12 Best Cryptocurrency Books

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12 Best Cryptocurrency BooksCryptocurrency is a complex, ever-evolving concept that has implications for investors, customers, financial institutions, and entrepreneurs.

In an attempt to deconstruct the complex world of cryptocurrency and blockchain, we have already covered the best crypto YouTube channels and top cryptocurrency podcasts on our blog. So I decided to expand the list of cryptocurrency resources by listing down the best cryptocurrency books that every crypto enthusiast and investor should read.

The world of cryptocurrency and blockchain may seem overwhelming at first, but the books listed here cover all the essential aspects you need to know to get a deep understanding of how crypto works and the potential it offers.

Here are the 12 best books on cryptocurrency and blockchain that can help open your mind up to the real potential of these revolutionary technologies.

Top 12 Cryptocurrency Books

1. Blockchain Bubble or Revolution: The Present and Future of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies by Neel Mehta, Aditya Agashe, and Parth Detroja

The bubble-or-revolution debate surrounding cryptocurrency has been raging for several years. While some believe cryptocurrencies and blockchain are nothing but a hype-fueled bubble with no legitimate use cases, others genuinely believe they are revolutionary inventions that will transform governments, businesses, economies, and societies. But not many people understand how these technologies work and the real potential they have.

In Bubble or Revolution, the authors break down the basics of cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology through real-world examples and simple explanations. You’ll learn about how crypto works at a fundamental level, where it’s useful, and where it isn’t. They offer their take on the bubble-or-revolution debate, while providing the necessary tools you’ll need to decide for yourself.

The book also delves deep into the social, political, economic, and technical implications of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and offers insights into their future from their exclusive interviews with dozens of tech industry leaders.

If you’d like to understand the building blocks of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the economics of bitcoin mining, crypto regulations, and the future of money, this book is highly recommended.

Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5 (1,300+ ratings)

2. The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains by Antony Lewis

If you’d like to master the basics of blockchain, bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, this book is for you. It assumes no starting expertise in these subjects and provides a breakdown of complex concepts in a simple, easy to understand way.

The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains is essentially a comprehensive guide to the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain. You’ll learn everything you need to know about the history of money to a thorough introduction to cryptocurrency to the latest thinking about cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and enterprise blockchains.

This book covers the fundamentals of cryptocurrency while also delighting you with little-known tidbits and gems that even experienced crypto investors and industry insiders will appreciate.

Despite being a researcher at a world-leading enterprise blockchain firm, author Antony Lewis maintains a neutral position on cryptocurrencies throughout the book, allowing you, the reader, to make your own conclusions about digital currencies.

Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5 (1,400+ ratings)

3. The Cryptopians by Laura Shin

The Cryptopians is authored by Laura Shin, the host of the popular Unchained podcast. Laura has been covering the crypto industry for more than 7 years, and Unchained actually had its sixth birth this past June. But birthdays aren’t the only thing that the Unchained team should be celebrating — because this book is amazing.

Laura Shin’s experience definitely shows in this book about the origin story of Ethereum. She spent three years conducting countless interviews with many of the book’s characters, including Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood, and even founder of the once viral site ChatRoulette (his involvement is a pretty great story in itself).

This book is so well-written that one reviewer thinks it will someday be adapted into a movie. Characters get introduced seamlessly, the events that take place are well described, and at no point in the book does the talk get too technical – meaning it reads well whether you are a crypto newbie or expert.

When reading the book, you’ll learn about the 8 founders of Ethereum, some of the dramatic events that occur, like the “Game of Thrones” day which led to one of the founders being let go, and many other events that took place. Shin even takes a deep dive into the events that centered around the DAO hack — one of the most infamous hacks in crypto due to this day that happened because of a recursive calling vulnerability.

In short, this book provides a platform for fine-tuning your crypto knowledge as well as catapulting it to another level. The book also features a crypto glossary at the end, with 6 pages of crypto terms.

Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5 (400+ ratings)

Related: 22 Best Cryptocurrency Podcasts

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

Blockchain Revolution explores the technology behind blockchain and cryptocurrencies, how it’s currently being used, and more importantly, dissects blockchain’s potential to solve the most pressing global challenges faced by the world today. As the authors write, “Blockchain holds the potential for unleashing countless new applications and as yet unrealized capabilities that have the potential to transform many things.”

The book neatly deconstructs the promise and problems associated with the blockchain technology and provides a sneak peek into the future of money and humanity.

