Crypto Wars: Faked Deaths, Mission Billions & Industry Disruption, reviewed
There is a lot about the book that we found quite readable. Several of the chapters include good deep dives into the relevant dodgy alt coin and what happened to it. Sadly for a number of these coins, through no fault of the author, there is no resolution about what ultimately happened to the money raised by the coin in particular, and often too, nor what happened to the founders.
Stanford makes the case well that many of the ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), while raising money, failed to actually deliver any meaningful products. She also makes the point that not all of them intended to be scams from the very beginning, rather they just raised more money than they expected, and then things went kinda wayward. Several other chapters though describe people who clearly had a previous track record of scams and cheating people out of their money. In these cases you have to assume that it was intended to be a scam.
The chapter of John McAfee must have seemed a little tricky in terms of its timing, as he committed suicide less than a month before the book’s publishing date. In some ways the McAfee chapter would have been a lot stronger if there had been a direct interview with him. To simply call his wife a prostitute felt a little unevenly handled too. At the same time Stanford does identify that McAfee did debase his credibility by endlessly tweeting up random alt coins, solely because he had been paid to promote them.
In the final three pages Stanford names several really positive projects to have come out of blockchain based technologies including the impressive Plastic Bank. This felt like an after thought rather than a balanced or even handed assessment of the positive aspects of crypto and blockchain too. The book’s focus was far more on scam and scandal, though sadly without any new reveals or insights in terms of the big ICOs she covered. It is an interesting space, and the book captures perhaps a slice of it, but it also leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions too.
About the book
Crypto is big news. You may be an existing user yourself or have friends that laud its promise of getting rich fast. Arm yourself with the knowledge to come out on top in the crypto wars.
If thousands of people can lose billions of dollars in OneCoin, masterminded by the now infamous Missing Cryptoqueen made famous by the BBC’s podcast series and called ‘one of the biggest scams in history’ by The Times, what makes you think your money is safe? OneCoin isn’t alone. Crypto Wars reveals some of the most shocking scams affected millions of innocent people all around the world with everything from religious leaders to celebrities involved. In this book, you get exclusive access to the back story of the most extreme Ponzi schemes, the most bizarre hoaxes and brutal exit strategies from some of the biggest charlatans of crypto.
Crypto expert and educator, Erica Stanford, will show you how market-wide manipulation schemes, unregulated processes and a new collection of technologies that are often misunderstood, have been exploited to create the wild west of crypto, run by some less than reputable characters. From OneCoin to PonziCoin to Trumpcoin and everything in between, Crypto Wars uncovers the scandals, unpicks the system behind them and allows you to better understand a new technology that has the potential to revolutionise banking and our world for the better.
More about Erica
Erica Stanford is a crypto and future of money expert. The founder and CEO of the UK’s most recommended crypto networking and events organization, Crypto Curry Club, she publishes the weekly Crypto Currier industry newsletter as well as Blockchain Industry Review. The advisor to several crypto start-ups, she is an in-demand speaker and commentator on the potential and use cases of digital currencies. She is the guest associate lecturer in cryptocurrency at Warwick Business School and has featured in The Express, Finance News, Coin Rivet and on the BBC. She is based in London, England.
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