What & Why Crypto
Cryptocurrency (crypto) is currency in the digital world. With every sector of our world’s economy transitioning towards the digital landscape in one form or another, there needs to be a reliable, valuable currency for transactions to rely upon. Since the first release of bitcoin years back, our capitalistic nature of value-based competition to win the market has brought many innovative individuals to create their own blockchains and cryptocurrencies.
Crypto’s decentralized nature appeals to me due to the unfavorable humanistic tendencies of greed, selfishness, and self-entitlement. A decentralized, yet trackable monetary system should eliminate unnecessary issues of corruption at all levels. At this point in time, crypto has begun seeping into the mainstream, but the logistical difficulties of crypto’s everyday uses limits the influx of mainstream buying, selling, and/or investing in crypto-related projects.
For this reason, I have begun this blog post to document everything that I have learned about crypto. My goal is to provide a resource that anybody could use to learn about and invest into crypto-related projects. I will categorize the following into keywords, how to invest, an example quarter four of 2021 investment strategy, how to find investments, the world of non-fungible tokens (NFT’s), and miscellaneous information. Please recognize that none of this information should be taken as financial advice, any monetary actions taken by individuals are at the risk of losing money, and I do not wish to be held responsible for any loss or gain of money as I am simply compiling existing resources into a centralized location. Do your own research on top of what I provide, follow your instincts, and learn as you go.
- A blockchain is a public database of all crypto transactions
- Stable coins are cryptocurrencies that have proven to have a relatively stable price
- Blue chip alternative coins (alts) are cryptocurrencies that have not become mainstream quite like BTC & ETH, but are possibly on the rise. These are typically newer and market themselves as better than the competition due to their own specific reason.
- Decentralized finance (DeFi) uses the blockchain rather than typical banks to conduct financial services
- Crypto gaming is a genre of video games, similar to what is offered today, but with in-game assets that can be bought and sold for player-owned cryptocurrency
- A whitepaper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a scientific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution
- A DAO is an organization or corporation represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members and not influenced by a central government
Market capitalization (Market cap)
- A market cap is the total value of a cryptocurrency, calculated by multiplying the price of the crypto with the number of coins in circulation
- A fully diluted market cap is the total value of the crypto at today’s price if the entire future supply of coins were in circulation
Decentralized application (DApp)
- A dapp is an application built on a decentralized network that combines a smart contract and a frontend user interface
- A crypto faucet is a website or app that gives out tiny amounts of crypto in exchange for completing simple tasks
- Web 3.0 uses machine learning and AI to create more open, connected, and intelligent websites and web applications focused on using a machine-based understanding of data
- Yield farming is the practice of staking or lending crypto assets in order to generate high returns or rewards in the form of additional crypto
- Gas fees are payments made by users to compensate for the computing energy required to process and validate transactions on the Ethereum blockchain
- Smart contracts are simply programs stored on a blockchain that run when predetermined conditions are met
- A P2P service is a decentralized platform whereby two individuals interact directly with each other, without intermediation by a third party
- Governance tokens are tokens that developers create to allow token holders to help shape the future of a protocol
- A DEX is a P2P marketplace where transactions occur directly between crypto traders
Automated Market Maker (AMM)
- An AMM is the underlying protocol that powers all DEXs, being the autonomous trading mechanisms that eliminate the need for centralized exchanges and related market-making techniques
Yield Accumulator (Accumulator)
- Still investigating this concept
- An ERC20 token is a standard used for creating and issuing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain
- Any coin’s price can be calculated as: Price = Market cap/Supply
How to Invest
A good starting point is with CoinBase and SafeWallet. CoinBase is about as credible and reliable in the crypto space as they come, and a SafeWallet is just that – a personal, virtual wallet for cryptocurrency. CoinBase’s supply of investible cryptocurrencies is limited. I assume they don’t want to offer the mainstream customer a coin that may turn out to be a scam. For this reason, they offer established coins from reputable companies and for that reason, if a coin makes it onto CoinBase, then you may wish to consider them mainstream. SafeWallet, on the other hand, offers a bridge to the misty, convoluted landscape of altcoins. Altcoins are the newly available coins that are often more volatile than coins offered on CoinBase. This is where many recommend splitting a section of one’s portfolio as this is a risky space that can deliver huge spikes or crashes, depending on many variables.
