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  • Layered Money

  • From Gold and Dollars to Bitcoin and Central Bank Digital Currencies
  • By: Nik Bhatia
  • Narrated by: Guy Swann
  • Length: 4 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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Layered Money

By: Nik Bhatia
Narrated by: Guy Swann
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Summary

In this fascinating deep dive into the evolution of monetary systems around the globe, Nik Bhatia takes us into the origins of how money has evolved to function in a “layered” manner. Using gold as an example of this term, he traces the layers of this ancient currency from raw mined material, to gold coins, and finally to bank-issued gold certificates. In a groundbreaking manner, Bhatia offers a similar paradigm for the evolution of digital currencies. Bhatia’s analysis begins in Renaissance Florence with the gold Florin coin and a burgeoning banking culture, continues with the evolution of central banking, and concludes with a vision for the future of our international monetary system. As central banks around the world prepare to launch their own crypto-competitors, Bhatia illustrates how the invention of Bitcoin created a seismic shift in money and merged the monetary and cryptography sciences. His unique analysis of “layered money” illuminates money markets for the general reader and shows how Bitcoin is becoming a trusted global currency. Listeners will come away with an understanding of the mechanics of our financial system, why the dollar is deeply entrenched despite its state of disrepair, and how Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and cryptocurrencies will interact in our new monetary future. 

Nik Bhatia is a financial researcher, CFA charterholder, and adjunct professor of finance and business economics at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business where he teaches Applied Finance in Fixed Income Securities. Previously, Nik worked the US Treasuries trading desk for a large institutional asset manager and has extensive trading experience in money markets and interest rate futures. After starting his teaching career, Nik felt the urge to bring his research on both the international monetary system and Bitcoin together as one to write the book titled Layered Money: From Gold and Dollars to Bitcoin and Central Bank Digital Currencies. He has a BA in social sciences from University of Southern California and a Master in Finance from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. Nik lives in Los Angeles, CA, with his wife and young daughter.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2021 Nikhil Bhatia (P)2021 Nikhil Bhatia

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Worth every minute of it

Nik did an amazing job with laying out the foundation of how money works, which really helps the listener understand why Bitcoin is the solution we need.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Unnecessary foreign accents.

Why on earth does the narrator do accents when reading quotes? It makes listening very uncomfortable.

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Complex understanding at times

Great listen however complex to understand at times. Probably worth a re listen maybe two

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A 30,000ft view on the history or my money, gold and bitcoin

A great insight of gold and how money has worked over the many centuries and how Bitcoin could be part of our future

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Bitcoin wins

Some parts of this book were a little bit too advanced for me but the last chapters were easy to understand.

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Very interesting vision on the future of Bitcoin

The author presents the history of money as a pyramid, where gold was the top layer but gradually got retired so that money coukd become elastic. It then argues that Bitcoin will be the top layer, replacing the current US Treasuries , from which central banks will launch and settle CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) .

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Great listen for Bitcoin fundamentals

Awesome dive into Bitcoin and economics. Clear explanations with historic context and an interesting view of the future. Very well read as audiobook.

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Excellent

Excellent framework which is now required for navigating the relationship between impending CBDCs and Bitcoin. Highly recommended as a follow up to The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous. Also well narrated and concise.

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  • JD
  • 23-08-21

Stunningly biased. Reads like an ad for BTC

I bought this book to understand cryptocurrencies better in the context of the history of money. I was happy with the book until the first chapter on Bitcoin, at which point Bhatia transforms from a scholar into a Bitcoin fanboy. He makes dangerously hyperbolic statements about the imperviousness and unimpeachable wisdom of the Bitcoin protocol, describing it as “tamper-proof, incorruptible, brilliant, razor-precise”. Phrases like those killed the book for me as an objective resource to learn about cryptocurrencies.

Aside from extolling BTC itself, Bhatia also omits discussion of the development and respective advantages of other existing cryptocurrencies—another reason the book feels stunningly biased toward BTC. “No currency in the digital realm will ever be able to prove itself as resistant to corruption as BTC.” On what basis can Bhatia possibly make a sweeping claim like that? I wish he had discussed ETH and other emerging technologies, with their pros and cons versus BTC.

