Kings of Crypto | Jeff John Roberts

Summary of: Kings of Crypto: One Startup’s Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street
By: Jeff John Roberts

Introduction

Dive into the world of cryptocurrencies and learn about their intriguing birth in ‘Kings of Crypto: One Startup’s Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street’ by Jeff John Roberts. Uncover the story of Coinbase, the revolutionary exchange that simplifies cryptocurrency usage, and its founder Brian Armstrong. As you move through the summary, you will discover how Armstrong uncovered Satoshi Nakamoto’s paper on digital currencies and decided to create Coinbase, an online platform helping people access bitcoin effortlessly. Be prepared to learn about the appeal and challenges of cryptocurrencies, their volatile nature, and their impact on industries such as retail and banking.

The Story of Bitcoin’s Rise

Jeff John Roberts’ book delves into the history of bitcoin and its domination of the financial world through Coinbase, an exchange founded by Brian Armstrong. The author’s eloquent prose makes the complex topic of cryptocurrencies accessible to non-experts. Named one of the Best Books of 2020 by Fortune, this page-turner has been praised for its exciting and accessible look into the world of start-ups and new technologies.

How Coinbase Simplified Cryptocurrency

In “The Real Story of Bitcoin,” Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey narrate how Brian Armstrong discovered Satoshi Nakamoto’s paper and how he created Coinbase – an easy way to access digital currency via blockchain. Coinbase removed the complexity of addresses and private keys, allowing people to access bitcoin as they would with online banking. Coinbase launched in 2012 and caused controversy amongst purists who considered it against decentralization. The book concedes that Coinbase simplified the concept of cryptocurrency.

The Dark Side of Bitcoin

In his book, Roberts exposes bitcoin’s appeal to criminals for money laundering and extortion, citing examples like Silk Road and ransomware hackers. Coinbase also plays a role as criminals use it to trade bitcoins for dollars, further highlighting the darker side of this popular cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin’s Rise & Fall

Follow the journey of bitcoin’s value from $13 to $1,000 within a year, as documented by Roberts. Merchants such as Overstock, Expedia, and Dell were convinced by Coinbase’s sales staff to accept bitcoin. However, its adoption rate as a replacement for cash and credit cards was hindered by its expensiveness and slow processing time. This led Coinbase to cater to professional investors with a trading platform. The book also delves into how hackers stole over 740,000 bitcoins from the hub, Mt. Gox. This resulted in a price slump from $500 to $200 by early 2015.

Bitcoin’s Appeal as a Store of Value

In “Bitcoin Billionaires,” Ben Mezrich’s sequel to “The Accidental Billionaires,” Mezrich outlines how the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, never gained traction as a means of everyday payments due to the sluggish blockchain clearing process. However, the author stresses the appeal of Bitcoin as a store of value rivaling gold. Mezrich highlights the rise of Coinbase, a platform for buying and selling Bitcoin, and explains how the founder, Brian Armstrong, retained control through supervoting shares and became a billionaire. The book reveals the potential of cryptocurrencies to disrupt the financial industry.

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