Kings of Crypto: One Startup’s Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and onto Wall Street

Jeff John Roberts. Harvard Business Review, $30 (256p) ISBN 978-1-64782-018-3
Tech writer Roberts debuts with a page-turning account of the rise of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase from the Y Combinator startup incubator to becoming a “pillar of the larger crypto economy.” Coinbase launched in 2012 with a mission to “make bitcoin simpler,” and in time it folded in other cryptocurrencies; after a successful A round of funding, one venture capitalist called it the “JP Morgan of bitcoin.” By 2017, Coinbase had hundreds of employees, who aided the company in weathering 2018’s “crypto winter” when bitcoin prices fell dramatically, and a year later the company controlled “more than 5 percent of all bitcoins in existence.” Along the way, Roberts captures political infighting and adrenaline-fueled moments (“We’re going to build this! We’re going to run through brick walls!” one founder encourages employees) as the scrappy startup becomes a corporate powerhouse. Eccentric characters, like one executive who eats only a combination of Tate’s cookies and half-and-half for days at a stretch, make for a zippy narrative with plenty of personality. Roberts brings the murky world of cryptocurrency to life in this novelistic, unforgettable story. Agent: Lisa Dimona, Writers House. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/08/2020
Release date: 01/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-64782-019-0
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