Top 10 Best Bitcoin Books of All Time (Updated 2020)

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Below we have listed and reviewed the top 10 best books on bitcoin of all times (This blog post has been updated for 2020):

  1. The Bitcoin Standard, by author Saifedean Ammous.
  2. Mastering Bitcoin, by author Andreas M. Antonopoulos.
  3. Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin, by author Nathaniel Popper.
  4. Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption, by author Ben Mezrich.
  5. The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 1, by author Andreas M. Antonopoulos.
  6. The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 2, by author Andreas M. Antonopoulos.
  7. Programming Bitcoin: Learn How to Program Bitcoin from Scratch by author Jimmy Song.
  8. The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future, by author Jimmy Song et al.
  9. Bitcoin Money: A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money, by author Michael Caras.
  10. Inventing Bitcoin: The Technology Behind the First Truly Scarce and Decentralized Money Explained, by author Yan Pritzker.

Bitcoin is a subject that is often misunderstood. This misunderstanding is rooted in the fact that bitcoin is a multifaceted new technology at the intersection of computer science and monetary economic theory. Therefore, in order to fully grasp bitcoin’s fundamental value proposition, one must acquire a solid understanding of how bitcoin functions at a technical level, as well as become knowledgeable about monetary history and Austrian school of economics. Failure to understand both of these dimensions will inevitably lead to a fundamental misunderstanding of bitcoin’s true purpose and antifragility, as evidenced by the inability of many mainstream Keynesian economists to explain bitcoin’s enormous growth in just 10 years time and the many market participants who have attempted haphazardly to emulate bitcoin’s success by launching alternative cryptocurrencies.

The top 10 best bitcoin books of all time, which we have listed below, will provide the reader with a profound insight into (1) the inner workings of the bitcoin network from a technical perspective, (2) the value of bitcoin from a monetary economic perspective and (3) the historical background of how this nascent but rapidly growing technology came into existence and evolved from its inception to the present.

1. The Bitcoin Standard, by author Saifedean Ammous.

Front cover of The Bitcoin Standard from author Saifedean Ammous.
Author: Saifedean Ammous
Publisher: Wiley
Date of publication: April 6, 2018
Pages: 304
Language: English
Authority (0-5): 5
Difficulty Level (0-5): 4

Book Review

The Bitcoin Standard shines a light on bitcoin’s value proposition from a monetary economic perspective. This book is an essential read to understand why bitcoin can be considered an incredible robust store of value, similar to physical gold, by juxtaposing bitcoin’s properties to our current financial system, which is built upon pure fiat currencies governed by central banks. The book provides the reader with an easy to understand introduction to monetary history and the Austrian school of economics and is seemingly able to show how this relates to bitcoin. Moreover, the Bitcoin Standard sets forth some truly unique dimensions about money and bitcoin, such as the concept of ‘human time preference‘, offering the reader distinctive points of view he/she will not find in any other book about bitcoin. The book is incredibly well researched and contains many valuable references to supporting economic literature, which also makes it a great starting point for anyone who is looking to take a deep dive into the Austrian school of economics.

Non-exhaustive overview of topics that are covered in the book The Bitcoin Standard:

  • The book begins by defining what money is and the functions that a good needs to fulfil to be considered money.
  • After setting out what constitutes money, the following few chapters are dedicated to providing the reader with an introduction to monetary history, from the first primitive forms of money to the monetary metals and, finally, the current government fiat currencies.
  • The book goes in-depth in explaining the concept of sound money and the role that gold has played throughout history as a form of sound money. Particular elements in this regard which are analyzed by the author are the concepts of salability of a good and the stock-to-flow ratio of a good.
  • One of the major themes in the book is the influence that sound money has on the time preference of individuals and on civilization as a whole.
  • The book puts forward the merits of capitalism, built upon a sound money foundation, as the proper mechanism for the allocation of capital goods, as opposed to socialism.
  • The author provides a non-technical explanation of what bitcoin is from a monetary economic perspective, and puts forward why bitcoin is arguably the hardest form of money ever created by mankind.
  • A central thread throughout the book is the merits of the Austrian school of economics as the right framework for a monetary economic theory, as opposed to the current mainstream Keynesian economics.
  • The book ends with a chapter of frequently asked bitcoin questions regarding, amongst others, bitcoin mining, bitcoin’s antifragility, bitcoin’s scalability, etc.

Topics that are not covered in the book The Bitcoin Standard:

The book does not explore in detail how bitcoin works from a technical computer science perspective.

As such, it might be difficult for a reader with no technical knowledge about bitcoin to understand why bitcoin is to be considered a “digital object that is verifiably scarce“.

Therefore, in addition to The Bitcoin Standard, we would recommend to anyone who’s looking to gain a technical understanding of bitcoin to read the book Mastering Bitcoin from author Andreas M. Antonopoulos. We have reviewed said book below.

