Review of “Value Web” by Chris Skinner

I have no idea why this is voted 4 stars on Amazon.com, but I am pretty sure that will change once more ratings pour in. Perhaps, what I am saying is akin to blasphemy in the bitcoin world, but I found the book to be a complete snooze-fest.

The best part about the book is where the author does not talk or write, but interviews some of the most well-known doers in the bitcoin / blockchain world. There are almost 150 pages worth of interviews of leaders, visionaries, and entrepreneurs in the book and that is the gold mine. All credit to Skinner for getting these people and the opinions in a single book. Skinner also discusses some of the accurate predictions made by the renowned computer scientist Ray Kurzweil, who talked about automation in 2006 and estimates that computers will outperform humans in most tasks in twenty five years. This is already coming true with self-driving cars, autonomous flights, and hopefully blockchain-enabled smart economies by 2030.

The interview that stood out for me was that of Jeffrey Robinson the author of “Bitcoin: the Naked Truth About Bitcoin.” Robinson argues that Bitcoin is worthless but the underlying technology is the driving force for everyone to get to the promised land. Robinson, even goes on to refer to the Bitcoin as pretend currency (boom…mic drop). Not sure if I entirely agree with that categorization, but personally the underlying blockchain technology is what keeps me up at night, reading and researching.

The second best interview was with Giles Andrews, the CEO and Co-Founder of Zopa, the P2P lender. No banks needed for loans sounds like music to most ears. That is exactly what Zopa does. It epitomizes the “value web” philosophy. Zopa is known to have lower default rates than traditional banks owing to Zopa’s superior customer 360 analytics and is perhaps one of the coolest examples of Analytics in FinTech.

Skinner though does a decent job or articulating his “value web” philosophy. But it could have been done in one chapter. It doesn’t need a book. The book seems like an unnecessary attempt to put something in print rather than adding something valuable to the discourse on bitcoin and blockchain.

My rating 3 / 5.

 

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