Ethereum - Understanding The Past In Order To Predict The Future: Two Books To Get You Started

Ethereum - Understanding The Past In Order To Predict The Future: Two Books To Get You Started

A lot of the events in the crypto space take place online. For this reason, it may seem hard to believe that there’s a crypto story out there that would be worth creating a movie adaptation for. However,there are actually two books on the origin story of Ethereum that are so good that they  could be made into a movie.

Many people aren’t really aware of how blockchain networks came to be, or who the main players were that were involved in creating some of the most popular networks.  For example, no one even knows who the creator of Bitcoin is - just that they go by the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. 

And even so, there have been many great books on Bitcoin - like Digital Gold for example. That being said, the story of Ethereum and its original founders may be even more intriguing. If you’re asking why, one of the reasons might be that, for starters, we know who the original founders of Ethereum are.

There are currently two books on the origin story of Ethereum that have been released in the last year. Both of the books are getting rave reviews, as well as claims that they could be the basis for the first crypto movie.

The Cryptopians and The Infinite Machine: Summary

In short, both of these books are absolute must-reads if you are looking to learn about Ethereum. Though they both cover the origin story of Ethereum, they are both different in many ways including which characters, companies, and events are focused. More importantly, they are both absolute page-turners and as well as extremely enjoyable to read.

The Cryptopians, by Laura Shin

The Cryptopians is Laura Shin’s first book though there are no signs of “beginner's” type vibes with this masterpiece. She spent 3 years researching and writing this book, and along the way conducted hundreds of interviews with everyone involved in the story including Vitalik Buterin (the most well known founder, and pretty much the face of Ethereum), Gavin Wood (the technical lead), Mihai Alisie (the founder of Bitcoin Magazine), and many more.

The book has a combination of story-telling as well as history/fact revealing that is rare. Reviews of the book seem to indicate that there are a plethora of people that believe it should be a movie, similar in style to how The Social Network, the origin story of Facebook, was captured. According to interviews, Laura has stated that there was an extreme amount of work that needed to be done in fact checking. For example, the mere fact that all of the prices of tokens at various points in time were documented correctly, while simultaneously telling this story is remarkable. 

And not only are there a lot of price points in this book, but there are a plethora of technical explanations. But that shouldn’t worry you if you are a beginner in crypto. At times, it can be hard for even seasoned veterans to grasp concepts in crypto, but Laura excels at making complicated, technical jargon completely understandable. 

That’s probably because she’s been in the crypto industry for quite some time now.  Laura Shin was the first mainstream media journalist to cover crypto full time at Forbes, and today she runs one of the largest and most followed crypto podcasts, Unchained.

The Infinite Machine, by Camillo Russo

Like Laura, Camillo is also a crypto journo and was employed by Bloomberg before writing The Infinite Machine. This was the first book on the history of Ethereum, and thus the first book to kind of focus more on the story of Ethereum rather than Bitcoin. For this reason, Camillo can be seen as a true trailblazer in terms of filling the gap for coverage on Ethereum.

That being said, the very first part of this book starts off with a brief background on Bitcoin, and I believe that that sets the stage very nicely for what is to come. The book also sheds light on many facets of the crypto world and time and time again informs the reader on matters that would be helpful for anyone trying to understand the bridge between the real world and crypto. For a small example, she drops a fact about how Argentina used to peg its currency to the dollar  (She was actually sent to Argentina when working for Bloomberg as a financial reporter).

The book is very matter-of-fact, and although many of the characters are the same, there are some variances in what stories the two authors decide to focus on. Camillo’s book is easy to read, and you may find yourself greatly appreciating what aspects of the crypto world she decides to focus on while reading.

Camillo currently runs The Defiant, a newsletter and website geared towards filling the gap in crypto coverage. One of its missions is to make DeFi, or decentralized finance, easy to understand. 

Both books shed light on The DAO hack

One of the most infamous stories in the crypto world is the events that occurred during the DAO hack. Both of these books dive into the details of what happened when a hacker drained 60 million dollars worth of ether from the DAO due to a recursive calling vulnerability in the code written in the smart contract.

This is an important story because it outlines the possibilities of what can and does happen in the crypto industry. Time and time again we’ve seen various crypto exchanges, decentralized apps, NFT marketplaces, and other crypto apps get hacked. Since this was one of the first major applications on the Ethereum Blockchain, it only made sense for both of these crypto books to include this compelling story.

In fact Laura Shin was able to use advanced blockchain analytics (through the help of a third party) to track down who was responsible. She even recently doxxed the hacker through a cover story on Forbes. Both authors approach this event differently, and each book reveals separate details about the event.

Reading both crypto books gives you a full understanding

If you want to perfect your knowledge of Ethereum, and rocket launch your understanding of the crypto world, then add both of these books to your bookshelf. Whether you are looking to get into a promising career involved with cryptocurrency, or you just want to read a good story, there is enough content here to last you quite a while.

Posted In: CryptocurrencyMarkets

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.