Review of “The Bitcoin Guidebook”

This is one of my shortest reviews. The Bitcoin Guidebook by Ian DeMartino begins on a high but ends up being a damp squib. The first few chapters as usual discuss the evolution of bitcoin, where to get bitcoin, who runs it, and how the bitcoin derives value, and are marginally interesting. The book rapidly goes downhill from there. There is almost nothing in this book that you cannot get from reading a blog or an article from one of the leaders in the field. One of the weakest aspects is the lack of coherence between chapters, which is rapidly lost even when smartly bundled under key sections such as: how to invest and what the bitcoin can do. Each chapter of the later part of Section 1, Sections 2, 3, and 4, seem cobbled together haphazardly.

The highlight of the book for me was the discussion whether Bitcoin is “Pseudonymous” or “Anonymous.” The author goes into great detail about transaction mixing with some helpful charts, wallets, and services which anonymize transactions for users, etc. This was something I have not found in some of the other books on the bitcoin and was surely the high point of the book. The usual discussions about Mt. Gox and Silk Road were a snooze-fest.

My rating is 2.0 / 5.0 for a decent effort by a new author. I am sure his next books will be a lot better.

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