BLOCKLAND

New Book – Coming fall 2020

BLOCKLAND: 21 Stories of Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency

BLOCKLAND

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$59 USD
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6×9 Hardcover: ~500 pages

Shipping in October 2020

 

 

Back Text

The most comprehensive and balanced presentation of the Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency phenomena to date delivered as a narrative that combines metaphoric story, textbook, and memoir. As an industry insider and a social scientist by training, Elias Ahonen writes from a position of impartiality and rigor while asking pointed questions that will challenge any reader’s assumptions.

BLOCKLAND takes the reader to the global intersection of technology, philosophy, business, and politics. It becomes apparent that a collision is imminent. Get an inside look at:

  • The crypto-anarchist philosophical origins of Bitcoin
  • Intertwined stories of 45 digital currencies
  • Stories from the cryptocurrency mining industry
  • How Bitcoin proved itself on the Dark Web’s Silk Road drug marketplace
  • Billion-dollar heists of digital money
  • A deep dive into a splintered crypto culture which may be as much religious as it is political
  • The Bitcoin Civil War and Ethereum’s ideological crisis
  • Inside stories of the making and aftermath of the 2018 ICO bubble
  • How Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Decentralized Applications (dApps), Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) present a new wave of disruption
  • Analysis of the global governmental reception of Blockchain
  • And much more!

Elias Ahonen was described as one of the first Bitcoin historians” by Bitcoin.com for his 2016 Encyclopedia of Physical Bitcoin and Crypto-Currencies. Though he started professional life as an IT analyst and North Korea geopolitical researcher, he soon found himself in a whimsical seven-year career as an international blockchain consultant and dealer of million-dollar Bitcoin art which serves as an intimate backdrop to the bigger story.

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Introduction (taken from the book)

This is an account of events set on the blockchain, a new digital realm beyond the internet, from which invention, passion, mystery, uncertainty, meaning, and hope seeped into the minds of people in every nation. This is the 2010’s legend of Bitcoin and its descendants.

For millennia, we have gathered to share stories and myths. Tales of brave adventurers of all stripes in far-off fantastical lands, fighting forces beyond description, for reasons ranging from personal gain to the liberation of peoples. For as long as we have been able to convey thoughts, those who ventured far from their homes have taken on near mythical personas in the eyes of their land-lubber peers. Sailors on years-long voyages formed traditions of passing on the legends of the seas, and soldiers, explorers, merchants, and missionaries have long returned with tales that have left their home hamlets in awe. It is my conviction that the collective adventures of those involved in this brave new world, in its decade of infancy, are ones that will outlive them. Indeed, some stories to come out of this ‘space’ are so fantastical and strange that they read like fantasy.

As with ancient mythologies, we do not quite know when this story begins nor with whom nor where. Nevertheless, you will see that concepts of neither time, place, nor person hold as much importance as we might think. Indeed, many of the interactions in this book have not taken place between physical persons in our geographic world, but between digital personas interacting across a collection of virtual platforms. These have of course led to real-world outcomes ranging from mere untold transfers of wealth to perhaps the evolution of the very foundations of our societal systems as we know them. Bitcoin and its base technology, Blockchain, are the most transformative concepts since the internet came around. Nothing will ever be the same.

Especially fascinating is that the Bitcoin phenomenon, along with its elements of Blockchain and crypto currency, mean entirely different things to different groups of people. A myriad of interpretations exist, with the technology seen in a different yet positive light by all manner of people and groups with a broad range of motivations, and even wholly contradictory worldviews and viewpoints. These groups are not divided by race or religion, but most often by occupation and expertise. Not only is blockchain a whole new animal in fields such as computer science, economics, political science, law, and even philosophy, but it is ultimately a tool which, much like the internet, can be used to advance and promote the interests of practically any group no matter their ideas, purpose, or political persuasion. As an emerging and leader-less industry/ currency/ unit of account/ system/ program/ ledger/ society/ programming language/ privacy protector/ privacy destroyer/ Internet of Money/ Internet 2.0/ Internet 3.0/ religion/ digital gold, there is essentially no consensus reality regarding what this is all about and where it is or should be going.

Every revolution needs a cohesive story, a mythology of sorts. Every society, sect, movement, family, nation, religion, company, culture, and individual have some sort of collective history which unites and galvanizes them. These collective sagas explain the consensus origin, understood present state, and imagined future direction of each entity. These myths of adversity and triumph evoke feelings of pride and identity as well as the transmission of genuine life lessons and advice.

In this book, I introduce to you the stories and their people that both made Bitcoin and Bitcoin made. These 21 stories offer a lasting glimpse into the many facets of the wild-west first decade of Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency.

Physical Bitcoins?

“Physical crypto-currency is worthy of study because it is evidence of the notable technological and social progress relating to the continued development of a new system of value. The concept of a digital currency that is based on mathematical principles is simply revolutionary, and will in one way or another eventually reshape the world and society in which we live. These coins are the artifacts of that future.”