From covering the basics of blockchain protocol to explaining the seven design principles of the blockchain technology to examining new business models enabled by blockchain, the authors offer a detailed account of the current digital money landscape while simultaneously providing insights into a technology that has the power to reshape the global financial system.

Goodreads Rating: 3.4/5 (4,100+ ratings)

5. The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous

A few months ago, when I searched for “best bitcoin books” on Reddit, any answer that contained the book The Bitcoin Standard by Dr. Saifedean Ammous as one of the recommendations almost invariably got the most upvotes.

The Bitcoin Standard is perhaps the most definitive guide on the economic theory and history of bitcoin. It’s easily one of the best books on cryptocurrency and the best book to get a deep understanding of how bitcoin works and the promises it holds.

This book explains the economics of bitcoin, how the bitcoin network operates, and analyzes the potential uses of bitcoin as a form of sound money. It highlights a few use cases of bitcoin and addresses some of the most common misconceptions surrounding the most popular cryptocurrency in the world.

In the book, author Saifedean Ammous argues that anyone who wants to invest in bitcoin should first have an understanding of how it works and learn about the practical operational aspects of owning and storing bitcoins.

Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5 (7,300+ ratings)

6. The Internet of Money by Andreas Antonopoulos

Andreas Antonopoulos is one of the most outspoken advocates of bitcoin and blockchain technology. With his first book, Mastering Bitcoin (featured later on the list), Antonopoulos wrote one of the finest books on the technical aspects of cryptocurrency. The Internet of Money (split into 3 volumes) focuses on a much broader audience.

As Antonopoulos states at the start of this book, The Internet of Money is like an abridged diary of his discovery of Bitcoin. It’s a compilation of his talks on bitcoin and blockchain delivered to a live audience from 2013 to early 2016. While the central theme of the book understandably revolves around bitcoin and blockchain, it also reflects Antonopoulos’ worldview, political ideas, and summarizes his optimistic vision about the blockchain technology.

The book starts with an introduction into the origins of bitcoin and all the subsequent topics explored in the book evolve from there. It’s a must-read book for crypto beginners as it helps you get a fundamental understanding of how bitcoin works.

Almost all of Antonopoulos’ books are available for free online, under open-source licenses. The Internet of Money is no exception. You can download the free Kindle version of all 3 volumes of this book on Amazon.

Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5 (3,500+ ratings)

Related: 13 Best Crypto YouTube Channels You Need to Follow

7. Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar

While most other books on this list explore cryptocurrencies from a technological and economic perspective, Cryptoassets takes a different approach: while it does cover the history and technology of cryptocurrencies, it also examines digital currencies from an investment perspective. As such, it’s one of the best books to learn about cryptocurrency trading and investing for beginners.

Several experts believe bitcoin and the blockchain technology is the greatest investment opportunity since the internet. None more so than the authors of Cryptoassets. In this book, two industry insiders Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar provide a clear and concise roadmap to investing in bitcoin and other emerging cryptocurrencies to secure your financial future.

The authors acknowledge the rapidly-evolving nature of the crypto markets while providing a comprehensive breakdown of the history, technology, and marketplace dynamics of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. At the same time, the methodologies laid forth in this book are presented in an evergreen fashion so that it retains its value over a long period of time.

If you want to familiarize yourself with the technological landscape of digital currencies and make sound investment decisions, this book is a must-read.

Goodreads Rating: 3.9/5 (2,100+ ratings)

8. Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption by Ben Mezrich

If there’s one person well equipped to write the story of the Winklevoss twins’ redemption and revenge in the wake of their highly publicized legal battle with Facebook, it’s Ben Mezrich.

Mezrich has authored several business thrillers, but he’s best known for his book The Accidental Billionaires, which was later adapted into a critically-acclaimed movie The Social Network by David Fincher.

In Accidental Billionaires, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were two of the central characters engaged in a legal battle with Mark Zuckerberg, who they claimed stole their idea and code to create Facebook. While the Winklevoss twins won a $65 million legal settlement, Mezrich’s account of the legal battle and its subsequent adaptation by David Fincher didn’t exactly bolster their image and reputation.

Mezrich’s book Bitcoin Billionaires chronicles the Winklevoss twins’ second act of redeeming their public image by becoming Bitcoin’s most prominent adopters and advocates. As Mezrich remarks, “There is every chance that the Winklevoss twins’ second act will eventually overshadow their first.”

