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The Top 3 Books to Read if you actually Want to Understand Blockchain

Jack Dorsey just said that the ultimate goal of Bitcoin is world peace. Now either he’s auditioning for Miss America or there’s something about Bitcoin’s underlying technology that uniquely captures people’s imagination.


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Aliza Rosenfelder

2 years ago | 3 min read

More tech, less hype

Jack Dorsey just said that the ultimate goal of Bitcoin is world peace. Now either he’s auditioning for Miss America or there’s something about Bitcoin’s underlying technology that uniquely captures people’s imagination. However, bitcoin and blockchain have a problem. They’re fundamentally misunderstood. To Warren Buffett it is rat poison squared whereas many others look to it as a potential saviour against institutional corruption.

Now which is it? Only time will tell, though I do know one thing absolutely. If you’re going to put your money into something you should at least know what you’re buying. Whether you want to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum or even a Katy Perry None-Fungible Token, it cannot hurt to have an understanding of both the technology that underpins it and the marketplace in which it’s for sale. This is why I’ve selected the three books below if you’re interested in blockchain.

To be clear, I’m not associated with any project and am not using affiliate links. I’ve been interested in Bitcoin technology since 2017 and have found these books helpful to my understanding. There are many good books and passionate people out there and I know I’m only scratching the surface.

1. Mastering Bitcoin

Andreas M. Antonopoulos

Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

In a surprise to absolutely nobody in the crypto community, this tops the list. As one of the first people to see the potential of both bitcoin and blockchain Andreas combines high level technical expertise with a gift for communication.

Although some of the technical sections may appear daunting, it’s well worth persevering. His genuine enthusiasm is refreshing in a sector that attracts many experts without expertise. I’d also highly recommend his YouTube videos and podcasts as he’s able to react quickly and think deeply about a volatile marketplace whether you agree with him or not.

2. Blockchain Bubble or Revolution: The Future of Bitcoin, Blockchains, and Cryptocurrencies

Neel Mehta, Aditya Agashe, Parth Detroja

Bubble or Revolution Book Cover

If you’re interested in blockchain, you’ll quickly come across content so evangelical that even Mike Pence would blush. This book is a welcome breath of fresh air. Written by three product managers from the world’s largest tech companies, it benefits from the perspective of outsiders looking in.

Rather than getting hung up on the potential of what the technology could be, it critically evaluates multiple use cases and the scenarios in which blockchain is actually useful. It also is very well researched and does not shy away from the geopolitical context which will inform the technology’s further development.

3. Crypto Wars

Erica Stanford

Crypto Wars Book Cover

Simultaneously hugely entertaining and absolutely terrifying, Erica Stanford has used her unparalleled access to the crypto community to chronicle the most notorious failed projects and outright scams in its history. For fans of The Missing Cryptoqueen, this includes interviewing Jamie Bartlett about the infamous Dr. Ruja. If a friend wants to invest in a mysterious project — it’s probably best to give them this book.

For a long time, the “Get Rich Quick” element of ICOs and the general lack of understanding about blockchain allowed good projects to be conflated with scams in the eyes of the general public. It’s a rare thing to be able to fairly appraise some of the most unsavoury characters you could ever come across, but still be able to provide a sense of hope about the technology’s future.

3 Key Takeaways

  1. If you want to know about the technology read Mastering Bitcoin.
  2. If you want to understand the viable use cases read Bubble or Revolution?
  3. If you want to understand the marketplace read Crypto Wars.

To conclude, blockchain technology is changing constantly and the speed at which resources can become historic is daunting. Nevertheless, you can gain a much better understanding about this often abstract technology from reading the three books above. With cryptocurrencies’ increasing social acceptability amongst younger investors how can it hurt to be informed about what could either be a bubble or a truly revolutionary technology?

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Aliza Rosenfelder

Google for Startups UK Ambassador | LSE | Blockchain


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