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The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future

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You’ve probably heard about Bitcoin on the news or heard it being discussed by your friends or colleagues. How come the price keeps changing? Is Bitcoin a good investment? How does it even have value? Why do people keep talking about it like it’s going to change the world? The Little Bitcoin Book tells the story of what’s wrong with money today, and why Bitcoin was invent You’ve probably heard about Bitcoin on the news or heard it being discussed by your friends or colleagues. How come the price keeps changing? Is Bitcoin a good investment? How does it even have value? Why do people keep talking about it like it’s going to change the world? The Little Bitcoin Book tells the story of what’s wrong with money today, and why Bitcoin was invented to provide an alternative to the current system. It describes in simple terms what Bitcoin is, how it works, why it’s valuable, and how it affects individual freedom and opportunities of people everywhere - from Nigeria to the Philippines to Venezuela to the United States. This book also includes a Q & A section with some of the most frequently asked questions about Bitcoin. If you want to learn more about this new form of money which continues to gain interest and adoption around the world, then this book is for you.


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You’ve probably heard about Bitcoin on the news or heard it being discussed by your friends or colleagues. How come the price keeps changing? Is Bitcoin a good investment? How does it even have value? Why do people keep talking about it like it’s going to change the world? The Little Bitcoin Book tells the story of what’s wrong with money today, and why Bitcoin was invent You’ve probably heard about Bitcoin on the news or heard it being discussed by your friends or colleagues. How come the price keeps changing? Is Bitcoin a good investment? How does it even have value? Why do people keep talking about it like it’s going to change the world? The Little Bitcoin Book tells the story of what’s wrong with money today, and why Bitcoin was invented to provide an alternative to the current system. It describes in simple terms what Bitcoin is, how it works, why it’s valuable, and how it affects individual freedom and opportunities of people everywhere - from Nigeria to the Philippines to Venezuela to the United States. This book also includes a Q & A section with some of the most frequently asked questions about Bitcoin. If you want to learn more about this new form of money which continues to gain interest and adoption around the world, then this book is for you.

30 review for The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future

  1. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    The Little Bitcoin Book is intended as a non-technical person’s first introduction to Bitcoin. As far as an outline of Bitcoin itself goes, it provides the barest of bones supplemented by a few assurances about the protocol’s security. Most of the discussion centers around how Bitcoin constitutes an improvement on previous forms of money and what problems Bitcoin attempts to address—namely, centralization, inflation (monetary policy opacity more generally), confiscation risk, surveillance, corru The Little Bitcoin Book is intended as a non-technical person’s first introduction to Bitcoin. As far as an outline of Bitcoin itself goes, it provides the barest of bones supplemented by a few assurances about the protocol’s security. Most of the discussion centers around how Bitcoin constitutes an improvement on previous forms of money and what problems Bitcoin attempts to address—namely, centralization, inflation (monetary policy opacity more generally), confiscation risk, surveillance, corruption, and barriers to access to financial services. It’s almost certainly a success on what it sets out to accomplish. For the non-technical and non-converted it mercifully spares any of the internal struggles within the community, and it introduces Bitcoin as a boon to freedom and human rights with zero detours into the Austro-Libertarian deliberations that preoccupy many insiders. I’m guessing the book will be appreciated by curious outsiders, but I’m interested to see how that actually plays out in practice—the few reviews already posted here seem to be from insiders who plan on handing this out to people they know and not by those people who’ve been handed the book. The book is less likely to satisfy those who are at all technically minded and probably won’t pass muster with those who approach Bitcoin from the outside with any degree of skepticism—although a list of resources at the end for branching out is included at the end. For those unsatisfied with the limited technical scope of this book, here are a few heavier options to consider: • Grokking Bitcoin by Kalle Rosenbaum: This is about as technical an intro one could hope for that doesn’t include samples of code. • Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas Antonopoulos: Is technically on a par with Grokking Bitcoin, maybe just slightly more technical, but it does include samples of code which those who can parse can enjoy and which can be skipped over by those who can’t. • Programming Bitcoin by Jimmy Song (one of The Little Bitcoin Book’s authors): I haven’t read it but my understanding is that it’s more for developers and coders than even Mastering Bitcoin. • The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous (with forward by Nassim Taleb): Relatively light on the Bitcoin technicals (partly because it assumes you’ve acquired them elsewhere and partly because they’re not required), this book is for those interested in the economics of Bitcoin and how it fits into the history of money as a technology. Likely to be intriguing even to those who disagree with the book’s specific monetary vision of Bitcoin’s future. (Extensive review here.) As a final word, the book shouldn’t be characterized as an intro-level book written for actual dummies. It’s true that it’s about the slimmest intro someone might reasonably expect, but I’m not aware of another Bitcoin book at this point that really lays out the human rights case in the way this group of authors have. And on this front, the reader who wants to branch out from The Little Bitcoin Book will be driven into a wider discussion for which there’s no specific reading list and of which Bitcoin is only a part.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Luis

