Home » Blog » Blockchain Basics, NFTs, DeFi & Cryptocurrencies – March 2022 Book (Trilogy) of The Month!

We are standing at the dawn of a new revolutionary technological age. I am as sure as I can be that the subject matters covered this month’s ‘book of the month’ will have as much impact on most people’s lives as the invention of the phone or the internet has had! My view is that whilst ‘you don’t need to know how to build a phone or how phones work or how the internet works’ in order to successfully use them. However, you do need to know what they are and their immense range of everyday applications and capabilities.
The technologies covered by this ‘book trilogy’ are exponentially expanding and are likely to impact many aspects of your personal and business life, so knowing the basics about these things could be very important.

Rapid advances in technology at a rate we have not witnessed before are enabling radically different business services to emerge.
One of the new business sectors to emerge on the back of new technologies is ‘The Sharing Economy Sector’. One of my clients whom I have worked with since they were founded some 4 years ago is ‘Karshare’. They are a national ‘peer to peer car rental business’, who are able to offer services that were not technologically possible only a few years ago. Keyless car technology enables people to rent their own cars from their own home without even needing to be at home to give the renter of their car the keys and the renter can return the car without needing to hand the keys back to anyone. Other technologies such as telematics that detect good driving, mileage also add to the security of a vehicle enables a car sharing service that reduces the need for so many cars on our streets.

Recently a ‘techie friend’ of mine said “People who do not get on board with what is going on with blockchain and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will get seriously left behind.”

I agree with him and I will be reviewing books on AI (Artificial Intelligence) in future reviews.
You may well have heard of ‘The Metaverse’ which are 3D digital virtual worlds that are being built using blockchain technology and AI. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg believes so strongly that ‘The Metaverse’ will dominate so many aspects of our lives that he has registered Facebook’s new name as ‘Meta’!

After last month’s Trilogy ‘personal growth’ ‘Book of The Month’ for February 2022 (My Big TOE (Theory Of Everything) this month’s book is also a Trilogy as I alternate from ‘personal growth book reviews’ to books about business / technology / finance.
These 3 books are available on-line individually, or as a trilogy on Audible:

  1. Blockchain Basics Bible
  2. NFTs For Beginners
  3. Cryptocurrency and DeFi

I am recommending these books, as they are not too heavy on technical detail and will enable you to grasp the subject matters enough to understand the fundamentals and even to ‘dip your toe in the blockchain water’ if you haven’t already done so. What I also like about these books is that as well as sharing some of the opportunities of this technology, they also spell out the downsides and the risks that come with investing in this new technology.
The author of this book is stated as Satoshy Nacomoto, who was credited with the invention of blockchain technology and specifically the blockchain which is known across the world as ‘Bitcoin’. No-one owns the copyright of the technology and no-one knows who Satosy Nacomoto really is. Is he / she an eccentric inventor who generously gave their invention to the world? On the other hand, it is possibly more likely that Satosy Nacomoto is the name chosen by a group of individuals who invented the technology (and wrote the books) and for a whole range of good reasons very much value their anonymity? I would love to think of Nacomoto as an eccentric Japanese inventor who wanted to give something special to the world, however, I have my doubts that we will ever find out.
There are many great books that explain these blockchain related subjects, so I am not going to say that these are the absolute best ones, so please let me know what books you would recommend. However, these 3 books each provide what I believe are the essential basic fundamental information that is needed to grasp what these technologies are, and why they are going to impact our lives and our businesses so much in the future.

1- Blockchain Basics Bible:
It is essential to understand that ‘Cryptocurrencies’ like BitCoin are an important but in reality just a tiny component of what ‘Blockchain Technology’ is! Most of the important information in the world is making its way on to various blockchains, it is vastly superior than traditional digital storage, in terms of security and speed, plus it offers intrinsic capabilities that go far beyond traditional digital storage. Businesses can now offer services that were not previously possible to offer and offer levels of peed, transparency and security for existing services that were once unimaginable. This book is not too technical and explains really well the history and the fundamentals of blockchain technology and the parallel emergence of blockchain currencies such as Bitcoin and others.
Having dabbled in Bitcoin and Ethereum for a few years I am now taking cryptocurrencies much more seriously, however, it is in the blockchain technology on which these cryptocurrencies are made that I am most inspired to invest in. Much like with the 19th Century California ‘gold rush’, whilst some of the gold prospectors made their fortunes, the best and longest lasting returns were generally made by those who created the infrastructure, the picks, shovels and pans, the hotels, transport and food.

If you would like to know what infrastructure elements of blockchain (and crypto currencies) I have invested in and why, please email me on info@alistairlobo.com.

2- NFT Investing For Beginners
If you don’t already know what NFTs are, you soon will. They are ‘Non-Fungible Tokens’. In simple terms dollar bills and pound notes like Crypto coins are ‘fungible’ which means that you can exchange one Bitcoin for another Bitcoin with no differential in value. On the other hand ‘Non-Fungible’ means that each token is completely unique, a bit like the original painting of the Mona Lisa which could not be swapped for an identical ‘original painting of the Mona Lisa’.

At the moment the predominant use of NFT is to buy and sell unique pieces of digital art and there are headline stories of art being sold for many millions of dollars (hundreds of Bitcoins). Yes you may be able to ‘screen grab’ a piece of digital art, in the same way you could screen grab a photo of the original Mona Lisa, but you would not own the original Mona Lisa in the same way unless you owned the original NFT that the original artist associated with their art, you would not own the art. NFTs are also going to ensure that artists and other creative people will be able to leverage their art years after they have created it. When the NFT that is tied to a particular piece of artwork is sold a percentage of the sale price automatically is paid to the artist, who will make ‘NFT royalties’ on their artwork on all future sales. The same would apply to the creation of music, poetry, books, film and so on.
However, the applications are far beyond ‘creative pieces’, any unique, valuable or rare physical asset can be tied to an NFT so as an antique or classic car, in fact ownership deeds for all types of property are highly likely become NFT format. They can store more information , more securely than traditional property paper deeds and be accessed more effectively. The same is true of vehicle ownership documents, permits and even personal identity documents such as passports which will no doubt raise some ‘personal freedom’ debates over the coming years.
If your business provides any digital or physical products that are valuable and unique, the use of NFTs could well present a significant opportunity for you in the near future.

3- Decentralised Finance (DeFi)
This book is not for the feint-hearted as Decentralising Financial systems is a ‘big topic’. How big this topic is, is illustrated by the fact that all the major governments and banks around the world are working on creating their own cryptocurrencies in order to maintain the power and control that is central to their identities.
Again, if you are not familiar with the term ‘DeFi’ (Decentralised Finance) you soon will be as it presents the complete transformation of how all money is created (printed), stored and controlled. People are already buying and selling goods and services using crypto currencies like Bitcoin. You and the person you are trading with each has a ‘cryptocurrency wallet’ you can pay directly into each other’s wallets for any goods and services without having to use a bank or other third party, so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
However, the nature of cryptocurrencies is that they are not controlled centrally, but using multiple points of authentication across the world. There is no central storage point or distribution point for Bitcoin, there is a finite amount of Bitcoin, so the ‘out of control money printing that many governments have conducting over the last 2 years would not be possible. So it will be fascinating to see just how banks and governments plan to infiltrate the cryptocurrency world without fundamentally changing their roles within the new inevitable ‘Cryptocurrency economy’.

The opportunities that these technologies are opening up are limitless and I am happy to engage with you on any Blockchain related matters, opportunities and of course useful books, please email me on info@alistairlobo.com

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