In this brief article, we shall review “The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking” by Saifedean Ammous. We aim to provide an overview of the pros and cons of this book and give a recommendation of whether it is worth a read.
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Author: Saifedean Ammous
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, United States
Publish Date: 2018
About the Author
Saifedean Ammous is an associate Professor of Economics at the Adnan Kassar School of Business which is part of the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon. He is also a foreign member of The Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University in New York.
Saifedean Ammous has an avid interest in the ideas of the Austrian School of Economics. He completed his PhD thesis in 2011 in Sustainable Development at Columbia University.
If you are interested in learning more about him, you can do so by following the links provided below.
- Official Website
- His profile on Adnan Kassar School of Business
- His profile on The Center on Capitalism and Society
- Twitter Profile
What does the Book Contain?
The first 7 chapters (around 167 pages) are dedicated to exploring:
- The history of money
- How money works
- What constitutes “sound money”
- The different forms of money utilised throughout history
- The implications carried by using certain forms of money
It is not until the last 3 chapters (about 90 pages) of the book that Bitcoin is actually explored in detail. However, in keeping with the rest of the book, these chapters assess Bitcoin’s monetary characteristics and dwells little on its technical properties.
Having read through the book, we feel there are several good points worth mentioning:
- The first 7 chapters provide a very interesting take on the history and workings of money.
- The last 3 chapters assess the monetary properties Bitcoin possesses and what role it could fulfil in the future.
- Because Ammous is influenced by Austrian Economics, “The Bitcoin Standard” provides interesting insights into this school of thought.
- Ammous has a very academic writing style, which might not be to everyone’s tastes.
- Some parts of the book were overly fleshed out where they didn’t need to be.
- He has a clear disdain for Keynesian economics. Whilst Ammous is obviously entitled to his own outlook, at times he could have presented it more objectively. Unfortunately a small number of his points do come across more like rants than dispassionate arguments.
- It would have been even better if he could have dedicated a greater part of the book to exploring Bitcoin in more detail.
Saifedean Ammous’ The Bitcoin Standard is a very interesting read. You may or may not agree with his outlook, but this book is great for anyone who is interested in the history of money and where Bitcoin may fit into this.
Although the major bugbear is that he could have dedicated more of the book to actually looking at Bitcoin.
Where can I get it?
The Bitcoin Standard is available in English on Amazon in the following countries:
- United States
- United Kingdom