Jun 172015
 

This is a guest post from Ofir Beigel of 99Bitcoins

Since Bitcoin has come to the public awareness in 2013 there have been many books written about the currency. These books cover different topics such as Bitcoin basics, Blockchain overviews, ways to make money with Bitcoin and the history of Bitcoin. In today’s post I’d like to cover the 4 top selling books available today about Bitcoin.

 

Book Mastering Bitcoin#1 – Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies

Author: Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Format & pricing: Kindle ($15.49), Paperback ($33.24)
# of pages: 298
Published: December 20th, 2014
Pros: The ultimate guide available today about the Bitcoin mechanics, proven record of excellence by Amazon readers.
Cons: Not for beginners, requires a technical orientation.

Overall review: Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a California-based information security expert, tech-entrepreneur and author. He’s a consultant on several bitcoin-related startups and permanent host of the Let’s Talk Bitcoin podcast. He also served as head of the Bitcoin Foundation’s anti-poverty committee until 2014, resigning due to disagreements with its management.

Mastering Bitcoin is considered to be the best technical reference about Bitcoin today. It’s sort of the ultimate guide to understanding what Bitcoin is and how it works. Having said that, the books seems to be geared much more towards technical people and developers who are trying to build Bitcoin related apps and software.

The book gets an astonishing 4.9 stars from 28 reviews on Amazon with no negative reviews at all. The neutral reviews (3 stars) talk about the fact that the book is indeed too technical.

 

Book The Age of Cryptocurrencies#2 – The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order

Author: Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey
Format & pricing: Kindle ($14.99), Paperback ($18.00), Hardcover ($19.77), Audible ($19.95), Audio CD ($40.00)
# of pages: 368
Pros: Excellent entry level book. Great overall overview about money and cryptocurrencies as a  whole.
Cons: Gives Bitcoin “an easy pass”, a bit too long.

Michael J. Casey writes for The Wall Street Journal, covering global finance in his “Horizons” column. Paul Vigna is a markets reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering equities and the economy.

The Age of Cryptocurrency doesn’t just look at Bitcoin but rather on the whole concept of money and how Bitcoin is disrupting it. For those who found Mastering Bitcoin too technical this is a great entry level book into the world of Bitcoin and its adoption today.

Most of the critique passed on this book regarded the fact that it’s a bit too long and that it gives Bitcoin “an easy pass”. Meaning, it talks a lot about the adoption of Bitcoin but not so much about its actual success or failure as a currency. Someone reading this book may be mesmerized by Bitcoin’s success without understanding the hardships it’s going through as a payment form or the competition around it.

 

Book My Dirty Little Bitcoin Secrets#3 – My Dirty Little Bitcoin Secrets: How to profit from the Bitcoin Economy
Disclosure: This is the guest author’s own book!

Author: Ofir Beigel
Format & pricing: Membership Website ($27.00), PDF ($27.00)
# of pages: 278
Pros: A detailed step by step guide to creating a Bitcoin business, no prior knowledge of Bitcoin needed.
Cons: Isn’t solely related to Bitcoin, but rather more to the business opportunity around it.

Ofir Beigel is an independant Bitcoin blogger and online marketer who has been operating 99Bitcoins since 2013. His main focus on his blog is how to make Bitcoin accessible to newbies without it sounding too technical or complicated.

My Dirty Little Bitcoin Secrets takes a different take on Bitcoin. It’s not a book about the currency itself but rather about ways you can profit from the Bitcoin industry. The author explains how he managed to form a steady income from the Bitcoin industry without needing to take the risks involved in mining, trading or investing in Bitcoin.

Reviews claim that on one hand the book gives a solid and easy to understand explanation about how to make money from the Bitcoin industry. On the other hand the concepts explained in it aren’t unique to Bitcoin and can be applied to many industries online. The author uses mainly online marketing techniques to generate his profit.

