Updated May 03, 2023

Best Cryptocurrency Books

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— From in-depth looks at the technology behind cryptocurrency to practical guides on how to invest and trade, these books offer something for every level of knowledge. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of cryptocurrency, these books have something to offer. From classics like "The Internet of Money" and "Mastering Bitcoin" to newer releases like "The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains" and "Cryptocurrency Investing For Dummies," these are the books you won't want to miss.

When a pseudonymous programmer introduced “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party” to a small online mailing list in 2008, very few paid attention. Ten years later, and against all odds, this upstart autonomous decentralized software offers an unstoppable and globally-accessible hard money alternative to modern central banks. The Bitcoin Standard analyzes the historical context to the rise of Bitcoin, the economic properties that have allowed it to grow quickly, and its likely economic, political, and social implications.

While Bitcoin is a new invention of the digital age, the problem it purports to solve is as old as human society itself: transferring value across time and space. Ammous takes the reader on an engaging journey through the history of technologies performing the functions of money, from primitive systems of trading limestones and seashells, to metals, coins, the gold standard, and modern government debt. Exploring what gave these technologies their monetary role, and how most lost it, provides the reader with a good idea of what makes for sound money, and sets the stage for an economic discussion of its consequences for individual and societal future-orientation, capital accumulation, trade, peace, culture, and art. Compellingly, Ammous shows that it is no coincidence that the loftiest achievements of humanity have come in societies enjoying the benefits of sound monetary regimes, nor is it coincidental that monetary collapse has usually accompanied civilizational collapse.

With this background in place, the book moves on to explain the operation of Bitcoin in a functional and intuitive way. Bitcoin is a decentralized, distributed piece of software that converts electricity and processing power into indisputably accurate records, thus allowing its users to utilize the Internet to perform the traditional functions of money without having to rely on, or trust, any authorities or infrastructure in the physical world. Bitcoin is thus best understood as the first successfully implemented form of digital cash and digital hard money. With an automated and perfectly predictable monetary policy, and the ability to perform final settlement of large sums across the world in a matter of minutes, Bitcoin’s real competitive edge might just be as a store of value and network for final settlement of large payments―a digital form of gold with a built-in settlement infrastructure.

Ammous’ firm grasp of the technological possibilities as well as the historical realities of monetary evolution provides for a fascinating exploration of the ramifications of voluntary free market money. As it challenges the most sacred of government monopolies, Bitcoin shifts the pendulum of sovereignty away from governments in favor of individuals, offering us the tantalizing possibility of a world where money is fully extricated from politics and unrestrained by borders.

The final chapter of the book explores some of the most common questions surrounding Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin mining a waste of energy? Is Bitcoin for criminals? Who controls Bitcoin, and can they change it if they please? How can Bitcoin be killed? And what to make of all the thousands of Bitcoin knock-offs, and the many supposed applications of Bitcoin’s ‘block chain technology’? The Bitcoin Standard is the essential resource for a clear understanding of the rise of the Internet’s decentralized, apolitical, free-market alternative to national central banks.

Our favourite quote from The Bitcoin Standard

Mastering Bitcoin is essential reading for everyone interested in learning about bitcoin basics, the technical operation of bitcoin, or if you're building the next great bitcoin killer app or business. From using a bitcoin wallet to buy a cup of coffee, to running a bitcoin marketplace with hundreds of thousands of transactions, or collaboratively building new financial innovations that will transform our understanding of currency and credit, this book will help you engineer money. You're about to unlock the API to a new economy. This book is your key.

This book will help you learn everything you need to know about decentralized digital money, which is one of the most exciting technical revolutions in decades. Just as the Internet has transformed dozens of industries - from media and entertainment to retailing, travel and many more - decentralized digital money, in the form of crypto-currencies, has the ability to transform the foundations of money, credit and financial services. It also has the power to transform other social activities and institutions that we don't usually associate directly with money, such as corporations, governance, voting and the law.

As the first successful digital currency, bitcoin is the natural starting point for anyone interested in decentralized digital money, its implications and applications. Mastering Bitcoin describes the technical foundations of bitcoin and other cryptographic currencies, from cryptography basics, such as keys and addresses, to the data structures, network protocols and the consensus mechanism ("mining") that underpin bitcoin. Each technical topic is explained with user stories, elegant analogies and examples, and code snippets illustrating the key concepts. The first two chapters offer a broad and accessible introduction to bitcoin that is intended for all audiences, from new non-technical users to investors and business executives seeking to better understand bitcoin. The remainder of the book dives into the technical details of bitcoin's operation and is aimed at professional developers, engineers, software and systems architects, systems administrators and technically-minded people interested in the inner workings of bitcoin and comparable crypto-currencies. Mastering Bitcoin is intended to be used as a reference book for technical professionals, as a self-study guide for bitcoin entrepreneurs, and as a textbook for university courses on bitcoin and digital currencies.

Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and yet it has already spawned a multi-billion dollar, global economy that is growing exponentially. Both new and established companies are adding bitcoin as a payment method, and investors are funding a flurry of new bitcoin and related startups. Mastering Bitcoin can help you become part of this vibrant new economy. The time to get started is now.

Our favourite quote from Mastering Bitcoin

From Ben Mezrich, the New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House, comes Bitcoin Billionaires--the fascinating story of brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss's big bet on crypto-currency and its dazzling pay-off.

Ben Mezrich's 2009 bestseller The Accidental Billionaires is the definitive account of Facebook's founding and the basis for the Academy Award–winning film The Social Network. Two of the story's iconic characters are Harvard students Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss: identical twins, Olympic rowers, and foils to Mark Zuckerberg. Bitcoin Billionaires is the story of the brothers’ redemption and revenge in the wake of their epic legal battle with Facebook.

Planning to start careers as venture capitalists, the brothers quickly discover that no one will take their money after their fight with Zuckerberg. While nursing their wounds in Ibiza, they accidentally run into an eccentric character who tells them about a brand-new idea: cryptocurrency. Immersing themselves in what is then an obscure and sometimes sinister world, they begin to realize “crypto” is, in their own words, "either the next big thing or total bulls--t." There’s nothing left to do but make a bet.

From the Silk Road to the halls of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bitcoin Billionaires will take us on a wild and surprising ride while illuminating a tantalizing economic future. On November 26, 2017, the Winklevoss brothers became the first bitcoin billionaires. Here’s the story of how they got there―as only Ben Mezrich could tell it.

Our favourite quote from Bitcoin Billionaires

You've undoubtedly heard about Bitcoin on the news or overheard your friends or coworkers talking about it. What causes the price to fluctuate so much? Is Bitcoin a sound financial investment? What is the point of it? Why do people keep talking about it as if it'll make the world a better place? The Little Bitcoin Book explains why Bitcoin was created to give an alternative to the present system and what's wrong with money today. It explains what Bitcoin is, how it works, why it's important, and how it affects people's personal freedom and opportunity all across the world, from Nigeria to the Philippines, Venezuela to the United States.

This book also contains a Q&A section with answers to some of the most common Bitcoin queries. This book is for you if you want to learn more about this new kind of money that is gaining popularity and adoption throughout the world.

Our favourite quote from The Little Bitcoin Book

The ultimate pioneering blueprint for understanding the blockchain's what, why, and how.

Blockchains are new technological layers that are rewiring the Internet and threatening to displace existing legacy structures and enterprises that rely on centralization. At its heart, a blockchain instils confidence in a network, obviating the need for some intermediaries and upsetting their business models in the process. Blockchains are the ultimate non-stop computers, metaphorically speaking. They are trustworthy and desirable for hosting a new generation of decentralized services and software applications since they never go down once they are deployed and offer an extraordinary level of resiliency.

