Some of this story, in particular the dramatic takedown of the Silk Road and the capture of its creator, Ross Ulbricht, has been told before. Greenberg’s narrative differs from Nick Bilton’s American Kingpin in that it leans more heavily on the point of view of law enforcement. Greenberg has less insight into specific criminal personalities, but that lack is balanced by his level of detail and the absorbing narrative of the investigators. Each key section of the book unfolds like a compact mystery ... At the book’s close, Greenberg reaches for a bigger point, bringing back one of his protagonists, the cryptographer Sarah Meiklejohn, to point out how the tools used to catch criminals might be employed just as easily in the service of mass surveillance. It’s a reasonable concern, but relies on some slippery-slope speculation that doesn’t feel totally convincing. From the stories here, in which piecing together each set of transactions takes months of legwork and a fair dose of luck even when the targets aren’t exactly top-shelf criminal masterminds, it doesn’t seem like the age of wholesale financial surveillance is dangerously near.
... spellbinding ... Written with great enthusiasm and with an ear for the dramatic turn of phrase—readers familiar with the work of Ben Mezrich will note a similarity of approach—this is the kind of book that yanks the reader’s eyes wide open ... Lively, highly relevant, and more than a little scary.
Greenberg methodically and meticulously explains the way cryptocurrency functions ... These stories are fascinating and so enthralling, it is hard to distinguish real people from the aliases used to protect identities and privacies ... This highly recommended book has been picked up by Jigsaw Productions to develop into a scripted screen adaptation, a documentary, and a podcast. There are few books on the crypto underworld, making this a must for all libraries.