Book Reviews: Cryptocurrency by Abraham K. White

If you’re an Internet enthusiast, you’ve almost certainly heard of Bitcoin. You’ve probably also heard of the rise—and now progressive fall—of that cryptocurrency. But what’s all the hullabaloo about? Frankly, I barely have a clue. That’s why, in an attempt to keep up with this technological and financial trend, I’ve read Cryptocurrency 2nd Edition: Mining, Investing, and Trading Bitcoin Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, Gridcoin, Iota, Digibyte, Dogecoin, Emercoin, Putincoin, Auroracoin and Others by Abraham K. White.

For those who aren’t techno-savvy, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seem as foreign as Old English manuscripts. In Cryptocurrency, White tries to simplify the concept and the process of obtaining cryptocurrency. White covers everything from the mining of Bitcoin (the original cryptocurrency) to the pros and cons of alternative cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Litecoin. He also explains the politico-cultural and financial controversies tied to each of kind of cryptocurrency and how the entire concept could revolution the world’s economy. White provides virtually everything you need to know in order to invest in the cryptocurrency trend, the only problem being that even a simplified description is still very complicated.

Image retrieved from Amazon

I have to start this review by noting that I’m not a computer nerd, not the kind with the mind to create and add onto blockchains. I got this book in the hopes of strengthening my understanding of Bitcoin and how I might profit from it, so I was looking for something which could explain the basic concepts to me as well as Bitcoin’s ebbs and flows.

This book provides all of this information and more. White explains Bitcoin and several other forms of cryptocurrency and provides a glossary. However, it is not a light read. I had to re-read multiple sections, and I highly recommend giving the book more than just one read in order to fully understand it.

White’s writing is not at fault. It’s smooth and uses as simple and straightforward a vocabulary as you can with this topic. Nevertheless, unless you already have a basic knowledge of the technology behind cryptocurrency, you’ll want to take your time digesting the material before making any judgments or decisions.

White could have helped the reader’s understanding more with a better book structure. It was a good idea to frame the chapters on the different cryptocurrencies rather than starting or ending the book with them. Regardless, I don’t think that White should have saved the chapter on blockchains for the finale. I was incredibly confused by the concept earlier in the book and would have appreciated this chapter sooner. This chapter also causes the book to end rather abruptly, going from a concluding note on blockchains and their pros/cons straight to the glossary. I’m glad for the chapter, I just wanted it before White explained the different cryptocurrency platforms and wish that he had ended on a general conclusion about cryptocurrency and its future.

Cryptocurrency opened my eyes to a world I didn’t even know existed. I knew of Bitcoin, but I had no idea that cryptocurrency was so prominent. White takes readers through the history of virtual money as well as the technical details of each kind, including how Bitcoin emerged in the first place. He illustrates the issues that different governments have with cryptocurrency, all of which are valid, but also shows readers how virtual money can benefit individuals and the world as a whole. He mostly emphasizes the decentralized nature of virtual money such as Bitcoin, but I still have many questions as to how exactly the peer-to-peer transaction system works.

All in all, Cryptocurrency by Abraham K. White is a great tool for learning about this phenomenon. It takes some time and brainpower to read, as does most technological topics, but the possibilities will capture the imagination of anyone with a shred of interest in finances and technology. If the discussions in this book are any real indicator, the current dip in the value of cryptocurrency is only temporary and you should get in on it while it’s still affordable. You shouldn’t jump right into Bitcoin. Rather, check out this book and see which of the cryptocurrency platforms is right for you. Despite the current devaluation, cryptocurrency seems to be here to stay and we should probably get to know it better.

You can buy Cryptocurrency by Abraham K. White as an e-book and in print through Amazon.

Do you know of any books I should read? Want your work reviewed on this blog? E-mail me at or message me on Fiverr and we can arrange something.


Designed by Stephanie Hoogstad circa 2011

Writing Contests: Staunch Book Prize

TGIF, everyone! I want to start this weekend by telling you about a new writing contest–and when I say new, I mean brand new. This year is the first year of a new annual contest called the Staunch Book Prize. I’m pretty excited because this contest requires writers to really stretch their writing muscles.

What is the Staunch Book Prize? It’s a contest which calls for thriller novels in which “no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.” If you’re familiar with the thriller genre, you’ll know how often writers fall back on these techniques to make a “thrilling” novel, and that’s why I think this could be a good creative exercise for those willing to try it.

Here are the basic guidelines, beyond the topical concept, for the Staunch Book Prize:

  • Authors of any nationality who are over the age of 18 on the closing date may enter.
  • Traditionally-published and self-published books may enter so long as they were provably published within 18 months of the closing date. Works not yet published are also welcomed.
  • Entries must be in English, but translations are allowed.
  • Authors, agents, or publishers may submit entries so long as they comply with the submission formatting.
  • The entry, all in ONE DOCUMENT, should include the first 5,000 words of the manuscript (double-spaced, 12pt font) and a one-page synopsis (single-spaced, 12pt font).
  • NO IDENTIFYING NAMES OR MARKS ON THE ENTRY; enter in PDF or Word doc format
  • Completed novels–which should be at least 50,000 words long–will be requested by the end of August.
  • There is an entry fee of £20 per entry (multiple submissions accepted)
  • The entry period is February 22, 2018, through midnight BST on July 15, 2018.
  • The prize is £2,000, and the winner will be announced on November 25, 2018, to coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

There is one issue being brought against this contest. Namely, the Staunch Book Prize has been criticized by a writer for The Guardian for supposedly ignoring brutality against women.

I am split on The Guardian‘s opinion. Well, their writer’s opinion. On the one hand, I understand where she (the writer) is coming from. We cannot ignore brutality against women. We need books which represent the all-too-prominent problems of women being beaten, stalked, raped, exploited, etc. On the other hand, I also understand the stance taken by the founder of the Staunch Book Prize. The thriller genre is rather notorious for making women victims and putting them through horrific situations before they can feel empowered. This disproportionate representation doesn’t really seem fair, does it?

I would love to see more thrillers in which women are not tortured like that. Frankly, it’s demoralizing when so many books in a genre depict women that way. Can’t we have as many thrillers that use strong female leads as that explore the horrors that our patriarchal society and rape culture have forced upon us? That’s why I support this contest, so that we as writers can make women feel empowered but also bring attention to the important issues.

To make your own judgment on this debate, check out this article from The Guardian.

For more information about the Staunch Book Prize and to enter starting February 22nd, please visit the contest’s website.


Designed by Stephanie Hoogstad circa 2011