As the number of Bitcoin books grows, it can be difficult to choose which book to read next. Eric Yax’s “Property: Bitcoin and the Financial Revolution” guides readers through a wide array of bitcoin-related topics, turning seemingly complex issues like Merkel roots and mining algorithms into highly accessible ones using effective graphics and analogies. Whether you want to learn more about the history of money, the concentration of money and banking, or how Bitcoin actually works on a deeper level, “7th Property” has something for everyone.
Yakes begins by weaving through the history of money, describing commonly quoted properties of money using recent historical examples. He then plunged into the historical trend towards centralization of money. For centuries, society has consistently traded faith for money efficiency. In the end, these trade-offs lead humanity to central banking, which Yax argues is the father of all moral dangers. Although the three most commonly cited characteristics of money – scarcity, durability, acceptability, portability, fungus, divisibility – have been effective for most of financial history, YEX introduces an important seventh asset: immutability. He defines immutability as decentralized production and saving money and shows how this seventh property has been repeatedly destroyed. In Yax’s own words: “If society can recover this property without efficiency, it will be the next major evolutionary step in the development of money.”
As it moves towards modern money (i.e. Fiat Money), the book penetrates into all aspects of central banking. Why and why central banks were established, their tendency towards increasing centralization and the cycles caused by central banking include yaks. He then went into detail about the biggest central bank among them: the Federal Reserve. Instead of a high-level overview that experienced bitcoins have seen many times, the “7th property” takes a more grainy approach by delving deeper into the Federal Reserve’s governance, structure, profit model, and incentives. Filled with a variety of gold nuggets of information, the most interesting fact of the book is that the Federal Reserve is both the most profitable “company” in the world and the largest asset manager. Whether you subscribe to a more inflationary or declining worldview, the sheer level of malinvestment and moral hazard caused by the Federal Reserve System is clearly evident after reading this book.
The first seven chapters set the scene for the necessity of the financial revolution. Centuries of increased concentration of money at the expense of immutability have ultimately led to global manipulation and bad investment which the Federal Reserve said. The remnants of “7th Property” are a thorough discussion of Bitcoin: where it came from, how it works, and of course its financial features. Yax does a skillful job of keeping complex issues in the context of ordinary people. While many Bitcoin books provide a high-level overview of Bitcoin, Yakes goes much deeper into how hashing, Merkel roots, and elliptical curves work while still providing a high-level summary of the most important Bitcoin concepts. As such, “7th Property” is a great book for both entry-level and experienced bitcoiners. Anyone who has read many bitcoin books before, “7th Property” has given me a deeper understanding and appreciation for the technical details of Satoshi’s design and the problems it solves.
“7th Property: Bitcoin and the Financial Revolution” is a thoroughly researched book covering financial history, the Austrian economy, central banking, modern monetary policy, bitcoin, the Lightning Network and much more. If you enjoy learning any of these topics, you can be sure that Yax will provide new knowledge and insights with this book. Filled with helpful graphics, powerful analogies, and quotes from Mike Tyson that you knew, “7th Property” is a must read for all levels of Bitcoin.
This is a guest post from Mitch Cleary. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and BTC, Inc. Bitcoin Magazine.