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  • The Bitcoin Standard

  • The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking
  • By: Saifedean Ammous
  • Narrated by: James Fouhey
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (505 ratings)

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The Bitcoin Standard

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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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent explanation of why Bitcoin is sound

The author spends most of the book explaining a history of money. It is very thorough and interesting. The early foundation pays off well by the end of the book in helping the reader to understand the value of Bitcoin.

There are a few things that I think aren't great. The author has many tangents, on the state of art for example and I think the comments about other cryptocurrencies were shortsighted. I don't think blockchain has so little potential as the author suggests.

Still, overall a great book and well worth reading. I feel more informed related to money and cryptocurrencies.

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3 people found this helpful

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Should be mandatory reading.

This book should be mandatory reading at school. Most have no idea what money is and almost no one knows about sound money. The bitcoin information was very helpful to understand such a complex system

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2 people found this helpful

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Clear No Hype Explanation on what Makes Bitcoin Tick

This audiobook provide a clear explanation on the history of money, the importance of hard money serving as reserve currency, and how Bitcoin, like gold before it, could possibly play this role in the future.

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2 people found this helpful

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The new standard of quality, for web3 books

The Bitcoin Standard is one of the most well written books on web3 topics such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and alike that I have heard so far. The writer has a done a great job at contrasting historical examples with present day technology, highlighting how and why these new technologies can help homosapiens to advance our civilization into a future built on sound money and trade, and all the goodness which organically results.

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1 person found this helpful

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Exceptional book

The book explains an unpack. The complexities of bitcoin, and it’s important in the modern world. Don’t sleep on this technology.

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Must Read in the 21st Century

Saifedean does an excellent job at explaining the tenets of Bitcoin with context. He’s not a fan of the arts though ;)

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  • Ben
  • 05-06-2023

Excellent overview of bitcoin

This is an excellent overview of Bitcoin 10 years after its creation. It explores its principles and creation and the things that keep the network stable. While it could have gone into a lot more technical depth it keeps it accessible to all people. Only citicism may be the first half of the book goes through the history of money from barter to gold standards to fiat. This can be found elsewhere anday be unnecessary here. But it may mean his other book, The Fiat Standard, is unnecesawry to read.

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Great summary for Bitcoin value

Great summary for Bitcoin value. the writer sums up the whole bitcoin thing really well.

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Only Bitcoin can be considered

This highly detailed and factual account of the theory of money and its relevance to our development and well being brings a revelation as to why Bitcoin has come to existence and why it will revolutionise every part of our lives if it continues its adoption and implementation into everyday life. Understanding economics and it’s power to motivate us as a species is the cornerstone to understanding Bitcoin and this book does an amazing job of providing that with such a profound depth of scrutiny.

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Best book on money ever

Best book on money ever really simplifies how money actually works, opens your eyes on the monetary system globally

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