Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

This book explains how the crypto industry started and evolved through four crypto bull and bear markets, and how everything in crypto is ultimately connected. It shows all the main players behind the three-trillion-dollar industry, and how billions of dollars have been lost in the pursuit of crypto gains. If you want to understand why and when crypto prices move up or down, this book is for you.

In this book you’ll learn:

  • How each of the four crypto bull markets of 2011, 2013, 2017, and 2021 unfolded, the drivers behind them, and what caused prices to correct violently during bear markets
  • How crypto markets naturally progressed, and how everything is therefore related
  • The players involved, and how they have made money—while others have lost large sums.

Understanding these points may help the reader to identify the next crypto bull market. The last three years have been the most instrumental in the development of the market, with the adoption level reaching not only individuals but also asset managers and corporate executives—only for the development to be cataclysmically overshadowed by bankruptcies of multi-billion-dollar crypto lending firms and crypto trading desks and the misappropriation of $8 billion in customer funds by the executives of the FTX crypto exchange.

Markus Thielen
Markus Thielen


  • The first part of the book describes how Bitcoin started as a peer-to-peer payment system, and how the first crypto bubble was facilitated by onramp payment companies in 2011, which mainly funneled money into the notorious Mt. Gox exchange in Japan, eventually leading to investors’ funds being stolen.
  • The second part analyzes how China embraced Bitcoin and hailed it as a new form of money, which set off a massive speculative bubble in 2013.
  • The third part describes how Ethereum got really started and set off the period of initial coin offerings (ICOs) that would lead to the third bull market in 2017. It also identifies the decisions that caused Tether to become the most important stablecoin.
  • The fourth part of the book shows how decentralized finance (DeFi) started, and how the speculative mania that was set off by the COVID stimulus checks would reach its peak. Binance became the largest crypto exchange despite its controversies, and effectively dethroned BitMEX as the most important crypto exchange. The crypto trading firms Alameda Research and Three Arrows Capital also became multi-billion-dollar players in the crypto bull market.
  • The fifth part of the book takes a deep dive into the 2022 bear market, exploring how crypto spectacularly crashed from a multi-trillion-dollar valuation and why the implosion of the Terra stablecoin caused $60 billion to vanish within a few days.
  • The sixth part contemplates the events that led to the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX, once valued at $32 billion, after a meteoric four-year rise.

Praise for Crypto Titans

“Crypto Titansis essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the history of crypto. Markus has done an excellent job covering all the important names and stories that have shaped the crypto industry, consistently hitting the nail on the head with accurate analysis to help readers understand the motivations and personal characteristics. I highly recommend this book to anyone.”

Jihan Wu, Founder, Bitdeer and Matrixport

“The usual challenge with writing a book about the past is finding a balance between a subjective and objective approach, picking favorites or stating cold facts. This book takes the latter approach, allowing readers to construct their own context. It’s up to you to make connections from the very early, pre-2017 days, which I found most interesting since I did not witness them personally, to today’s state of affairs. Markus’s impartial approach in assessing the events is ideally suited for this, given the narrative-driven nature of the crypto world today. I recommend this book to anybody interested in crypto.”

Evgeny Gaevoy, CEO and Cofounder, Wintermute

“Fortunes are won and lost when transformations happen. Bitcoin is transforming the entire economy, and there will be many fortunes won and lost. But the drumbeat continues. Technology always shines in the end. Read this book. Great lessons can be learned.”

Tim Draper, Founder, Draper Associates

“Crypto Titans looks at this era of profound innovation through the lens of crypto pioneers. Markus delivers trail markers, bright dots of history to help steer even the most seasoned guide. Any reader will be left with a clearer view of crypto’s future.”

Marcel Kasumovich, Deputy CIO, Coinbase Asset Management

“In this thoroughly researched and perceptive book, Markus has masterfully weaved together a tapestry with all the colorful players and the major events of the nascent crypto industry across both geographies and time. The book is required reading for those who are crypto-curious, new to the industry, or already seasoned Web3 professionals.”

Josh Du, Head of Digital Assets, Animoca Brands

About the Author:

Markus Thielen is the Head of Research and Strategy for Matrixport, a leading digital-asset investment firm. Before joining Matrixport, Markus was the Chief Investment Officer for IDEG Asset Management, and prior to that he was the founder and Chief Investment Officer at Jomon Investment Management. Previously Markus was a Portfolio Manager at Millennium Capital Partners and at JP Morgan’s Investment Group. He started his career at Morgan Stanley, where he set up and ran the Quant & Derivatives Strategies Group in Asia. Markus has a degree from the ESCP Business School in Paris and a Certificate in Sustainable Finance from the University of Cambridge.


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