    Seeing as I'm one of the authors, I think I'm allowed to write a biased, 5-star review. It was a real honor being able to work on this book with my co-authors and I couldn't be happier with the final outcome. We tried really hard to make the material approachable without necessarily talking down to our readers, who we visualized as "everyone who hasn't tried this stuff yet." Our hope is that this becomes one of the go-to guides that gets passed along whenever someone is curious, but doesn't know Seeing as I'm one of the authors, I think I'm allowed to write a biased, 5-star review. It was a real honor being able to work on this book with my co-authors and I couldn't be happier with the final outcome. We tried really hard to make the material approachable without necessarily talking down to our readers, who we visualized as "everyone who hasn't tried this stuff yet." Our hope is that this becomes one of the go-to guides that gets passed along whenever someone is curious, but doesn't know where to begin. I feel like we've done our jobs well if I find a battered, well-read copy of this book in a bus terminal diner, an airport coffee shop, or maybe even the waiting area at a major commercial bank!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christina C

    I gave this book to my mom, and she loved it. Finally an easy read for a non-technical person to understand how bitcoin fits into the greater global social-economic picture. Fantastic for anyone who has questions about Bitcoin but doesn't have a lot of time to do reading. Recommended as a breakfast time book to enjoy with your coffee. I gave this book to my mom, and she loved it. Finally an easy read for a non-technical person to understand how bitcoin fits into the greater global social-economic picture. Fantastic for anyone who has questions about Bitcoin but doesn't have a lot of time to do reading. Recommended as a breakfast time book to enjoy with your coffee.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Martin Brochhaus