Major takeaways from the book The Bitcoin Standard (non-exhaustive):

  • It is the market (and not the government) who freely decides which good(s) is to be considered money, based on that good’s properties. Savers who are free to choose a medium of exchange will gravitate towards assets that hold value over time as monetary assets (i.e. assets that are sound/hard money).
  • For a good to be able to function properly as sound money, it needs to have the following properties: (1) high salability across space, time and scales, (2) the good needs to be scarce and (3) the good needs to have a high stock-to-flow ratio.
  • A good which is adopted by the market as money performs 3 functions: (1) medium of exchange, (2) store of value, (3) unit of account.
  • Bitcoin is endowed with all the properties necessary to make it sound money. In fact, bitcoin is unique in the sense that it is the only known asset which has a fixed supply (i.e. max 21 MM bitcoins), making it arguably the hardest money in the world. Therefore, it is more likely than not that the market will gradually choose bitcoin as sound money over any other (traditional) forms of money (including fiat currencies).
  • Notwithstanding the invention of many alternative cryptocurrencies to bitcoin, one can expect network effects to ensure that bitcoin is likely to remain and will continue to grow as the dominant cryptocurrency going forward. Network effects dictate that because the gains from joining a network grow exponentially the larger the size of the network, the largest network (in casu, the bitcoin network) will have an insurmountable advantage vis-à-vis smaller networks.
  • The security of bitcoin lies in the asymmetry between the cost of solving the proof-of-work necessary to commit a transaction to the ledger and the cost of verifying its validity.
  • In accordance with Austrian economics, any quantity of economic transactions could be supported by a money supply of any size as long as the units are divisible enough. This means that bitcoin’s fixed supply of maximum 21 million bitcoins, each bitcoin divisible by 8 decimal places, could serve as the foundation of an entire new financial system (i.e. a digital gold standard).
  • In a world with a fixed money supply (e.g. bitcoin) the only noncriminal way to acquire money would be to produce something of value, which others are willing to exchange for money.
  • Sound money is a prime factor in determining an individual’s time preference (i.e. the ratio at which an individual values the present compared to the future). The more sound money is, the lower an individual’s time preference. The lower an individual’s time preference, the more likely that individual will accumulate capital goods, as opposed to consumption goods, benefiting society as a whole.

Conclusion

We are of the opinion that The Bitcoin Standard is an an absolute must read when it comes to gaining a fundamental understanding of bitcoin. In case you haven’t read the book, we guarantee that you have not yet acquired the full picture that is needed for understanding bitcoin’s value.

Editorial Review

“Bitcoin has no owner, no authority that can decide on its fate. It is owned by the crowd, its users. And it now has a track record of several years, enough for it to be an animal in its own right. Its mere existence is an insurance policy that will remind governments that the last object the establishment could control, namely, the currency, is no longer their monopoly. This gives us, the crowd, an insurance policy against an Orwellian future.” – From the foreword by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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In our opinion, the Bitcoin Standard works in perfect tandem with the book Mastering Bitcoin from author Andreas M. Antonopoulos, which teaches the reader in-depth about how bitcoin works from a technical computer science perspective. Take a look at our review of Mastering Bitcoin below.

These 2 mentioned books will provide the reader with a full picture of bitcoin, giving the reader the ability to understand why bitcoin acts as a store of value and why bitcoin is likely to continue to grow undeterred over time.

2. Mastering Bitcoin, by author Andreas M. Antonopoulos.

Front cover of Mastering Bitcoin from author Andreas M. Antonopoulos.
Author: Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Publisher: O'Reilly
Date of publication: June 16, 2017
Pages: 284
Language: English
Authority (0-5): 5
Difficulty Level (0-5): 4

Book Review

The book Mastering Bitcoin from author Andreas M. Antonopoulos lays out in-depth how bitcoin works from a technical computer science perspective. This book is an essential read to understand the inner workings of the bitcoin blockchain and why bitcoin can be considered as a scarce digital good with a fixed supply.To this end, the book dives into the actual source code of the bitcoin protocol and goes to great lengths to explain many important concepts relating to public-key cryptography which are essential for bitcoin.Even though Mastering Bitcoin is mostly intended for coders, the book is written in a way that it can be read and understood by anyone (i.e. even if you don’t have any knowledge about writing code). As such, I highly recommend reading this book to both coders and non-coders alike, in order to gain a deep understanding bout bitcoin.

Non-exhaustive overview of topics that are covered in the book Mastering Bitcoin:

  • The book starts out with a glossary of the most common used terms in relation to bitcoin, followed by an introduction to what bitcoin is and how you can send and receive bitcoin.
  • Chapter 2 of the book sets forth how bitcoin works from a high level perspective. More in particular, it discusses (1) what are ‘bitcoin transactions’ and how they are constructed and (2) the concept of bitcoin mining and its purpose.
  • The following chapters of the book go in-depth and provide a technical explanation of the inner workings of bitcoin’s critical parts, more in particular (1) the bitcoin client, (2) keys, addresses, wallets, (3) transactions, (4) the bitcoin network, (5) the blockchain, (6) mining and consensus.
  • Chapter 9 discusses alternative cryptocurrencies and potential different applications of bitcoin technology.
  • The final chapter of the book discusses bitcoin’s security principles and user security best practices.

