So many times I complained because I couldn’t understand the phenomenon of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. I didn’t understand how they are created, and why their value is so volatile. What is cryptocurrency? From my point of view, fueled by banks and other authorities, it was clear speculation, an investment bubble created by our basic instincts, driven by a bunch of greedy guys.
The Truth Machine explores a short history of publicly maintained databases, such as Wikipedia and presents it as an excellent example of how we should create and store information in the future. Then, the concept of encryption is presented which, by blending with a public database, makes a good starting point to illustrate how Bitcoins work. I still might be wrong, but for me, Bitcoin is a value chain with a limited amount of values. This limitation, mixed with a whole exchanging mechanism around, makes it so valuable. I think that I have acknowledged the concept of ciphered peer-to-peer deals and, by catching that, now I understand why all financial institutions and governments oppose it so ferociously. Frankly speaking, peer-to-peer operations put them in great peril by stripping them of their commission/VAT and crucial information.
Anyway, The Truth Machine, for me, was a difficult book. Sometimes a bit dull due to the fact that some concepts were too overstretched. However, the author deserves respect as he managed to cover a topic of great complexity.
The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything
by Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna
Size: 320 pages
Other information and reviews of this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34964890-the-truth-machine
Other useful links:
Michael J. Casey’s website: https://www.michaeljcasey.com/
Cryptocurrency on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptocurrency
Blockchain on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain
Other book about uses of data (not cryptocurrencies): Big Data by Kenneth Cukier