    This book promises to explain "what is wrong with money today" and to describe "in simple terms what Bitcoin is, how it works, why it's valuable". I'm happy to say that the book fully delivers on this promise. If you have some friend or relative who expressed interest in Bitcoin and you want to gently nudge them into the right direction, this book is a great (and inexpensive) gift or recommendation. There is zero knowledge needed in terms of programming, math, economy or history. Every chapter in This book promises to explain "what is wrong with money today" and to describe "in simple terms what Bitcoin is, how it works, why it's valuable". I'm happy to say that the book fully delivers on this promise. If you have some friend or relative who expressed interest in Bitcoin and you want to gently nudge them into the right direction, this book is a great (and inexpensive) gift or recommendation. There is zero knowledge needed in terms of programming, math, economy or history. Every chapter in this book is toned down so that any person with basic knowledge of the English language can understand it. For example: the chapter where Bitcoin's proof-of-work mechanism is described doesn't even use the word "hash" - in fact, that word does not appear in the entire book. Instead, it uses "solving a difficult math problem that requires to spend a lot of energy" as a good enough metaphor. I couldn't find any claims in this book that were obviously wrong, so I would give this the seal of factual correctnes. BUT this book DOES NOT list any of it's sources. I find that rather shocking. There are a lot of really interesting statistics mentioned, but never will you find a link to where they got those numbers from. Example: "According to consumer price indices, from 2018 to 2019 prices rose 1.7% in Germany and 1.9% in the United States. In many countries, consumer goods prices rose much more: 3.75% in Brazil, 5% in India, 11% in Nigeria, 20% in Turkey, and a whopping 47% in Argentina.". I would have loved to be able to click at a link and see the data myself. This is a gross oversight and the main reason why I reduced my rating to four stars. Of course, the target audience of this book would likely not bother to follow any links, so you could say this is a minor nit-pick. One thing I found really refreshing and surprising in this book is the very strong focus on Bitcoin has a humanitarian technology. To me, this is what elevates this book from three stars to four stars: There could have been so many emotionally charged and negative leitmotivs, like "fuck the government", "destoy the banks", "liberatrainism", "anarcho capitalism", "Keynesians bad, Austrian economics good", "biggest wealth redistribution of our time", "all shitcoins are scams" -- but this book has none of this. Instead, almost every chapter points out big problems with our current central banking system in a very sober way, without really blaming anyone and then shows how Bitcoin, when it reaches its full potential in the future, could solve those problems. The problems are all tangible and relateable and they are problems that affect billions of people on earth today. I like that. There is so much tribalism and hatred going on when you read about Cryptocurrencies on social media, it can (and will) poison your mind with negativity. This book ignores all that noise and instead points towards reasons for hope, towards potentially huge positive impact. I would recommend this book to anyone who has zero knowledge about Bitcoin and wants to have a quick read to get up to speed. This book will leave you with many more questions, but as a starting point, it will give you a good vocabulary which will then enable you to do further research on your own. 4 stars means: Surpassed my expectations.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    This is just what I needed to make some sense of Bitcoin. I highly recommend this short read (99 pages) for anyone who's wondered what the heck it's all about. I found that between the main chapters and the Q & A at the end, many of my questions were answered. I'm still no expert, but at least now hopefully I can follow its development having a bit of background information. This is just what I needed to make some sense of Bitcoin. I highly recommend this short read (99 pages) for anyone who's wondered what the heck it's all about. I found that between the main chapters and the Q & A at the end, many of my questions were answered. I'm still no expert, but at least now hopefully I can follow its development having a bit of background information.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marty Mangold

    This book delivers what its title suggests: a quick but thoughtful introduction to Bitcoin -- beyond the pyrotechnics of its price fluctuations to the underlying idea of digital currency, and a calm consideration of currencies that fluctuate, evolve and disappear -- that is, all other currencies we've ever known. I read the Kindle edition. This book delivers what its title suggests: a quick but thoughtful introduction to Bitcoin -- beyond the pyrotechnics of its price fluctuations to the underlying idea of digital currency, and a calm consideration of currencies that fluctuate, evolve and disappear -- that is, all other currencies we've ever known. I read the Kindle edition.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Greg Bostrom

    The title says it, the little book, just a 100 pages with another 15 of appendices. The subtitle further defines what it's about and the book does deliver on the promise. Starts with defining money and it's problems. It defines and describes bitcoin at a high level. And it makes the argument on why bitcoin is important to all our futures. I really enjoyed the book as it was easy to read and was devoid of any fluff. I think its an important book and I'm sending my copy to my nephew. I'm hoping FO The title says it, the little book, just a 100 pages with another 15 of appendices. The subtitle further defines what it's about and the book does deliver on the promise. Starts with defining money and it's problems. It defines and describes bitcoin at a high level. And it makes the argument on why bitcoin is important to all our futures. I really enjoyed the book as it was easy to read and was devoid of any fluff. I think its an important book and I'm sending my copy to my nephew. I'm hoping FOMO, which is defined in the book, will get him motivated to educate himself about bitcoin.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael Buhs

    A good read, learned a lot. I was suprised to find out things that I did not know. I guess I am not Mr. Know-it-all, like I assumed. There were a few things I disagreed with, however, I could see why in the effort to make the book understandable to no-coiners that they did not include some of the more controversal facts about crypto other than Bitcoin. I appreciate the work these people put into make this book and am glad I bought it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anuj Sultania

    An excellent introduction to blockchain and bitcoin. The book does a great job at presenting a lot of the complected concepts (economic and technical) in a very easy to digest fashion. This will be my go to recommendation for anyone who wants to get into the world of bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dan V

