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Summary

The thrilling story of one of the largest digital heists in history, set in the world of cryptocurrencies.

In 2016, $55 million was stolen as computer programmers all around the world sat at their screens watching helplessly. It was one of the largest digital heists in history. This daring theft played out in the world of blockchain, the technological breakthrough that enabled Bitcoin to go from an idea in 2008 to a $130 billion digital currency today. Out of the Ether takes an in-depth look at the most prominent successor to Bitcoin, a radically improved type of computer software invented by 19-year-old genius Vitalik Buterin. Known as Ethereum, its shaky beginnings allowed for the incredible hack that led to the $55 million heist. It’s a real-life cryptocurrency thriller that’s sure to capture your imagination, whether you’re an investor, investment professional, or simply interested in learning more about blockchain innovation and cryptocurrencies.

The story of Ethereum begins with Buterin, from his earliest days in Russia to Canadian émigré to wunderkind writer and coder. After pulling off one of the largest crowd sales in history at the time, Buterin and his cohorts built the Ethereum blockchain to become a world computer. But early on things went horribly astray. A futuristic automated investment fund created using Ethereum received an astounding $250 million in investment cash, yet a bug was mistakenly inserted in the code on line 666, allowing a hacker to steal a fifth of that money. Since there's no federal deposit insurance for digital currency, the theft created a crisis that only a group of good-guy hackers who had helped build Ethereum could combat. Think of ninjas battling on the blockchain and you’ve only scratched the surface of this fascinating real-life adventure.

In the end, Buterin advocated for an extremely controversial fix: reversing time to a point before the theft happened to erase it and reinstate the stolen money. This controversial move sent a concerning message: cyber transactions could be wiped out after the fact. In light of the Ethereum crisis and its founders’ actions, stakeholders in the multibillion-dollar virtual economy were forced to reexamine digital currency’s future.

This book goes behind the scenes of the Ethereum theft, making it a true pause resister. You’ll also discover the never-before-told history of the Ethereum developers and the struggles and triumphs they endured.

Understand the background behind a historic theft of ether. Dive into the Ethereum blockchain that hosts smart contracts. Learn more about the team that established Ethereum and kept it alive. Keep pace with what’s happening in blockchain and what the financial future may hold. The potential of blockchain to transform industries, from finance to health care, has garnered the attention of corporations and individuals all over the world. A heist of millions demands evaluation, whether you’re a blockchain investor or financial professional weighing the potential risks and opportunities waiting in the world of cryptocurrencies.

©2020 Matthew Leising (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Out of the Ether

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  • Marc
  • 15-08-22

Not enough material for a book

Ive been following the crypto scene for nearly a decade now, and I followed this story as it was developing. I was hoping since this was a full fledged book it would provide more insights than what could be gleaned from a newspaper, but that is hardly the case.
This book struggles to decide if its about the foundation of ethereum, a biography on Vitalik, and the actual DAO hack. It is clearly written by an exceptional writer, but that is actual a detriment when it comes to a technical subject like this. I really truly don't care about what Vitalik's dad looks like, or the crumbs he spills on himself as he eats while you speak to him, its great imagery but not something that's valuable in a book like this.

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  • Tom Schwab
  • 22-03-22

Engaging combination of true crime & futurist

The trolls almost scared me away with the bad reviews, but after listening to OUT OF THE ETHER is became clear that this was a heated issue, like religion and politics combined.

I loved the STORY telling in the book. The background, the people, the crime. Instead of being geeky and unapproachable, the author made it into a compelling story. It's the kind of story you would have read in the New Yorker. A first-hand understanding that is fair enough removed in time that teh larger lessons and implications can be seen.

Highly recommend this work for anyone interested in crypto, where the world is going, or just an engaging story. Hope they make it into a movie.

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  • Marvin Young
  • 14-03-22

Dont waste your time

A lot of filler, little substance or insight into the DAO Ether Attack / Incident

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  • Amy T Firmani
  • 02-02-22

Great but jumps around too much

Great book. Learned a lot. Love the content. The one problem is it tries to split its time between two stories. The Dao hack and the founding of ethereum. It constantly jumps around in time and is really hard to follow. You almost have to take a few minutes to figure out where you are in the storyline. It should have been made into two books. One about the founding of ethereum and a short one on the Dao hack.

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  • Holly Womack
  • 10-01-22

Overall good book

This is definitely not a technical book, it sure is a story. however it shares a story and it’s technical details. It helped me to link together ideas that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

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  • Tyler S.
  • 04-09-21

Alright read. likely wouldn't pick back up.

I did enjoy the book however it just seemed to be looking though such a narrow lens. The theme changes too much from techinqual history of eth, to a heist story that doesn't really engage, and a cast of characters you don't get attached to. the writing was good but it just dragged on.

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  • Gerald
  • 12-08-21

Fantastic

This is a must read for those who are interested in the history of the ETHEREUM project.

The history of ETH is not a clean one, but it is a remarkable one.

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  • Dave
  • 08-08-21

A must read for any crypto enthusiast. F

What a great read. You won't be disappointed. Provides the history of Etherium's development with just enough technical info to keep you engaged

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  • Jason
  • 30-07-21

lopsided and pacing issues

1. Narration is top notch
2. Pacing and structuring is horrendous, it's a non fiction book with structuring like a fiction traveling back and forth in time and between characters way too many times
3. Surprisingly lopsided in its view of crypto with the author being an ex Bloomberg journalist. Does not balance the hype with sufficient details on frauds, scams and difficulties on managing a proper crypto wallet. The comparison of Crypto currency trading to oil trading with its share of miners, speculators and Crypto = Oil is hard to listen to as oil has an intrinsic value so it's a terrible overselling example

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  • that Pizza Guy
  • 30-07-21

Excellent read, even for non-crypto folks

Interesting, informative, and engaging. Tells two stories (more, really) in one. I don’t always finish books or audiobooks for quite a long time, especially non-fiction. I listened to this every chance I had.