Bitcoin? Dogecoin? Who can keep it straight? This week's review dives into the business infrastructure behind blockchain technology and its existing (and future) economic, political, and social effects
Parkin (Western Sydney Univ.) provides in-depth discussion of blockchain technologies, applications, and political/social issues. True, blockchain is a relatively new technology that transforms existing technologies supporting our current economic and political models. It is hard to think of any technology more impactful than distributed ledgers, protected by complex mathematics. Parkin does a fabulous job presenting the multipart aspect of the technology, including its components interacting with aspects of economic structures. Some elements of blockchain are not straightforward, and are still evolving by design. This is a central theme in many chapters of the book. Unsurprisingly, cryptocurrencies—which may be the most crucial products supported by blockchain—receive much attention. The reader will also find a significant historical, legal, and social context around the dynamics of blockchain’s distributed protocols. The impact of blockchain on business, finance, or politics cannot be overestimated. One of the most critical aspects of this book, not discussed in many other resources, is its discussion of the actual software that constitutes a blockchain’s backbone. Parkin shows how the code is maintained and updated for an online repository. Generally, among the many books on bitcoin, this is one of the most valuable, in that it reveals the opportunities and dangers of a technology that is indeed here to stay.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. Reviewer: J. Brzezinski, McHenry County College Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Business, Management & Labor Choice Issue:Jul 2021
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