After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more…
This is what you are offered when you open The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous. This is often the book that many Bitcoiners reference when they tell how they were “orange pilled.” The Bitcoin Standard takes you through thousands of years of monetary policy, from the Romans to modern times, from times when stones, seashells and beads were used as money. It details hard money and soft money, introducing Austrian economics, and the concept of low and high time preferences. The Bitcoin Standard is a crash course in Austrian economic theory and how Bitcoin may play a role in the paradigm shift in modern money. At times, the Bitcoin Standard may take leaps in thought, arguing how fiat money (government issued paper money, literally meaning an authoritative decree, sanction, or order) has contributed to declines in art, food, architecture, and even behavior. Some may find this absurd, but it’s an interesting thought experiment in how loose monetary policy can contribute to cultural change. The Bitcoin Standard is an insightful read that will either start you on your Bitcoin deep dive, or strengthen your convictions.
By Vijay Boyapati
This is a great read for beginners…Not only does Vijay Boyapati present the “bullish case” for Bitcoin, but he also details the “bearish case” for bitcoin in “The Bullish Case for Bitcoin”, providing one of the best critiques for bitcoin you can find. In doing so he strengthens the argument for bitcoin as a new monetary paradigm. This book won’t provide you a technical “how” on bitcoin’s workings, but it is a quick, succinct, and convincing read for anyone new to Bitcoin that hasn’t taken the plunge. I think, once you get through this one, you’ll find yourself exchanging your altcoins for Bitcoin.
By Nik Bhatia
As your deep dive into the Bitcoin rabbit hole continues, you will inevitably find yourself inquiring about the evolution of monetary systems. Bhatia’s Layered Money is a fascinating read, explaining in detail how our modern monetary system was built, the concept of “layered money”, how it has changed over the centuries, and how Bitcoin may find its role in the “layered money” monetary paradigm. Although it does provide a brief technical overview, its main focus is to provide historical and modern context for money in straightforward language. While I consider “Layered Money” essential reading in your bitcoin journey, it may not be the first.
By Eric Yates
Eric Yates said his mission in writing this book was to write the book that he wish he had when he first started learning about Bitcoin. It breaks down the technical aspects of bitcoin in plain simple language, while also explaining how Bitcoin will be a monetary revolution, breaking us free from wealth inequality. The book is broken down into parts – the purpose of money, a brief history of money and financial systems, how the current financial system works, introduction to Bitcoin and how it works, how Bitcoin may evolve, and common criticisms of Bitcoin. Once you get through the 7th property, you will understand why it’s one of the most asymmetric investment opportunities of a generation.
A technical undertaking, Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas Antonopoulos strives to help you understand Bitcoin at its core. While most books take you down economic or philosophic paths, with technicals sprinkled in, the goal here is to really learn how bitcoin works under the hood. If you were hoping we would include a technical deep dive on this list, well you are in luck…This book was written for programmers, so having an understanding of programming is a big plus when reading this one, otherwise it’s quite the task. Mastering Bitcoin runs the gamut, from public key cryptography to multisignature and mining, Andreas explains the code, and also provides you with lines of code that you may use in your own Bitcoin applications. Who knows…if you survive this one, maybe you will be inspired to build on the blockchain.