By Angela Ilievski – Coinfloor Autobuyer on the Bitcoin journey towards monetary re-education

There are many sources of published information about Bitcoin aimed at readers with varying degrees of knowledge, ranging from very basic entry-level texts or videos to more technically-oriented volumes focused on the ‘how’ of Bitcoin to more abstract, academic or even philosophical approaches aiming to explain ‘the why’ of Bitcoin.

While the younger generation tends to educate themselves through websites, podcasts, social media or YouTube, more ‘mature’ customers tend to reach for a book when they want to learn more about a subject. Therefore, apart from the initial website recommendation, the focus of this article will be on books I have found interesting and informative. As a subjective selection, the list does not claim to be comprehensive—but it’s a great place to begin.

A good starting point for any investment-related enquiry is the website ‘investopedia.com’ which has a selection of articles on Bitcoin ranging from a useful glossary of terms, to a clear and comprehensive practical guide to recommendations on further reading targeted at those looking to invest in cryptocurrency:.

Although not on the Investopedia list, I found the following books very helpful in learning about Bitcoin:

  1. The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future compiled by the Bitcoin collective (2019) is the one I would give to friends as a Christmas present to introduce them to Bitcoin. It is clear and concise, explaining the broad overarching concepts without getting overly technical, making it the perfect primer for the general reader. By identifying key challenges in the global finance system then describing how Bitcoin can deal with them, it sets out the use cases for cryptocurrency. A helpful glossary of terms and Q&A section at the back covers many of the criticisms and controversies around Bitcoin and the counterarguments against them.
  2. The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifdean Ammous (2018). In my opinion, this is ‘the Bitcoin Bible’. It sets Bitcoin in a cultural and historical context, moving from the fundamental question ‘what is money?’ into a discussion of the concept of ‘sound money’ and its relationship to the rise and fall of civilisations through time. This is followed by an analysis of how Bitcoin (defined as ‘digital gold’) represents a potentially powerful agent of social change by decentralising money away from central bank/government control thereby promising self-sovereignty to individual citizens. The final chapter addresses many of the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) issues around Bitcoin and should reassure any remaining sceptics.
  3. 21 Lessons: What I’ve Learned from Falling Down the Bitcoin Rabbit Hole by Gigi (2019). Curiosity of a different kind inspired the author of the final book in my list who found himself entering an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ scenario when he began to explore Bitcoin, mirroring my own personal experience. Gigi’s style is very engaging as he shares his observations on the life-lessons he has learnt from his research into Bitcoin, taking a more philosophical and reflective approach than the above titles. The wry humour and breezy writing style make this an entertaining book you can dip in and out of at your leisure … the perfect poolside/airport post-Covid getaway read.

    Turning to the mainstream broadcast media, it is difficult to find objective, factual coverage of Bitcoin. The mainstream channels tend to focus on the more sensational aspects of the cryptocurrency world e.g. the recent BBC documentary ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen: how this woman scammed the world then disappeared’. I have found the Keiser Report (on RT and YouTube) excellent for an ‘alternative’ take on finance news generally and Bitcoin in particular. The second segment of the show features some insightful interviews with experts in related fields. Real Vision Finance with Raoul Pal (YouTube) features daily stock market updates and in depth interviews covering Bitcoin in a macro investment context.

    Finally, although released in 2014, the documentary ‘Life on Bitcoin’ remains relevant in addressing the frequent criticism that digital currency is not as useful for buying everyday items as cash or cards. Following a newlywed couple on their 100-day experiment spending only in Bitcoin, it proves the sceptics wrong.

    About Angela – in her own words

    I am a 60-something retired teacher living with my partner and 20-something son in Bournemouth. We live in an era of low – potentially negative – interest rates, a looming recession and a stock market increasingly detached from the real economy; my own reading and research into Bitcoin has convinced me that it represents a fascinating investment opportunity. With a limited disposable income and a lifetime savings habit, I have found the Coinfloor Autobuy account to be a hassle-free way of investing in Bitcoin. My objective is to diversify my investment portfolio, preserve my hard-earned capital and— over time—-generate a decent return.