‘The OC’ Star Ben McKenzie Writes Cryptocurrency Book

Ben McKenzie is perhaps best known to TV fans as the star of hit shows such as “The OC” and “Southland.” But the actor has more recently become an outspoken and skeptical critic of the booming world of cryptocurrency. McKenzie recently teamed up with author and journalist Jacob Silverman on a series of articles that unpacked everything from celebrities making money to peddle the speculative market on social media to the recent decision by the Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, to take his salary in bitcoin.

Now, McKenzie and Silverman are expanding that investigation in a book, “Easy Money,” which has been acquired by Abrams Press. The book will be an account of McKenzie and Silverman’s ongoing attempts to pull back the curtain on the world of cryptocurrency and those affected by its dramatic rise and potential downfall. Abrams Press editorial director Jamison Stoltz acquired worldwide rights to the project from McKenzie’s literary agent, Verve’s Noah Ballard. Silverman is represented by Erik Hane of Headwater Literary.

“Finally I found a crypto project worth a shilling: my book,” McKenzie said in a statement. “’Easy Money’ is about two things – money and lying – and although I know a little about the former from my economics degree, it’s the latter that fascinates me. Maybe that’s why I do it for a living. In Abrams, Jacob and I have found the perfect partner: a well-respected publisher with global reach who can help two Brooklyn dads unravel the mysteries and absurdities of crypto. We will do our best not to bore you.

“Ever since ‘The OC’ Ryan Atwood unexpectedly slipped into my DMs last August asking if I wanted to grab some beers and talk crypto, I’ve had a thrill to find out that a great actor is also a lively thinker who cares deeply about economics and social issues,” said Silverman. “I couldn’t be more excited to investigate the freewheeling world of crypto alongside Ben and a great team at Abrams.”

The duo are set to appear at a featured session of SXSW in Austin next month to unpack the crypto market and the sketchy way it has been heralded and endorsed by celebrities at events like the recent Super Bowl.

“The combination of Jacob’s reporting skills and experience and Ben’s deep knowledge of the subject matter and what motivates people is powerful,” Stoltz said. “Their writings on crypto have already cut through the hype, and ‘East Money’ is going to be a must-read and entertaining book about the biggest financial boom yet. We see this as “The Big Short” for the crypto age.

Before making her Hollywood debut, McKenzie earned a degree in economics and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. He first gained attention as Ryan Atwood on “The OC” and spent five seasons as James Gordon on Fox’s “Gotham.” He also appeared in the Oscar-nominated “Junebug” and made his 2020 Broadway debut in “Grand Horizons.”

Silverman writes about technology and national security for The New Republic. His work has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times, as well as other publications. He is the author of “Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection”.

Angela C. Hale