Everyone loves an underdog. Most certainly so when it’s wrapped up with extraordinary financial returns, scary new technologies like Bitcoin, and an establishment villain that everyone despises.
In Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal and Redemption, the best-selling author Ben Mezrich attempts all of that. A look at Mezrich’s dozens of books reveals an obsession with drama, a flair for eccentricity, and a large portion of the unbelievable.
Most people know him from some previous books-turned-movies, and clearly, Mezrich writes riveting and colorful tales with cinemas being the final target: Bringing Down the House was turned into the swindling Las Vegas movie 21 starring Kevin Spacey, and The Accidental Billionaires laid the foundation for Jesse Eisenberg to play an obnoxious Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network.
With his latest book, the paperback just released in U.S. bookstores, Mezrich is on a quest for something similar. It’s so much a sequel to The Accidental Billionaires that Mezrich didn’t even bother with crafting a new subtitle: the 2009 book emphasized the same money, “genius,” and “betrayal” that the new book does. It begins roughly where the Facebook-Winklevoss drama ended: the culmination of media-covered and lawyer-heavy settlement negotiations between Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins we mostly remember from The Social Network – the sleazy Harvard rowers Tyler and Cameron.
Fully focused on their Olympic rowing at the time, the book fast forwards a few years to when the twins retired their oars. Drifting through the parties of the world that fame and an eight-figure net worth allows, the “Winklevii” twins were on the hunt for the next big thing. Not only because they thought themselves clever enough to discover it (again), but because they wanted to redeem themselves in the image of the world – an image that, with The Social Network’s help, painted them as ungrateful and envious Establishment jocks.