Blockchain books? You betcha! If you buy Bitcoin (BTC) regularly, chances are you’re interested in more than just the Bitcoin price at the moment… for true Bitcoin believers, crypto isn’t just a purchase, it’s a way of life. And understanding Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and how the Blockchain works are key to being a true Bitcoin enthusiast. What better way to understand something than through a good book?
Even if you’re looking to buy Bitcoin for the first time, understanding the technology behind crypto and blockchain is only going to enhance your experience (and maybe even help you make a smarter Bitcoin investment). It’s not summer without a good book in hand, so with that in mind, we’ve rounded up the best Bitcoin and blockchain books to read on the beach, in a hammock, or on your commute to work while you cry that you don’t have enough vacation days.
Bitcoin books for absolute beginners
Antony Lewis’s The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchain delivers on its promise to provide an “introduction to cryptocurrency and the technology that powers them.” With chapters on everything from the history of cryptocurrency (and currency in general) to how to buy Bitcoin (and how to store it), as well as info on BTC investing, ICOs and altcoins, this is really a comprehensive look at everything you need to know about crypto. At 400 pages it’s not exactly a beach read, but put it on your bedside table, and absorb a little more knowledge every night before you go to sleep. And don’t rule out this read if you’re not a beginner! Even if you buy Bitcoin every day, you’ll probably find something you didn’t know here, or material that will help you better explain things the next time someone gives you a blank look when you mention your Bitcoin investment.
For a more narrative approach to the same material, try Omid Malekan’s The Story of Blockchain: A Beginner’s Guide to the Technology That Nobody Understands. He brings voice and storytelling to Blockchain, describing its origins. This blockchain book is a captivating read that really does guide you through a technology that very few people truly get, and which you'll be sure to better understand once you've finished reading.
To get even more basic, turn to the Dummies series, which rarely disappoints when it comes to general knowledge. There are several books in their crypto series, including Bitcoin for Dummies and Cryptocurrency Investing for Dummies, both of which are excellent choices if you’re looking to buy Bitcoin for the first time. While they tend to skim, and most of the information in them can also be found online, they’re good starter Bitcoin books in that they gather the information in one place. If you have more crypto experience, this series probably isn’t for you, but they’re helpful to toss to that someone who keeps asking you about how to buy Bitcoin but hasn’t done the research themselves. (We all know that someone!)
Blockchain books if you like drama
Sometimes reading is less about understanding a subject and more about immersing yourself in it. Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich (you may know him as the author of the book that spawned the movie The Social Network) does just that. A fascinating story of the Winklevoss twins, Bitcoin Billionaires looks at their foray into Bitcoin. Mezrich is a brilliant storyteller, and his account of the Winklevoss twins is unputdownable whether you’re into Bitcoin or not. BTC enthusiasts may find themselves nodding in agreement while they read, but this Bitcoin book is for crypto newcomers as well, who are simply in for a treat of a read. It’s a dramatic Bitcoin book that makes for the ultimate beach read.
Just as juicy a read is Nathaniel Popper’s Digital Gold, which looks at the central players in Bitcoin’s early days. Popper examines the roles everyone from the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto to the Winklevoss twins played in the creation of Bitcoin and its rise in popularity, weaving together an entertaining story that’s sure to appeal to Bitcoin fans and non-buyers alike. Read this and Bitcoin Billionaires together this summer, and you’ll be fully versed on the behind the scenes drama that created your favorite coin.
Blockchain books for history buffs
For less of a how-to of Blockchain and more of an understanding of how blockchain and Bitcoin came to be, start with The Age of Cryptocurrency by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey. Offering a comprehensive history of digital currency, the roller coaster that is Bitcoin, and why the technology behind it was invented, The Age of Cryptocurrency poses the question, why should anyone care about Bitcoin, and does a thorough job of answering it. If Bitcoin Billionaires is your Bitcoin beach book, The Age of Cryptocurrency is your Bitcoin summer afternoon back porch with a glass of whiskey book.
Another excellent read on how we arrived at digital currency is economics professor Saifedean Ammous’ The Bitcoin Standard. Ammous takes a look at the history of money, from its primitive origins to its centralization as well as at capitalism, before turning to BTC and digital currencies in the second half of the book. It’s a great lesson in economics and poses important questions about Bitcoin’s future. It’s the sort of Bitcoin book that you’ll finish feeling smarter.
Bitcoin books if you want to buy Bitcoin
Let’s be honest: sometimes you’re less interested in understanding how something works, and more interested in understanding how to make it work for you. If you’re in that camp, plenty of recent books aim to help people gain a greater understanding of Bitcoin investing, the Bitcoin market, and Bitcoin price. But Alan T. Norman is basically a one-man crypto explaining machine. Some of his books, such as Blockchain Technology Explained should go in our first category of Blockchain books for beginners. But other titles, like the Cryptocurrency Investing Bible, help explain exactly how to start if you want to buy Bitcoin, with tips on where to find the Bitcoin price, and what the best BTC exchanges are. Norman clearly takes a very pro-Bitcoin stance, and while his author profile doesn’t state whether or not he holds crypto himself, it’s probably safe to assume he does. In other words, he has a vested interest in Bitcoin’s success. It’s important to remember that what worked for him may not work for you, and that investing in anything always carries risks, even with the best advice. That being said, while you should always use your own judgment when investing, his books offer a great jumping off point.
If you want to stick it to the man
Blockchain technology is all about decentralization and putting power back in the hands of the people. While companies like Google started out wearing the white hats of the internet, the rise of big data and how capitalism uses our information has made those waters murky. So what does the future look like? Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy by George Gilder explores just that. Is the economy that Google built, which trades data as an asset, sustainable? And if not, will it be replaced by the Blockchain economy that’s slowly rising? It’s funny to think of Google as “the man,” but we seem to be there. Can the promise of decentralization really take its place?