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Physical Bitcoin represents a new way to understand money. It takes the image of national currency coins – their materials, denomination, images, text, and security features – and either adds digital value (funded coins) or depicts a representation of that digital value (unfunded coins). Participants in the physical Bitcoin community emphasize the coins’ digital features but, perhaps paradoxically, display the result in ‘conventional’ coin format. Funded physical Bitcoin are metal coins which contain the prefix of a public address and a private key (12). The public address is openly depicted on the coin or contained on a certificate while the private key is concealed behind a tamper-proof hologram (13) or, less often, by a sticker or, even more rarely, engraved on the side of the coin (14). If the hologram is opened, the private key can be swept into a wallet which transfers the crypto-currency from the coin’s public address to one provided by the wallet software. Producers use holograms to make counterfeiting more difficult and to prevent unscrupulous users from copying the private key then re-selling the coin. Private keys should be kept secret as their controller ‘owns’ the associated crypto-currency. The producers of unfunded coins often provide a public address and private key so that buyers can self-fund the public address should they wish.

The image above reveals how the private key is added and extracted from a coin. The first photograph shows the private key being inserted into a pit on the back of the coin. The second displays the completed coin with the private key concealed behind the sealed hologram. The third denotes the private key after the hologram has been removed. The fourth photograph indicates that the hologram has a considerably different appearance after it has been opened. This change is a security measure which reports that the private key has been accessed.

Categorization

Physical bitcoins fall into various classes, which were defined as follows in the creation of the Encyclopedia of Physical Bitcoins and Crypto-Currencies:

Pre-Funded (PF) – the coin is directly funded by the manufacturer.
Buyer Funded (BF) – the buyer directly funds the coin before it is shipped.
Unfunded (UF) – shipped with a sealed private key but without loaded value.
Do It Yourself (DIY) – the owner can affix a private key and hologram.
Rounds (R) – the coin does not have the capacity to contain a private key.

Numismatic Services

1 BTC Casascius coins being prepared for a buyer

CRYPTONUMIST has unprecedented knowledge and access when it comes to locating the most sought-after coins around the world for the most serious collectors. These include the legendary 1,000 BTC coins and bars which are among the most valuable coins in the world.

Cryptonumist does not maintain public ‘for sale’ listings. We are not a ‘retail’ sales platform, and instead work directly with buyers to find the specific coins they are after and broker the transaction if appropriate. This Bespoke Brokerage Service is reserved for serious buyers looking for coins valued above $10,000 (usually well above $100,000). We do however welcome inquiries about more generic coins, grading, and will often forward these to other qualified experts. We are often asked what coins are currently available. Considering these coins are generally owned as investments, the simple answer is that just about all coins are available and for sale through our contacts for the right price.

Elias checking Casascius coins during an international pick-up as part of the Bespoke Brokerage Service.

If you want to BUY a certain rare coin, please email coins@cryptonumist.com with your request, along with information about the city/country you are located in. PLEASE NOTE that 95% of sellers will only accept BTC or other crypto-currencies, NOT cash or wire transfers etc. We will contact potential sellers of the coin(s), and communicate with you regarding progress. We will not share your identity with potential sellers. To facilitate high value transactions, we have personally flown around the world on several occasions to pick up and deliver coins in-person. Cryptonumist will sometimes issue detailed certificates for coins.

If you want to SELL a rare coin, please email coins@cryptonumist.com with information including photos, your city/country, and asking price (specify whether you want BTC or Fiat, etc). All email is reviewed and noted, and you will be notified of potential offers. Please do not send sell requests for any coin you know to be valued below $1,000.

Buy The Book

Now direct from the author, cheaper than any other distributor!

Still on the fence? Read the Free eBook; The Casascius Guide & Official Teaser first!

The softcover is great for those who are passively interested in physical crypto-coins, while the much larger hardcover version is not only an amazing piece to display, but comes with updates and revisions!

Encyclopedia of Physical Bitcoins and Crypto-Currencies, Revised Edition (Hardcover)

61iep81IgAL
$137 USD
FREE Shipping worldwide
Paperback: 286 pages
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0995089921
Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds

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Item ships within 5 days from USA, UK, or Australia depending on destination.
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Encyclopedia of Physical Bitcoins and Crypto-Currencies

61iep81IgAL
$89 USD
FREE Shipping worldwide
Paperback: 270 pages
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0995089907
Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

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Item ships within 5 days from USA, UK, or Australia depending on destination.

 

Description:

This Encyclopedia explores the recent phenomenon of physical crypto-currency and the infrastructure that surrounds it.

These are metal coins that reference various crypto-currencies of which Bitcoin is currently the most prominent. Many of these coins are funded with digital currency that can be extracted and used at will. Others are themed to celebrate the emergence of digital currency.

The new hobby of collecting physical Bitcoin and related crypto-currencies has created an expanding industry in which dozens of companies and individuals create and sell their coins to a growing market of collectors. This work covers 57 such manufacturers. There is also a thriving trade in pre-owned coins. Physical crypto-currencies have become rare objects with the highest value sale to date reaching one million dollars on the re-sale market.

This Encyclopedia provides the intrigued reader with an in-depth understanding of the subject and equips the collector with an excellent reference source.

Physical crypto-currency is worthy of study because it is evidence of the notable technological and social progress relating to the continued development of a new system of value. The concept of a digital currency that is based on mathematical principles is simply revolutionary, and will in one way or another eventually reshape the world and society in which we live.

These coins are the artifacts of that future.