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Stage One: Disdain

Not even denial, but disdain. Here's this thing: it's supposed to be money, but it doesn't have any of the characteristics of money with which we're familiar. It's not tangible. It's not issued by a government or forged from precious metal.

Stage Two: Scepticism

You read the paper every day, and enough stories have appeared to convince you that bitcoin is real, that some entrepreneurs, including the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame, expect to make a lot of money from it. But the details don’t add up. You get it by doing math problems? No? By having your computer do math problems? How can that possibly work? At this stage, phrases like Ponzi scheme and tulip mania enter your mind.

Stage Three: Curiosity

You've kept reading. It becomes clear that many people, even some seemingly sensible people such as Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen, people with a track record for being right about this stuff, are genuinely excited by it. But why all the fuss? Okay, it’s digital money, it may work, but what difference is that going to make to regular people? And why are people so heated up about it?

Stage Four: Crystallisation

This is the critical one. Choose whatever metaphor you like — call it the jaw-drop moment, the lightbulb moment, the mind-now-officially-blown moment — it is a point of realisation that hits just about everybody who spends any time around digital currencies, even if they remain sceptical about the hurdles to their acceptance. Some people we spoke with talked about being unable to sleep for days, scouring every word they could find on BitCoin. In one fell, digitised swoop, an entire new way of doing things crystallises in your mind.

Stage Five: Acceptance

It's not an easy thing to get your head around, but big ideas never are. Once you see them, there is no way to unsee them. The bottom line is that even if BitCoin doesn't keep growing, even if none of the other “altcoin” cryptocurrencies catch on — and several hundred of these BitCoin-like cryptocurrencies with their own features and quirks exist — we’ve seen a way of doing business that is faster and cheaper, that cuts out the middleman and the rentier, brings in millions of 'unbanked' people, and gives everyone a measure of control over his or her finances and businesses that has not existed before.

  • Cryptocurrency

  • 'If the word 'blockchain' makes you want to call a plumber, or you think Satoshi is some kind of raw fish, you need to read Cryptocurrency today. If you're already a bit-convert, you'll still learn a lot' Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money

    1988 saw the birth of the internet. 2008 gave us bitcoin. Today, cybercurrencies are changing the world we live in. What would a world without banks, credit cards or national currencies look like for all of us?

    For centuries, the system that governs how money works has stayed the same. Now there's an alternative, and it puts us on the cusp of a revolution that could reshape our world. At the heart of this lie, cryptocurrencies, a technology with the transformative potential of the printing press or the internet. They bypass the elites and cut out the gatekeepers. Unlike traditional money, they don't have a nationality, they're digital and democratic. They are also lawless.

    From Silicon Valley to the streets of Beijing, this is a story about a revolution in the making, a tale of human invention, and a guide to the future.

    The perfect book for future proofing your money, let Cryptocurrency teach you everything you need to know about the future of finance.

    'Fascinating' The Times

    'Not only demystifies and explains bitcoin, but shows where it fits into the cultural zeitgeist and where it's pointed, and what that may mean for our financial system' John Mauldin, New York Times bestselling author

    'I can think of no better guide to what the future holds' Eswar Prasad, author of The Dollar Trap

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