Topics that are not covered in the book Mastering Bitcoin:

Mastering Bitcoin is meant to provide the reader with a technical explanation of the inner workings of bitcoin. After reading the book, the reader will understand how all the critical parts of bitcoin work together, such as, how bitcoin transactions are constructed, how key pairs and bitcoin adresses are generated, how the various members of the bitcoin network interact with each other, how bitcoin mining works, how the bitcoin blockchain is built, why bitcoin is a scarce digital good, etc.

What is not discussed in Mastering Bitcoin is bitcoin’s value proposition from a monetary economic perspective. The book does not explain to the reader why bitcoin can be considered an incredible robust store of value, similar to physical gold. Indeed, this would require an analysis of monetary history and Austrian school of economics, which falls outside the scope of this book.

Therefore, in addition to the book Mastering Bitcoin, I would recommend to anyone who’s looking to gain a fundamental understanding of bitcoin to read the book The Bitcoin Standard from author Saifedean Ammous. The Bitcoin Standard analyses bitcoin from a monetary economic perspective. We have reviewed said book above.

Major takeaways from the book Mastering Bitcoin (non-exhaustive):

  • The term bitcoin consists of: (1) a decentralized peer-to-peer network (the bitcoin protocol), (2) a public transaction ledger (the blockchain), (3) a decentralized mathematical and deterministic currency issuance (distributed mining) and (4) a decentralized transaction verification system (transaction script).
  • Bitcoin in a sense is the perfect form of money for the internet because it is fast, secure, borderless and entirely virtual.
  • Bitcoin is an open permissionless distributed, peer-to-peer system, meaning that anyone can join and leave the network at anytime and there is no central server or point of control.
  • The purpose of the bitcoin network is to propagate all transactions and blocks to all participants in the network.
  • A transaction transmitted across the network is not verified until it becomes part of the global distributed ledger, i.e. the bitcoin blockchain. Every 10 minutes on average, miners generate a new bitcoin block that contains all the transactions since the last block.
  • Bitcoin transactions move value from transaction inputs to transaction outputs. An input is where the coin value is coming from, usually a previous unspent transaction output. A transaction output assigns a new owner to the value, by associating that value with a new private key. Outputs from one transaction can be used as inputs in a new transaction.
  • The key innovation of bitcoin was to use a distributed computation system (called a “proof-of-work” algorithm) to conduct a global “election” every 10 minutes, allowing the decentralized network to arrive at consensus about the state of transactions.
  • The concept of proof-of-work to achieve consensus without a central trusted authority is a practical solution to a previously unsolved problem in distributed computing, known as the “Byzantine General’s problem“.
  • Bitcoin’s main innovation is the decentralized mechanism for emergent consensus. Bitcoin’s decentralized consensus emerges from the interplay of 4 processes: (1) independent verification of each transaction by every full node, (2) independent aggregation of transactions into new blocks by mining nodes, coupled with a proof-of-work algorithm, (3) independent verification of the new blocks by every node and assembly into a bitcoin blockchain, and (4) independent selection, by every full node, of the chain with the most cumulative computation demonstrated through proof of work.
  • He who knows the private key is able to spend the value associated with that private key, i.e. is able to spend the bitcoins. In other terms, the person who knows the private key is the “owner” of the bitcoins associated with that private key.
  • Not your keys, not your bitcoin. Bitcoin keys should be stored offline at all times.
  • A private key is a 256 bit number picked at random. A public key is derived from a private key using one-way elliptic curve multiplication. A bitcoin address is derived from a public key through the use of one-way cryptographic hashing functions.
  • Public key cryptography used in bitcoin is what allows any third party to verify that a bitcoin transaction was signed by the correct private key, without the private key ever being revealed to that verifying third party.
  • Bitcoin mining serves 2 purposes: (1) creating new bitcoin each time a new bitcoin block is mined, and (2) creating trust by ensuring that transactions are only confirmed if enough computational power was devoted to the block that contains them, through the use of a proof-of-work algorithm.

Who is the book Mastering Bitcoin for?

According to the author, Mastering Bitcoin is primarily intended for coders who want to get started with bitcoin.

However, we found that all the members of our team have been able to read and understand the book without having any coding knowledge. In this regard, the author has gone to great lengths to explain all critical technical concepts in easy to understand language. In addition, many examples are provided throughout the book, allowing the reader to empirically verify the concepts that are discussed.

If you are a software developer looking for a hands-on guide to become a bitcoin developer, we recommend reading in addition the book Programming Bitcoin: Learn How to Program Bitcoin from Scratch by the author Jimmy Song, which we have reviewed below.

In conclusion, Mastering Bitcoin is an essential read for both coders and non-coders alike. Without learning the inner workings of bitcoin from a technical point of view, you will never be able to truly understand why bitcoin is a scarce digital good, and by consequence, why bitcoin is valuable. Mastering Bitcoin provides the reader with just the right amount of technical knowledge to truly understand how bitcoin functions at its core.