 

Book The Book of Satoshi#4 – The Book Of Satoshi: The Collected Writings of Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto

Author: Phil Champagne
Format & pricing: Kindle ($2.99), Paperback ($14.95), Hardcover ($25.89), Audible ($17.95)
# of pages: 394
Pros: A fascinating and surprisingly readable background to the genesis of bitcoin.
Cons: Most of the stuff written in this book can be found scattered online. Not a deep technical dive.

Phil Champagne is Managing Director of Wren Investment Group, LLC. His background in software engineering combined with his interest in history, investments, and macroeconomics (Austrian School of Economics) naturally led him to explore and then become a passionate advocate of the Bitcoin technology and its social implications.

You can consider The Book of Satoshi to be “the history book of Bitcoin”. The book basically takes the essential writings that detail Bitcoin’s creation. Examples include Satoshi Nakamoto emails, posts on computer forums, the seminal paper which started Bitcoin, etc.

Even though this may seems just like a rehash of stuff you can find scattered online, the author has added significant value by sorting through them and adding his own editorial comment and introductory paragraphs.

The book managed to gain a 4.7 rating from 20 different reviews on Amazon, none which seem to be negative.

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Apr 042014
 

This is a guest post from Joe Towner. Enjoy the read, and don’t forget to comment!

Confessions of a Bitcoin Convert

When I first started researching Bitcoin to write a guide for small businesses, my knowledge of the technology and its applications were minimal. I understood the basic idea of a virtual currency, was baffled by the actual process of creating it (mining, block chains, etc.) and intrigued by the fact that the potential application for Bitcoin and the belief of its supporters went far beyond some kind of virtual gift certificate.

The biggest opportunity for businesses with digital currencies is a further level of middle-man being stripped away from the process of trade. E-commerce has allowed start-ups, small businesses and individuals to reach out directly to consumers without the need for investing in physical locations or relying on retailers, which has led to the demise of bricks-and-mortar stores across the developed world.

In this same way Bitcoin strips away the financial institutions that act as barriers to commerce rather than facilitators. Credit card companies and payment processors like PayPal charge membership fees, transaction fees and restrict who can use their services. Of course they have certain responsibilities and safeguards when it comes to the use of their services, but these limits can stop genuine users from accessing the ability to exchange their goods and services.

So how does Bitcoin continue to convert people like me, to transform a passing acquaintance of the concept to the belief in its power?

Infrastructure

As the collapse of MtGox demonstrated the infrastructure that helps facilitate the spread of Bitcoin is still on shaky foundations. Experienced Bitcoiners may know how to buy their Bitcoins, keep their investment safe and to take certain precautions, but the lack of established systems to buy and store is still very off-putting to the uninitiated. Things are gradually improving and will do so more quickly as growth in demand drives faster change; the technology of Bitcoin has been shown to work, the technology that delivers needs to be proven next.

Usage

Hands up how many people bought Bitcoin because they heard the value was skyrocketing and wanted to get in early and hands up how many people bought Bitcoins to exchange for coffee at a local cafe? In the general consciousness Bitcoin is still viewed primarily as an investment, that’s likely in the middle of a bubble, something you’re better off collecting and keeping, why spend something that’s sure to go up in price? The only thing that will demonstrate the usefulness of Bitcoin is an increased volume of spending, this will show its effectiveness as well as helping to stabilize the value.

Time

We all know how reluctant people are to embrace new technology, that is until it reaches a tipping point at which the benefits become incontrovertible. Normality and familiarity are key drivers of any product, service or technology and the only thing that drive them is time.

As a Bitcoin convert who approached it from a business perspective, I can see how it functions as both a powerful piece of technology and as something revolutionary that fits with certain democratic and libertarian ideals. On a practical level, what will determine the success of Bitcoin, or any future digital currencies that come along, will not be the impressiveness of an algorithm or a belief in free trade, but how stable, how easy-to-use, how widespread and how useful it can be to the public.

Joe Towner blogs on finance and business for borro Money and recently published Buy Into Bitcoin, a guide to digital currencies for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Photo Credit: jokica_87

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