The Business Blockchain breaks new ground in furthering our understanding of the blockchain by dissecting its components in a way that no other book has done before. William Mougayar envisions a future in which there will be hundreds, if not millions, of blockchains, allowing for not just frictionless value exchange but also a new flow of value, changing roles, relationships, power, and government. Mougayar offers two more strategic assumptions in this work. For starters, the blockchain has polymorphic properties, which means that its implementation will have a variety of impacts. Second, we should avoid asking what issues the blockchain answers since this limits our understanding of its possibilities. Rather, we should envision new possibilities and take on even more ambitious issues that cut over organizational, regulatory, and emotional barriers.

Our favourite quote from The Business Blockchain

People do not buy fortune cookies because they taste better than every other cookie on the shelf. They buy them for the delight they deliver at the end of a meal. Marketers spend most of their time selling the cookie, when what they should be doing is finding a way to create a better fortune. Of course your job is to bake a good cookie, the very best that you can, but you must also spend time figuring out how to tell a great story.

From Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna, the authors of The Age of Cryptocurrency, comes the definitive work on the Internet’s Next Big Thing: The Blockchain.

Big banks have grown bigger and more entrenched. Privacy exists only until the next hack. Credit card fraud is a fact of life. Many of the “legacy systems” once designed to make our lives easier and our economy more efficient are no longer up to the task. Yet there is a way past all this―a new kind of operating system with the potential to revolutionize vast swaths of our economy: the blockchain.

In The Truth Machine, Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna demystify the blockchain and explain why it can restore personal control over our data, assets, and identities; grant billions of excluded people access to the global economy; and shift the balance of power to revive society’s faith in itself. They reveal the disruption it promises for industries including finance, tech, legal, and shipping.

Casey and Vigna expose the challenge of replacing trusted (and not-so-trusted) institutions on which we’ve relied for centuries with a radical model that bypasses them. The Truth Machine reveals the empowerment possible when self-interested middlemen give way to the transparency of the blockchain, while highlighting the job losses, assertion of special interests, and threat to social cohesion that will accompany this shift. With the same balanced perspective they brought to The Age of Cryptocurrency, Casey and Vigna show why we all must care about the path that blockchain technology takes―moving humanity forward, not backward.

Our favourite quote from The Truth Machine

An exclusive blackjack club came up with a system to take the worldUs most sophisticated casinos for all they were worth. In two years, this ring of card savants earned more than three million dollars. Filled with tense action and incredibly close calls, this is a real-life adventure that could have stepped straight out of a Hollywood film.

Our favourite quote from Bringing Down the House

Everyone had a story he believed was worthy of a best-seller; for me, reality was rarely interesting enough to take the place of fiction.

The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom—and almost got away with it.

In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything—drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye.

It wasn’t long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone—not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers—could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts.

The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself—including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren’t sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet.

Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It’s a story of the boy next door’s ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control, order, and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it’s all too real.

Our favourite quote from American Kingpin

Most people go through life thinking that tomorrow they’re going to do something great. Tomorrow will be the day that they wake up and discover what they were put on this earth to do. But then tomorrow comes—and goes. As does the next day. Before long, they realize that there aren’t that many tomorrows left.

Two renowned investment advisors and authors of the bestseller The Great Reckoning bring to light both currents of disaster and the potential for prosperity and renewal in the face of radical changes in human history as we move into the next century. The Sovereign Individual details strategies necessary for adapting financially to the next phase of Western civilization.

Few observers of the late twentieth century have their fingers so presciently on the pulse of the global political and economic realignment ushering in the new millennium as do James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg. Their bold prediction of disaster on Wall Street in Blood in the Streets was borne out by Black Tuesday. In their ensuing bestsellar, The Great Reckoning, published just weeks before the coup attempt against Gorbachev, they analyzed the pending collapse of the Soviet Union and foretold the civil war in Yugoslavia and other events that have proved to be among the most searing developments of the past few years.

