A dated introduction to cryptocurrencies

Book review: The Crypto Book How digital currencies operate, how they are going to evolve, and some investment ideas.


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One of the problems with writing a book on a hot topic is that there is always a risk of it being overtaken by events. The collapse in the price of bitcoin over the course of this year suggests that the cryptocurrency bubble has definitely popped. While there may be some remaining opportunities for those savvy enough to pick up bargains at rock-bottom price, the chances of exponentially multiplying your money in a short space of time have disappeared. So Siam Kidd's book already looks dated.

The Crypto Book explains how bitcoin and other digital currencies operate, predicts how they are going to evolve and suggests some investment ideas. Kidd accepts that first-generation cryptos have flaws, but believes these have already been rectified in the latest generation of currencies. This may or may not be true, but it's hard to see how his strategy of advising investors to buy a huge range of different digital currencies in the hope that one will hit the jackpot is going to work. Indeed, it sounds like a recipe for losing large amounts to various scams.

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Kidd claims that day trading is a dead end, but if you look at the details of what he is advocating (including the recommendation that investors risk no more than 0.25% of their capital on each trade), what he suggests looks awfully close to day trading.

If you want to learn about all things crypto, there are better books out there.

Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri