In this compelling tale of aspiration and hubris, acclaimed crypto/blockchain journalist Laura Shin exposes the real story behind the rise of cryptocurrency and all the secrets, hilarity, and jaw-dropping craziness that propelled crypto to the forefront of global consciousness.
In their short history, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gone through booms, busts, and internecine wars, reaching a market valuation of more than $2 trillion. Still, the central promise of crypto endures, now more than ever—vast fortunes can be made from decentralized networks that are free from control by traditional authorities and, as of yet, many governments.
Yet the recent growth of crypto would have been all but impossible if not for a brilliant nineteen-year-old in 2013 named Vitalik Buterin, and his creation: Ethereum. In this book, readers travel deep inside the founding of this novel cryptocurrency network, which enabled users to launch their own new coins, thus creating a new crypto fever. The cast of larger-than-life characters features major crypto players like Buterin, the Web3 wunderkind; his short-lived CEO, Charles Hoskinson; and Joe Lubin, a former Goldman Sachs VP who became one of crypto’s most well-known billionaires. Sparks flew as these outsized personalities grappled for their piece of a seemingly limitless new business opportunity.
The Cryptopians is the untold story of the early tensions and power struggle that defined Ethereum’s founding, gives the inside story of the DAO, which created the young network’s first existential crisis, and depicts 2017’s global initial coin offering (ICO) tidal wave that skyrocketed crypto prices for all—and the fortunes of a few.
Both a gripping saga and a masterful culmination of research, The Cryptopians shows that the crypto world is, at its core, a deeply personal struggle to influence the coming revolution in money, culture, and power.