There are lots of ways to learn about the blockchain and the wider crypto ecosystem, and books provide a good way to get a grounding in this complex subject, acting as a jumping off point for further studies.
With literally thousands of books covering blockchain tech out there, it’s difficult to know which are actually interesting and insightful, and which are just low-value cash grabs. We’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff so that you don’t have to, and put together a list of must-read blockchain books, with examples for beginners and more experienced users alike.
Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and the WorldFew books are as influential or oft-cited as Blockchain Revolution, and while it may have been published back in 2016, it remains a relevant text to help bring newcomers up to speed with this influential sphere.
Written by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, this informative guide offers an in-depth look at how blockchain is transforming business, finance and our economy. It provides a comprehensive overview of everything from cryptocurrency basics to smart contracts.
You'll gain insight into real-world case studies on distributed ledgers, public blockchains and private blockchains. The authors explain why it's important to understand these technologies now—and what their impact will be in years to come.
Most importantly, their writing style is clear and engaging—even for those without technical knowledge of programming languages or cryptography.
The Basics of Blockchain: A Non-Technical Introduction to the Revolutionary TechnologyAnother worthwhile starting point to consider, The Basics of Blockchain from authors Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna is a great resource for those looking for an easy-to-understand introduction. It’s less focused on the business side of the equation than Blockchain Revolution, but offers deeper insights into the underlying tech.
You'll quickly gain an appreciation for how the blockchain works, its potential applications, and why it's so revolutionary. The authors provide clear explanations in layman's terms so that anyone can get to grips with it quickly, regardless of your background.
Of course if you want to become a senior blockchain engineer, there’s no replacement for system study offered by many leading providers, such as RareSkills’ bootcamp. So treat books like these as your introduction, and if they spark something in you, take it further with formal blockchain training.
Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open BlockchainAssuming that you’ve already got a solid grounding in programming languages such as Python, then it’s perhaps worth getting straight into the nitty gritty of blockchain development with Mastering Bitcoin from Andreas M. Antonopoulos.
This tome assumes a higher level of knowledge and understanding than the titles we’ve mentioned so far, but brings with it all sorts of impactful revelations that will transform wannabe blockchain developers into far more capable tinkerers.
If you’d rather absorb the info on the go and you enjoy apps that expand your mind, then getting the audio book is an option here, although that’s not as useful for referring back to the more complex concepts it covers, so it’s worth picking up the e-book version as well to cover all your bases.
The same author has a similar title called Mastering Ethereum: Building Smart Contracts and DApps, which delves into this altcoin and the decentralized applications it makes possible. Turn your attention to this if you’re less interested in the potential that Bitcoin represents
Blockchain Bubble or Revolution: The Future of Bitcoin, Blockchains and CryptocurrenciesPut together by authors who’ve worked at some of the top tech firms on the planet, including Google and Microsoft, this book goes above and beyond to discuss what lies in store for the blockchain without retreading the same old ground as some of its contemporaries.
It doesn’t go too far into the technical side of things, but is more interested in seeing how the use case of the blockchain might change over time, and what this means for businesses, the finance sector, and the wider world at large.
The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize EverythingThe metaverse is a concept which is oft-discussed, and relates directly to blockchain tech in a way that’s only just being properly understood and unpicked.
This book from Matthew Ball does a solid job of nailing down the main ideas behind it, encompassing concepts like NFTs, web3 apps and why the metaverse matters in the first place.
While it’s certainly not definitive, because the topic it tackles is tricky to pin down at the best of times, it paints an intriguing picture of how this niche might develop, and how its influence will spread.
Final ThoughtsAs we wrap up, it’s worth pointing out that you shouldn’t take any of the info in the books recommended above as gospel or even up to date, because so much has happened in the crypto space recently, and it will take time for writers to respond to things like the collapse of FTX and the backlash against NFTs in longform publications.
That said, reading blockchain books still seems sensible, given that this scene is still alive and well, with lots more changes to bring about.