Brian Armstrong stepped onto the stage with quiet confidence. He turned to the audience and shared his idea with the simple slogan: "Coinbase, the easiest way to get started with Bitcoin."
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. True believers view it as the foundation for a future economy freed from the vicissitudes of Wall Street and government control of currency. Pragmatists believe that bringing Bitcoin into the mainstream will, as the Silicon Valley cliche goes, make the world a better place. But they need buy-in from traditional institutional systems that can prevent the crypto world from devolving into the lawless criminal bazaar it was becoming during the bubble.
Journalist Jeff John Roberts drops us into the unfolding drama as he follows the rise, fall, and rebirth of cryptocurrency through the experiences of major players across the globe. We follow Silicon Valley entrepreneur Brian Armstrong and his company, Coinbase, as it tries to make Bitcoin easy to use and available to all while fighting off hackers, thieves, and zealots. Roberts keenly observes the importance of leadership and strategy in the developing field of virtual currencies and what happens when these guardrails are missing. His ability to explain crypto technology clearly and lay out the ramifications of its infiltration into the global financial system makes this book a must-read for leaders in every industry. The amazing story—full of startup hijinks, shady investors, billionaire bros and their Lambos, closed-door meetings with Jamie Dimon, hacking (so much hacking!), Libertarian free-state utopias in New Hampshire, and the Winklevoss twins—make this a page turner that readers will love.