Like every other Ben Mezrich book, Bitcoin Billionaires is novelistic and fast-paced. It introduces you to the exciting and messy world of cryptocurrency startups, and provides a dramatic, narrative based account of how the Winklevoss twins became Bitcoin’s biggest advocates.

Goodreads Rating: 4/5 (5,700+ ratings)

9. Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

Nathaniel Popper is a New York Times finance and technology reporter who first became interested in bitcoin after writing an article on how the Winklevoss twins had amassed a large stockpile of bitcoin. He then spent a considerable time researching the origins of bitcoin and this eventually led him to write the book Digital Gold.

Like the author, if you too have been intrigued by the mysterious origins of bitcoin, then this book will be deeply rewarding. Nathaniel Popper’s well-researched book takes readers on a journey across continents to understand this revolutionary technology and the implications that it may have.

The book chronicles the dramatic rise of bitcoin through the eyes of the movement’s central characters, including Bitcoin’s mysterious inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, an Argentine millionaire, a Chinese entrepreneur, and the Winklevoss twins.

Popper delves deep into the motivations behind the most ardent supporters of bitcoin, the various controversies it has sparked, and the potential of digital currencies to disrupt the traditional financial system.

Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5 (6,100+ ratings)

10. Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies by Andreas Antonopoulos

This is the second book by Andreas Antonopoulos on this list. While Antonopoulos’ other book, The Internet of Money, covers the basics of cryptocurrencies, and as such, is intended for crypto beginners and enthusiasts, Mastering Bitcoin is a book mainly meant for coders and people who are seeking to examine bitcoin from a technical perspective.

If you’re a programmer, this book will teach you how cryptocurrencies work, how to use them, and how to develop software that works with them. But even if you don’t have a programming background, you can refer to the first few chapters of the book to get a basic understanding of the inner workings of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

That said, for all non-coders who are reading this article, I’d highly recommend you check out Antonopoulos’ other book, The Internet of Money, before you grab a copy of Mastering Bitcoin.

Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5 (2,300+ ratings)

11. The Book of Satoshi: The Collected Writings of Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto by Phil Champagne

The most astonishing fact about bitcoin is that no one knows the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto, which may represent an individual or a group, exists only in the virtual world through online publications that introduced and explained bitcoin during its early days.

This book is a collection of Satoshi Nakamoto’s essential writings that detail bitcoin’s creation. The collection includes:

  • Satoshi Nakamoto’s emails and posts on computer forums presented in chronological order
  • Bitcoin fundamentals presented in layman’s terms
  • Bitcoin’s potential and profound economic implications
  • The seminal paper which started the bitcoin movement

Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity may remain unknown forever. All that exists now is the work he published over a span of two years before he disappeared from the internet. This book is an attempt to preserve his writings on bitcoin’s creation and fundamentals.

Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5 (500+ ratings)

12. Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency by Finn Brunton

This book tells the story of how digital currencies came to be and the people who sought to build it. It explores the preconditions, the technologies, subcultures, ideas, and models of the future that made bitcoin and cryptocurrencies possible.

In the book, author Finn Brunton makes two compelling arguments. First, the concept of digital cash is best understood as part of the challenge to making digital data valuable, and that most of the problems facing digital cash resolve themselves when they are understood in terms of authentication, ownership, certainty, and proof for digital objects.

The second argument the author makes is that the history of digital currencies provides us a vivid example of the use of money and technologies to tell stories about the future. Indeed, the book describes several utopian and speculative monetary projects.

Filled with interesting characters, stories, ideas, and mental models, Digital Cash is an engaging account of the origins and technologies behind cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Goodreads Rating: 3.38/5 (100+ ratings)

Final Thoughts

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain may have gained mainstream acceptance, but there’s still a lot to unpack and learn about these disruptive technologies. Let these cryptocurrency books take you on a journey and help you understand the complex world of digital currencies.

Whether you’re a crypto beginner or someone who has dabbled in cryptocurrencies for years, you’ll find something to learn and cherish in these books.

Did I miss out on any of your favorite cryptocurrency books? Let me know in the comments section. I’m always on the lookout for book recommendations.

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Sandeep Mallya is the Founder & CEO of Startup Cafe Digital, an award-winning digital marketing agency in Bangalore, India. He is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several early-stage startups and accelerators. 99signals is Sandeep's online marketing blog. The blog currently features 200+ in-depth articles, how-to guides, and hacks on a wide range of online marketing topics such as SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, blogging, and more.

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