With an ever increasing number of Bitcoin books being published, it can be difficult to decide which book to read next. “The 7th Property: Bitcoin and the Monetary Revolution” by Eric Yakes guides readers through a variety of Bitcoin-related topics, turning seemingly complex topics like Merkle roots and the mining algorithm into very accessible topics with effective graphics and analogies. Whether you want to learn more about the history of money, the centralization of money and banking, or how Bitcoin actually works on a deeper level, The 7th Property has something for everyone.
Yakes begins by weaving his way through monetary history, using recent historical examples to describe the frequently cited properties of money. Then he delves into the historical trend towards the centralization of money. For centuries, society continuously traded trust for efficiency in money. Ultimately, these compromises led mankind to the central bank, which, Yakes argues, is the mother of all moral dangers. While the traditionally cited properties of money – scarcity, durability, acceptability, portability, fungibility, divisibility – have been effective for most of monetary history, Yakes introduces an important seventh quality: immutability. He defines immutability as the decentralized production and storage of money and shows how this seventh property is eroded over and over again. In Yakes’ own words: “If society can reclaim this property without trading in efficiency, that is the next important evolutionary step in the development of money.”
Moving towards the modern form of money (i.e. fiat money), the book delves into all aspects of central banking. Yakes discusses how and why central banks were created, their trend towards increased centralization, and the cycles that central banks create. Then he goes into detail about the largest central bank of all: the Federal Reserve. Rather than a high-level overview that seasoned bitcoiners have seen many times, The 7th Property takes a more detailed approach by digging deep into the governance, structure, profit model and incentives of the Federal Reserve. Filled with various gold nuggets of information, one of the most compelling facts in the book is that the Federal Reserve is both the world’s most profitable “company” and the world’s largest asset manager. Whether you agree with a more inflationary or deflationary worldview, after reading this book, the sheer amount of bad investment and moral risk that the Federal Reserve system creates will be crystal clear.
The first seven chapters set the framework for the need for a currency revolution. Centuries of increasing centralization of money at the expense of immutability eventually led to the giant of global manipulation and misinvestment, the Federal Reserve. The rest of “The 7th Property” is a thorough discussion of Bitcoin: where it comes from, how it works, and of course its monetary properties. Yakes is a master at grasping complex topics for laypeople. While many Bitcoin books offer a comprehensive overview of Bitcoin, Yakes goes much deeper and goes into how hashing, Merkle roots, and elliptic curves work, while also providing a high-level summary of key Bitcoin concepts. As such, “The 7th Property” is a fantastic book for both beginners and experienced bitcoiners. As someone who had read many Bitcoin books prior to this, “The 7th Property” gave me a much deeper understanding and appreciation for the technical details of Satoshi’s design and the problems it solves.
“The 7th Property: Bitcoin and the Monetary Revolution” is a thoroughly researched book on monetary history, Austrian economics, the central bank, modern monetary policy, Bitcoin, the Lightning Network and much more. If you enjoy learning about any of these topics, rest assured that Yakes will provide new insights and insights with this book. Filled with helpful graphics, strong analogies, and more Mike Tyson quotes than you knew, The 7th Property is a must-have for bitcoiners of all levels.
This is a guest post by Mitch. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.