pizzas. 10,000 coins were used in the transaction (worth around 52 million dollars in today’s money unless my math is wrong). The next items bought were a ton of drugs through an anonymous site called Sillk Road.

Bitcoin carried some significant risks and its association with a site like Silk Road didn’t help it get the blessing of banks or governments. There were a number of very real failures that could have destroyed the project. And yet, after every price drop it would recover.

When you read about the economies of other countries though, you can see why bitcoin continues to have an allure. Argentina is the primary example cited. Wences Casares, one of bitcoin’s most ardent supporters, is quoted as saying “I think I understand economics better than most people because I grew up in Argentina. I’ve seen every single monetary experiment you can imagine. This is street smart economics. Not the complex PhD economics.”

Regulations are necessary but when a government gets over-involved in the economy it can really screw things up. Hence the reason decentralized monetary systems are so attractive. Unfortunately, bitcoin still needs governments and banks to provide it legitimacy.

Popper’s book follows the evolution of bitcoin in the US and abroad. He introduces all the major players and relays the history in great detail. And it is a fascinating story.Part of me still wants to think of bitcoin as those things that come out of the question mark boxes in Super Mario. Bitcoin is real and I think it’s here to stay.

Anybody want to send me a pizza for 100,000 Timmybucks?

r
Raschafe
Jun 14, 2016

Really interesting read. Gives you the behind the scenes look at the players involved in creating bitcoin and nursing it from a white-paper document to a real-life digital currency. The stories on the silk road website were pretty interesting too. Even if bitcoin never gets going on a mass-scale, you can bet the blockchain technology behind it will given its success. Just a matter of time until that technology starts to get implemented into a lot of day-to-day life tasks.

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