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Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,123 ratings  ·  266 reviews
The fascinating story of brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss's big bet on crypto-currency and its dazzling pay-off.

Planning to start careers as venture capitalists, the brothers quickly discover that no one will take their money after their fight with Zuckerberg. While nursing their wounds in Ibiza, they accidentally run into an eccentric character who tells them about a
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Flatiron Books
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,123 ratings  ·  266 reviews


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Liz
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a fascinating book.
Although I have heard quite a bit lately about 'bitcoins' and cryptocurrencies, I really didn't understand any of it and actually had little interest in learning about it. However, this story drew me in. Not only did it enlighten me about this financial world, its radical new technology and its unusual characters but it presented it in a way that read like griping fiction. It's a story that could impact us all and the end isn't in sight yet.
I won an
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Omar Delawar
Jun 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
I had to stop reading this book half-way due to the overwhelming buttering up and ass-kissing of the Winklevoss twins. I am not sure how much the author received from the twins to write this book but it is so far from the truth you'd think Fox News has some competition in that space. The author makes it seem like the Winklevoss twins were responsible for the rise of bitcoin, that they are some type of geniuses, WTF man? What a waste! I did enjoy the "Accidental Billionaires" book Mezrich wrote ...more
Mehrsa
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Mezrich has clearly drunk the whole pitcher of Bitcoin koolaid. This book reads as an infomercial on bitcoin and the Vinklevii so it's interesting if you are a full on convert. I am not so I LOLed my way through many parts of the book. Also, though Mezrich paints the Vinklevii as super smart and hard working and moral all of that, there was literally no evidence in the book to back up that claim.
Crystal Zavala
May 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, publisher
I did not read Accidental Billionaires before I read this book. I honestly had no idea that these books had any relation to one another. I picked up the book because I thought that I would learn more about bitcoin and how it works.

This book felt like a love letter to the Winklevoss twins and a hate letter to Mark Zuckerberg. The first 20 percent of the book was about how Zuckerberg "f*cked them in the ear". I could have done without this whole section of the book. It could have simply been
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Jo-Ann Duff (Duffy The Writer)
Jun 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
From the New York Times, bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires (the inspiration for The Social Network movie) comes the fascinating story of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.

I was aching to read Bitcoin Billionaires, even contacting the publisher directly for a review copy. I’ve not read Ben Mezrich’s previous book Accidental Billionaires, but I watched and loved The Social Network movie and even felt a tad sorry for the privileged, handsome, smart Winklevoss twins. I was definitely
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Author Annabelle Leigha
I'm still not clear on what BitCoin is. I know it's still a bit controversial and I can't afford it. This book was well written. It made me feel like a fly on the wall for all the of the major events with the Winklevoss twins, and major players. I highly recommend as it has made me more curious about this. Also, if my mother is asking about it I should probably study up! Although, if mommy has enough money to want more information maybe I should ask her to buy me some.
britt_brooke
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
So, how many bitcoins did the “Winklevii” send to Mezrich in exchange for this kiss-ass redemption story? He did not paint the twins in this manner in The Accidental Billionaires. One wonders. Anyway, that aside, the writing is good, the story is compelling, but I still can’t wrap my head around the purpose of cryptocurrency (Bitcoin in particular). It just seems like a complex and volatile game of skirting regulations. ...more
Evan Nordquist

Meh. Being non-fiction, I was hoping to learn something, but I didn't.

The "heroes" of this story are the Winklevoss twins (the rowers who sued Mark Zuckerburg for stealing their idea). This story has no like-able characters.

One part amazing, 35 parts filler.

It had one amazing chapter on the elaborate way they secured the crypto keys to their bitcoin wallet. They bought several laptops and a printer as disposable one-time-use items. One laptop to download the Bitcoin software and put the
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Grumpus
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stocks, axis360
The grumpus23 (23-word commentary)
Twins en route to billions. Could not get past the feeling this was written to be adapted to another movie. Long live Bitcoin.

Bonus Commentary: "The technology behind Bitcoin isn’t a fad, or a bubble, or a scheme; it’s a fundamental paradigm shift, and it will eventually change everything."
Liz
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. In fact ALL of Ben Mezrich’s books I’ve read I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I always learn so much after reading his books! With that said....Bitcoin Billionaires would have been so much better if I could really fully understand Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. This is in no way the authors fault. This book is not intended to get into the finer points of exactly how cryptocurrency works. I think my lack of knowledge in the inner workings of Bitcoin made some parts of this book a ...more
Enzo Santos
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bitcoin Billionaires is one of the few books that talks about Bitcoin from the perspective of known personalities (with a non libertarian background) - Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss aka Winklevii. It gives a perspective that is not as concentrated on economics, technicals, and hype that most crypto books have.

