Image: Bitcoin Bullet, 2021 by Moabit
(Like ₿itcoin) “Books are uniquely portable magic.”Stephen King
So, you’ve stacked your first sats, got some skin in the game, and, now, you want to learn more about this strange orange thing you’ve just bought online.
What to read? Where to start? Where to begin? At the beginning, of course…
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System; A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
Published by pseudonymous Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto on October 31st 2008, this is the white paper that changed the world; like the printing press before that, and fire before that. While this ought to be the first port of call for any would-be Bitcoiner, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. Perhaps, a little too technical for most first timers, the Bitcoin whitepaper is hosted online in a decentralized manner by hundreds of dedicated Bitcoiners from all over the world. So, whenever you’re ready to read it, the white paper will be there waiting for you. Or, you could download a copy and save it for later.
Another great place to begin learning about the history of Bitcoin from the bottom up is The Complete Satoshi, from the Nakamoto Institute. This page does a great job of curating a stack of great Bitcoin related content. Elsewhere, there are plenty more resources to learn about Bitcoin online, in the form of essays, articles, blogs, and even threaded Tweets, which can contain more insight into this extraordinary technology than almost any tenuous attempt by your standard fiat journalist slaving for the MSM.
Essays and blogs are all very good – each in their own unique way – but to gain a good understanding and deep appreciation for the baffling complexities of Bitcoin you can’t do much better than by reading a book about it…
Here – in no particular order – are ten Bitcoin books we recommend you read in order to really grok why it is you should be stacking and saving in Bitcoin (with Amber, obviously) as much and as often as you can.
1. 21 Lessons
What I’ve Learned from Falling Down the Bitcoin Rabbit Hole (Gigi, 2019) – This is a great book for any Bitcoin beginner. Easy to read with simple, easy to read lessons based around philosophy, economics, and technology. Even a dilettante book critic, like Martin Brochhaus, must agree – the book does exactly what it says on the tin. Gigi’s blog is worth a read from time to time too. Get the book here.
2. Bitcoin Money
A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money (Michael Caras, 2019) – The kids of Bitville realize they need a tool to help them trade with each other. As they explore using different types of money, a strange boy moves to town with a brand new idea… An ELI5 tour de force by author Michael Caras’, Bitcoin Money will help any child – big or small, Keynesian or otherwise – to discover the importance of sound money when entrepreneurial folk freely trade their individual talents and skills, and try to perform basic economic coordination and calculation across space and time, within their community. Buy the book from Amazon, here.
3. Bitcoin Clarity
The Complete Beginners Guide to Understanding (Kiara Bickers, 2020) – Bitcoin is a beast to understand, as complex as it is complicated, touching so many different dimensions and disciplines, seemingly, all at once. Bitcoin Clarity gives the beginner great clarity with which to see this nebulously numeric orange thing we call Bitcoin. It tip toes the line between the technical and non-techical aspects of Bitcoin, without the jargon and with great lucidity. A great Bitcoin book for the beginner’s mind. Find the book here.
4. The Bitcoin Standard
The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking (Saifedean Ammous, 2018) – This book is the gold standard (pun intended) when it comes to comprehending the importance of Bitcoin, both the money and the technology. Read this book to learn what money is, it’s history of unintended consequences, and why Bitcoin is the newest technology to serve the function of money for the world, and the soundest money the world has ever known. You can purchase The Bitcoin Standard here.
5. Economics in One Lesson
The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics (Henry Hazlitt, 1946) – Former editorialist for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, Henry Hazlitt’s book takes the whole teaching of economics and distills them down into a few basic principles that are simply explained and easily understood through sound reasoning and crystal-clear prose. His book is what made Bastiat’s “broken window fallacy” so famous. Concise and instructive, Economics in One Lesson is a great introduction to rational economics (Austrian economics). Buy to read Economics in One Lesson here.
6. When Money Dies
The Nightmare of Weimar Hyperinflation (Adam Fergusson, 1975) – When Money Dies is the classic history of what happens when a nation’s currency depreciates beyond recovery. Despite being a bit of a dry read – can’t lie – it’s still as compelling as a car crash for any fledgling Bitcoiner, particularly one who is aware of how such events were the precursor to Germany’s National Socialism political movement, and the pure carnage that it wrought. With Weimar vibes this high, you really should be reading this book. Buy the book from Amazon.
7. I, Pencil
My Family Tree as Told by Leonard E. Read (Leonard E. Read, 1958) – Not exactly a book, per se, but a brilliant essay which would easily benefit from being printed out and bound before being placed upon your bookshelf, nonetheless. This concise, timeless and eloquent essay about the vocation and avocation of an ordinary wooden pencil is a brilliant explanation of the catallactic complexities that are emergent within a higher order economy. Complexity, which is organized and coordinated absent any central planning, but rather freely and voluntarily by everyone and no one all acting in their own self-interest. Download and read the essay for free here.
8. The Blocksize War
The Battle for Control over Bitcoin’s Protocol Rules (Jonathan Bier, 2021) – If you’ve been falling down the Bitcoin rabbit hole for a little while now, you may have heard of a moment in time (2015-2017) when plebs on the internet went to war with the big boys over the size of the amount of data allowed in each Bitcoin block. But there’s more to it than just megabytes. This was about gaining fundamental control over the protocol and giving a select few the chance to change the rules set to suit themselves. Reading this book will give you a whole new appreciation for how extraordinary Bitcoin is. Support the author, buy the book here.
9. The Price of Tomorrow
Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future (Jeff Booth, 2020) – One of the most compelling and important books of our times, The Price of Tomorrow sounds the alarm on two of the most dangerous trends in the world right now; technologically driven price deflation meeting with rampant inflation from an out of control global economy underpinned by a mountain of unsustainable debt. The book is free of ideology and politics when it comes to describing the fiscal and monetary mess we find ourselves in and provides an optimistic framework for dealing with the inevitabilities of deflation by adopting the hardest money the world has ever known. Get The Price of Tomorrow here.
Fundamental Principles of Bitcoin (Eric Voskuil, 2020) – For the advanced Bitcoiner who’s read the rest and now wants the best. Written by Eric Voskuil, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot with a Computer Science degree, he has worked on Bitcoin core development since 2014. Cryptoeconomics cleanly closes any gaps between economics, technology and science, applying rational economic principles to Bitcoin that will improve your understanding of each. There’s no narrative and no opinion given. The content is dense but enlightening. You might want to read this book last, but you should definitely read it. Support the author and buy the print version or download and read for free here.
Read More. Stack More. Buy More.
Do you want to learn more about Bitcoin? Amber makes it easy for you to start sacking sats in mere minutes. Check out our Guide to Investing with Bitcoin and Bitcoin glossary. And if you’re ready to get started, download Amber to make your first Bitcoin purchase in under 90 seconds. Be sure to revisit our blog to learn even more about Bitcoin.