For SafeWallet, users will have to buy binance coin (BNB) and transfer it to smartchain. Smartchain will be a commonly used crypto to make purchases on altcoins. Once users convert fiat (USD, Euro, etc.) into BNB then to smartchain currency, users could go to coinmarketcap and copy the listed address. Then, in the SafeWallet, users could paste the address and make the trade.
Other exchanges that users could use to exchange fiat currency for an exchange-specific currency to then trade for altcoins include KuCoin, Binance U.S, and Gate.io. The latter two require know your customer (KYC) which is an often convoluted process of identifying oneself per the website’s standards. Based on my own experience, KYC is a headache, a hassle, and severely limits a market’s potential client base. When one finds an investible altcoin on CoinMarketCap, they will be shown exchanges where users could trade for the coin. When Binance U.S, or Gate.io are the only exchanges listed, one must turn to alternative routes. This is an area where I am still exploring, especially for DeFi projects that often use themselves as an exchange.
However, KuCoin does not require KYC. Because of this, KuCoin is a favorite of mine for investing in altcoins. Unfortunately, the process is still slightly tedious. The general process of converting fiat currency ($) into altcoin investments involves the following: $ –> CoinBase $BTC –> KuCoin Main Wallet $BTC –> KuCoin Main Wallet $USDT –> KuCoin Trading Wallet $USDT –> $USDT traded with altcoin of your choice. Luckily, this process involves approximately $0.1-2 of fees, which isn’t too bad compared to other methods.
For ethereum-based crypto trading, one may use AMM’s like PancakeSwap, UniSwap, or Raydium. These websites provide a one-stop shop for buying select altcoins. However, the biggest annoyance when using certain ethereum-based AMM’s, is the ethereum gas price. A gas price can be understood as transaction fees associated with making your purchase, and ethereum (1.0 at least) often has gas prices upwards of $100. This is a turn off, especially if customers have a low budget. For this reason, BNB and smartcontract are often favored over ethereum trades.
Mobile Apps / Websites
- SafeWallet is a decentralized crypto-assets multi-chain wallet powered by advanced security technology
- Coinbase is a secure online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing digital currency
- KuCoin is a secure crypto exchange that makes it easier to buy, sell, and store crypto
- Binance is a bitcoin exchange and altcoin crypto exchange
- Crypto.com is an online platform that supports investors to invest in crypto
- FTX is a centralized crypto exchange specializing in derivatives and leveraged products.
- Listed above
- MetaMask is a browser extension and a mobile app that equips users with a key vault, secure login, token wallet, and token exchange
- Phantom is a non-custodial wallet used mainly on the Solana blockchain
- Listed above
- MEW Wallet
- MEW wallet is a true, non-custodial Ethereum wallet
Decentralized Exchange (DEX)
Automated Market Makers (AMMs)
- Raydium is an AMM and liquidity provider built on the Solana blockchain for the Serum DEX
- PancakeSwap is an AMM DEX, meaning users trading on the platform automatically draw liquidity from one or more liquidity pools, which then rebalance after the trade is complete
- Uniswap is a decentralized finance protocol that is used to exchange cryptocurrencies
- CoinMarketCap provides price-tracking for cryptoassets in the crypto space
- CoinGecko is an independent cryptocurrency data aggregator
- Buy red
- Sell green
How to Find Investments
Finding a reliable team with doxxed leadership, credible investors, and a white paper
Reference small YouTube channels and their associated Telegram’s, Twitter accounts, Discord channels
- Go to CoinMarketCap.com/new/
- Click on any token
- Find the token’s website
- Recognize your first impression of the website
- Navigate through the website until you find the team
- Recognize how easy/hard it was to find the team
- Is the team doxxed by showing professional photos, full names, titles, and further details/links to read more about them?
- Continue scanning the website for a list of investors
- Are there investors? If so, do you recognize the name of any of them? If not, then look into a few of the one’s that catch your eye
- Are there a lot of investors?
- Do they appear to proudly showcase their investors or are the listed investors only found through convoluted navigation of their website?
- Find a white paper
2021 Q4 Breakdown Example
A Q4 (Oct-Dec) breakdown, inspired by the YouTube channel Hustlepedia, includes 35% of one’s investments being made in stable coins. Examples of the two stable coins that I rely on are bitcoin ($BTC) and ethereum ($ETH).
- Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that anybody can buy, sell, and exchange directly, without an intermediary like a bank
- Ethereum is a blockchain-based software platform for creating and using smart contracts and distributed apps
Moving onto the blue chip alts, I allocate another 15% due to their history of raising in price, similar to the stable coins, but with an extra pinch of volatility and risk. The blue chip alts that I have found interesting include solana ($SOL), ZCash ($ZEC), Chainlink ($LINK), Polkadot ($DOT), and Cardano ($ADA), with Shibu Inu ($SHIB).
- Solana is a decentralized blockchain built to enable scalable, user-friendly apps for the world
- Zcash can be used to buy goods and services or it can be exchanged for another kind of money, including US dollars, Euros, or another fiat currency.
- Chainlink greatly expands the capabilities of smart contracts by enabling access to real-world data and off-chain computation while maintaining the security and reliability guarantees inherent to blockchain technology.
- Polkadot will enable a completely decentralized web where users are in control. Polkadot is built to connect private and consortium chains, public and permissionless networks, oracles, and future technologies that are yet to be created. Polkadot facilitates an internet where independent blockchains can exchange information and transactions in a trustless way via the Polkadot relay chain.
- Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform: the first to be founded on peer-reviewed research and developed through evidence-based methods. It combines pioneering technologies to provide unparalleled security and sustainability to decentralized applications, systems, and societies.
- Shiba Inu
- Shiba Inu is a decentralized meme token that evolved into a vibrant ecosystem
Another 15% is dedicated to upcoming DeFi projects. I think of upcoming DeFi projects as facilitators for mainstream mass adoption of blockchain cryptocurrencies. Projects that I am or plan to be invested into include Joe ($JOE), Pangolin ($), Avalaunch ($), Blizzard ($), Superfarm ($), Miniswap ($), Astroswap ($), Gameswap ($), Secret Network ($), and Oasis ($).
- Trader Joe is a one-stop decentralized trading platform on the Avalanche network. JOE is a governance token that also rewards its holders with a share of exchange revenues.
- Pangolin is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that runs on AValanche, uses the same automated market-making (AMM) model as Uniswap, features a native governance token called PNG that is fully community distributed and is capable of trading all token issues on Ethereum and Avalanche. In a crowded marketplace with multiple contenders, Pangolin offers three critically important benefits: fast and cheap trades, community-driven development, and a fair and open token distribution.
- Avalaunch is a launchpad powered by the Avalanche platform, allowing new and innovative projects to seamlessly prepare for launch with an emphasis on fair and broad distribution. With its values deeply rooted in the early Avalanche community, they offer projects to confident, informed users who are aligned with the long-term goals of the rapidly expanding application ecosystem. Leveraging Avalanche’s scalable, high-throughput, and low-latency, Avalaunch is built by users, for teams, to help grow strong communities.
- Imagine being able to farm your assets and harvest yoru yields autonomously, quickly, and efficiently, with the ability to multi-compound making use of the multiple pools on AValanche Dexes; Pangolin and trader Joe and the access to determine what period is best for reinvestment; an unrivalled opportunity to earn passive income on the Avalanche Chain. Blizzard is an advanced yield accumulator that helps users (even with little technical know-how) to achieve an optimized farming adventure, helping them to farm and stake, taking their profits and yields relatively higher than the regular farmer on Avalanche. Their yield aggregator will not only provide the benefits of enhancing one’s farming, but accelerating their outputs and allowing for some crypto-trading experience at the same time.
- SuperFarm is a cross-chain decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol built to facilitate the launching of new NFts without the need for programming. SuperFarm is designed to bring utility to any token by turning it into an NFT farm with no coding required. Conceptually, SuperFarm is a comprehensive NFT marketplace. It allows users to create their own NFts, farm coins for NFTs, create ERC-20 tokens and bind NFTs to video game items.
- MiniSwap enables a connected network of DeFi ecosystems. MiniSwap provides a decentralized platform for exercising financial products.
- AstroSwap is the first interstellar DEX, built for the Cardano ecosystem.
