The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking
Bitcoin is the digital age's novel, decentralized, and automated solution to the problem of money: accessible worldwide, controlled by nobody. Can this young upstart money challenge the global monetary order? Economist Saifedean Ammous traces the history of the technologies of money to seashells, limestones, cattle, salt, beads, metals, and government debt, explaining what gave these technologies their monetary role, what makes for sound money, and the benefits of a sound monetary regime to economic growth, innovation, culture, trade, individual freedom, and international peace.
The monetary and historical analysis sets the stage for understanding the mechanics of the operation of Bitcoin, the reasons for its initial success, and the role it could play in an information economy. Rather than serving as a currency and network for consumer purchases, the author argues Bitcoin is better suited as a store of value and network for settlement between large financial institutions. 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 true importance may just lie in providing a decentralized, neutral, free-market alternative to national central banks.