Hey Mom, I Bought Bitcoin!

Lorenzo Primiterra, The Crypto Nomad
Published in
6 min readApr 22, 2022

My motivations for writing a book and how to self-publish it.

It was the winter of 2020 and with the specter of lockdowns looming over Europe again, many people were looking for a hobby, a second job or something to do with all this new free time. There were those who started to learn new cooking recipes, those who installed a gym at home, but also those who focused on music, photography and art.

And then there was me, who after spending the first lockdown remodeling an RV, was now looking for a new challenge, especially an intellectual one, something to create for others and not just for myself.

It just during this time that my girlfriend Becky was telling me about the book that she had written and self-published on Amazon: “Shimokitazawa: A Beginner’s Guide to the World’s Most Walkable Neighborhood”, in which she talks about the neighborhood where she lived for 9 years in Tokyo, a sort of guide to the neighborhood, where to eat and what to do in a magical village right in the heart of Tokyo. This book was not published at the best time, since at the same time it came out, the pandemic had already begun.

“We’ll get back to traveling” she thought.

Writing a book is an interesting idea, I was already writing articles here on Medium, but an entire book seemed like a really big challenge, so what better time to give it a try?

The first thing I needed was a topic, it did not take long to understand that, after the summer of 2020, in which cryptocurrencies were overwhelmingly back in the mainstream media, on televisions and newspapers, perhaps it was necessary to produce educational content about cryptocurrency, instead of the misinformation that seemed to be everywhere at that time.

I already knew that my time had finally come to fully dive into this world, even work-wise. The opportunity was great, but before starting on this path, it was necessary to start with the basics, learn the ropes and be able to explain them to anyone, even my mother!

Cover by Clare Vacha

Another thing that was absolutely necessary was to have a method, something that would take me from the first page to the last of the book, without the temptation to give up at the first difficulty. Too many projects I started were abandoned at the first difficulty or when the initial interest waned.

Again, a deal with Becky, who was writing another book, solved this problem: every morning, before we started our normal work, we would set a timer and write for an hour, no matter if we would write 20 pages or just one, no excuses, it had to be done.

Time was passing and in no time the book began to take shape, introduction, first chapters, hands gliding quickly over the keyboard, no need to re-read what I had written, it was only the first draft and the ideas had to be transferred from the brain to the Word file. There would be time for future re-readings and corrections.

The Book

Inspired by many other books on this topic, I already knew what I needed to cover and what I shouldn't: I just needed to put it into a simple form that anyone could understand. The first chapter of the book is the one that “kicked off” the narrative, the history of the economy, from barter to gold as a medium of exchange, from the first coins, banknotes to checks and electronic money. Everything had to be laid out linearly to make the understanding of bitcoin easier, as if it was the next natural step in our economy. Only once you understand the past history can you understand the present and try to predict what the future will hold.

Only after this long introduction chapter did I start talking about what bitcoin is, when and how it was created but most importantly why. It’s no coincidence that it was born in 2009, in the middle of the financial crisis when trust in the traditional system had totally collapsed. A story that we have all experienced firsthand and now put into perspective makes it clear why bitcoin was born.

I have summarized the chapter on how bitcoin works as best as I could. The reader doesn’t need to understand complex computer algorithms any more than you need to understand how an internal combustion engine or a diesel engine works: get in your car, start it and drive.

When talking about bitcoin, we are obviously talking about money so the following chapters are dedicated to understanding the value of bitcoin, determined by supply and demand, the fundamental components of any good. Then, bitcoin is analyzed as a long-term investment as a safe-haven asset, as a substitute for gold.

“How to pay in bitcoin” is a chapter I’d like to update after my experience in El Salvador, where I practically lived paying only in bitcoin for a month. But for now, I describe how you can pay in bitcoin, not directly, but using a simple Visa or Mastercard debit card that sells them for Euro or Dollars and the merchant will receive these.

How will governments react to bitcoin? How are they reacting to it? What about public opinion? Many issues are addressed in subsequent chapters, and stories from the past few years are presented for each. The technological, economic and political scenarios are constantly changing so it is always necessary to be informed to understand the evolution.

Every bitcoiner associates bitcoin with the word “freedom”, while detractors with the word “crime”. In the next two chapters, I try to analyze the bitcoin phenomenon relative to these two concepts, how bitcoin can give us back the monetary sovereignty and the privacy we lost, and how it is used by criminals. (Spoiler alert: in the same way as cash)

The ending is totally bipartisan: will bitcoin work or not? I try to take the main arguments from each side and bring them back to the reader so that they can make up their own minds; I try to analyze the opinion of ordinary people and big investors to try to understand which class of people reacted more positively or not to this new innovation.

Publishing a Book

Once you’ve finished writing the book, the procedure of publishing on Amazon it’s quite simple. With their easy to use software Kindle Create, you can import a text file and it will layout it automatically. They also provide you with the ISBN code for free (the one that you need to be able to sell paper books), but above all, they take care of printing your book on demand with every order received. You do not have to manage stock or anything else.

Warning: Since Amazon provides this ISBN code for free, if you request it through other services, you’ll have to pay. You can only sell the book on Amazon and not elsewhere. If you want to sell it elsewhere you have to buy a new code.

Your Amazon book management page

Obviously, the commissions aren’t low, but given the high visibility they offer, and the low cost of printing, it seemed like a good trade-off as a first experience.

There’s also the option to print “author copies” at cost, about $5 per book, including shipping, and so far I’ve used this feature quite often.

I want this to be a work about education, a simple manual for all people curious about the world of bitcoin, but especially for bitcoiners who need to explain this passion to their mothers, fathers, girlfriends, or family members.

I have already given away many copies of the book at various events and will continue to do so since I consider education “the most important system for advancing a civilization.

Here is the link to the book.

If you would like to request some free copies of the book for an event, class, or bookstore and you can’t afford them, or you have a non-profit association, email me at “lorenzoprimiterra AT gmail DOT com” and I’ll see how I can help.

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Lorenzo Primiterra, The Crypto Nomad
Writer for

Bitcoin early adopter (2011). Digital nomad. Open source developer. Believe in the freedom of internet. Always looking for that brilliant idea.