The money we all use every day (paper notes issued by the government, or fiat currency) is just one type of money used throughout time.
- Seashells, cows, gold, silver, rare rocks, and coins have all been used as money in the past
- Paper money is the present
- Digital money will be the future
Bitcoin is the first form of digital money that has experienced mass adoption, likely because it solved some technical challenges that previous digital monies couldn’t. In particular, the inventor of Bitcoin found a way to digitally reach consensus without centralized control. Why might that be an important breakthrough for money? Because a central authority is not required to “manage” Bitcoin. When a small group of people manage the money supply, it is more likely to be printed (devaluing each unit of currency currently held by participants).
Whether Bitcoin becomes the chosen form of digital money for the world is up to you to decide. And what better way than to read a few of the best Bitcoin books ever written?
My 10 Personal Favorite Bitcoin Books
I did not rank these in any particular order, how you learn and read is your preference. But you can filter the books by category using the buttons below. That will give you a curated list of Bitcoin books based on what you’d like to learn about. If you see the 👍 Henry’s Favorite mark, it means I’ve read it and highly recommend it.
Your Customized Bitcoin Book Library
Here’s your filtered directory of Bitcoin books. Enjoy.
The Bitcoin Standard is the book to read to understand the history and characteristics of money, how Bitcoin works, Bitcoin’s principles as money, and its potential future as a global currency. If you’ve only heard about Bitcoin or just dabbled in some cryptocurrency investing and want to learn more, this is the best place to start.
“A great look into the history of money and how Bitcoin fits into it. While I don’t agree with all of Ammous’s conclusions, this book made me understand why people are so excited about Bitcoin’s hard cap on supply.”
-Dhiraj Nallapaneni from CryptoTrader.Tax
“It may be the best go-to bitcoin book since “Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies” by Andreas Antonopoulos, as it comes from a well-researched academic point of view without the highly technical details of Bitcoin. The book contains a concise introduction of monetary history, the impact of hard money as capitalism’s information system.”
Daniel Liu of INFLUXO
“The Bitcoin Standard informs you about Bitcoin but more on the historical events the led to it, giving you a chronological perspective on the popular cryptocurrency. What I like about it the most is that it’s very thorough and well-researched.”
– Matt Spiegel of Lawmatics
“This book will open your eyes to problems with past and current forms of money, and will help you better understand how Bitcoin solves these problems. I love this book because it has increased my trust and understanding toward Bitcoin tremendously.”
-Andrew Lokenauth of Fluent In Finance
See Also: The 21 Best Bitcoin Podcasts + Guests
I had never thought of money in layers until this book. It’ll make you not only consider Bitcoin, but examine the existing financial system through a new lens. Layered Money teaches you how money evolved throughout history, then sets the stage for where it might be going when money becomes fully digitized.
This book is well-written, short look at how money becomes money within a culture, how digital money started (Bitcoin wasn’t the first), how Bitcoin compares to other forms of money, and Bitcoin’s potential path to becoming the world’s reserve currency. If you’re interested in analyzing Bitcoin like a product compared to other types of monies, this is a great book.
This book is not about Bitcoin. If memory serves, it only includes the word “Bitcoin” one time at the end of the book. So why is it on this list? The author, Jeff Booth, analyzes how the existing financial system and technological advancement are at odds with one another. Technology creates deflation while the financial system requires inflation. This dilemma requires a new financial system, and Bitcoin is best positioned as the solution.
“Not only does the book tackle the bullish case for Bitcoin as an opposing monetary system but takes a look at how we need to re-order productivity gains from the abundance we do create in a modern society.”
– Che Kohler from nichemarket
This book was written in 1999, nine years before Bitcoin was created. But I imagine that Satoshi read the book. “The Sovereign Individual” predicts major geopolitical changes as a result of the information, or digital age. With the internet, individuals can hold the power to bring their income, businesses, digital cash, and wealth anywhere in the world. The power of governments would fall in relation to the individual. If the predictions of this book play out, Bitcoin will be at the center of the ride.
See Also: Remote + Bitcoin = The Perfect Marriage
When Money Dies: The Nightmare of Deficit Spending, Devaluation, and Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany
Here’s another book that isn’t at all about Bitcoin and that was written decades before Bitcoin was invented. “When Money Dies” looks at the runaway hyperinflation in Germany that happened after World War I. The book examines what happens to a country when its money is printed into uselessness. Why is it on this list? Bitcoin is designed to fix the issues covered in this book.
“This book chronicles the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic which brought Hitler to power. It has many stories within it that are eerily similar to today, provides clues on how to protect yourself from inflation, and is a powerful reminder of why sound money is so important.”
-Michael Denny of The Investment Nerd
The Author, Andy Edstrom, is a financial advisors with all of the acronyms at the end of his name: CFA, CFP, etc. You’d think he’d be the last person to recommend Bitcoin because the existing system can work well for financial advisors if they don’t rock the boat. Andy bucks that trend with “Why Buy Bitcoin.” You’ll learn the potential of Bitcoin as an investment for your personal portfolio. It’s a great starter-level book for those interested in investing and Bitcoin.
This book is written by a group of Christian Bitcoiners. It makes the ethical case for Bitcoin by comparing principles of Bitcoin to principles of Christianity. “Thank God for Bitcoin” examines how the existing financial system has become corrupted and unethical and how Bitcoin is built to solve the problem. It’s a quick and simple read–I finished it in a few hours–and you don’t need to be religious to benefit from the message. If you’re new to Bitcoin and curious about its potential positive impact on humanity regardless of investment returns, pick this book.
