BLOCKLAND: 21 Stories of Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency
New Book – Coming summer/fall 2020
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The author Elias Ahonen was described as “one of the first Bitcoin historians” by Bitcoin.com based on his 282-page ‘Encyclopedia of Physical Bitcoin and Crypto-Currencies’ in 2016. He has worked as both a dealer of million-dollar bitcoin art and as the managing partner of a whimsical boutique blockchain consultancy through which he has seen the inner workings of this enigmatic industry during its most frenzied growing pains.
With his fascination stemming from an academic rather than technical or ideological root, Elias’ greatest strength is his ability to cut through the intense division within the industry/movement and present it to the reader from a position of impartiality and balance. This well-rounded candor has allowed him to provide the most comprehensive and balanced presentation of the blockchain phenomenon to date, written by one of blockchain’s own.
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.