- GameSwap claims to be a decentralized exchange that enables millions of gamers to easily trade and cash-out in-game assets with crypto, in a neutral platform that they govern and own. Powered by DeFi and GSWAP token.
- Secret Network
- Secret Network is an open-source protocol that performs computations on encrypted data, bringing privacy to smart contracts and public blockchains
- The Oasis Network is a privacy-enabled blockchain platform for open finance and a responsible data economy
The next category that I have include crypto gaming large and small cap investments. I like to associate a small market cap with the project either being newer or more unknown to the general public. However, it is important to understand that with the crypto gaming, and video game market in general, the timeline of announcement/increased public interest and the game’s actual release may be months, or more commonly, years down the line. The games that have been released in 2021 tend to be minimalistic games, both with graphic detail and gameplay complexity. While many third country residents earn a stable income from play-to-earn crypto games, there is plenty of room for growth. Below, I will include the small and large cap crypto games that are on my radar.
- Axie Infinity
- Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based trading and battling game that is partially owned and operated by its players. Inspired by popular games like Pokemon and Tamagotchi, Axie Infinity allows players to collect, breed, raise, battle and trade token-based creatures known as Axies. Each Axie is an NFT.
- Star Atlas
- Star Atlas is a massive multiplayer online game that takes place in a virtual gaming metaverse. It is being built on Unreal Engine 5, allowing the game to feature cinema-quality, real-time environments. Star Atlas takes place in a futuristic science fiction setting in 2620, where three major factions have emerged and are competing for resources and control: humankind, a consortium of alien races and sentient androids. Assets acquired in the game can later be exchanged for real-world currency.
- The Sandbox
- The Sandbox is a blockchain-based virtual world allowing users to create, build, buy, and sell digital assets in the form of a game. By combining the powers of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) and NFTs, the Sandbox creates a decentralized platform for a thriving gaming community. Sandbox platform’s main mission is to successfully introduce blockchain technology in mainstream gaming. The Sandbox employs the powers of blockchain technology by introducing the SAND utility token, which facilitates transactions on the platform.
- Enjin coin
- Enjin Coin (ENJ) is a project of Enjin, a company that provides an ecosystem of interconnected blockchain-based gaming products. ENJ is a digital store of value used to back the value of blockchain assets like NFTs. In 2017 following an ICO, Enjin established itself as a leading blockchain ecosystem developer, building a suite of software products that enable anyone to easily mint, manage, trade, distribute, and integrate blockchain assets.
- Gala GAmes aims to take the gaming industry in a different direction by giving players back control over their games. Players can own NFTs and influence the governance of games within the Gala Games ecosystem. Gala Games is not a single game, but rather it offers an entire array of different blockchain games that places fun first and blockchain in the background.
- Chain Guardians
- Chain Guardians positions itself as the first ecosystem that combines blockchain and superheroes. Through the Chain Guardians ecosystem, players are able to participate in the free-to-play NFT mining platform and role-playing game.
- Derace describes itself as a “complete NFT horse racing ecosystem” that wants to set a new standard for the betting and gambling industries. Derace provides an opportunity to buy and breed NFT horses with unique characteristics, bet on real-time NFT horse races, and build your own NFT hippodrome to host races in and rake in profit. Derace aims to tackle and disrupt three multi-billion-dollar sectors simultaneously: video games, horse racing, and gambling.
- For the first time ever, users will have access to crypto information and immersive content all in one place. Bloktopians will be able to earn revenue through real estate ownership, advertising revenue, play games, build networks, and much more.
- Decentraland is a virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to create, experience, and monetize content and applications. In this virtual world, users purchase plots of land that they can later navigate, build upon, and monetize. Since being opened to the public in February 2020, users have created a wise range of experiences on the parcels of LAND, including interactive games, sprawling 3D scenes and a variety of other interactive experiences.
- Guild of Guardians
- Guild of Guardians is a mobile RPG where players take teams of heroes through challenging dungeons to collect resources. These resources are used to create valuable items and heroes which can be sold for real money.
- Project Quantum
- Launched on 21May2021 with an international team, Project Quantum intends to build a AAA game, built on Unreal, which allows players to transact with the game, spending and receiving real world valued items.
