It’s time to get crypto educated
I’m VJ, a 33-year-old millennial that is currently living through the third UK lockdown in London. I am ready to cement all the knowledge I have half-heartedly picked up about crypto over the past 4 years into something that is solid, useful and humanly transferable to others that want to learn about the thriving technology revolution of cryptocurrencies.
Below, I have created a learning and research plan, which I will work through point by point, posting new articles for others to follow along and learn as I try my best to explain the technicalities of crypto.
My main motivations to do this all boil down to the following:
- I believe in the technology. I believe that the autonomous and immutable nature of crypto will enable the people that use it to truly break away from traditional banking and finance systems that have been allowed to fail (The 2008 financial crash for example).
- Crypto is accessible to everyone. Investing and finance tools previously reserved for the rich are being democratized for everyone to use. This opens up the ability to invest in new and emerging projects early on, support innovative organizations, earn interest from providing liquidity, or get rewards for using new apps and platforms.
- I want to make better investment decisions. I am not a developer, I am a DJ (among other things). I don’t have a background in finance, although learning about crypto has taught me a bit about the future of finance. If I was working harder to cement my knowledge of crypto along the way this would have all been a lot easier and I would have made fewer mistakes. But hey, this is how I learn, and I always get there, eventually.
- I love to teach. Currently, I find it really hard to introduce crypto to my friends and family in a way that they can make any sense of. I would like to provide them a better foundation of technical knowledge so that they can make sense of what is going on and hopefully get them as excited about all the amazing things that are happening in the crypto space as I am.
The past 4 years of being invested in crypto has been a journey filled with so many ups and downs. Considering what's possible of one person whose time is shared between a fast-paced I.T. job, keeping good relationships with my fiancée, friends and family, I have done pretty well for myself.
Right now, there is so much internet hype for the multitude of new and existing cryptocurrencies popping up in the social network sphere and there has never been a better time to understand the importance and differences of all the underlying blockchain technology that cryptos are using.
Like, what are the problems that are being solved? What are these new products, and why are they being produced, who are their customers, and why are they needed? Why should I invest in this one over this one? I need the fundamental understanding so that I can aim my investments at products and technologies that will have the longest and the most prosperous futures.
All this crypto hype is confusing the diamonds from the stones and without having a true understanding of the technology how can I distinguish the top emerging players? If 10 separate cryptos all do the same thing, which one will still be here in 10 years, or even 10 months? And most of all, which cryptos will solidify their seats at the top of the crypto castle at the end, when this cycle of buzz is over?
My Crypto Education Plan
After my cup of tea this morning I put my thoughts together into a new learning plan, which I have outlined below. I plan to cover each of these parts over the next few months in further posts.
The plan covers some core components of crypto and its technology as I know and my goal is to understand each of them enough to be able to explain it to my fiancée, or house mates in a way that they leave the conversation with a genuine understanding.
- What is Bitcoin, and the blockchain? It’s time to read the original bitcoin white paper (again) and to take my time and find a nice easy way to explain it. This way I fully understand it and I will be able to compare and further understand the technological advances in other, newer blockchain technologies.
- The Ethereum Blockchain, Smart Contracts, Gas Fees and ERC 20 Tokens. This was the biggest innovation which came soon after Bitcoin, currently in second place in total market capital ($ value) to Bitcoin. I am going to read the Ethereum white paper, along with the Ethereum learn page, maybe some YouTube videos and find a way to explain its additional features and how it compares to Bitcoin.
- Altcoins, I mean this is every other coin that's not bitcoin or Ethereum or one of the top 5 coins on coingecko.com isn’t it? I want to understand at a high level how they are similar to Bitcoin or Ethereum. If they are truly innovative, or similar spinoffs and equip myself with a good method explaining “Altcoins” holistically, and then deep dive into a couple for added context.
- Decentralized Finance (DeFi) which is all the craze right now. DeFi has introduced various finance and trading facilities which anyone can use without any authorization or central authorities required to govern or operate such activities, a free market so to speak, filled with an insane amount of new altcoin products that generally fit into to the categories below that I hope to soon understand in more detail:
- Decentralized Exchanges (DEXes)
- DeFi Derivatives platforms
- DeFi Asset platforms
- DeFi Lending platforms
- DeFi Payment platforms
- Finally, I want to highlight some innovations, key projects and challenges in the crypto space right now and how they are helping progress and shape the future of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, hopefully solidifying 4 years of crypto participation into something truly meaningful.
So there you have it, my plan. Now that I have written it all out and said I am going to do it, that means I have to do it, right?
Either way I hope to be posting more about the things I learn in the crypto space soon.
Please join me on this journey, or drop me some comments and look out for future posts. If I help someone else out in the process then this has all been worth it.
Wish me luck,