The book provides a quick and thoughtful introduction to blockchain and Bitcoin. It explains in simple words why Bitcoin was invented as an alternative to the current monetary system, how it works and what potential it has to change the world, opening new opportunities for people everywhere. I like this book because it is easy to read for a non-technical person and delivers what it promises, presenting a lot of the complex economic and technical concepts in easy to understand manner.
-John Clark of Yo! Free Samples
If you are interested in how Bitcoin technically works, this is the best read for you. It only takes a few hours or a day and doesn’t require any knowledge about coding or Bitcoin. I had read a number of books about the history of money and the promise of Bitcoin before this one, but this was the best read on how it works as an open-source software system. The title is a bit misleading, however, as the author is not Satoshi–the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.
Arguably the most aspect of Bitcoin is its decentralization. If a group of people has control of the supply of money, inevitably they’ll print more and devalue the existing money in circulation. Bitcoin is built to have no controller, and therefore, makes it a form of money that will never be printed. This was put to the test between 2015-2017 as a group of people in Bitcoin attempted to make a massive change to Bitcoin’s fundamentals (the size of each block on the chain) without consensus. If you’re interested in the trials and history of Bitcoin so far, I recommend this book.
Bitcoin: Hard Money You Can’t F*ck With – Why Bitcoin Will Be The Next Global Reserve Currency)
The author keeps it simple, informative, and accurate. He also gives a few different scenarios of what could happen to Bitcoin throughout the years, making it easy to understand why Bitcoin is both important and risky. This book taught me a lot more than just the basics when I was new to Bitcoin.
-Katherine Brown of Spyic
Here’s another book that isn’t at all about Bitcoin and that was written years before Bitcoin was invented. “The Fourth Turning” analyzes history through cycles or seasons. The pattern that Strauss and Howe have identified is that societies go through a reset then rebirth every fourth generation. Written in 1997, the authors predict that this cycle’s fourth turning will occur by 2025. If we are going through a reset of our institutions, Bitcoin could be part of the rebirth phase coming next.
“This book covers everything from the history of how Bitcoin was created to how it has revolutionized the concept of digital money. All with a fast-paced action packed narrative which makes it something like a tech thriller.”
-Abby Hao of Clooms
“Digital Gold is unlike any other Bitcoin book written for the simple fact that it is deeply engrossing and written like a fiction novel. The author does a great job at taking you through the entire history of Bitcoin and answering every question you could possibly have.”
– Philipp Zeiske of Zeitholz
“This book focuses on the technological foundations of cryptocurrencies. It is an essential book for young developers looking to learn about the main principles of how Bitcoin works.”
-Oleg Kurchenko of Binaryx
“As someone with a Computer Science background and who loves programming, this book really blows my mind. Not only that it has allowed me to go deep into Bitcoin’s technical details but enabled me to have a holistic view of how Bitcoin has been shaped as well.”
-Rengie Wisper of Indoor Champ
This is the best starter book for developers and programmers who are looking to get involved with Bitcoin. If you’re looking to start a Bitcoin business (like a wallet, exchange, or application that sits on top of the Bitcoin network), read this book.
This book is a collection of the public forum posts and emails made by Bitcoin’s anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin launched in 2009 with no monetary value and was discussed and tinkered with by a small group of cypherpunks. If you’d like to see the original answers, predictions, and ideas of Bitcoin, this book is well worth it (much better than going through one by one into old forums. The author also groups topics together and provides non-technical introductions to the excerpts so you can better understand what’s being said. I wouldn’t recommend this to beginners, but I would check it out if you have a good basic understanding of Bitcoin.
This book is more about the blockchain technology than it is about Bitcoin.
“The book clearly explains the potential of the blockchain and how blockchain technologies can benefit society. Tapscott’s analysis is deep enough to be truly thought-provoking.”
-Marc Bromhall of StorageBuddy
The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains: An Introduction to Cryptocurrencies and the Technology that Powers Them
“The book talks about the key to understanding why Bitcoin and crypto have value in the first place. I like how easy it is to understand the way around the tech from first principles and putting that into a wider context being a newbie in cryptocurrency and bitcoin.”
-Sherry Morgan of Petsolino
“It talks about the market value of cryptocurrency, the billionaires who invested their money in it, and the inventors of cryptocurrency (many of whom were idealistic outcasts who did not like big banks). What’s more, it’s about the fact that these same big banks now want to appropriate this beautiful invention, but its creators, some of whom have become billionaires, refuse to give up without a fight.”
-Iryna Kidyba of Handel Pro
“It’s a book describing the fundamental concepts of these technologies as well as their benefits and drawbacks based on real-world examples. It has exclusive interviews with dozens of tech industry professionals who delve deep into their technological, economic, political, and legal implications of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. What I liked best is there’s no need for coding or math!”
-Bradley Bonnen of iFlooded Restoration
Honorable Mention Bitcoin Books
You can decide for yourself if these ones are in fact “honorable.” Don’t trust me, verify it for yourself. What is this section really about? These are books that made my original list of 21 but were bumped out as I read better ones. I still like them and recommend checking them out depending on your level of Bitcoin knowledge, they just aren’t in my top 21.
This book is the shortest read on the list. It should only take you about an hour with big font and under 100 pages. There is a powerful message in this book, however. Time is your most precious asset. Money is partially a tool to help you store and preserve your time. And Bitcoin is a money designed to store your time efficiently. If you are deep down the Bitcoin rabbit hole, I wouldn’t recommend this book. If it’s your first Bitcoin book, I would say go for it.