The story of the idealists, technologists, and opportunists fighting to bring cryptocurrency to the masses.
In their short history, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gone through booms, busts, and internecine wars. Yet today they are very much still with us: Bitcoin currently trades for over $50,000, the value of all crypto assets is greater than $1.7 trillion. The central promise of crypto is too good to pass up—vast fortunes made from decentralized networks not controlled by any single entity and not yet regulated by many governments.
Yet cryptocurrency was growing increasingly marginal until a brilliant new idea changed its fortunes once again: Ethereum. In this book, Laura Shin takes readers inside the creation of this new form of cryptocurrency network, which enabled users to launch their own new coins, and in so doing, created a new crypto fever. You’ll meet people like Vitalik Buterin, the wunderkind whose idea quickly became a $100 billion empire; Charles Hoskinson, the initial CEO who left the project within five months; and Joe Lubin, a former Goldman Sachs VP whose early involvement in Bitcoin and Ethereum helped him become one of crypto’s most well-known billionaires. Sparks flew as these outsized personalities fought for their piece of a seemingly limitless new business opportunity.
The fortunes of crypto continue to rise and fall, but the people fighting to take it mainstream are making and losing fortunes and careers on it. This fascinating book shows the crypto market for what it really is: a deeply personal struggle to influence the coming revolution in money, culture and power.
Laura Shin is a writer, crypto journalist, and podcaster. A former senior editor at Forbes, she left the magazine in 2018 to commit to her podcasts and videos, Unchained and Unconfirmed, which have had over 13 million downloads and views. Shin has spoken about and led discussions on cryptocurrency at places such as TEDx San Francisco, the IMF, Singularity University and the Oslo Freedom Forum. She lives in New York City.