For a moment late in 2018, one bitcoin, which physically amounts to a few electrons blipping on a tiny bit of silicon, was worth $20,000—the same as a pound of gold. Libertarian technologists who believed bitcoin would be the foundation of a new world order saw the moment as an apotheosis. Everyone else saw a bubble. Everyone else was right, and the bubble burst. But bitcoin survived, and the battle for its soul rages on.
Kings of Crypto drops us into the unfolding drama, tracing the rise, fall, and rebirth of cryptocurrency through the experiences of major players across the globe. We follow Silicon Valley entrepreneur Brian Armstrong and the turbulent rocket ride of his startup, Coinbase, as he tries to take bitcoin mainstream while fighting off hackers, thieves, and zealots. Author Jeff John Roberts keenly observes the world of virtual currencies and what happens when startups try to disrupt the world of high finance. Clear explanations of crypto technology are woven into an amazing landscape full of meme-fueled startup hijinks, hacking (so much hacking!), shady investors, government investigations, billionaire bros and their Lambos, and closed-door meetings with Jamie Dimon.
This is the surprising story of the origins of cryptocurrency and how it is changing money forever.
One sunny afternoon in 2013, I went to Union Square in New York City. I was on a reporting assignment to write about a corner of the park called "Satoshi Square"--the name used by a motley crew of crypto anarchists and Wall Street traders to describe where they bought and sold Bitcoin in the open air. Since that day, I've been fascinated with Bitcoin and new forms of money. That fascination led me to write Kings of Crypto and numerous articles on cryptocurrency.
I've been fortunate to meet many colorful people in crypto and technology--from bold entrepreneurs to brilliant outlaws--during my time as a journalist for Reuters and Fortune, and to tell their stories. But I also know it's important to have a life outside of technology, which is why I still treasure books of all sorts, from classic fiction to poetry to history to music biographies.
I love big city cocktail bars that serve oysters and classic Manhattans, but also quiet time in the outdoors. I grew up in Vancouver, and have lived in many other places, including Paris and Brooklyn. Currently, I reside in small Colorado town where I explore the state's amazing mountains and rivers with my wife and daughter