Number Go Up: Inside Crypto's Wild Rise and Staggering Fall

Number Go Up: Inside Crypto's Wild Rise and Staggering Fall cover

Number Go Up: Inside Crypto's Wild Rise and Staggering Fall

By  Zeke Faux
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The “rollicking” (The Economist), “masterfully written” (The Washington Post) account of the crypto delusion, and how Sam Bankman-Fried and a cast of fellow nerds and hustlers turned useless virtual coins into trillions of dollars—hailed by Ezra Klein in The New York Times as one of the “Books That Explain Where We Are”

FINALIST: the Edgar Award (Fact Crime), the Porchlight Business Book Award • A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times DealBook, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, The Globe and Mail, Irish Examiner, Morningstar, The Verge, Wired


In 2021 cryptocurrency went mainstream. Giant investment funds were buying it, celebrities like Tom Brady endorsed it, and TV ads hailed it as the future of money. Hardly anyone knew how it worked—but why bother with the particulars when everyone was making a fortune from Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, or some other bizarrely named “digital asset”?

As he observed this frenzy, investigative reporter Zeke Faux had a nagging question: Was it all just a confidence game of epic proportions? What started as curiosity—with a dash of FOMO—would morph into a two-year, globe-spanning quest to understand the wizards behind the world’s new financial machinery. Faux’s investigation would lead him to a schlubby, frizzy-haired twenty-nine-year-old named Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF for short) and a host of other crypto scammers, utopians, and overnight billionaires.

Faux follows the trail to a luxury resort in the Bahamas, where SBF boldly declares that he will use his crypto fortune to save the world. Faux talks his way onto the yacht of a former child actor turned crypto impresario and gains access to “ApeFest,” an elite party headlined by Snoop Dogg, by purchasing a $20,000 image of a cartoon monkey. In El Salvador, Faux learns what happens when a country wagers its treasury on Bitcoin, and in the Philippines, he stumbles upon a Pokémon knockoff mobile game touted by boosters as a cure for poverty. And in an astonishing development, a spam text leads Faux to Cambodia, where he uncovers a crypto-powered human-trafficking ring.

When the bubble suddenly bursts in 2022, Faux brings readers inside SBF’s penthouse as the fallen crypto king faces his imminent arrest. Fueled by the absurd details and authoritative reporting that earned Zeke Faux the accolade “our great poet of crime” (Money Stuff columnist Matt Levine), Number Go Up is the essential chronicle, by turns harrowing and uproarious, of a $3 trillion financial delusion.

Zeke Faux is an investigative reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg News and a National Fellow at New America. He’s a winner of the Gerald Loeb Award and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award and a National Magazine Award finalist. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.

ISBN: 9780593443811

ISBN-10: 9780593443811

Publisher: Crown Currency

Publication Date: 09/12/2023 - 12:00am

On Sale: 09/12/2023 - 12:00am

Pages: 304

Language: English

Categories

Business & Economics / Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies

True Crime / White Collar Crime

True Crime / Con Artists, Hoaxes & Deceptions