From the very beginning, it tells a well-known story (with surprising insights) about the Zuckerberk-Winklevii Facebook battle. The book thus intertwines their battle with their discovery
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Heather
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Mrrwwaaabbiud!&$###!! Okay I feel better getting that out. Ben Mezrich frustrates me. His writing reminds me of reading a Hardy Boys novel. In fact if you’re interested in reading this book go ahead and prepare for the dry cleaned adventures of swell chums Frank and Joe, I mean Tyler and Cameron, as in the infamous Winklevoss twins. That’s really what this book is about, because I would be kidding to tell you it’s actually about Bitcoin (whether in upper case Bitcoin or lower case bitcoin). ...more
Jill Meyer
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I honestly can’t tell you what Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are even after reading “Bitcoin Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich. That has far more to do with my ignorance of anything financial and less to do with the author’s work. However, I do know a bit about Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and some other crypto fanatics, including a Syrian-Jewish guy in his mid-20’s named Charlie.

The Winklevoss Twins, also referred to as the Winklevii to those in the know, are known to those in the know because
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Darnell
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
The ingredients that form this book:
* 25% Puff piece for the Winklevoss twins
* 40% Drama surrounding the development of Bitcoin
* 10% Information about the development of Bitcoin
* 20% Descriptions of parties
* 5% Analysis of anything

Also, this is unfair, but the author photo has double popped collars and mirror sunglasses.
Jamele (BookswithJams)
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: botm
Working in the Financial Services industry, I have been looking for something that could explain bitcoin to me in terms that I can understand, AND make sure I didn’t fall asleep halfway through. When I saw this as a BOTM pick a couple of months ago, I was intrigued. I added it to my list, and then saw it was available via audio at my library so I thought I would start it and see what it was about. Turns out, I finished in two settings.

I had not read the detailed synopsis, and therefore had no
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Liz M
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I cannot believe this book is reviewing at average 4 stars.

Bitcoin Billionaires paints the Winklevoss twins as automomous robots, with no flaws, no motives, and no personal interests. We are to imagine two Calvin Klein mannequins that can do no wrong vs. the world (everyone else is portrayed negatively; ranging from hot-mess to evil manipulative world-dominators).

What should have been a character story, underlying an immense drama playing out on a world stage, was an overarching story arc of the
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Sue
May 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read something that pointed me to this book -- I wish I could remember what.

This is a gossipy, celebrity-fawning book about people who try to make a killing in bitcoin. Characters are "real people" with QUIRKS and GRUDGES. Events pack DRAMA and TENSION and INFIGHTING. Chapters are structured to SURPRISE you with TWISTS and even TURNS. We go to IBIZA; PANAMA CITY, BURNING MAN. We're surrounded by MODELS.

Lots of girls, only one working woman in this tale of bros.

The Social Network was based on a
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Kirsty
Jul 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
There’s no doubt that the twins funded the writing of this book. It’s super cringe and written as though it’s a script ready for a movie.
It idolises the money hungry twins who clearly have deep personal issues, no friends and an unnecessary desire to always win and prove themselves. It also convinced me that Bitcoin is nothing more than a scam with the founders profiting to an obscene level. I mean what job is bitcoin really doing that banks and fintechs aren’t already? It’s volatility is just
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Katie/Doing Dewey
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Summary:A fun, light read that could make a great movie, but has little substance.

After a legal battle to receive recognition for their contribution to Facebook's founding, the Winklevoss twins were treated as pariahs in Silicon Valley. They still believed in their ability to develop a successful tech startup though and eventually found an intriguing new idea to invest in with bitcoin. Not only did they invest in a startup, the poured their own money into bitcoin. This gave them front row seats
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John Young
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5/5

Not much value if you're looking to expand your knowledge on cryptocurrencies, but definitely a great introduction for people who want to jump on the train. Just be wary of how Mezrich paints the whole story. Seems like he's exaggerating the drama for the sake of the narrative and at the cost of accuracy. Despite this, there's one thing I'm sure Mezrich got right: the Bitcoin revolution is real. Whether you're a libertarian who sees Bitcoin as a weapon against regulated governments or an
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Suri
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What I wanted from this book: juicy intrigue about key players in the early bitcoin world , some social history about cryptocurrency, and an explanation of bitcoin that wasn't overly technical.

What I got:
Gems like this quote: "...as soon as they'd reached the second floor, they'd started bickering in the way that only two people who have seen each other naked could argue: viciously and too loud."

A great deal of using ""the kid" to refer to young men aged 22-26.

Entirely too much word space
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Brenda A
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shelf-awareness

The recurring thought I had for the entirety of this book was curiosity about how the author seemed to know the interworkings of everyone’s minds that were involved.

He somehow knew what Tyler and Cameron were thinking, what Charlie Shrem has existential crises over, what Ver held in contempt. It makes me think it could be less than credible as a definitive biography of the unfolding events. However, it was incredibly entertaining and I enjoyed reading about the rise and fall and rise and fall of
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Rachel Christine
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction

You know the Facebook story, but do you know the Bitcoin story?

Bitcoin Billionaires is a riveting read about the Winklevoss twins, who channel their misfortunes and lessons learned from the turbulent creation of Facebook towards cryptocurrency entrepreneurship and investing. This book charts their struggles with the company and people they chose to invest in, their relentless advocating for the advantages of cryptocurrency, and their awareness for compliance and proper regulation for the new
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Jo
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption - by Ben Mezrich

Planning to start careers as venture capitalists, the brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ quickly discover that no one will take their money after their fight with Mark Zuckerberg over who created facebook.. While nursing their wounds in Ibiza, they accidentally run into an eccentric character who tells them about a brand-new idea: cryptocurrency. Immersing themselves in what is then an obscure and
...more
June
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: pop, biography, sociology
Less a redemption story of Winklevoss brothers, perhaps I had more sympathy for them than respect for their nemesis during prior Facebook episode, and their later journey to a percentage of bitcoin (a tad more sensation seeking here in the book, quite a humble endeavor on their own) was not a real triumphant glory.
A quick read of the most recent period we live in, a fun introduction to blockchain, cryptocurrency along with the riders, drifters, bystanders, criminals, radicals... and their
...more
Warren Mcpherson
The story of the Winklevoss twins introduction and entry to the bitcoin industry.
I think their fans would find it a well-told, interesting and informative story. I thought it was a little fawning and was disappointed it didn't have more to say about Gemini. There was little in the book that would be new to people who have been paying attention to the space in the last few years. That said, I think many people will find it entertaining.
Enrique
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Criptocurrencies are a reality!!

It's true it may seems as a difficult/weird way of money and wealth, but you cannot avoid to heard every week some news about many projects/companies/laws what are trying to regulate the future of the markets.

Focusing at the book, it was a fantastic approach of the twins who dare Mark Zuckerberg requesting the place they deserve or they think they deserve. Moreover, I won't forget the comparison between Bitcoin and Willy Wonka's factory.
Reed Harrison
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable book. The story moves along quickly and is full of interesting characters. From megayachts and parties in Ibiza, to grungy NYC basements, this book takes you to the places that all played a part in the launching of bitcoin into the household name that it is now.

Definitely a book that cleanses the image of the the Winklevoss twins (and the book admits as much). You end up rooting for them through much of the book, as they try to bring some order to the chaos that defines the early
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Tanya
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

It was a really informative read. I still don't understand cryptocurrency, but it helped me understand more of the why behind it. It is primarily focused on the Winklevoss brothers, but the narrative included most of the important game players.

Docked .5 star for over-dramatization of little details that weren't necessary and made it a little soap opera-ey.
Debbie Love
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting story about the Winklevoss twins and cryptocurrency. I have watched the Social Network and vaguely knew the story but, if even a fraction of this is true, it's a true shame what Mark Zuckerberg got away with. The quote he used more than once about "it doesn't matter if you're unethical as long as its not illegal" turned my stomach. I still don't truly understand how bitcoin works, but this was an enlightening and entertaining read.
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Ben Mezrich has created his own highly addictive genre of nonfiction, chronicling the amazing stories of young geniuses making tons of money on the edge of impossibility, ethics, and morality.

With his newest non-fiction book, Once Upon a Time in Russia, Mezrich tells his most incredible story yet: A true drama of obscene wealth, crime, rivalry, and betrayal from deep inside the world of
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“Which left only rhodium, palladium, platinum, silver, and gold—five of the eight noble metals. Rhodium and palladium wouldn’t be discovered until the 1880s, well after money had been in use for thousands of years; and platinum’s melting point would have been too high for preindustrial furnaces. By process of elimination you were left with silver and gold. Silver tarnished easily and had a much greater industrial application—too useful to make good money—leaving gold just useful enough. “Gold is valuable because of its naturally occurring properties: it’s scarce, durable, portable, divisible, fungible, hard to counterfeit, and easy to authenticate,” Tyler said. “Exactly,” Voorhees responded, “and bitcoin has all of those properties too—” 0 likes
“Tyler was to his left, and to his right were the three other witnesses who had joined them for the headlining session of the first day of testimony. Directly next to Cameron sat Fred Wilson, a seasoned venture capitalist veteran who had moved into the cyber currency space in a big way, with the countenance of someone who had seen a number of technology waves, including the first dot-com boom and bust. Next to Wilson, the up-and-comer venture capitalist Jeremy Liew, a partner at Lightspeed Venture. And at the end of the bench, Barry Silbert, the founder and CEO of the startup SecondMarket.” 0 likes
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