Alan W. Brown, Professor in Digital Economy at the University of Exeter Business School, has written a very kind review of this book in his newsletter.
His masterful storytelling of the history of money reveals a great deal about what society values, how people exchange value, and why these matter in a digital economy. Dave describes the journey as we move from a physical notion of money (“money as atoms”) to digital representations of physical money (“money as bits about atoms”) to digital money (“money as bits”).
One of his key observations is that this shift is not simply a change in the medium. It is a more fundamental reorientation of our view of value and exchange of value. Emerging digital approaches to money such as peer-to-peer exchange using mobile wallets and digital currency alternatives such as bitcoin are ways of expressing who we trust, what we value, and how we view risk. His vision for the future of money looks more like a digital version of past approaches using myriad local currency solutions that reflect our trust network rather than a digital version of today’s centrally controlled approach. Fascinating stuff and essential reading to understand our digital future.
Yet another reason to subscribe to his weekly Dispatches about the digital economy!