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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times technology and business reporter charts the dramatic rise of Bitcoin and the fascinating personalities who are striving to create a new global money for the Internet age.

Digital Gold is New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper's brilliant and engrossing history of Bitcoin, the landmark digital money and financial technology that has spawned a global social movement.

The notion of a new currency, maintained by the computers of users around the world, has been the butt of many jokes, but that has not stopped it from growing into a technology worth billions of dollars, supported by the hordes of followers who have come to view it as the most important new idea since the creation of the Internet. Believers from Beijing to Buenos Aires see the potential for a financial system free from banks and governments. More than just a tech industry fad, Bitcoin has threatened to decentralize some of society's most basic institutions.

An unusual tale of group invention, Digital Gold charts the rise of the Bitcoin technology through the eyes of the movement's colorful central characters, including a British anarchist, an Argentinian millionaire, a Chinese entrepreneur, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and Bitcoin's elusive creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Already Bitcoin has led to untold riches for some and prison terms for others.

©2015 Nathaniel Popper (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Informative, but dry

As someone who knew nothing of bitcoin, I found the information presented in this book extremely intriguing! I learned tons about the concept of money and of course Bitcoin.

However, the manner in which this narrative is craft combined with the monotone of the narrator's voice made the delivery of this content sub-par at best. I listened to 8 hours of this tale and couldn't bare to listen to that last 2 hours due to these facts.

If you are a bitcoin enthusiast or interested in investing in this commity I would recommend this book. Perhaps get the hardcover version, but nonetheless, give this book a try. If you don't fall into these above two categories; I would recommend pursing a different listen.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DV
  • 05-26-15

Great introduction to Bitcoin

What made the experience of listening to Digital Gold the most enjoyable?

Digital Good provides a clear and engaging history of bitcoin, and Nathaniel Popper does an excellent job of distilling the theoretical advantages and drawbacks of bitcoin as a currency. Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

BITCOIN

Nathaniel Popper writes a book on the history of bitcoin.  His history is a “Just the facts Mam” presentation.  One will draw their own conclusion about the good and bad qualities of cryptocurrency.

Just like the dollar, pound, renminbe (yuan), franc, and euro, bitcoin is used for legal and illegal transactions.  There are a host of criminals who have gamed currencies.  Pepper recounts examples of bitcoin that show it is not exempt from currency manipulation.

No form of currency guarantees value.  Every form of currency has its ups and downs.  The difference is in who makes the decision about value.  If you live in a highly inflationary country, bitcoin offers some level of stability.  If you live in a wealthy and relatively stable country, bitcoin seems less attractive.

The future of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies seems more utilitarian in a future where nationalism disappears and there is acceptance of a world economy based on equality of opportunity.  We seem far from such a Utopian world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great summary of the Bit-Coin phenomenon

I think anyone interested in understanding more about crypto currencies, the block chain technology, and bitcoin specifically, would find most of what they need in this one book. I would point out that the story ends in 2014. So there’s clearly more history beyond that. Narration is excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Bitcoin!

Awesome, informative, entertaining, just great!!

A must have to any bitcoin enthusiast.

Can't wait to listen to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This book is digital gold...

“Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money” is the work of New York Times technology and business reporter Nathaniel Popper. If you are looking for a solid historical account of the creation and rise of Bitcoin, this is the book for you. The audiobook narration is expertly performed by Robert Fass. Although the book attempts to walk a fine line between being overly technical and overly simplistic for the non-technical person, it does a good job of keeping both type of people engrossed. I personally would have liked to have had a much deeper dive into the technical aspects of Bitcoin and the foundational blockchain specifically, but the book exceeded my expectations in many ways. Instead, the listener is treated to a chronological view of digital currencies along with the people who made them possible. If you like well researched documentaries that do not get lost in all the minutia, this is the right book for you. However, if you are looking for a deep and technical dive into the underpinnings of Bitcoin, you may go away disappointed. Being someone who is in the technology industry, I found the book fascinating, entertaining, enlightening, and extremely well laid out as long as you have the correct understanding of what to expect from the book’s content.

Even though Bitcoin has now been around for over ten years, the encryption, ideas, and tools have all existed in one way or another for decades or longer. The concept of decentralized and non-government run currencies have been around for some time, yet the Internet age was necessary to see these ideas come to fruition. I found it fascinating that may different people were attempting to create, and at times came very close, a digital currency that closely mirrored physical currencies but could improve upon all the places where physical currencies failed. Many were able to achieve bits and pieces but often ran into roadblocks around the next bend involving security, encryption, etc. What you will see in this book is how one person, or group of persons, took the bits and pieces from others and put them together to create what we now know as Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s beginnings remind me of how impactful it was for Diffie Hellman to solve the issue of secure key exchanging on a public network; and Bitcoin uses this same technology to secure itself.

What I found fascinating was not only the rise of the technology itself, but the people and community behind it who wanted to see it succeed no matter the cost. They saw this project as a tenant of their foundational beliefs and knew if it took off, it would change the world as much as the Internet has already. Seeing the early selfless acts of others to nurture and promote the technology until it could be proven and adopted into the mainstream was amazing. As with an innovative product, Bitcoin faced many early challenges and still has many hurdles to get over prior to it being widely used. What the author does well it tell the story of a unique newborn technology as it entered its toddler stage (terrible twos), and is beginning to blossom into a mature young adult that still has a few rough edges and is trying to find its identity in the world. Over the next few years, I believe we will see even more innovations built upon the groundwork of Bitcoin; and the blockchain more specifically. We are already seeing this with other cryptocurrency networks and even commercial implementations involving document signing, etc. I think a great follow-up book to this one would be for the author to tell the story of how what appears to be a simple concept (the blockchain) is today changing the way we live and what the future holds.

Robert Fass did a wonderful job narrating the audiobook edition of this book. He took what could be at times dry information or “data dumps” and made it interesting and fun. Even though the book is more a documentary covering the rise of Bitcoin, the narrator did not simply read the material in a monotone fashion. He kept me engaged all the time while listening and for a non-fiction book, that can at times be a difficult thing to accomplish. The audio quality was top-notch and I do not recall any issues with the recording while listening. With over one hundred and fifty narrated books on Audible, at the time of this review, I will make sure to include this narrator on my ones to watch.

In summary, the book is polished, well laid out, and detailed. If you are looking for a non-fiction tale that at times feels like fiction having intrigue, etc., I think you may well enjoy the journey the author takes you on. It is a fascinating piece of journalism for both the technical person and technically challenged alike.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Perfect!

quite an interesting story that indulges into the meaning , reasons and inspiration surrounding the cryptocurrency
The narrator has a great style and delivering the story and deserves a winning prize for his excellent performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great history of bitcoin!

This book tells the story of Satoshi Nakamoto starting bitcoin through about 2014 . It's very interesting to hear the stories of how bitcoin grew.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Informative and a great read

An extremely interesting story about businesses and the monetary system. This book explains in detail (without being boring or confusing) what bitcoin technology is, why it is such a big deal, and who was involved in the creation of this technology.

I knew very little about bitcoin and block chain technology before this book but now I believe I understand it better than most.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!

The book is very comprehensive and the story is very interesting. A must read. I like then narrator as well.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful