BOOK REVIEW: Blockchain for Babies

March 4, 2019

Less, they say, is more. 

And that’s exactly the approach taken by the two authors of Blockchain for Babies. They have stripped away mystique and complexity, producing a book which introduces virtual currency, records of transactions, and the basic principle of a blockchain, in a clear, immediately comprehensible, manner, using the analogy of a puzzle.

With its one-sentence pages and brightly-coloured diagrams, it is suitable for even the most senior executives.

It is commendably brief, at just 11 pages long, but, thanks to being printed on cardboard, it still manages to be just over half the size of Lilian Edwards’ weighty new tome, “Law, Policy and the Internet”, which has the somewhat greater 422 pages.

This book is – unsurprisingly – basic. It describes only the very core of a blockchain, and even that is at high level. But, to someone who is just starting out thinking about blockchain issues, basic is exactly what you need. 

The description by analogy, and the simple drawings, help visualise something which is all-too-often explained in dense prose which can only be understood by someone who already understands it. It’s a perfectly sensible first stepping-stone, perhaps towards something like chapter 4 of The New Scientist’s ‘The End of Money: The story of bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain revolution’.

If you know nothing about blockchain, it’s a start. 

If you already know something about blockchain, it’s a fun talking point. And the rounded corners mean that it is less likely to hurt if someone chucks it at you because you keep talking about blockchain. 

Blockchain for Babies, by Chris Ferrie and Marco Tomamichel is about £6 on Amazon.

Neil Brown is managing director of tech, telecoms, and Internet law firm, He’d like to thank his friend, Adrian Kennard (@TheRealRevK), for giving him this delightful book.

cover of Blockchain for babies