Derek magill

I’m not going to write an in-depth review of the book because frankly no in-depth review is really possible for the simple fact that the vast majority of the book is not about Bitcoin, but rather about the history of money, gold, government monetary systems, time preference, war, and other topics that are interesting but which you can read about in much better detail from far more competent Austrian economists than Seinfeld.

Bitcoin was created by a specific person for a specific purpose at a specific time. It was highly centralized when it began and Satoshi Nakamoto had the opportunity to mine upwards of 1 million coins himself, 5% of the total supply of Bitcoin that will ever exist, making him one of the richest people on the planet if he is still alive and has access to his coins.

There is nothing all that fundamentally different from it and other coins other than that it got a head start.

The book is chop full of logical fallacies but I’ll address probably the most egregious one which is Seinfeld’s false equation between changes to throughput capacity and changes to monetary policy and inflation rates. In other words, Seinfeld suggests that a change to the block size means a change to the fixed supply of Bitcoin down the road.

By package-dealing these two totally different changes he is able to effectively straw man anyone who believes Bitcoin’s block size should be raised to meet the growing transaction volume demands, when in reality nobody has and nobody will suggest changing the fixed supply as it is universally accepted among people working on Bitcoin that the fixed supply is a core part of its value.

Perhaps the most unfortunate part of the book is the conclusion that Bitcoin must scale off-chain. In Seinfeld’s Bitcoin world, somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 node operators will act as central banks and those are the only people who will get to make onchain transactions whereas everybody else does second-layer transactions because on-chain is too expensive.

Companies just want to know you can create more value than you take out in salary and don’t give a damn what paper you have so long as you can prove it some other way. And in today’s world where college graduates frequently can’t read and students spend 4-6 years in a debt and alcohol fueled vacation from the real world, it’s embarrassingly easy to prove that.

Compare “I graduated from college” to what you can now signal on your own. I can find out more Googling you in two minutes today than I could have found in two months with a private investigator in the past. Your degree is worth less than your Github profile, your LinkedIn profile, your personal website, your Quora answers, the projects you’ve created and the people you’ve worked with.

Those of us who realized this at an early age experienced a massively unfair advantage in our career because we got to start at 16, 17, 18 and 19 instead of 24, 25, and 26. While my friends were in school waiting for permission, I traveled, worked with all sorts of companies, spoke at universities around the world, took a startup from nothing to over a million in revenue, and started my own company.

It is a shame though that so many people racked up 1.6 trillion dollars in total US student debt to check off an imaginary box. They are paying the price of the passive-permission-based approach to life, but the people who fed them the tired nonsense that they needed college will pay soon too when the whole myth collapses inwards and they find themselves without customers.