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Bitcoin Was Never Just a Computer Program

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Journalist Paul Vigna, this week’s guest on Masters in Business, remembers learning of a small conference during the summer of 2013 about cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Few journalists showed much interest, so he took it upon himself to attend.

At the event, he discovered a little-known community of utopian cypher-punks, libertarians, survivalists and other eccentrics. It became apparent that Bitcoin was more than a mere computer program; it was a social movement in reaction to the financial crisis. He quickly realized that this subculture was worth of more than just daily news reporting, hence “The Age of Cryptocurrency,” which he co-authored with fellow Wall Street Journal reporter Michael J. Casey in 2016.

Vigna has co-written other books about crypto and blockchain, including this year’s “The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything.”

His favorite books are cited here; our conversation transcript is published here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunesStitcherOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we chat with Dave Butler, co-chief executive officer of Dimensional Fund Advisors.

    This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    To contact the author of this story:
    Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net

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