• The Cryptopians

  • Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze
  • By: Laura Shin
  • Narrated by: Laura Shin
  • Length: 15 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (224 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The story of the idealists, technologists, and opportunists fighting to bring cryptocurrency to the masses.

In their short history, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gone through booms, busts, and internecine wars, recently reaching a market valuation of more than $2 trillion. The central promise of crypto endures—vast fortunes made from decentralized networks not controlled by any single entity and not yet regulated by many governments.

The recent growth of crypto would have been all but impossible if not for a brilliant young man named Vitalik Buterin and his creation: Ethereum. In this book, Laura Shin takes listeners inside the founding of this novel cryptocurrency network, which enabled users to launch their own new coins, thus creating a new crypto fever. She introduces readers to larger-than-life characters like Buterin, the Web3 wunderkind; his short-lived CEO, Charles Hoskinson; and Joe Lubin, a former Goldman Sachs VP who became one of crypto’s most well-known billionaires. Sparks fly as these outsized personalities fight for their piece of a seemingly limitless new business opportunity.

This fascinating book shows the crypto market for what it really is: a deeply personal struggle to influence the coming revolution in money, culture, and power.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Laura Shin (P)2021 PublicAffairs

What listeners say about The Cryptopians

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    2 out of 5 stars

Love Laura Shin as a Journalist...but as an Author

While the creation of Ethereum was itself an incredible evolution this book read more like a frat boy soap opera. Expected to learn more about crypto, Ethereum, fiat vs crypto, etc... Hearing a book-long narrative of "Crypto Days of Our Life" was mind numbing trivial.

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Full of sensationalism, bias, & many inaccuracies

I bought this book hoping for a solid history on Ethereum. Unfortunately it became clear that this is more of a tabloid piece to sell sensationalism in an effort to make a solid profit. Read this for entertainment only, but don't trust large portions of the story that were unchecked, biased, fluffed up, and/or straight up wrong.

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Ethereum Origins

When I picked up this book, I assumed it was going to be a boring tale of an Ethereum fan. I was extremely wrong.

Laura has done a phenomenal job of telling the story of the origins of Ethereum without bias. It does live up to its title and I would recommend the book to anyone who wants to read about the conception of Ethereum and the characters behind the project. You wouldn’t want to put the book down once you start reading.

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Superb!

Well written, and well researched! A fascinating insight into the world of cryptocurrency.

Highly recommended!


Thank you.

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  • AE
  • 08-25-22

What an incredible and timely resource!

Oftentimes history is, well, historical; the players have changed, the topics are no longer pressing, and the interest is passing or analytical rather than pressing and current. This piece provides a thoughtful and well-balanced historical narrative of a novel addition to the the history of money. More than this, it does so in virtually real time. Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was lauded for providing clear analysis just 15 years after WWII; Shin provides similarly lucid and nuanced explanations of the development of ETH within just a few years of the events taking place. Exceptional work!

Some minor quibbles, which I’m sure have to do with production schedules: when she winds up the final chapter, Shin seems to indicate that ETH was a hot mess on many fronts that had rightfully lost the majority of its bubble value. Then, in the epilogue, she glosses over the massive gains the currency makes through 2021, as well as the DeFi and NFT use cases that helped propel ETH to it new heights. I’d have liked some insight as to why Shin believes these phenomena occurred, especially given the somewhat dismal picture she drew for the currency toward the end of the last chapter.

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Comprehensive overview of Ethereum’s history

Great insight into Ethereum’s founding, early days, and first wave. Would be interested in another edition a few years down the line, once current events are more solidified in history. Laura Shin did an excellent job researching, writing, & narrating this.

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Excellent research and in-depth information

The language is pretty vulgar throughout. Could have used a good thorough edit. Maybe in the second edition.

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Pretty Good

Pretty good but material has been previously covered in other works. Would be much better if it weren't the 4th book I'd read about ETH.

