The Story of Money & The Rise of Bitcoin

Part history book and part instruction manual, this narrative illustrates the invention and reinvention of money before providing an introduction into why we need Bitcoin, what Bitcoin is, and how you can start using it.

Print and Audio Book editions coming this summer!

From the bustling marketplaces of ancient Mesopotamia to the digital wallets of today, Shells to Satoshi unravels the complex and fascinating history of money, presenting it not just as a medium of exchange, but as a pivotal force that shapes civilizations. This book is part history, part guide, illustrating the journey of humans to invent and reinvent money, continuously advancing the communication of value, or the corruption of it by its appointed custodians and seekers of power.

The book examines how each form of money, from barter systems to Bitcoin, was a response to the specific demands and challenges of its time. The book reveals how these systems led to the rise and fall of empires and influenced the global socio-economic landscape. This tale is not just about economic transactions, but the eternal conflict between those who create and trade value, and those who try to take it.

Shells to Satoshi makes the argument for Bitcoin as the ultimate form of money in our digital age, an argument that can only be made after understanding the past, offering readers not only the lessons of history, but also a practical guide on understanding and using this revolutionary technology. Here’s what you’ll explore in this comprehensive volume:

  • The Dawn of Trade and Barter: How early societies shaped the concept of value.
  • Empires and Innovations: From the coinage in Lydia to the banking prowess of Rome and the economic strategies of China along the Silk Road.
  • The Tumultuous Journey of Gold and Fiat: The evolution of money in response to political and economic crises.
  • Centralization vs. Decentralization: A detailed analysis of the tug-of-war between controlling powers and the quest for a decentralized financial system.
  • Bitcoin’s Emergence: Understanding Bitcoin in the context of historical monetary innovations and its potential to address modern-day financial dilemmas.

Appendices, including ancient law codes and pivotal economic texts, provide a deeper understanding of the legal and philosophical underpinnings that have shaped monetary policy through the ages.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, an economics student, or someone curious about the future of money and Bitcoin, Shells to Satoshi offers a rich, insightful narrative that connects the past with the present and opens a window to the future of finance.

A Word From The Author

This book came about out of the need to explain why we need money and more importantly, why we need Bitcoin now more than ever. Having been an educator and developing curriculum for college aged students all the way down to second graders for a long time, this book was actually born out of wanting to create a high school curriculum to explain these principles. Yet, like many journeys we take in our professional lives, the path changed and led me to write this book before turning it into curriculum and children’s books. 

By writing this book, I was able to expand the narrative to include a story that tells the continuous journey humans have been on to create a form of money that worked for them. As you will see in the book, this was a convoluted path that often led to dead ends, corruption, deceit, and some very creative solutions. This journey has created powerful dynasties, families, and civilizations all to disappear and be reinvented by others who wanted a more just currency or in some cases, a monetary system that favored their own interests even more that what came before them. 

I am excited to share the story of money with you and help people around the world better understand what Bitcoin is and how to use it, but possibly more importantly, why we need Bitcoin.

Deanna Heikkinen
Educator, Writer, and Speaker
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