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The 25 Best Books on Cryptocurrency – Must-Reads for 2018

If you’re looking for books about cryptocurrency, you’ve landed in just the right place. This list contains all the major cryptocurrency related books, plus our top five list of must-reads.

Table of Contents

The Five Best Cryptocurrency Books

These five books cover every aspect of the cryptocurrency space, from trading cryptocurrency to understanding its history to learning how to write cryptocurrency code.

1. Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don and Alex Tapscott.

Source: Amazon

If you’ve heard the hype around blockchain technology and you want to know what the buzz is about, you may want to read Blockchain Revolution. It explains how blockchain technology can potentially change the world by tracing the history of money all the way back to ancient times. Once you’re finished reading, you’ll know why many experts believe that blockchain technology could represent the next step forward in the evolution of currency.

2. Cryptoassets: the Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske & Jack Tatar.

Source: Amazon

Blockchain Revolution might open your eyes to blockchain’s potential– but it doesn’t tell you how to evaluate all the new different cryptocurrency projects from an investor’s perspective. This book, however, does. Both authors have an impressive range of cryptocurrency / fintech experience– and it shows.

3. Blockchain for Dummies by Tiana Laurence.

Source: Amazon

Investing is just one of several uses of cryptocurrency. This book is for businesses owners that are curious about what cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies can do today to help them compete. It contains practical, up-to-date information about many useful blockchain technologies that are already available. Author Tiana Laurence is the founder of Factom, a company that specializes in helping businesses identify and implement blockchain-based solutions.

4. Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain by Andreas Antonopoulos.

Source: Amazon

The fourth book on our list is a must-read for aspiring blockchain techies. Andreas Antonopoulos is one of the most well-known thought leaders in cryptocurrency. He is a teaching fellow with the University of Nicosia, serves on the Oversight Committee for the Bitcoin Reference Rate at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and has appeared as an expert witness in hearings around the world. In addition, he’s an expert-level coder. This 408-page, highly detailed tome is widely thought to be one of the very best technical books about cryptocurrency. If you have a programming background and you’re interested in becoming a blockchain programmer, Mastering Bitcoin is the ideal place to start.

5. Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction by Arvind Narayana et. al.

Source: Amazon

If you’re looking for an all-encompassing cryptocurrency book that explains all of its aspects, Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Technologies could be what you’re looking for. This dense cryptocurrency tome takes a thorough, in-depth look at every aspect of the space, from potential security issues to the origins of bitcoin to how blockchain technology might be implemented in the future. Author Arvind Narayana is an assistant professor at Princeton. He has created a free online course on crypto technologies for Coursera to go along with the book.

Additional Resources

Still hungry for knowledge? Check out these additional cryptocurrency books to learn more.

Beginner Friendly

The Age of Cryptocurrency

  • Authors: Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

Wall Street Journal reporters Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey wrote The Age of Cryptocurrency back in 2015, but it’s still relevant today– especially if you want to find out about how blockchain technologies can help people living in third world countries.

“Vigna and Casey’s thorough, timely and colorful book is a rewarding place to learn about it all,” – the The New York Times.

Bitcoin: the Future of Money?

  • Author: Dominic Frisby

Bitcoin: the Future of Money offers a lighter take on cryptocurrency. Rather than focus on the major movers and shakers in the industry, comedian Dominic Frisby elaborates on his personal experiences. He shares a number of humorous personal anecdotes, like the time he tried to use the Silk Road to purchase cannabis.

The Bitcoin Bible: All You Need to Know About Bitcoins

  • Author: Benjamin Guttmann

This non-technical, clearly-written overview of bitcoin focuses more on personal stories and anecdotes than dry technical details. If you’ve tried reading about cryptocurrency before but didn’t understand it or became bored, this book is worth a look.

The Crypto Intro

  • Author: Nathan Rose

The Crypto Intro is like a detailed how-to guide that explains everything you need to know to become a cryptocurrency investor. Other beginner-oriented cryptocurrency books merely gloss over these details, but Rose explains them in an easy-to-follow, in-depth way.

“My book explains everything the reader needs to choose an exchange, sign up, make a deposit, and buy crypto for the first time.” – Nathan Rose

The Internet of Money

  • Author: Andreas Antonopoulos

Antonopoulos’s first cryptocurrency book was dense and technical, but his follow-up was totally different. The Internet of Money is essentially a cryptocurrency explainer for the average person. It takes a higher-level approach to crypto, breaking down the ways that cryptocurrency can change our lives. Antonopoulos developed the material for the book while traveling the world and giving presentations in front of live audiences.

