Book Review of ‘Money Code Space: Hidden Power in Bitcoin, Blockchain and Decentralisation’

Nazreen Mohamad
2 min readAug 6, 2021

This will be a quick review.

This is a book published in 2020, written by Jack Parkin and published by the Oxford University Press.

Cryptocurrencies is becoming a more undeniable part of modern life. Banks used to mock it, investors used to condemn it. Now banks are using it and investors are racing to get into it.

Knowledge on cryptocurrencies is knowledge that will make you more future-ready.

For this, I turned a little to the past, to the mother of all cryptocurrencies — bitcoin. This is what attracted me to buy this book.

Money Code Space looks at Bitcoin’s origins and unravels not only its technical underpinnings but also the politics that surround it. Cryptocurrencies — much like the early internet — has been hailed as a technology that gives power back to the people (away from central institutions such as the government and central banks). How true is this? Does bitcoin live up to the ‘decentralised’ promise that cyrptocurrencies are said to deliver on?

This is what Parkin writes on.

He performs feats of social anthropology by embedding himself in communities centred around crypto, in order to write on it. Parkin points out how behind the seemingly faceless technology of cryptocurrencies are very real human beings that make decisions that affect the development of Bitcoin.

If you have never read anything in depth on cryptocurrencies, this is a great balanced introduction on its significance and its inner workings. If you are already aware of cryptocurrencies, this can be a sobering read for you too, as it unpacks the utopian assumptions that people typically have on cryptocurrencies.

Having researched cryptocurrencies myself, and having experienced the most recent crypto rally and the flurry of institutional adoption of Bitcoin, the only thing that I wished was included in the book was not as apparent then as it is now — which is the role and impact of large institutions adopting Bitcoin.

I can’t blame Parkin for that. He had started his research back when Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general were not as recognised as it is now.

All in all, given how cryptocurrencies is an inevitable part of our future, I can almost say that this is recommended reading if you plan on staying as a participant of society.

Nazreen Mohamad

Technical Instructor and Software Engineer.