By @SimonCocking. The Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don and Alex Tapscott. Available from Amazon here.

The technology likely to have the greatest impact on the future of the world economy has arrived, and it’s not self-driving cars, solar energy, or artificial intelligence. It’s called the blockchain. Don Tapscott, the bestselling author of Wikinomics, and his son, blockchain expert Alex Tapscott, bring us a brilliantly researched, highly readable, and utterly foundational book about the future of the modern economy. Blockchain Revolution is the business leaders’ playbook for the next decade and beyond.

Over the years Don Tapscott has collaborated with a series of industry thought leaders to produce interesting and thought provoking and enjoyable books on various aspects of our evolving digital cultures and lifestyles. His latest book is a great addition to this series. Firstly this is a really useful book to read, and one that I have already gone back to and reread parts of it. The range of people interviewed and researched for the book are all the right people in the sector to talk to. Naturally it would be fascinating to get Satoshi Nakomoto’s thoughts on a few things, but sadly he/she/they/it are not yet available for interviews. Nakamoto excepted, the Tapscott’s have built their insights and arguments based on a healthy range of differing opinions about how blockchain’s potential business applications could play out.

Chapters three to six, were the most thumbed by us, and the sections we are most likely to re-read first, as they look at future use case scenarios for the technology.  Chapter 3, Reinventing financial services looks at this area with some exciting and challenging possibilities. Already in a series of interviews that we have conducted with various fintech thought leaders they are already articulating many examples of where blockchain is, and will be used, and these do seem to coincide with many of the Tapscott’s observations. Similarly Chapters 4 and 5 consider the future of work, and what that might mean for individuals and businesses, with potentially Uber and Airbnb at risk of being supplanted by a direct peer to peer system.

This are important and interesting changes to consider, and to try to factor into our planning of the future and how we deal with it. The later chapters look at how blockchain may, or may not impact on other areas of our lives too. These are interesting to consider, but it will remain to be seen if they play out the way described by the Tapscott’s or in a slightly different version. The book is written in a readable and accessible way, very much aimed at describing how the future could play out, with some areas that are likely to be a highly accurate, while others may turn out to be more aspirational. Either way this is a book well worth reading, and is probably the benchmark book on blockchain to date for those looking to get up to speed on this coming wave on fintech innovation and change for our lives.


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