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What a blockbuster

I had no idea the early days of Ethereum were so full of drama. Even as Laura gave out painstaking details like wallet addresses, the intensity of the drama remains throughout the book. I also had no idea there was a clear suspect of the DAO hacker! I want to give Laura credits for her due diligence as a journalist and attempts to provide multiple perspectives of the same events. That being said, some people (especially the business type as opposed to the devs type) in this book are clearly painted as greedy assholes even when multiple perspectives were provided. It is possible that Laura herself has bias against certain people, but if half of what she presented against them are remotely true, I’d view them the same way (and it’s crypto after all, it attracts the best and the worst so I’m not surprised). One day this book will be a valuable piece for learning the history of one of the most important innovations of mankind, and for now, simply enjoy the thrill of the drama!

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very good.read it!

very good book, great entertainment, with a little slow mid partition, but well worth it.

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  • GONCALO VICENTE
  • 03-22-22

Only average in all topics

It’s well written, but I think sometimes is too descriptive, maybe lacks some passion and magic to the narrative.
I understand it’s a non-fiction book so it needs to be factual. Nevertheless the story could have been emphasized with off the beaten track stories around the crypto ecosystem.
The audio is also lacking emotion and always in the same tone, needs to be enhanced.

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  • Jonathan
  • 08-16-22

Struggled to finish it

The book is obviously well researched and is a source of information you just wouldn't find anywhere else. You can tell Laura put a lot of time and dedication into this. However I was expecting more. Yes it's non-fiction so there's only a limited number of ways to deliver the deliver the content, but I got bored in places and often struggled to finish individual chapters in one sitting. Being in crypto for 5 years now I was really excited to listen to this but it just wasn't for me really. Thoroughly researched though and I cannot deny that.

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  • Cláudia Rosa
  • 08-03-22

Gossip and excessive detail

I couldn't bring myself to finish this book. it starts alright, with the description of how it all began, but it gradually evolves to mainly gossip (oftentimes several versions of it for the same situation) and completely irrelevant details for the story. The relevant information, the important part of the book, gets drowned in the filler text and irrelevant information, like two or three versions of how someone might have been fired and which color nail polish someone had or how many times a coin that was tossed spined on the table.
I would love to know how it all happened, but with all the noise, it became impossible to go past chapter 5.

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  • Anthony Guy Neale
  • 07-06-22

An in-depth look behind the scenes of a story you might think you know

I’ve been invested in and loosely following Bitcoin and Ethereum since mid-2017, but bot an active contributor or someone with time to hang out on the endless Slack, Reddit and Discord channels.
In this book, Laura takes us behind the headlines to explore the unseen people, emotions, politics, and perspectives of the early crypto years.
This is a must read for anyone interested in the topic - just starting out or wanting to learn more. Despite being thoroughly researched and content-rich Laura’s book is also very accessible, human, and digestible.
A highlight of my reading year so far.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Abiodun
  • 04-30-22

Title should be "Dramatic Etherum Founders Story"

Great research but It focuses much more on the descriptive and dramatic side of the ETH project founding than the business side. Also struggling with her excess use of sss sounds and words through headphones lol

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-09-22

The definitive history of the start of crypto as we know it

I’ve worked in quite a few startups and read books about them. I always find that the “early days” accounts tend to be whitewashed if not outright embellished. There is none of that with this book. It’s so thoroughly well researched and unflinching in laying out the facts as they are/were. I’m a web 3 operator but found myself learning a few things with this book. Definately best book of the year so far. Don’t hesitate. Buy it, you won’t regret

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  • ap
  • 03-06-22

The story of ETH’s development & ‘The DAO’s’ complete & detailed history

How cool is Griff Green.

Detailed account of ‘The DAO’ hack and various accounts from ETH founders time working with the protocol.

Laura has done a great job and with no detail spared.

Learnt bits and bobs throughout the book even as an avid ‘cryptopian’.

Big book, worth a listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-22

Excellent!

A very entertaining book on crypto. Great story and deep technical easy to follow descriptions

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  • Salman
  • 03-27-22

Must listen for all interested in crypto

Outstanding research, story telling and narration by Laura. I had heard snippets of the crypto saga since 2017 but this book pieces everything together. gives you the perspective of the people and events involved