Personal Details

Tim Swanson, born 1981, currently living in San Jose, California, USA


BA History/Economics and MS in Sport Management from Texas A&M University

Professional experience and achievement

Tim worked in East Asia for six years and is the author of three books: "Great Wall of Numbers: Business Opportunities and Challenges in China," "Great Chain of Numbers: A Guide to Smart Contracts, Smart Property and Trustless Asset Management" and most recently "The Anatomy of a Money-like Informational Commodity: A Study of Bitcoin."  

His articles have appeared on Cointelegraph, Business Insider, CoinDesk, Let’s Talk Bitcoin, Cryptocoins News and Bitcoin Magazine.


Hiking with his wife, technology, economics, reading, China

First experience with cryptocurrencies

Tim first heard about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general roughly four years ago when version 0.3 of bitcoind was announced on Slashdot. He was working in Anhui, a relatively poor province of China where its immediate uses did not seem readily applicable. Tim says it was not until about two years ago that he began to take the idea more seriously when a friend explained that a cryptoledger is not limited to tracking one asset (a token) but could actually manage a multitude of assets such as distributed contracts (or hashes thereof).  

Later, after moving to Shanghai, he helped a couple of local friends build some home-based mining machines for Bitcoin at first and then later Litecoin. While several new experimental protocols had launched, by the time he moved back to the US at the end of last year, it looked like a few of the promises made by "2.0" platforms could theoretically provide the robustness and functionality that were needed to take trustless asset management beyond niches and into larger market segments.  

As a consequence, at the beginning of this year he spent roughly six weeks tracking down and interviewing nearly every "2.0" development team in this space and coupled their insights with anecdotes from entrepreneurs and investors whom are looking for new business opportunities, distilling it into a book.  

He says it has been a very rewarding educational experience, and his takeaway has been that while neat in theory, in practice he thinks that the foundations being laid down throughout the ecosystem will likely find uptake in more mundane niches such as notary services and administrative tasks at NGOs and governing structures than the "sexier" areas that have probably been overpromised (e.g., disrupting retail payments in the G-7).

Role in the Bitcoin community

Tim currently works at Melotic, a new China-based exchange that is looking to provide to liquidity for digital assets such as those that have bridged into the physical commodities space.  

In August, he published another research book covering Bitcoin itself (as opposed to the "2.0" platforms), and he continues to talk with developers, entrepreneurs and investors in an attempt to find real practical use-cases for this increasingly globalized technology.