Posts Tagged ‘cryptocurrency’

Number Go Up

Wednesday, July 10th, 2024 | Books

Number Go Up: Inside Crypto’s Wild Rise and Staggering Fall is a book by Zeke Faux which tells the story of FTX, Teether, Sam Bankman-Fried and other players in the crypto industry.

It’s not a complete history of crypto: digital currencies are already well established when the book begins but it does take you through Bankman-Fried’s rise and fall. Is is heavily critical of crypto, asking where any of the supposed benefits are (fair point) and examining its use in money laundering with the journalist visiting sites in Cambodia where victims are human trafficked and forced to run crypto scams for gangs.

It seems a little unfair to make crypto the villain, rather than global inequality or lake of regulation in these states. They did the same thing with cash or fake fiat bank accounts before crypto, and better money laundering controls would work with crypto, too. It also ignores the idea that maybe the true value of crypto is the blockchain, regardless of whether crypto turns out to be useful.

But it was a fun read, and at the same time, brings some attention to human trafficking which is sorely needed.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 | Books

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started with Bitcoin is a book by Christopher Nygaard.

I read the audiobook edition. It’s okay: you get a grounding in Bitcoin in under two and a half hours. There is some details on how to use it and very little technical details. Most of the book looks at the history, how it has evolved and where it is going.

The narration is odd. It’s by Skyler Morgan and he sounds like a robot. He has a website and offers royalty-split book details. I’m not sure whether he actually is a computer-generated voice, or whether he just has a voice that sounds a lot like a robot.

Mastering Bitcoin

Friday, December 8th, 2017 | Books

Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies is a book by Andreas M. Antonopoulos.

It’s published by O’Reilly and the cover features leafcutter ants. They farm. I learnt that from the book. I also learnt some stuff about bitcoin.

It’s a book for programmers and techies. It says the first few chapters are suitable for everyone, and they are, but why you would buy an entire book for two quick chapters I am not sure. Everything is technical and there are code samples everywhere. If that’s your bag, this book might be perfect for you.

I took me an afternoon to read it. It’s not particularly short, but I glossed over a lot of the technical details and code samples. Partly because I am not looking for that level of detail yet, though also because it’s very difficult to understand, even for a programmer.

It is written in an engaging way with plenty of examples to illustrate how everything works. However, it is a technical book and you won’t find any information on how to use Bitcoin in the real world. But, if you want an understanding of bitcoin and the blockchain, this a good place to get it.

Coinbase review

Monday, January 2nd, 2017 | Reviews

Coinbase is generally regarded as the biggest and most accessible way to get into Bitcoin.

Unfortunately, my experience has not left a great impression.


Registering with them is a big hassle. First, you have to go through phone verification. Which would be fine if it worked. But it doesn’t. The text message never arrived, even after I retried it. In the end, I had to wait 24 hours, delete my phone number and re-add it to get it working.

Then you move onto identity verification where you have to submit a passport scan.

But this isn’t easy either. The pop-up window that appears has a link to the page. Except it is the wrong page and you get a 404 page. The only way to find the correct page is to trawl through your account settings to find the verification page.

Next step, submitting a picture via your webcam. This step doesn’t work either. The website cannot read my passport from my webcam. They have another option to do it via your phone and luckily this option did work.


Coinbase has lost their ability to accept UK deposits. Therefore the only way to deposit money into your account is using the SEPA payment to their Estonian bank account. You know, like all legitimate operations ask you to do.

Bank account verification

The next thing you need to do is to verify your bank account so you can make a deposit. I did this via the SEPA payment and everything seemed to work.

Except, a few days later, my verification mysteriously disappeared. So, I opened a ticket with Coinbase support. This was difficult. You have to go through an almost endless series of FAQs before you are allowed to contact support.

Once you do, they wait an hour and then send you an automated email with more FAQs, telling you to get back in touch if that doesn’t solve your problem. This is based on their very limited set of support categories which make it impossible to ask the correct question.

Once you have done this your request sits in their support queue.


Their customer service appears to be none existent. I raised a support ticket about my account not working and, at time of writing, they still haven’t responded to me.

Spam texts

Shortly after registering with Coinbase, I began receiving a series of spam texts, and even a spam call, about investing in Bitcoin and trading on markets. I have no evidence that it was Coinbase that leaked my details, just the correlation that it started happening when I registered with them.


I would recommend looking at alternatives to Coinbase. Their systems are flaky, I worry about their data protection and, most of all, they don’t seem to respond to support requests. That isn’t a disaster if you have £10 in there, but a massive problem if you have £1,000.

I’m not the only person who has had a horrible experience. They have one star on Trust Pilot. I have never seen anyone with a rating that low.