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3. Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin, by author Nathaniel Popper.

Front cover of the book Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin, by author Nathaniel Popper.
Author: Nathaniel Popper
Publisher: Penguin
Date of publication: May 19, 2015
Pages: 369
Language: English

Book Review

The book Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin tells the story about the earliest days of bitcoin, as far back as the year 2009, when this revolutionary technology was still unknown to the public at large.

The author takes you on an exciting ride exploring the various ways how many of the major players in the bitcoin space today first came into contact with bitcoin. The book tells the story of how these individuals came to realize bitcoin's enormous potential and how each of these individuals first ventured into the bitcoin space back when it was still the wild west.

The characters who are part of this story include (non-exhaustive overview):

  • the very first bitcoin developers Hal Finney and Martti Malmi;
  • Laszlo Hanecz, the person who made the first ever known bitcoin transaction by purchasing a pizza on May 17, 2010 for 10,000 bitcoin (worth over $85,000,000 today);
  • Jed McCaleb (founder) and Mark Karpeles, who operated Mt. Gox, the first ever bitcoin exchange, which eventually got hacked and closed down;
  • Roger Ver, the owner of the bitcoin.com website and seed investor in many well known bitcoin companies, including, Kraken and ShapeShift.
  • Jesse Powel, the founder of Kraken, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world today;
  • Erik Voorhees, the founder of Shapeshift, a well known cryptocurrency exchange;
  • Ross Ulbricht, founder of the now closed darknet online store called The Silk Road, where people could purchase illicit goods anonymously using bitcoin (caveat, today it is well known that bitcoin is not anonymous!).
  • Charlie Shrem, an early bitcoin entrepreneur and founder of the now defunct bitcoin startup BitInstant;
  • Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, early bitcoin investors and the founders of Gemini, a USA based cryptocurrency exchange. The twin brothers are the first to try to get a bitcoin ETF approved by the SEC, in the hopes of attracting more investors from the traditional financial markets to the bitcoin space.
  • Barry Silbert, the founder of Grayscale, a company sponsoring several single-asset investment trusts, including a bitcoin trust, providing cryptocurrency exposure to qualified accredited investors.
  • Wences Casares, founder of Xapo, providing an institutional grade custody solution for bitcoin investors.
  • Bobby Lee, founder of BTCC, China's first bitcoin trading platform.

The book reads like a novel, describing the struggles and successes, joyous moments and conflicts, these bitcoin pioneers have encountered along their eventful journeys looking to find success in the bitcoin space.

Topics that are not covered in the book Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin:

The book aims at providing the reader with a sense of how the bitcoin space was in its early days, by describing the journey of some of the very fist bitcoin pioneers.

The book does not provide an in depth explanation of how bitcoin works from a technical perspective and does not explain why bitcoin is valuable from a monetary economic perspective. These two dimensions are covered in, respectively, the books Mastering Bitcoin and The Bitcoin Standard, which we have reviewed above.

Who is the book Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin for?

Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin is a great read for anyone who is interested to learn about the bitcoin space in its earliest days. It tells the story of how the bitcoin space evolved over time, by looking through the lens of various characters who are considered the biggest players in the bitcoin space today.

Editorial Reviews

“Bitcoin may be a product of computer science, but it is a very human story. This highly entertaining history reminds us yet again that truth can be stranger than fiction and can be peopled with even more unusual and compelling characters.” (Larry Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury)

“An elegant, thrilling tour-de-force. . . . Nathaniel Popper gives us a front-row seat on the origins of Bitcoin and its captivating cast of characters. The fast-paced action never stops.” (William D. Cohan, author of House of Cards)

“Nathaniel Popper’s new book, Digital Gold, is as close as you can get to being the definitive account of the history of Bitcoin.” (Felix Salmon, Fusion)

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

Author: Ben Mezrich
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Date of publication: May 21, 2019
Pages: 288
Language: English

Book Review

Ben Mezrich, the New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House tells us the story of the twin brothers' Tyler and Cameron Winkelvoss road to redemption, in the wake of their infamous legal battle with Facebook's co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

After settling their legal dispute with Facebook, earning them a nice payday, the Winklevoss twins quickly discover that their money is considered no good in Silicon Valley, crushing their ambitions of becoming venture capital investors. Their luck quickly turns however, when hearing for the first time about a new technological innovation called 'bitcoin', during a night out in Ibiza. When it is beginning to dawn on the twin brothers that bitcoin might become "the next big thing", they decide to bet big. Years later, their bet on bitcoin turns out to be one of the greatest investments of all time.

Today, the Winklevoss brothers are highly respected investors in the bitcoin space, having founded, amongst others, one of the few USA based cryptocurrency exchanges called Gemini and sponsoring major efforts to attract qualified and institutional investors to the world of bitcoin. It has even been reported that their archnemesis Mark Zuckerberg has met with the Winklevoss twins in an effort to gain their support for Facebook's new crypto project, called 'Libra', illustrating how quickly the tables have turned.

Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption is one of a handful of books out there that talks about the bitcoin industry through the eyes of known personalities, in particular the Winkelvoss twins, focusing on their personal journey starting out as pariahs in the VC world to becoming leading investors in the bitcoin space. As such, the book tells a very compelling personal story that reads like a gripping novel, without spending too much time on the economic or technical merits of bitcoin, as is often the case in other bitcoin books.

The author Ben Mezrich has a knack of drawing in the reader and take him/her along for an exciting journey. This book does not disappoint in this regard, as the author opts to focus on action. It is a fun, light read that has all the attributes for turning it into a great movie; underdogs, betrayal, party scenes, villains and redemption.

This book may not be an in-depth explanation of what bitcoin is, but it does make for great entertainment.

Topics that are not covered in the book Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption

This book is intended to be a compelling personal story of the two main characters Tyler and Cameron Winkelvoss and their journey through the world of bitcoin.

The book is not intended to get into the finer points of how bitcoin works from a technical point of view or why bitcoin is valuable from a monetary economic perspective. Likewise, the book does not provide any forward looking perspective about the potential future of bitcoin as a revolutionary technology. For readers who are looking to learn more about the inner workings of the bitcoin network and the monetary economic value proposition of bitcoin, we recommend reading, respectively, the books Mastering Bitcoin and The Bitcoin Standard, which we have reviewed above.

Who is the book Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption for?

We recommend Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption to anyone who's looking for an entertaining and personal story about the spectacular ascent of two leading bitcoin personalities.

Editorial Reviews

"Mezrich is a talented storyteller...Bitcoin Billionaires offer(s) memorable glimpses inside the messy world of a start-up currency." - The New York Times

"(Bitcoin Billionaires) redeems the Winklevii, sure, but the story has all the trappings of a classic adventure: wronged underdogs, party scenes, partners who flip, and, of course, a few villains." - Vanity Fair

"The book is written with a slick beauty . . . As an introduction to the rise of cryptocurrencies and the modern tech world generally, it is as painless and novelistic as could be imagined" - Guardian

"Ben Mezrich is a gifted writer who could make a PTA meeting dramatic and exciting." - The Times

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5. The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 1, by author Andreas M. Antonopoulos.

Front cover of the book The Internet of Money, Volume 1, by author Andreas M. Antonopoulos.
Author: Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date of publication: August 30, 2016
Pages: 152
Language: English
Authority (0-5): 4
Difficulty Level (0-5): 3

Book Review

Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of the book Mastering Bitcoin, is well known within the bitcoin community for being one of the most outspoken bitcoin ambassadors in the world. He possesses the ability of breaking down the difficult topic of bitcoin into plain english, making bitcoin intelligible for the average layman. On his mission to educate the masses about bitcoin, Andreas has been traveling across the globe during the last couple of years, giving public lectures at various bitcoin and cryptocurrency conferences.

The book The Internet Of Money (Vol. I) is the first volume out of a series of 3 books, compiling a selection of Andreas M. Antonopoulos' best bitcoin presentations from the past couple of years.

This collection of his most informative public lectures, in which the concepts of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general are explained without resorting to any technical jargon, constitute an excellent starting point for anyone interested in learning about bitcoin and decentralized cryptocurrencies in general.

In this book, Andreas explains why bitcoin is in his view a financial and technological evolution with potential far exceeding the realm of digital currency. He goes beyond exploring the technical functioning of the bitcoin network by illuminating bitcoin's philosophical, social, and historical implications. As the internet has essentially transformed how people around the world interact and has permanently impacted our lives in ways we never could have imagined, bitcoin--the internet of money--is fundamentally changing our approach to solving social, political, and economic problems through decentralized technology.

Topics that are covered in the book The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 1:

The following talks are included in the book The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 1:

  • Disrupt Conference - What is Bitcoin? (Athens, November of 2013)
  • Peer-to-Peer money in a historical context (Reinvent Money 2015)
  • Bitcoin: Privacy, Identity, Surveillance and Money (Barcelona Fablab Meetup, March 2016)
  • Innovators, Disruptors, Misfits and Bitcoin (Detroit Maker Faire, July 26th 2014)
  • Bitcoin: Dumb Networks, Innovation and the Festival of the Commons, at the O'Reilly Radar Summit "Bitcoin and the Blockchain" in San Francisco, CA (January 27th 2015)
  • Bitcoin and the coming "Infrastructure Inversion" (Zurich Meetup, March 2016)
  • Bitcoin: Money as language & the multi-currency future (Metro Toronto Convention Centre, April 2014 )
  • Bitcoin Design Principles (IDEO Lab, June 4th 2015)
  • Bitcoin: Money As A Content Type and the Grand Arc of Technology (BitcoinSouth conference at the Millennium Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand, November 29th 2014)
  • Bitcoin Elements of Trust: Unleashing Creativity (Berlin March 2016)
  • Bitcoin: "Failing to Scale" (Institute of Cryptoanarchy's Paralelni Polis event in Prague, March 2016)
Playlist of all the talks given by Andreas M. Antonopoulos that are included in the book the Internet of Money, Volume 1, from the author's official Youtube channel.