In The Sovereign Individual, Davidson and Rees-Mogg explore the greatest economic and political transition in centuries -- the shift from an industrial to an information-based society. This transition, which they have termed "the fourth stage of human society," will liberate individuals as never before, irrevocably altering the power of government. This outstanding book will replace false hopes and fictions with new understanding and clarified values.

Our favourite quote from The Sovereign Individual

Incomes will become more unequal within jurisdictions and more equal between them.

"Why do we think governments know how to create money? They don't. George Gilder shows that money is time, and time is real. He is our best guide to our most fundamental economic problem."  --Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies

"Thirty-five years ago, George Gilder wrote Wealth and Poverty, the bible of the Reagan Revolution. With The Scandal of Money he may have written the road map to the next big boom."  --Arthur B. Laffer, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States

"Gilder pushes us to think about the government monopoly on money and makes a strong case against it. If you believe in economic freedom, you should read this book." --Senator Jim DeMint, president of The Heritage Foundation

As famed economist and New York Times bestselling author George Gilder points out, “despite multi-billion dollar stimulus packages and near-zero interest rates, Wall Street recovers but the economy never does.”

In his groundbreaking new book, The Scandal of Money, Gilder unveils a radical new explanation for our economic woes.  Gilder also exposes the corruption of the Federal Reserve, Washington power-brokers, and Wall Street’s “too-big-to-fail” megabanks, detailing how a small cabal of elites have manipulated currencies and crises to stifle economic growth and crush the middle class.

Gilder spares no one in his devastating attack on politicians’ economic policies.  He claims that the Democrats will steer us to ruin – but points out that Republicans are also woefully misguided on how to salvage our economic future.  With all major polls showing that voters rank the economy as one of the top three “most important problems” facing the nation, Gilder’s myth-busting, paradigm-shifting recipe for economic growth could not come at a more critical time.

In The Scandal of Money, the reader will learn:

  • Who is to blame for the economic crippling of America
  • How the new titans of Wall Street value volatility over profitability
  • Why China is winning and we are losing
  • Who the real 1% is and how they are crushing the middle class
  • The hidden dangers of a cashless society
  • What Republicans need to do to win the economic debate—and what the Democrats are doing to make things worse

Our favourite quote from The Scandal of Money

The economy is a test and measurement system, and it requires reliable learning guided by an accurate meter of monetary value.

If you cut off a spider’s leg, it’s crippled; if you cut off its head, it dies. But if you cut off a starfish’s leg it grows a new one, and the old leg can grow into an entirely new starfish.
What’s the hidden power behind the success of Wikipedia, Craigslist, and Skype? What do eBay and General Electric have in common with the abolitionist and women’s rights movements? What fundamental choice put General Motors and Toyota on vastly different paths? How could winning a Supreme Court case be the biggest mistake MGM could have made?

After five years of ground-breaking research, Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom share some unexpected answers, gripping stories, and a tapestry of unlikely connections. The Starfish and the Spider argues that organizations fall into two categories: traditional “spiders,” which have a rigid hierarchy and top-down leadership, and revolutionary “starfish,” which rely on the power of peer relationships.

The Starfish and the Spider explores what happens when starfish take on spiders (such as the music industry vs. Napster, Kazaa, and the P2P services that followed). It reveals how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the US government, are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success. The book explores:

  • How the Apaches fended off the powerful Spanish army for 200 years
  • The power of a simple circle
  • The importance of catalysts who have an uncanny ability to bring people together
  • How the Internet has become a breeding ground for leaderless organizations
  • How Alcoholics Anonymous has reached untold millions with only a shared ideology and without a leader

The Starfish and the Spider is the rare book that will change how you understand the world around you.

Our favourite quote from The Starfish and the Spider

In open organizations, a catalyst is the person who initiates a circle and then fades away into the background.

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