Last May 19, 2015, the book entitled “Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money,” by Nathaniel Popper was released. In the book, Popper discusses the history and emergence of bitcoin, the ups and downs of the digital currency, and the people who’ve largely contributed into how it is known today. Widely recognized as a technology and business reporter for New York Times, Popper also highlights how ideology, innovation, and materialism have molded cryptocurrency through the years.
As we all know, bitcoin’s creator who’s only known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto, is a mystery up until now. Popper for his part did a daring attempt of tracing and uncovering the real identity of Nakamoto. Although unsuccessful, he didn’t fall short in introducing all the people involved, notably the key players who’ve all the way supported bitcoin early on.
In the year 2013, bitcoin was at its peak. It reached as high as $1,000. Its rate was fueled by large contributions put on by wealthy and prominent figures like entrepreneur Wences Casares, Facebook appellants Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss, and Fortress Investment Group co-chairman Peter Briger who all expressed confidence on the virtual currency’s potential. They were convinced that bitcoin is going to be the next big thing in payment systems. Little did people expect that bitcoin’s success is going to be disrupted by controversies which would result to its drastic devaluation.
Readers will also get a glimpse on how the incompetence of early bitcoin enterprises has caused them to struggle in terms of securing their assets from hackers. Most of these companies are undermanaged, thus they experienced huge losses. Many believe that bitcoin’s success would have been expedited if it was carefully managed and if it has avoided infamous scandals like that of Silk Road.
Also tackled in the book is the globalization of bitcoin which has become more attractive in some countries due to its decentralized nature. China and Argentina, for example, are just among those who restrict the movement of money to other countries. This all the more makes bitcoin a vital payment option or currency in those regions as it can be easily moved around without intervention or without paying large fees. The United States, for its part, has more and more accepted the bitcoin technology and has doubled its efforts in catching those who use it for illicit activities.
At a business standpoint, the success of bitcoin in its entirety is still debatable. It’s yet to be determined whether or not it will be generally used as a medium of exchange or as a payment system. One thing is for sure though — there is no holding back. Entrepreneurs have invested millions of dollars and are hoping they will get what they’re expected to get in due time.
For people who are widely familiar with bitcoin, this book may sound like a refresher. However, if you’re one of those who are still trying to get a full grasp on what this digital currency is all about, this book is a nice way to start. Either way, this book is a must-have.Social tagging: bitcoin > Digital Gold > Nathaniel Popper