Who is the book The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 1 for?

The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 1 is a great book for people who are new to bitcoin and have not yet acquired a full understanding of what bitcoin is and why bitcoin is considered a technological innovation with far reaching social, political, and economic implications. The book will provide the reader with the right framework and perspective for understanding the topic of bitcoin and decentralized cryptocurrencies at a fundamental level.

Editorial Reviews

"I've always wondered what would have happened if we had built one-click payments into the browser from the very beginning. With bitcoin, we finally get this 'Internet of Money'. But this book isn't just an ode to bitcoin -- it's an ode to open protocols, what happens when you connect people online, and the power of innovation on the internet."

--Marc Andreessen, co-founder Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz

"With Mastering Bitcoin, Andreas Antonopoulos wrote one of the best technical books on digital currency. With The Internet of Money, he's matched that feat by compiling his talks into one of the best books on Bitcoin for a broad audience. Highly recommended!"

--Balaji Srinivasan, CEO 21.co

"Over the past three years, awareness of the sweeping, transformative potential of bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology has grown exponentially. That required people to grasp not only how this unorthodox technology worked but also its profound promise for society. No one has done more than Andreas Antonopoulos to get them over that hurdle. Read him. It will make you wiser."

--Michael J. Casey, co-author of The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order

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6. The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 2, by author Andreas M. Antonopoulos.

Front cover of the book The Internet of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 2, by author Andreas M. Antonopoulos.
Author: Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Publisher: Merkle Bloom LLC
Date of publication: November 19, 2017
Pages: 134
Language: English
Authority (0-5): 4
Difficulty Level (0-5): 3

Book Review

Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of the book Mastering Bitcoin, is well known within the bitcoin community for being one of the most outspoken bitcoin ambassadors in the world. He possesses the ability of breaking down the difficult topic of bitcoin into plain english, making bitcoin intelligible for the average layman. On his mission to educate the masses about bitcoin, Andreas has been traveling across the globe during the last couple of years, giving public lectures at various bitcoin and cryptocurrency conferences.

The book The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 2 is the sequel to the cult classic and best seller The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 1.

The book compiles a selection of Andreas M. Antonopoulos' best bitcoin presentations from the past couple of years.

Topics that are covered in the book The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 2:

The book contains 11 more of his most inspiring and thought-provoking talks, including:

  • Introduction to Bitcoin (Singularity University's Partnership Program, September 2016)
  • Blockchain vs. Bullshit: Thoughts on the Future of Money (Blockchain Africa Conference, March 2nd 2017)
  • Fake News, Fake Money (Silicon Valley Bitcoin meetup, April 11th 2017)
  • Immutability and Proof-of-Work - the planetary scale digital monument (Silicon Valley Bitcoin Meetup, September 13th, 2016)
  • Hard Promises, Soft Promises: Promoting Autonomy instead of Authority (SFBTC Meetup, September 20th, 2016)
  • The Currency Wars and Bitcoin's Neutrality (Coinscrum, December 3rd 2016)
  • Bitcoin Security: Bubble Boy and the Sewer Rat (Draper University, October 16th, 2015)
  • Bitcoin: A new species of money - an evolutionary perspective on currency (Milan Bitcoin Meetup, March 2016)
  • Bitcoin, Lightning, and Streaming Money (Bitcoin Wednesday Meetup, October 19th 2016)
  • Bitcoin Q&A: Andreas M. Antonopoulos answers 8 frequently asked questions during a number of different bitcoin conferences, including a.o. (1) Who determines the value of bitcoin?; (2) Why Satoshi's identity doesn't matter?

Check out the below Youtube video for some of the best highlights from Andreas M. Antonopoulos', talks which are included in the book:

Highlights: The Internet of Money - Vol 2, from the author's official Youtube channel.

Who is the book The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 2 for?

The Internet Of Money: A collection of talks, Volume 2 is a great book for people who are new to bitcoin and have not yet acquired a full understanding of what bitcoin is and why bitcoin is considered a technological innovation with far reaching social, political, and economic implications. The book will provide the reader with the right framework and perspective for understanding the topic of bitcoin and decentralized cryptocurrencies at a fundamental level.

Click Here To Get This Book

7. Programming Bitcoin: Learn How to Program Bitcoin from Scratch by author Jimmy Song.

Author: Jimmy Song
Publisher: O'Reilly
Date of publication: March 1, 2019
Pages: 322
Language: English
Authority (0-5): 5
Difficulty Level (0-5): 5

Book Review

Author Jimmy Song is a well known and highly respected bitcoin core developer and one of the most outspoken educators in the bitcoin space. He is a frequent public speaker at bitcoin conferences around the world and organizes advanced educational seminars teaching regular developers to become bitcoin developers.

