Cointelegraph decided to become a part of this educational process.
We interviewed Bjorn Furuknap, who’s writing The Cryptocoin Book with Michael T. Noel - one of the most prolific writers in the world on the topic of nascent technologies.
Cointelegraph: What is your general opinion of crypto-currencies?
Bjorn Furuknap: Crypto-currencies hold the future of not only money but of value in general. People tend to see it as a competitor to traditional currencies, and it is, but it is far more than that.
Crypto-currencies hold the key to completely redefining the way we interact with each other whenever value is concerned, similar to what the internet did for communication. Where the internet can be seen solely as a competitor to the post office, we know that it is much more and completely change the way we think about communication.
CT: How was the idea of writing the book about Bitcoin created?
BF: Michael and I have been writing books for many years and find that our friends, family, colleagues, and others wonder what it is that we do.
In my case, I want to explain complex things that I learn in such a way that it is easier for people to understand. Often it takes me weeks or months to fully understand something, but by then, I also realize how I can convey that same knowledge in a way that makes people want to learn as well. If I can make that learning easier by writing a book, then all the better.
CT: What expectations do you have about your book? I mean in a long-term. Will it help people to get more information about Bitcoin, or will it help them to know something practical?
BF: The book isn't about Bitcoin per se, it is about crypto-currencies. The book is about teaching people how crypto-currencies work long-term. Not how you buy coins and spend them today, because that will change within weeks or months. Instead, we focus on teaching the fundamentals; why crypto-currencies are the natural next step, how coins can be decentralized and still completely trusted, and how to work with digital currencies in a safe and efficient manner.
Think of it like this: If we had written a book about how ATMs worked in 1996, it would first of all fail to tell people how ATMs work today, but more importantly, it wouldn't tell people how to invest, how to save money, nor how to avoid getting ripped off by the first and best scam artist with sticky fingers.
As such, we're less interested in what programs and services exist today and more interested in teaching how crypto-currencies will blow your mind when you understand their impact on society.
CT: Who are those people you writing for? Have you got any general image of the audience?
BF: We are writing a book for people that have an interest in and curiosity for, but not necessarily deep knowledge of digital currencies. If you have no interest in money in the same way someone has no interest in the internet, our book is not for you. We're writing for people that want to understand how crypto-currencies can shape their future. If you already know this, our book is not for you.
That said, our general audience are very average people. We don't demand or expect deep knowledge of cryptography, money, investments, computers, or anything like that. I'd like to think of my parents-in-law as my audience, a very rural couple with no technical knowledge, but a healthy interest in keep up to date on what's going on in the world.
CT: What do you think about Bitcoin's future?
BF: Beyond the obvious "So bright, we have to wear shades", we think that crypto-currencies will reshape society. It's not just a matter of replacing the dollar, euro, or any other single currency. It is not a libertarian utopia of overthrowing the fat cats in government and reducing the world to a place of pink clouds of freedom.
Instead, it is about making money and finance available to people. It is about making a more fair and transparent system of economy, not just in the developed world, but in any part of the world that today struggles with oppression, corruption, and fear of unjust treatment. It is about making sensible services and systems available to normal people and giving financial control back into the hands of the average worker.
But that's just the first step. That's the step where crypto-currencies do what we already do with money today in any case. The next steps come when people learn how to trust the system rather than the people guarding the system; you trust the money rather than the banks.
Further steps come when people have new ideas on how to conduct some kind of transaction, whether it's selling lemonade outside your house, creating a car that shuts down if you don't pay your loan, or an investment option that prevents anyone from running off with your money or spend it differently than they say they will. It can be that someone do not want their kids buying cigarettes with their allowance or spend their social welfare money on drugs.
However, just like we couldn't predict Facebook or Twitter in 1996, we can't predict what crypto-currencies will do in ten or twenty years. We know the potential for greatness is there, but others need to learn about the system so that they can build the new super services that will propel the world into a new dawn.
Cointelegraph team will be awaiting the release of “The Cryptocoin Book” and hopes that everyone reads it so they can get a better understanding of the crypto-economy.