In 2010 Tucker observed movement in the peer-to-peer space. He decided it was essential that someone chronicle the digital upheaval, that has changed our lives, taking place over the last six years.
Bit by Bit is a novel chronicling the new and exciting apps that are developing from self organizing systems. Tucker believes that peer-to-peer technology will create a healthier social, economic and political future for all. The book focuses exclusively on the peer-to-peer revolution, as Tucker says, “It is changing the structure of capitalism itself.”
“What I tried to do with Bit by Bit is sum up the developments in technology and commerce in the digital realm over the last 18 months. It really does seek to chronicle what is the driving force behind the peer-to-peer revolution in all of its facets. It impacts money, but also has an effect on transportation services housing, markets for goods, restaurants, all sorts of things made possible by the app economy, by putting it in a philosophical framework.”
Tucker’s other works have been collections of articles, whereas Bit by Bit covers an eighteen month period from start to finish. Tucker advises that the 130 page book could become obsolete, but feels it will be a valuable snapshot in time.
During his research Tucker reviewed a speech he gave in Australia 14 months ago, and witnessed himself discussing Uber as a brand new service. Now Uber is a global force shaking the taxi monopolies, just over a year later. “[Uber] has become the most popular form of commercial transportation in Los Angeles, Dallas and many other places around the country. That is just 14 months. The world is moving very quickly, things are changing so dramatically, mainly due to the liberation of information in the app economy and the digital space.”
“You can’t just wait for the markets to settle down and for the technology to finally arrive. You have to chronicle it in real time as its happening as the change is so dramatic and so fast.” - Tucker
Tucker explains that even without Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer space would still be amazing as more and more producers and consumers are able to cooperate with each other directly. Bitcoin is a wonderful vehicle to facilitate this with, “It is an amazing way to which people can transfer, commodify and bundle up information bits that are valuable and port them in a way that is non-forgeable and non-reproducible between two individuals in the world at a very low cost and almost instantly. That is pretty incredible.”
Tucker feels that in the 20th century there were choices we had, including whether we would be ruled by government or large corporations. The peer-to-peer revolution gives us a third choice, which Tucker argues is self-determination. Individuals themselves get to customize their own economic environments and their own forms of exchange relationships.
By approaching the topic of peer-to-peer relationships in technology, it is quite possible that Tucker has broadened his readership, moving beyond the Bitcoin community. “There is still a lot of scepticism still surrounding Bitcoin, which surprises me. It is hard to explain to people.” he says.
Tucker hopes that his book will be interesting to people who are fascinated by Bitcoin and want to understand the broader implications of economic structures. “How it impacts our lives once we are able to leave the restrictions of government controls that have managed life for the last hundred years. I am hoping Bitcoiners will be interested in just that, to see Bitcoin as part of a larger revolt against central planning.”
For those that are interested in the subject of human Liberty, Tucker hopes they will look at it as a good solid education on Bitcoin, and as part of a class of innovations that are driving us towards a new form of liberty. “Not through top down political reform, but through bottom up innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Work on the book began during November 2014, and Tucker had finished 6 weeks later. “I wanted it to have a freshness and a sense of immediacy. You can delay writing forever to get all the information you need, but you will never have all the information that you need. I just had to sit down and write the stuff that I knew about this topic through my experiences and observations I have had over the last year or two.”
After the book's completion, Tucker sent the first draft to half a dozen people. The feedback was positive and Tucker is grateful to those who took the time out to read and give feedback on his book. “It is so kind for people to read a book before it has gone to print. It is a really nice thing to do.”
The editorial process took a mere two weeks and was carried out by Invisible Order editing.
Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com and previously a professor in philosophy contributed to the introduction;
“The building of universal prosperity is a process that unfolds bit by bit through decentralized decision making and improvements at the margin through trial-and-error. To continue this process, we need understanding, patience, and dreams. Jeffrey Tucker’s book is an excellent guide to all three.”
Tucker describes Byrne as his comrade in arms, on technology and philosophy. “It is nice to think that the corporate world still has smart people of integrity that are interested in more than just money, that are interested in philosophy and questions of human liberty and I think that is a very beautiful thing.”
Roger Ver, Bitcoin Investor and philanthropist can also be seen in the forward;
“In Bitcoin’s brief existence Jeffrey Tucker has become one of its leading proponents. In this book we can see exactly why. Many people think of bitcoin as just money, but Mr. Tucker is able to explain, in a way that is easily understandable by all, the tsunami of innovation that bitcoin is about to release upon the world.”
Tucker describes Ver as a very interesting and generous person, “This time last year he gave Freedom for Economic Education, the 70 year old institution a real boost with his donation which really came out of nowhere.”
Jeffrey Tucker’s books can be purchased on Amazon.com. Other works by Jeffrey Tucker are Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statist Quo, A Beautiful Anarchy: How to Create Your Own Civilization in the Digital Age, It’s a Jetsons World: Private Miracles and Public Crimes, Liberty.me: Freedom is a Do-It-Yourself Project, and Sing Like a Catholic.