Want to learn how to become a bitcoin developer? Check out Jimmy Songs' website programmingbitcoin.com

The book Bitcoin: Learn How to Program Bitcoin from Scratch is based on Jimmy Song's experience teaching bitcoin programming to thousands of students from around the world. The book is aimed to be a hands-on guide for regular developers looking to get started as bitcoin developers. It is an excellent work for understanding how bitcoin works under the hood and how to write bitcoin programs.

With this book, Jimmy Song is able to make bitcoin accessible by elucidating key concepts in a highly technical, yet digestible way. The material goes really in-depth, is written in a comprehensive way and is supported by many code examples and code exercises (including the answers to the exercises) throughout the book.

Without prejudice to the above, the book is by no means a light read. We agree with the author's recommendation of having intermediate level Python programming skills prior to reading the material. In addition, we strongly recommend taking the time to work out all the given exercises yourself, as this will greatly enhance your bitcoin programming skills. In this regard, we consider the material in the book to be akin to a graduate level university course.

While the book Mastering Bitcoin from Andreas M. Antonopoulos (reviewed above) is a great book to learn the inner-workings of bitcoin for beginners without any knowledge of coding, Jimmy Song's book Programming Bitcoin: Learn How to Program Bitcoin from Scratch takes it a step further, aiming to convert regular software developers into bitcoin developers.

To conclude, we give the book Programming Bitcoin: Learn How to Program Bitcoin from Scratch our highest recommendation for anyone with basic software programming skills who is looking to learn how to program with bitcoin.

Topics that are covered in the book Programming Bitcoin: Learn How to Program Bitcoin from Scratch

Topics that are discussed in-depth in the book include:

  • Finite Fields
  • Elliptic Curves
  • Elliptic Curve Cryptography
  • Signing/Verifying Messages
  • Parsing Transactions
  • Signing/Verifying Transactions
  • Creating Transactions
  • Script Parsing & Processing
  • Address Construction
  • Private Key WIF Format Construction
  • Parsing Blocks
  • Validating Proof-of-Work
  • Target and Difficulty Calculations
  • Merkle Tree Construction
  • Network Message Parsing
  • Segwit
  • Bloom Filters
  • Finding a job in Bitcoin Development

The book contains many Python code examples and code exercises implementing the educational material.

Topics that are not covered in the book Programming Bitcoin: Learn How to Program Bitcoin from Scratch

The book is a hands-on guide for developers who want to learn bitcoin programming skills.

In this regard, the book does not discuss bitcoin’s value proposition from a monetary economic perspective. If you want to learn more about this bitcoin topic, we highly recommend reading the book The Bitcoin Standard by author Saifedean Ammous, which we have reviewed above.

Who is the book Programming Bitcoin: Learn How to Program Bitcoin from Scratch for?

Software developers (ideally with intermediate Python programming skills) who want to acquire bitcoin programming skills.

Editorial Review

"The exercises in this book will not only teach you the mechanics of working with the blockchain but also [give you] an intuition for the elegance and beauty of this technology." --Ken Liu, winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards.

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8. The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future, by author Jimmy Song et al.


Author: Jimmy Song et al.
Publisher: Whispering Candle
Date of publication: August 14, 2019
Pages: 115
Language: English
Authority (0-5): 3
Difficulty Level (0-5): 3

Book Review

The Little Bitcoin Book tells the story of what’s wrong with fiat money (USD, Euro, GBP, etc.) today, and why bitcoin was invented to provide an alternative to the current monetary system. It describes in simple terms what bitcoin is, how it works, why it’s valuable, and how it affects individual freedom and opportunities of people everywhere.

The book is written by 8 different bitcoin industry experts, including well known bitcoin developer Jimmy Song, as a basic introduction to bitcoin. It is a small (around 100 pages long) non-technical book, clearly written and aimed specifically at educating beginners with no prior knowledge about bitcoin. To this end, the book addresses many of the most pressing questions beginners tend to ask about the bitcoin network.

The book contains many supporting resources, making it also a great starting point for beginners who are looking to make a deep dive into the world of bitcoin.

If you have been trying to convince skeptical friends or family to read up on the topic of bitcoin, but have been hesitant to refer them to more advanced books such as The Bitcoin Standard from author Saifedean Ammous or Mastering Bitcoin from author Andreas M. Antonopoulos (both books we have reviewed above), then this short introductory book is the one to get. It would make a great Christmas gift.

Topics that are covered in The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future

Topics that are discussed in-depth in the book include:

  • What is wrong with money today?
  • What is bitcoin?
  • Bitcoin's price and volatility.
  • Why bitcoin matters for human rights.
  • The future of bitcoin.

The book ends with answering a long list of frequently asked questions about bitcoin, including:

  • Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
  • Who controls bitcoin?
  • Isn't bitcoin too volatile?
  • What actually backs bitcoin's value?
  • How can bitcoin be trusted?
  • How reliable is bitcoin?
  • Why have so many bitcoin exchanges been hacked?
  • Do criminals use bitcoin for money laundering?
  • Is bitcoin a ponzi scheme?
  • Is bitcoin a bubble?
  • What is Tether and how doe it affect bitcoin?
  • Can governments ban or turn off bitcoin?
  • Is bitcoin legal?