    Super easy and straight forward. It gives you exactly that first approach you need to start your journey and curiosity about Bitcoin! Recommend it to your friends!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mae

    I won this book in a giveaway done by one of the authors, but I didn't read it immediately. The recent price increase in Bitcoin told me to STOP PROCRASTINATING, READ THE BOOK AND LEARN ABOUT BITCOIN. I'm glad I listened. If you are a complete beginner like me, this book is an excellent introduction to the world of Bitcoin. I particularly like how the authors did not shy away from mentioning the potential problems of Bitcoin. It was really insightful, and I am on my way to buying my first Bitcoin! I won this book in a giveaway done by one of the authors, but I didn't read it immediately. The recent price increase in Bitcoin told me to STOP PROCRASTINATING, READ THE BOOK AND LEARN ABOUT BITCOIN. I'm glad I listened. If you are a complete beginner like me, this book is an excellent introduction to the world of Bitcoin. I particularly like how the authors did not shy away from mentioning the potential problems of Bitcoin. It was really insightful, and I am on my way to buying my first Bitcoin!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janne

    As title suggests: it's a little book about Bitcoin. It covers the basics: why Bitcoin is important, what kind of problems it solves and then has answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Bitcoin. A good and quick read for the beginner. Some interesting stories from countries such as Nigeria and Venezuela for more seasoned hodler. As title suggests: it's a little book about Bitcoin. It covers the basics: why Bitcoin is important, what kind of problems it solves and then has answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Bitcoin. A good and quick read for the beginner. Some interesting stories from countries such as Nigeria and Venezuela for more seasoned hodler.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Halfhide

    Look no further If you’re looking for a book to get started, whether it’s for you, a friend, or a loved one: this is it. Super short, nontechnical, and to the point. What is Bitcoin? How does it work? Why is it even necessary? Common questions (and answers to them). It has it all. I really appreciate this book and I will be recommending it to all newbies moving forward.

  14. 5 out of 5

    karl taylor

    Writing books about expansive topics is hard. i like that the authors are in the reviews, and even though the list of recommendations at the end might get dated pretty quickly, i think this is a well put together primer

  15. 4 out of 5

    Roberto Estaba

    Great read to start understanding the fundamentals of money and bitcoin. It is tiny, you will not be an expert, but it triggers enough curiosity to explore further... and will make that exploration easier

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bradley Rettler

    This is the best introduction to Bitcoin available. It explains the valuable intrinsic features of Bitcoin in a narratively compelling way — and without relying on contentious economic or political premises.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eric Boawright

    Nice easy read good information I HAD already read Bitcoin and Black America but read this just to 3expand on my knowledge thanks to all the authors

  18. 5 out of 5

    Claude

    One of the most enlightening books

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yorgo

    Amazing little book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sandeep Reddy

    An elevator pitch of Bitcoin for the fully unaware. As all pitches go, it concisely describes about the potential value of Bitcoin while barely delving into the nuances.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Luciano Alonso

    Excelente Me gustó mucho el libro. Es muy práctico para empezar a entender Bitcoin. Muy buena obra, me parece excelente para un principiante.

  22. 4 out of 5

    A.A. Jankiewicz

    Great book for someone who is looking to learn about Bitcoin. It does a good job if breaking down the basics into layman's terms. Great book for someone who is looking to learn about Bitcoin. It does a good job if breaking down the basics into layman's terms.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kirk

    Great introduction for those looking for an easy to pick up and understand concept overview. Lacks technical detail, but I believe that's it's intention. Great introduction for those looking for an easy to pick up and understand concept overview. Lacks technical detail, but I believe that's it's intention.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Vasko

