Book Review: ‘How Money Got Free’

Bitcoin and the Fight for the Future of Finance
by Brian Patrick Eha
Oneworld, 2017

This book chronicles the early history of Bitcoin, told through the eyes of the early adopters that came to lead the nascent industry.

Brian Eha paints the characters behind the story: The pragmatic visionary (Barry Silbert), the criminal (Ross Ulbricht), the purist (Roger Ver), the jocks (The Winklevoss Twins) and the local boy made good (Charlie Shrem).

Narrated through their eyes, Eha describes the ideological tension between the crypto-anarchists and the pragmatists, with Wall Street waiting in the wings. Some want Bitcoin to be a tool for suits, and others have a more utopian vision. Eha does an excellent job contrasting the positions without the toxic judgement so often seen on Bitcoin discussion forums.

It’s also a fun read: A “hard work, hard play” page turner reminiscent of Peter Biskind’s “Easy Rider, Raging Bulls”.


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