Ready or not, cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies have a growing influence on financial markets, and they’ve certainly piqued the curiosity of investors. Those who want to dip their toe into cryptocurrency investing or have thought about plunging in headfirst can first get grounded by reading a few fascinating books on the topic.
Thankfully, there are well-written reads geared to all levels of financial understanding, from learning blockchain basics in easy-to-understand prose to more technical tomes.
Here are five crypto books selected from the best-of lists of two savvy journalists: Linda Rosencrance, an information technology writer in Boston, and Sales Wallet, a self-described crypto ambassador for Medium.
1. The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains by Antony Lewis
Rosencrance and Wallet put Lewis’ crypto book at the top of their must-read lists. Lewis provides a perfect introduction to crypto and helps readers understand why Bitcoin and crypto have value. He also traces the history of money and how the banking system works.
The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains explains blockchain basics in a way that’s easy to wrap your head around. The book includes what a blockchain is, how it works, and why it’s important. It describes the top blockchain platforms, smart contracts, and some considerations to keep in mind before buying cryptocurrencies. There is also a section on crypto investment risks, identifying scams, cryptocurrency exchanges, digital wallets, and cryptocurrency investment regulations.
2. Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain, 2nd Edition by Andreas M. Antonopoulos
This technical crypto book provides the knowledge necessary to participate in the “internet of money,” Rosencrance writes.
Andreas Antonopoulos is regarded as one of the world’s top bitcoin and open blockchain experts. He has founded three Bitcoin businesses and serves on the advisory boards of several Bitcoin startups.
Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain provides a description of Bitcoin that’s directed toward novice users, business executives, and investors. Another helpful section describes the workings of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for engineers, developers, systems, and software architects.
Antonopoulos describes the Bitcoin decentralized network, peer-to-peer architecture, the transaction lifecycle, and security principles. He explains keys, addresses, and wallets and shares user stories explaining key technical concepts.
3. Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps by Daniel Drescher
Veteran banking professional Daniel Drescher takes a simple approach to describe blockchain technology in 25 steps without leaning on program code, mathematical formulas, or other jargon.
This crypto book explains the potential impact of blockchain terminology on the financial system. Readers will gain insights into why blockchain is needed and where it can solve problems. Its strength lies in explaining blockchain’s technical aspects and their role in business-relevant applications.
4. Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
Bitcoin billionaires tells the true story of the Winklevoss Twins after their Facebook stock settlement with Mark Zuckerberg and their place in crypto history.
Wallet highly recommends this tale about how the Winkelvosses unsuccessfully tried to become venture capitalists before learning about a novel new idea called cryptocurrency. By November 2017, the Winkelvoss twins became the first Bitcoin billionaires.
Wallet describes the crypto book as a “bit of light-hearted crypto reading, and if want to learn a bit more about what happened in the early days of crypto, then this is the book for you.”
5. The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything by Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna
In The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything,
Michael Casey and Paul Vigna explain blockchain’s potential to restore personal control over people’s data, assets, and identities.
Casey and Vigna wrote that “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.”
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