We look at this timely, well written and relevant book by Simon Dingle and Steven Boykey Sidley. See more about the book here.

Beyond Bitcoin: Decentralised Finance and the End of Banks By Simon Dingle and Steven Boykey Sidley, reviewed

This book is relatively short, coming in at under 240 pages, but it is timely, relevant and enjoyable to read. At the very end the authors expressed their dilemma at how fast this space is moving. To tackle the end first, it was almost comical how many relevant, significant and important things had happened even since the authors had to sign off on their prose. This doesn’t undermine the value of the book too much though, because the preceding chapters were all very informative. The authors do a good job of explaining what has happened, what is happening and what will be happening.

The book gives a good brief backstory, and then dives into what on earth has happened over the last five to ten years especially. Chapters tackling WeirdFi, Wyoming and Chainlink were all well explained and useful. We enjoyed reading the book, and found that the authors had a good depth of knowledge and the ability to explain, to a high level, complex aspects of DeFi, what is happening and why and how people are extracting value from it. Some of the projects see, to use their words, frothy, and may well not last, but others definitely present the prospect of delivering services better, faster, cheaper, and often more securely than what has previously been offered by banks.

We enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it to others. As the authors acknowledged themselves this is a fast moving area, but ideally this just enables them to deliver a strong second edition also. Definitely a book to read in Q1 of 2022.

More about this book

If you were startled by Bitcoin and the multi-trillion-rise of cryptocurrencies, prepare yourself.  The real revolution is still to come.  De-Fi, ‘decentralised finance’, is a revolutionary, technology-fuelled set of financial services which has the potential to threaten all financial institutions including commercial and central banks.

In Beyond Bitcoin, tech and finance entrepreneurs and authors Steven Boykey Sidley and Simon Dingle argue that DeFi – which enables all manner of financial transactions to take place directly, person to person, without the involvement of financial institutions – will redesign the cogs and wheels in the engines of trust, and make the remarkable rise of Bitcoin look pedestrian by comparison. It will disrupt and displace fine and respectable companies, if not entire industries.  And it will impact upon all of us – anyone who has ever had a bank account or applied for a loan.

In the book, Sidley and Dingle explain for the first time for the general reader how DeFi works, introduce the organisations and individuals – many, such as Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, still in their twenties – that comprise the new industry, and identify the likely winners and losers in the coming revolution.

More about the authors

Steven Boykey Sidley has worked extensively in technology and finance and is an award-winning novelist, playwright and columnist. An American citizen, he currently lives in Johannesburg with his wife and their two children.

Simon Dingle is an author, broadcaster and entrepreneur with extensive experience in cryptocurrency, including being on the founding teams of several fintech firms, including cryptocurrency exchange Luno and open banking provider Curve.

The gripping story of the great financial disruption and its portents, told with wit and insightRay Hartley, Research Director, The Brenthurst Foundation

‘Looking backward to move forward, this book is a masterclass on the evolution and expansion of the crypto world and its possible futures. Essential for those wanting to move beyond the headlines.’

Herman Singh, Associate Professor, University of Cape Town Graduate School

See more reviews here.

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