Review: The Bitcoin Standard, Saifedean Ammous

Rating: 3 out of 5

This included a history of money which was, though brief, clear and well-stated. This was followed by an explanation of why the present monetary system is poor. Though some of this ‘explanation’ relied on character assassination more than reasoned arguments, I enjoyed it — which is not to say that it should be believed without any questions. However, for a book that mentions ‘bitcoin’ in its title, there was very little talk of bitcoin for the majority of the book.

I think that the main problem with this volume may be summarised as the unerring belief that everything in the present civilisation is degrading because of the monetary system. The supposed reason for this is that whatever problems anyone faces today, the government can print some money and solve that problem. In reality, of course, it is not *quite* that simple.

However, the above made this book a debate between fiat and hard currency. This makes it a seldom-seen experience in the modern day, and perhaps allowed the author to make the best cases for cryptocurrency — including bitcoin. This debate was presented on the best lines of bitcoin versus other currencies, and therefore some of the potential faults with cryptocurrency design were illustrated with relevant examples.

Lastly, I should note that I am purposefully reviewing this at the same time as ‘The Ascent of Money’ by Niall Ferguson as I think these two in conjunction work to give a good overview of the monetary system as it is today and why it is here today. And, these two also provide some critical counter-arguments to each other!

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