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Summer Reading: 10 Top Books on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

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Stanford Graduate School of Business, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania are just a few of the leading MBA programs that have been enhancing their course offerings around cryptocurrency in recent months amid increased demand from both current students and recruiters.

Stanford launched a new full-time course last month taught by Economics of Technology Professor Susan Athey. Called simply “Cryptocurrency,” the new course was the school’s response to a grassroots campaign by students seeking a continuous offering to complement to the assorted pop-up courses already on offer. The course description on the school website notes that it will provide “an overview of the rapidly evolving area of distributed ledger and blockchain technologies, with a focus on economic and strategic issues.”

Wharton and Haas, meanwhile, are part of a new University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) announced earlier this month. With more than $50 million in funding, subject matter expertise, and technical resources from blockchain-based global payments leader Ripple, 17 participating institutions will create new curricular offerings for students and collaborate on research and technical development to drive additional innovation in the space.

As blockchain technology continues to make increasingly massive waves in the business world, even more crypto-related courses are likely to spring up on business school campuses around the globe. Recognizing this growing trend, we’ve assembled the following list of top blockchain books.

If you’re headed off to business school in the fall, this list can help you bone up on blockchain in advance of courses you plan to take. Or if you’re just gearing up to apply, it can help you prepare to speak intelligently about future cryptocurrency career goals as part of the application process. Happy reading!

10 Top Blockchain Books

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money

If terms like “blockchain” and “cryptocurrency” are Greek to your ears, this book is where to start. New York Times reporter Nathan Popper presents an early history of bitcoin, the primary cryptocurrency, discussing early investors such as the Winkelvoss twins as well as Satoshi Nakamoto, the name used for the unknown person or people believed to have implemented the first blockchain.

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World

Written by father-son duo Don and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution introduces the core ideas of blockchain and provides examples for how it can be used. Written in accessible language, it’s a good primer for those seeking to better understand the underlying concept of blockchain technology.

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order

For many, the term bitcoin is a bit baffling, occasioning an immediate barrage of questions. What is it? Can I carry it? What can I buy with it? Paul Vigna and Michael Casey’s book provides an overview of the mysterious currency’s history, present uses, and potential future.

The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology

The focus of this book is on how to leverage blockchain for business advantage. William Mougayar explains the various ways the technology helps handle financial transactions and how it will likely shape various institutions down the line.

Blockchain: Down the Rabbit Hole

Unlike more technical books that can get lost in the weeds of coding and programming, Tim Lea’s approach in Down the Rabbit Hole is to describe the overarching concept in broad strokes. As such, it provides a fantastic resource for the less technologically inclined members of the business world.

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy

This primer on blockchain is written by Melanie Swan, founder of the Institute for Blockchain Studies. Swan uses her deep knowledge of blockchain technology to cover both its business-related uses as well as the many potential cultural, social, and governmental applications.

Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps

Where many books tackle the topic of blockchain from either a business angle or a technical one, Daniel Drescher’s does both. By combining these two approaches, Blockchain Basics helps explain the structure of blockchain as well as its business applications.

Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies

If you are more technically inclined (read: you can write and understand computer code), Andreas Antonopoulos has written one of the seminal technical texts on bitcoin and blockchain technology. This book can help you start your own blockchain and become a part of the decentralized revolution.

Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code

Given the newness of blockchain and cryptocurrency, potential legal implications are unclear. Authors Primavera De Filippi and Aaron Wright provide an idea of what role the law will play in the expansion of blockchain in the future.

Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond

Already an expert on the history and applications of blockchain? Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar’s Cryptoassets provides a how-to guide for investing in cryptocurrency and riding the inevitable waves when they arise.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.