Origins Stories

These books focus on stories related to the early history of cryptocurrency and the rise of bitcoin.

The Book of Satoshi

  • Author: Phil Champagne

Satoshi Nakamoto is an alias that was used by the person or people who developed the original ideas behind bitcoin. Though there are several popular theories about Nakomoto’s true identity, very little is known about who he really is. However, Nakamoto left behind thousands of message board postings before he stopped communicating several years ago. The Book of Satoshi is a collection of those messages. The original bitcoin white paper is included in the compilation as well.

The Bitcoin Standard  

  • Author: Saifedean Ammous

Because this book was published this year, it provides a more up-to-date account of bitcoin’s evolution compared to other similar books. Ammous connects bitcoin to historic currency developments like the origin of metallic coins and government-issued money. Instead of preaching the gospel of cryptocurrency, Ammous gives a balanced view of cryptocurrency’s major pros and cons.

Digital Gold

  • Author: Nathaniel Popper

Topics covered in Digital Gold include historical milestones like the controversy around bitcoin’s anonymous founder, the rise and fall of Silk Road and the notorious Mt. Gox hack that resulted in massive sell-offs and panic. Rather than technical details, Popper puts the emphasis on the people behind his cryptocurrency stories.

How Money Got Free

  • Author: Brian Patrick Eha

This account of the early history of bitcoin focuses on the conflict between two very different schools of thought within the cryptocurrency community. On the one hand, anarcho-libertarians view cryptocurrency as a way to reduce the power of big banks and big government. On the other hand, Silicon Valley insiders are seeking to work within the existing regulatory system.

The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld

  • Author: Jamie Bartlett

The Dark Net focuses on the dark side of cryptocurrency. If you want to learn how the anonymity offered by digital coins helps criminals trade drugs and weapons, this is the book for you.

“Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit—a world of Google, Facebook, and Twitter—lies a vast and often hidden network of sites, communities, and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits, and where people can be anyone, or do anything, they want. This is the world of Bitcoin and Silk Road, of radicalism and pornography. This is the Dark Net.”

The Scandal of Money

  • Author: George Gilder

Economist, techno-utopian advocate and co-founder of the Discovery Institute George Gilder sees cryptocurrency as a possible remedy to corruption within the financial world. The Scandal of Money posits that the established financial powers have destroyed middle-class wealth. Gilder traces the beginning of this corruption all the way back to decisions made by American presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

Wildcat Currency: How the Virtual Money Revolution Is Transforming the Economy

  • Author: Edward Castronova

Wildcat Currency traces the origins of cryptocurrency to in-game digital currencies and various efforts to market e-gold in the early 2000s. Author Edward Castronova describes himself as “a founder of scholarly online game studies and an expert on the economies of virtual worlds.”

American Kingpin

  • Author: Nick Bilton

If you’re interested in how the underground online drug market known as the Silk Road connects to the development of bitcoin, you may want to check out American Kingpin. This book explains how the infamous website provided a way for black market drug and weapons sellers do business over the internet until it was finally shut down by the FBI in 2014.

For Businesses

These books encapsulate the advantages that businesses can gain from incorporating blockchain technologies into their workflows.

The Business Blockchain

  • Author: William Mougayar

The Business Blockchain is a guide for understanding the business potential of blockchain technology. Mougayar takes a slow, step-by-step approach and systematically breaks down how it all works. Though it does dive into some technical subjects, you don’t need any prior knowledge to understand this book. Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin penned the foreword.

Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code

  • Primavera De Filippi, Arron Wright

Though the legal situation around cryptocurrency is still somewhat murky, Blockchain and the Law does a good job of outlining what the confusion is all about– and it also proposes a way for regulators to move forward.

Law and Policy reporter Jeff John Roberts of Fortune gave the book a glowing review:

“A fine, deeply-researched book that can be expected to show up on law school syllabi for years to come. Blockchain and the Law is not just a theoretical guide. It’s also a moral one.”

For Investors

Here are some additional resources for learning about how to invest in cryptocurrencies.

Trading Cryptocurrencies: a Beginner’s Guide – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin

  • Author: Clem Chambers

Trading Cryptocurrencies is another hands-on guide for signing up with cryptocurrency exchanges and trading bitcoin, ether and other altcoins. Information about mining cryptocurrencies is included, as well.

An Altcoin Trader’s Handbook

  • Author: Nik Patel

Rather than hype his book as a “get rich quick” guide, Nik Patel put his focus on providing comprehensive advice for speculating in the altcoin market. Patel uses a three-stage approach to balancing risk and reward when speculating. He outlines this process in detail in his useful and interesting altcoin trading guide.

