Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin (2017)

My last book “Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From money we understand to money that understands us” (London Publishing Partnership: June 2017) was about the intertwined stories of technology and money. The book looks at the future of money by exploring the “5Cs” that might create money in the future: central banks, commercial banks, companies, cryptography and communities. It opens the topic up to the general business reader and provides a useful framework for considering the impact of a shift to digital money in the future. In the London School of Economics (LSE) Review of Books, Professor Steven Minas called the book a timely and illuminating contribution which should be widely read by graduate students of finance, financial law and related topics, as well as policymakers involved in financial regulation.

And here’s what Prospect magazine said about it:

When a book comes along with glowing praise on its sleeve from Kenneth Rogoff and an introduction by Andrew Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, you know you’ve got something hot on your hands. This analysis of money by one of the world’s leading experts on the subject does not disappoint… The growing popularity of crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin suggests that he may have as good a handle on the future as he does on the past.

And American Banker called it an “insightful, witty look at how money has changed over the ages” when they named it one of their 12 “books for bankers” for summer reading in 2018.

You can read a longer introduction to the book here on Medium and here are the full reviews from Prospect, the Financial Times, Banking Exchange and the Economist.

In case you’re wondering whether to buy it over at LPP or on Amazon, here’s what people are saying about it…

A well-researched and engaging account of the story so far, of money in retrospect and money in prospect.

Andy HaldaneChief Economist and Executive Director, Monetary Analysis & Statistics, Bank of England.


Marvellous. A deeply-researched and brilliant synthesis of history, technology and futurology, and a worthy follow-up to Birch’s pioneering 2004 book on identity as the new money..

Kenneth RogoffThomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Harvard University.


The real secret to the readability of Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin is the wry sense of humour, which brings us a take on the history and future of money that is unique.

Brett King, Bestselling author of Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane, host of the Breaking Banks radio show and founder/CEO of Moven.


It is insightful, thought-provoking and simply enjoyable… it is well written enough that you could even read it at bedtime without it sending. you to sleep.

Simon Cocking, Editor of Cryptocoin News.


More than once I found myself thinking “Where was this guy when I was taking ‘Money & Banking' in college?’”.

Scott Cocheo, Executive Editor of Banking Exchange.


Whether you agree with his controversial predictions or not, Dave’s fascinating tale of the interrelationship between technology and money is required reading for those interested in either or both of them.

Alastair Lukies CBE, Chair of Innovate Finance and the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador for Fintech.


Taking a journey through the past and future of money with Dave Birch is not only eye-opening. It’s immensely entertaining. You get Milton Friedman mixed with Bill Bryson. With money undergoing one of its periodic paradigm shifts, I can't think of a better guide than Birch for navigating this exciting yet highly disruptive moment.

Michael J. Casey,  co-author of The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain are Challenging the Global Economic Order.


Dave Birch knows his stuff.  His writing, as well as being on the pulse of fintech, is always diced with fantastically obscure stories from history, so it never fails to be both witty and informed. You, the reader, are simultaneously entertained and educated. What more could you want from a book?

Dominic Frisby, author of Bitcoin: The Future of Money?


This is a ‘back to the future’ look at money that is hard-headed, insightful, entertaining and accessible.

Professor Nigel Dodd, London School of Economics, author of The Social Life of Money.