With so many other learning resources available, sometimes the value of a good old-fashioned book can be overlooked. (Getty Images)
It’s taken the financial world by storm, but cryptocurrency and decentralized finance have only been around for a few decades and only recently gained enough popularity to enter into the typical household’s conversations.
You’re not likely to learn much about crypto in school, and more traditional banking and advisory services certainly haven’t embraced decentralization, but fear not. As a new technology, many crypto traders, miners and enthusiasts are completely self-taught – a value at the center of the decentralized finance ethos. In addition to online forums, videos and resources, good old-fashioned books can be a great source of in-depth information and enjoyment for those looking to learn more about digital assets.
Here are the 7 best expert-recommended books to learn more about cryptocurrency and decentralized finance:
- “American Kingpin” by Nick Bilton
- “Bitcoin Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich
- “The Bitcoin Standard” by Saifedean Ammous
- “Cryptoassets” by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar
- “Crypto Asset Investing in the Age of Autonomy” by Jake Ryan
- “The Infinite Machine” by Camila Russo
- “The Internet of Money” by Andreas M. Antonopoulos
“American Kingpin” by Nick Bilton
Called a crypto anarchist’s dream by Wired magazine, the Silk Road is a now-defunct black market on the web launched in 2011 by a 26-year-old programmer named Ross Ulbricht. “American Kingpin” tells the story of this online Silk Road, including its creation and the yearslong FBI investigation into its existence.
While this book won’t teach readers about buying and selling cryptocurrency, its gripping narrative and insights into decentralized financial markets and cryptography will give readers a sense of the power and versatility of this technology.
“Bitcoin Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich
If you loved “The Social Network” and read “The Accidental Billionaires,” the basis for the movie, you can keep following the story of the Winklevoss brothers with Ben Mezrich’s “Bitcoin Billionaires.”
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss became the first bitcoin billionaires on Nov. 26, 2017. This book charts their journey into the world of cryptocurrencies, explaining the basics of bitcoin in a way that’s fun to read and engaging for even the most novice of blockchain enthusiasts.
“The Bitcoin Standard” by Saifedean Ammous
Some have described cryptocurrency as a hedge against inflation – a new gold standard. Saifedean Ammous explores just that, touching on the technical and economic aspects of bitcoin you’ve always wanted to understand.
Considered a must-read when it comes to books on crypto, “The Bitcoin Standard” takes readers from the earliest stages of bitcoin’s creation to its technological possibilities for the future. The book keeps readers of any sophistication level interested by connecting bitcoin’s creation to larger societal struggles while weaving in well-known economic and governmental concepts. Readers will get answers to their most common questions about bitcoin and come away with an understanding of how bitcoin fits into the larger global economy today.
“Cryptoassets” by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar
If you’re looking for more of an actionable guide to navigating the hundreds of cryptocurrencies in existence today, “Cryptoassets” by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar may be a good place to start.
Billed as a guide for investors, the book provides practical advice for managing your crypto portfolio, navigating exchanges, selecting digital wallets and more.
“Crypto Asset Investing in the Age of Autonomy” by Jake Ryan
“The one book that explains well how cryptocurrency investing ties in with finance, economics, and our future is ‘Crypto Asset Investing in the Age of Autonomy’ by Jake Ryan,” Tally Greenberg, head of business development at crypto hosting provider Allnodes, wrote in an email. “No frills, just hard facts and calculated predictions that stem from them. Ryan’s book is both educational and thought-provoking. It will help anyone looking for more clarity on the subject.”
“The Infinite Machine” by Camila Russo
Written by financial journalist Camila Russo, the book takes readers through periods of chaos, greed and regulatory scrutiny in the early days of ethereum to its place now as an extremely popular cryptocurrency available to the masses.
“The Internet of Money” by Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Readers looking for more bite-sized pieces should start with “The Internet of Money,” a series of essays explaining the significance of bitcoin as a technological breakthrough.
Focusing less on the practical aspects of bitcoin, the book discusses the philosophical implications of the technology as well as the ways it has already begun to impact the lives of millions.