Summary of Virtual Billions

The Genius, the Drug Lord, and the Ivy League Twins behind the Rise of Bitcoin

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Virtual Billions book summary
The cryptocurrency bitcoin endures – as others arise.

Rating

8 Overall

8 Importance

8 Innovation

8 Style

Recommendation

Bitcoin is an online payment system that records transactions in bitcoins, not in dollars or any other currency. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and transactions using it function similarly to encrypted email messages, which no one except the receiver can decipher. Bitcoins act like cash: They can be bought, saved, spent or lost. In this engaging overview, author Eric Geissinger argues that bitcoins, despite negative publicity over their role with the illegal drug site Silk Road, could become a permanent fixture on the financial landscape if bitcoin exchanges, the only sellers, embrace regulation. getAbstract recommends Geissinger’s work – with its entertaining detours into a short history of pensions and attempts to form communal monetary systems – to investors, bankers, entrepreneurs and anyone seeking an in-depth primer on cryptocurrency.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What bitcoin is and how it works
  • How a narcotics trafficker promoted the use of bitcoins before his arrest and conviction
  • How investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are advancing the development of bitcoin
 

Summary

Bitcoin Begins
Bitcoin is an online “financial subsystem.” Buyers and sellers conduct their transactions over the Internet using this payment stream, an alternative to conventional exchanges in US dollars and other currencies. Bitcoins are also a popular investment. Bitcoins were introduced...
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About the Author

Eric Geissinger is a technical writer for software companies.


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    Eric Geissinger 1 week ago
    Hi Julian, Eric Geissinger here. Because Bitcoin is a dynamically scaling system, if a quantum computer suddenly appears which is able to solve the "block mining" computational problem very quickly, the entire system would automatically adjust the difficulty of the posed problem so that blocks will be "mined" at the same (slow) and expected rate. Sure, the person running the quantum computer would make a lot of money in the short term because only their computer would be able to mine bitcoins, but it's far more likely that quantum computers would be made available gradually and their effect would be modest. This has happened before: dedicated bitcoin mining machines were 10,000 faster than those which were around 2 years prior, and the result? Bitcoin scaled up, and soon everyone used those computer to mining - meaning that, essentially, nothing much changed. I'm not worried about quantum computation in the long term. Faster computers are easily defeated by harder problems.
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    Cynthia Quiñonez Limas 1 week ago
    Impressive what the Winklevoss twins have achieved and could´ve. Their impact on society for the following years will be written in history.
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    Julian Pitt 3 weeks ago
    Eric, if you're there? What impact will quantum computing have on the crypto currency?

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