I just finished another great book: Beyond Blockchain: The Death of the Dollar and the Rise of Digital Currency. I just added it to my Book Library and highly recommend the read. Author Erik Townsend has a great blend of financial and software expertise, making him uniquely qualified to talk on the topic. He explores a wide range of topics from the basics of money to global scale digital currencies.
Although launched in early 2019, the book is very timely given the current geopolitical environment. Mr. Townsend does a great job of describing various aspects of our financial system, thereby building a foundation of knowledge that makes the discussion of digital currency more impactful. Although a big proponent of cryptocurrencies and the values and motivations of the original inventors, he is a pragmatist and practical thinker – which I found very refreshing.
The books journey makes various stops as it heads towards its destination: a digital global reserve currency. As we take the journey, we learn about the money supply, sovereign debt, reserve currencies, the history of the U.S. dollar, various cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, SWIFT, fractional reserve banking, China, Russia, central banks, and monetary policy. With this knowledge, we are much better prepared to envision both the stakes involved, and the massive effort required to create both a digital global reserve currency and a digital sovereign bond market.
It’s a compelling story told by a very qualified author. Mr. Townsend concludes that as with all emerging innovation, the path will either enhance society or diminish it. I could easily add the topic as another stop along this innovation journey below. As I described in my post on Mapping the Path of Innovation, we decide which path society takes.