Blueprint for a New Economy
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: January 2015
Pages: 152

Bitcoin is starting to come into its own as a digital currency, but the blockchain technology behind it could prove to be much more significant. This book takes you beyond the currency ("Blockchain 1.0") and smart contracts ("Blockchain 2.0") to demonstrate how the blockchain is in position to become the fifth disruptive computing paradigm after mainframes, PCs, the Internet, and mobile/social networking.

Author Melanie Swan, Founder of the Institute for Blockchain Studies, explains that the blockchain is essentially a public ledger with potential as a worldwide, decentralized record for the registration, inventory, and transfer of all assets—not just finances, but property and intangible assets such as votes, software, health data, and ideas.

Topics include:

  • Concepts, features, and functionality of Bitcoin and the blockchain
  • Using the blockchain for automated tracking of all digital endeavors
  • Enabling censorship?resistant organizational models
  • Creating a decentralized digital repository to verify identity
  • Possibility of cheaper, more efficient services traditionally provided by nations
  • Blockchain for science: making better use of the data-mining network
  • Personal health record storage, including access to one’s own genomic data
  • Open access academic publishing on the blockchain

This book is part of an ongoing O’Reilly series. Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Crypto-Currencies introduces Bitcoin and describes the technology behind Bitcoin and the blockchain. Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy considers theoretical, philosophical, and societal impact of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.

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About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews


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(based on 3 reviews)

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(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Not an animal book

By wizzow

from Zürich, Switzerland

About Me Developer, Sys Admin

Verified Reviewer


  • Pointers To Projects


  • Barely Any Technical Meat
  • Low Signal To Noise
  • Mostly Buzzwords

Best Uses

  • Salesguy

Comments about oreilly Blockchain:

Gone are the times when you could blindly pick up an O'Reilly title and get an excellent concise book about a technical subject.

"Blockchain" is neither technical nor concise. It reads like big marketing buzz with a lot of repetition without really saying much (blockchain is the 6th most common word in the book, appearing over 950 times).

It does point to a lot of interesting projects which may be valuable to some.

I don't know why it was disguised as an "animal book" and the brand suffered.

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)


Heavy on the hype, light on the details

By Jadero

from Beechy, SK

About Me Developer

Verified Buyer



    • Not comprehensive enough

    Best Uses

      Comments about oreilly Blockchain:

      The author did a good job of passionately describing both current and potential value of the blockchain outside it's use in crypto currencies. However, I felt that a little less passion and more technical detail would have been a major improvement. I don't ask for nitty-gritty programmer level detail, but having read the book I still don't have a clue as to how the blockchain can be used for even currencies, let alone anything else. Personally, I need something more than 'distributed, cryptographically secure ledger' to grasp the implications.

      (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


      The Full Potential of Cryptocurrency

      By Yarrel

      from Vancouver, BC

      About Me Arist, Hacker, Writer

      Verified Reviewer


      • Comprehensive
      • Detailed
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Inspiring
      • Well-sourced
      • Well-written


      • Minor Errors

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Blockchain:

      A comprehensive and inspiring executive overview of the present, near future and ultimate potential of Bitcoin-style blockchain systems. If you want to know what's happening now and next in cryptocurrency, and to get a glimpse of its ultimate benefits for society, this is an absolute must-read.

      Swan explains the technology, economics, regulation and uses of blockchain technology with extensive references and a solid theoretical grounding. This leads through existing and upcoming uses of blockchains for money (of course), genomics, culture, voting, shares and so on through the upcoming technologies of smart contracts and Distributed Autonomous Organizations to transhumanist flights of fancy such as (inter-)planetary-scale and brain-based economies based on the blockchain. Even if you don't share the vision of a civilizational blockchain future it's a useful though experiment and an illustration of the sense of potential that this technology inspires in people.

      There's an error of fact on the first page that's repeated a couple of times later in the book, some of the projects mentioned have changed names or been cancelled since their inclusion in it, and there are a handful of typesetting mistakes in the printed version. These are minor concerns though, this is still a five star book. One that makes a compelling case for how a new technology may be able to change the world.

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