Topics that are not covered in The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future

The book provides a high-level explanation of what bitcoin is and why bitcoin matters from an economic, social, human rights perspective.

It does not discuss in-depth how bitcoin works at a technical computer science level and it does not provide a detailed analysis from a monetary economic perspective. If you want gain more in-depth knowledge about these topics we recommend reading, respectively, (1) Mastering Bitcoin from author Andreas M. Antonopoulos and (2) The Bitcoin Standard by author Saifedean Ammous, both of which we have reviewed above.

Who is the The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future for?

The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future is a great introductory book for the complete novice with no prior knowledge about bitcoin, looking to get short, but clearly written, answers to the basic questions; what is bitcoin? and why does bitcoin matter?

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9. Bitcoin Money: A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money, by author Michael Caras.

Front cover of Bitcoin Money: A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money by the author Michael Caras.
Author: Jimmy Song et al.
Publisher: Michael Caras
Date of publication: March 13, 2019
Pages: 28
Language: English
Authority (0-5): 3
Difficulty Level (0-5): 1

Book Review

Bitcoin Money: A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money tells a charming little children's story about kids living in a town called Bitville, exploring the origins of money, bicoin and the role it serves as sound, reliable money.

This beautifully illustrated children's story manages to explain in an elegant way important concepts, such as barter, money, fiat currency, inflation, sound money, and explains how bitcoin solves many of the problems associated with fiat currency today.

The story is written in a way that is easy to understand for children, as young as 6 years old. If you're looking for a fun and easy way to teach your children about money and bitcoin and why bitcoin matters, this is the book to get.

Topics that are covered in the book Bitcoin Money: A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money

The story focuses on the economic role that bitcoin can play in a world that is plagued by the problems facing fiat currency.

The book does not provide a detailed explanation of the technology behind bitcoin. If you're looking for a detailed analysis of bitcoin as a technology, we recommend reading Master Bitcoin by author Andreas M. Antonopoulos, which we have reviewed above.

Who is the book Bitcoin Money: A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money for?

The book is mainly intended to be an educational book about money and bitcoin for children, as young as 6 years old.

Notwithstanding the above, the monetary economic principles addressed in the story hold true regardless of the age of the reader. Therefore, the book can also be a refreshing read for any adult.

Editorial Reviews

“Bitcoin Money directly answers the #1 question children and adults have about Bitcoin: “Why should I care?” With beautiful illustrations and engaging plot twists, we learn timeless economic lessons.” - Pierre Rochard Founder, Lightning Power Users

“The author manages to explain complex topics such as money and Bitcoin in a way that any child can understand. I can’t wait to read this to my niece!”- Michael Goldstein President, Satoshi Nakamoto Institute

“This book is a crash course on the economics and ethics of Bitcoin and why it is important, conveyed intuitively with easy examples of children playing and exchanging. You really hit it home!” - Max Hillebrand Host, World Crypto Network

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10. Inventing Bitcoin: The Technology Behind the First Truly Scarce and Decentralized Money Explained, by author Yan Pritzker.

Author: Yan Pritzker
Publisher: Independent
Date of publication: June 17, 2019
Pages: 106
Language: English
Authority (0-5): 3
Difficulty Level (0-5): 3

Book Review

In Inventing Bitcoin: The Technology Behind the First Truly Scarce and Decentralized Money Explained, author Yan Pritzker sets out to explain to the layperson how bitcoin works "under the hood". To this end, the book presents in a comprehensible way all the different technical components that make bitcoin work.

The author uses an inviting writing style, managing to break down step-by-step all the major bitcoin concepts with easy to understand analogies, making the material intelligible for a high-school audience.

The author's aim is without a doubt to educate the reader how the bitcoin network functions from a technical point of view, steering clear of investment advice, economics and politics.

In short we would describe the book as being well fleshed out, yet at the same time the material is very accessible for the average non-technical person.

We highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to read a thorough introduction to the inner workings of the bitcoin network. As such , this book is a great companion for the book The Bitcoin Standard from Saifedean Ammous (as reviewed above) in which bitcoin is analyzed from a monetary economic perspective.

The many links to additional resources listed at the end of the book are a great added bonus for the reader.

Topics that are not covered in the book Inventing Bitcoin: The Technology Behind the First Truly Scarce and Decentralized Money Explained

The book centers around the technical components of the bitcoin network and does not analyze bitcoin from a monetary economic perspective.

Who is the book Inventing Bitcoin: The Technology Behind the First Truly Scarce and Decentralized Money Explained for?

Any non-technical person wanting to learn the underlying technology of bitcoin, explained in an accessible way, should read this book. You'll walk away with a thorough understanding of how bitcoin works, without needing mathematics, economics or knowing how to code.

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