    Perfect little manifesto

  25. 4 out of 5

    Warren Mcpherson

    A quick introduction that focuses on one motivation for supporting Bitcoin. This is a very short book with a focus on the intended social impact of Bitcoin. It looks at human rights and the role bitcoin may play particularly under oppressive governments. The libertarian perspective is distinct, certainly not universally, but does represent a significant community. Several of the sections may seem controversial and I don't think you need to agree with everything in the book to find value in it. I A quick introduction that focuses on one motivation for supporting Bitcoin. This is a very short book with a focus on the intended social impact of Bitcoin. It looks at human rights and the role bitcoin may play particularly under oppressive governments. The libertarian perspective is distinct, certainly not universally, but does represent a significant community. Several of the sections may seem controversial and I don't think you need to agree with everything in the book to find value in it. I think there are many people who fundamentally don't understand the enthusiasm for bitcoin and this does a pretty good job of giving one forceful perspective in addressing the question of "why". There is a touch of techno-utopian feel to the book, I think the diversity of the author group gives them a bit of credibility here. I have also seen a pretty good variety of other evidence for the worldwide activity they refer to. I would understand a certain level of skepticism, and much of the potential usage remains a bit speculative, but on the whole, the book is reasonably well supported. As an introduction, I think this book makes the bitcoin project understandable. It doesn't take you very far down the road to understanding the system, but I think it addresses questions that continue to mistify some people who have come to understand the technology but don't get why so much energy would be committed to the project.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bearbig

    Read the Little Bitcoin book, which is the most understandable book/article about Bitcoin. It shows me the relationship with currency, and how it might change the world. To my surprise, if you think carefully about the current currency, it all based on the abstract concepts since WWII. Before that, we used gold to measure value. Bitcoin could be something more reliable than at least half types of currencies in the world. I bought a small amount of Bitcoin around a year ago as an experiment. Now i Read the Little Bitcoin book, which is the most understandable book/article about Bitcoin. It shows me the relationship with currency, and how it might change the world. To my surprise, if you think carefully about the current currency, it all based on the abstract concepts since WWII. Before that, we used gold to measure value. Bitcoin could be something more reliable than at least half types of currencies in the world. I bought a small amount of Bitcoin around a year ago as an experiment. Now it's 2020, and the value of my Bitcoin is 240% than 14 months ago. Don't get me wrong, I do not encourage you to buy Bitcoin as speculation. I just want to share two of my principles: 1. If you don't fully understand a concept, don't say you know it. 2. If you don't have your own experience with something, don't start to share what you've learned or heard from other people. Share your own experience, not others. One plus: be open to new things, we don't know exactly what the future could be. (Well, technically Bitcoin is not a new thing anymore. It is 10 years old, much older than my daughter!) Thank you, Alex Gladstein, Alena Vranovafor, Alexander Lloyd, Lily Liu and all the authors for writing this great book!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emilie Dye

    Easy to read beginners guide to bitcoin.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tom TG

    I admire the authors of this book, so I was disappointed to discover that this "four-day effort" did not even stand up to the time they invested in writing it. This reads like a rushed attempt at combining the thinking of Davidson and Rees-Mogg's Sovereign Individual with Andreas Antonopoulos's lectures to produce a cake that the authors could stick their names on the top of. Nothing new here, just plenty of half-finished thoughts. Probably could have done with paying an editor too; it's littered w I admire the authors of this book, so I was disappointed to discover that this "four-day effort" did not even stand up to the time they invested in writing it. This reads like a rushed attempt at combining the thinking of Davidson and Rees-Mogg's Sovereign Individual with Andreas Antonopoulos's lectures to produce a cake that the authors could stick their names on the top of. Nothing new here, just plenty of half-finished thoughts. Probably could have done with paying an editor too; it's littered with grammatical errors.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Madero

    A very practical and easy to understand beginner’s guide to understanding Bitcoin. A very important read for those who want to stay at the forefront of financial innovations. Bitcoin is promising- there’s a long way to go, but it really has everything to change the world.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eric Amey

    What a perfect first Bitcoin Book to read The beginning of the book gradually takes you to were the light bulb in your head goes on by the end of book. Don't hesitate buy this book now!!!!! What a perfect first Bitcoin Book to read The beginning of the book gradually takes you to were the light bulb in your head goes on by the end of book. Don't hesitate buy this book now!!!!!

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