- Chain Games
- The CHAIN token claims to be the primary medium of exchange used for all entry fees and contest payouts on the Chain Games network
- The core principles of Polker (PKR) are diversity, versatility, fairness, and transparency. With these principles in mind, PKR has developed and patented protocols that allow seamless integration into online gaming platforms, e-commerce, and any other platform which requires a multi-currency application. The Multi Crypto Marketplace is a unique protocol that allows users/gamers to use their cryptocurrency of choice whilst displaying the live value in the fiat currency of choice. The live price data is pulled from an oracle so that all parties involved have accurate price data displayed in the currency of choice. For e-commerce applications, this forms a simple checkout process allowing multiple cryptocurrencies to be implemented without the confusion of multiple chains and wallet usage. By allowing multiple cryptocurrencies to be used simultaneously, the protocol allows for a larger demographic. One can earn NFT’s by playing poker and gain the ability to play in tournaments, unlock awesome new animations and backgrounds, and expand upon the Polker Metaverse.
- Virtue Poker
- Virtue Poker uses the unique features of blockchain technology in conjunction with P2P networking to provide a safe, honest environment to play online poker.
- Ridotto is a cross-chain gambling and lottery protocol based on complete transparency, anonymity, security, and fairness. Ridotto’s overarching goal is to elevate the user to the role of “house,” thereby offering a fully scalable alternative to centralized online gambling. Beyond their vibrant flagship casino, they will unleash retail ingenuity by giving users the decentralized e-infrastructure to experiment and evolve the gambling ecosystem.
- Kalao framework will accelerate adoption of VR technology to develop virtual worlds and sustain digital transformation of business use cases. Kalao allows users to magnify their NFTs in a full 3D virtual reality experience. With or without a VR headset, Kalao supports multi-platforms.
- Kodi provides its users with the first ever crypto based Entertainment Network. Parallel to this, Kodi is operating a one-stop-shop Advertisement/Marketing Agency known as “PITCH”, which will function as a subsidiary company. Both entities will encompass a use case that will directly benefit $KODI holders.
Non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) if taken at face value, may be seen as overpriced profile pictures, artwork, and/or money laundering schemes. However, when analyzed from the point of view of the metaverse where every individual roams around as an avatar-like character, then NFT’s may take on a new light. With an incredibly broad name, non-fungible tokens, in my opinion, are non-reproducible virtual items of any kind. This could cover the current trend of profile pictures and avatars to sculptures to furniture and more. When seeing every single asset in a digital landscape as an NFT that somebody would have to sell for others to buy, then a near overwhelming sense of excitement and adventure fill my entrepreneurial spirit. Without diving into my exact plans for approaching this newly developing space, I challenge the reader to maintain as open of a mind as possible and recognize that while the metaverse is in its infancy, you can steer it’s direction anywhere you want – whether that be towards profitable, fertile land that provides a meaningful experience for all, or a mind-numbing distraction that dumbs down it’s users. A useful way of learning more about the NFT ecosystem is through a comprehensive understanding of current supply, demand trends, and emerging innovation. The two former are listed below, but keeping one eye on the flowing direction of innovation is more opaque. My recommendation, and the general advice that you will find online, is to find trustworthy sources who dedicate their livelihood on crypto. This could be found through blogs, YouTube videos, and twitter accounts as the most common. Beware of social media influencers who hype up a news headline to boost the price as they are likely hoping to make a quick buck through their platform. The smaller the follower/subscriber count is, the more likely you are to find somebody who has not cashed out and is instead providing valuable information, to a degree. Do your own research into everybody you may be inclined to trust online and follow your instincts.
The current supply could be viewed through:
- OpenSea is a peer-to-peer marketplace for NFTs, rare digital items and crypto collectibles
- Solanart is a fully-fledged NFT marketplace based on the Solana network that allows anyone to acquire or sell Solana-based NFTs
- MakersPlace is a market to discover, collect, and invest in truly rare and authentic digital artworks
- Rarity.tools is a website dedicated to ranking generative art and collectible NFTs by rarity
- NextDrop is an algorithmically generated digital collectible of various properties and powers on the energy-efficient Solana blockchain
Definitions are either created by myself or referenced through an online search. I am currently in the process of linking everything together to clear up any confusion.
Thanks for your patience and I hope you have found this useful.