Cryptocurrency – A Trader’s Handbook: A Complete Guide On How To Trade Bitcoin And Altcoins

  • Authors: Marvin Neuefeind, Marcin Kacperczyk

This book is divided in into two parts: a cryptocurrency explainer and an investment guide. Topics covered include technical analysis, fundamental analysis, portfolio management, investment strategies and volatile markets. No prior knowledge is needed.

Cryptocurrency Trading & Investing: Beginners Guide To Trading & Investing In Bitcoin, Alt Coins & ICOs

  • Author: Aimee Vo

Cryptocurrency Trading & Investing is another guide for navigating the complex world of cryptocurrency marketplaces. The author Aimee Vo worked at UBS Investment Bank, where she gained experience in equities trading and portfolio management. The book starts off slowly, walking you through how to set up a cryptocurrency exchange account. Then, Vo explores more complex topics like short selling and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).

For Techies

These books are for computer programmers that are interested in what cryptocurrencies can do on the technical level.

Blockchain Enabled Applications: Understand the Blockchain Ecosystem and How to Make it Work for You

  • Authors: Vikram Dhillon, David Metcalf and Max Hooper

Topics covered in this dense book include working with Fabric and Sawtooth, machine learning, artificial intelligence, working out start-up ideas and setting up a development environment.

Mastering Ethereum: Building Smart Contracts and Dapps

  • Author: Andreas Antonopoulos, Gavin Wood

Andreas Antonopoulos’s sequel to Mastering Bitcoin explores the world of a promising new cryptocoin: ether. Mastering Ethereum covers everything you need to know about building smart contracts and decentralized autonomous organizations on the Ethereum blockchain.

Introducing Ethereum and Solidity: Foundations of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Programming for Beginners

  • Author: Chris Dannen

Introducing Ethereum and Solidity outlines how Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies work at the code level. It also explains the difference between distributed apps (DApps) and web apps and shows how to write Ethereum smart contracts. If you’ve ever thought about developing a DApp or a new coin, this is the book for you. Sample projects are included.

For Prognosticators

Rather than focus on what cryptocurrency can do today, these books attempt to guess at what changes this new technology will bring in the future.

Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy

  • Author: George Gilder

The premise of this book is that Google’s reign is coming to an end. Presidential speech writer and noted economist Gilder was an influential advocate of supply-side economics in the 1980s, and now he’s suggesting that blockchain technology will disrupt Google’s business model and give Silicon Valley a “nervous breakdown.”

PayPal founder Peter Thiel had this to say about Life After Google:

“Google’s algorithms assume the world’s future is nothing more than the next moment in a random process. George Gilder shows how deep this assumption goes, what motivates people to make it, and why it’s wrong: the future depends on human action.”

The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything

  • Author: Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

Truth Machine takes the work that Vigna and Casey did in Age of Cryptocurrency and takes it to another level. It recaps the history of cryptocurrency as of 2018 and attempts to predict where the technology will take us next. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers had very positive things to say about the book:

“Views differ on bitcoin, but few doubt the transformative potential of Blockchain technology. The Truth Machine is the best book so far on what has happened and what may come along. It demands the attention of anyone concerned with our economic future.”

Digital Human: The Fourth Revolution of Humanity Includes Everyone

  • Author: Chris Skinner

Though the concept of this book may seem a bit over-the-top, Chris Skinner’s funny and succinct writing style brings it all together. Mary Wisniewski, deputy BankThink editor and tech reporter for American Banker, wrote that Digital Human was like a “SoulCycle kick-your-butt spin class.” She went on to say that the book “will gut your view on traditional banking and likely freak you out.”

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us

  • Author: David Birch

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin is about the dawn of the smart money age. Thanks to smart cards, mobile phones and bitcoin, money has changed in several important ways. More than ever before, money is connected to our identities. Birch looks back over the history of money to see how smart money might affect us in the future.

Denationalization of Money

  • Author: F.A. Hayek

This radical take on the nature of economics proposes that “the root and source of all monetary evil is the government’s monopoly on money.” Author Friedrich Hayek was a Nobel Memorial Prize winner that died in 1992, but some believe that the ideas contained in this book predicted the rise of bitcoin. If you want to know what an acclaimed economist believes the world might look like if private businesses were allowed to issue their own forms of money, this book is well worth a read.

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy

  • Author: Melanie Swan

Blockchain technology could give us better democracies, decentralized autonomous organizations and more. Melanie Swan’s take on what the future might hold suggests that further developments could pave the way for blockchain technology to become the fifth disruptive computing paradigm after mainframes, PCs, the Internet, and mobile/social networking.

 

Alex Munkachy

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