Bhatia also makes illogical legal arguments as to why BTC should be immune from most or all regulation. Primarily, he makes a bullish claim that Bitcoin calculations are just math and therefore not regulable since they are free speech... ignoring the fact that even if math cannot be regulated, currencies obviously can be. Since BTC is both math and a currency, then it is likely regulable as a currency, even if it is not regulable as math or free speech... but Bhatia doesn't seem to grasp the simple logic here. Bhatia’s legal arguments sound like a bad first year law school paper: he cites one or two supportive case law rulings, omits all case law against his position, and then assumes that the rule he quotes will never change, ignoring the very real fact that case law and legislation both evolve all the time. I am not asking Bhatia to be perfect. Rather, I am asking Bhatia, who is a USC professor, not to commit elementary logical errors to support his position while he is ostensibly objectively analyzing the future of cryptocurrencies.

The narrator is fine most of the time, though very oddly he alternates into and out of a Southern accent. The worst aspect of the narration, however, is that he uses stupendously bad accents and voices when quoting others (so poorly done, it sounds like he’s mocking them). For example, when he quotes Nassim Taleb, he uses an awful "British" accent that sounds nothing like Taleb himself, who is Lebanese.

Also, we should note that Taleb himself does not believe in BTC as a currency and has recently publicly stated as much, yet Bhatia quotes him in support of BTC. Bhatia’s research once again rings superficial.

Overall, this is a book that starts off promising but becomes a trainwreck of fanboyism in the 2nd half. Skip this book if you want an objective resource on cryptocurrencies and their place in the development of money.

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  • Brian Sachetta
  • 15-04-21

Engaging and easy to understand

Before I picked this one up, I actually thought it was going to be super technical. I’d only ever listened to one podcast featuring Bhatia, and that was a while ago, so I couldn’t remember what his style was. Especially given the subject, I assumed I was in for a bit of a slog.

However, this book is anything but that, and I think that’s why I found it to be quite good. Bhatia takes something that’s super complex and vague (the layered money system) and breaks it down in just a handful of hours. More importantly, he does so in a way that just about anyone can understand.

Though I liked the entire book, the last third was my favorite. In that part, Bhatia takes all the layered money concepts he covers in the first two-thirds and applies them to Bitcoin and digital currencies.

Overall, it’s a very good read and one that I recommend.

-Brian Sachetta
Author of “Get Out of Your Head”

5 people found this helpful

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  • kevin chan
  • 05-04-21

more bullish than saif

bitcoin number go up Forever laura.
makes saif look like a bear.
pump it Nik

4 people found this helpful

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  • concerned customer
  • 07-04-21

best book on money that you will read this decade.

excellent narration. fascinating topic. if this doesn't convince you on bitcoin, nothing will. enjoy friends!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Roderic Rinehart
  • 02-03-22

Essential reading for all crypto curious or enthusiasts

Makes the top 5 of essential reading/listening.
In no particular order:

Layered Money
Bitcoin Standard
Sovereign Individual
Price of Tomorrow
Digital Gold

Essential YouTube:
Invest Answers
Into the Cryptoverse
Coin Bureau
Pomp

Essential Podcasts:
What Bitcoin Did
Decrypt Daily
Coindesk Breakdown
Coin Stories

1 person found this helpful

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  • Todd Snyder
  • 11-07-21

one sided analysis but good history

Author explains things well. Does not leave enough room for counter arguments that would more fully educate the reader regarding crypto's possible futures.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-04-21

Engaging and informative

For someone who is not familiar with the history of money and the complexity off the layers of money, this book was extremely helpful in making sense of how bitcoin fits into the big financial picture.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J
  • 20-09-22

Great explanation of how money evolved

if you hate Bitcoin don't read the last few chapters.
if you want to understand how money works and evolve in a couple hours read the first couple chapters.

I always was a bit fuzzy on how money central banks work and how we got here.... but the first few chapters and think of money as layers with the accompanying pdfs... I think I get it now.

thanks!

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  • Mulamfu C. Simuyuni
  • 27-08-22

MONEY DEMISTIFYER

This Book is a must read 📚 for anyone who wants to understand the historical subject of money and where its heading.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lacey Best-Rowden
  • 20-07-22

In simple terms

FANTASTIC study of banking, finance, theory of money, and bitcoin, in the simplest and most concise language I have come across yet.