By @SimonCocking review of Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World, 2nd edition, by  Don Tapscott  and Alex Tapscott. Available here.

‘This book has had an enormous impact on the evolution of blockchain in the world’ Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corporation

‘What a spectacular book. Mind-blowing in its expansiveness and profundity. It makes me think we’re at one of those times in technological, economic and social history where the sky is the limit’ Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer and Chief Scientist at Prima Data

‘The Tapscotts have written the book, literally, on how to survive and thrive in this next wave of technology-driven disruption. Likely to become one of the iconic books of our time’ Clay Christensen, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma

Blockchain is the ingeniously simple technology that powers Bitcoin. But it is much more than that, too. It is a public ledger to which everyone has access, but which no single person controls. It allows for companies and individuals to collaborate with an unprecedented degree of trust and transparency. It is cryptographically secure, but fundamentally open. And soon it will be everywhere.

In Blockchain Revolution, Don and Alex Tapscott reveal how this game-changing technology will shape the future of the world economy, dramatically improving everything from healthcare records to online voting, and from insurance claims to artist royalty payments. Brilliantly researched and highly accessible, this is the essential text on the next major paradigm shift. Read it, or be left behind.

This is a revised version of the groundbreaking book that came out in 2016. There is a completely new preface to this edition of the book. If you haven’t read the original book before then now is a great time to make amends for this and catch up on their invaluable exposition of what blockchain is, what it offers, and how it can help in many, many industries to be a transformative technology. As you can imagine from the heavyweight endorsements above, this is an area which has caught the imagination of the great and the good of the tech industry with good reason. In the famous hype curve, we are now almost certainly moving beyond the initial peak of overblown rhetoric declaring how blockchain will cure all of society’s ills. More excitingly, having moved beyond the goldrush of last winter, where everyone seemingly thought bitcoin would make them all millionaires, we are now into a calmer but more interesting period where we are seeing the rollout of actual working, innovative blockchain based solutions.

It will still take time to see the complete impact and results of these new ideas, but reading the Tapscott’s book from two years ago, does help to reinforce the value of taking a big picture and longer time frame view on it all. They have also managed to get relevant interviews with pretty much everyone in the crypto field apart from Satoshi Nakamoto. This helps to support their assertions, based upon rock solid insights from those that know, such as Vitalik  Buterin, Joseph Lubin, Imogen Heap, Nick Szabo and many many more at the bleeding edge of the evolution of blockchain related technologies.

For this review, we reread the whole book, and it is still a valuable addition to your book collection. Read it, embrace it, learn from it, and adapt or perish.

The preface is a great way to have a completely up to date perspective on the book. In some ways too, you get the feeling that the preface + original book, is partly neither fish nor fowl, and that hopefully quite soon, there will be a completely re-written third edition. To bridge both the ideas first elaborated two+ years ago, and the up to date insights gathered for the preface and afterword. On the other hand perhaps that is making too much work for them. Don recently explained how much of his time is now spent on blockchain related initiatives, so then maybe the work of the Blockchain Research Institue will be the place to follow the latest updates instead.


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