I hadn’t finished writing my last book review when I was told to pre-order this one. I mean, who pre-orders books in Nigeria? Do you? But I did pre-order it. The “oil” in the title of the book is quite captivating I’ve got to admit.
Let’s dive in and see what this book has for you and what it had for me since I’ve read it.
It kicks off with the Internet’s history which began with the first device for communication, the telegraph followed by the telephone and then ARPANET, the earliest version of the internet which was devoid of good user interface until the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW). Take a look at the pre-Web internet, I think it sucks. Imagine browsing with a command-line interface and you’ll know why I said it sucks.
The Evolution of Money is the title of the next chapter. I doubt you’ll see any cryptocurrency book out there that doesn’t talk about money. If you understand money you’ll see why you need cryptocurrency and the author did a good job in giving a summary of the evolution of money from barter, commodity (tobacco, hides, skin), gold, paper (fiat), plastic(debit, credit and ATM cards), digital money (fiat represented in digital format) and finally cryptocurrency. He didn’t go into detail about how cryptocurrency solves the problems experienced with the usage of each of the former forms of money which I would have loved to see.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency took up the next chapter beginning with the circumstances leading up to the creation of the bitcoin and invention of the blockchain. Miners, individuals that help secure and maintain the blockchain with the aid of nodes running special software were also explained. The author talked about Ethereum, the second-biggest project on the blockchain at the time of writing this article and introduced smart contracts which he promised to explain later.
Up next was databases where the properties of the blockchain that make it distinct and better than our traditional databases were explored. Remittance, record keeping, digital asset management, and finance are just some fields the blockchain has improved with these it’s distinct properties. Bitcoin and some alternative coins (altcoins) were the objects of focus in the next chapter. I picked an interest in Aeternity and Decred altcoins since I knew nothing about them unlike Litecoin, Tether, and Ether which were familiar.
You can’t just introduce folks to something as cool as crypto and not tell them how to get it. The author does a good job of telling us how to buy, store and sell cryptocurrencies. I disagree with the part where he says custodial wallets (wallets held by wallet companies for users) are better for new users than non-custodial (wallets controlled by users). Might be because I am a little tech savvy but if you ask me I’d say non-custodial wallets are better for new users besides I started with that. You wouldn’t believe this but I came across some bookdrop (airdrop found in books), don’t bother checking for the meaning I just coined that 😄. What do you think? Will it catch on? Bookdrop means free crypto found in books. That should cover my pre-order.
We moved on to crypto-economics, why bitcoin and altcoins have value. Sure there must be something to explain why these things have value and I know why, you should find out too from the book. Why Africa needs cryptocurrency was a very interesting topic as a conspiracy theory involving African countries paying money to their former colonial masters was revealed. We Africans have got a lot to benefit from this technology, an example would be leapfrogging technology.
Careers in blockchain and cryptocurrency were visited last, it’s the most exhaustive list of careers in blockchain I’ve come across and it’s from one of these careers the author picks the title of the book. He describes blockchain startups as having access to a vast amount of venture capital funding which he calls oil. For me, my career parts are technical writing and Blockchain development. What’s yours?
The author also included links to some videos that teach how to buy, sell and trade. I hope he won’t mind if I drop the link to his YouTube channel. I’d recommend this book for anyone who’s looking to pick a career in blockchain and any newbie who is looking to learn how to trade. If you’d like a copy you can send the author a mail Oluwashinajobe@gmail.com or reach out to him on twitter @cooperly99.
This article first appeared on Nonseodion’s medium page.