Intro to Crypto, Blockchain, NFTs, DeFi, Web3 & The Kitchen Sink

Interested in Crypto? Good! It’s a massive industry arguably in its infancy. When you pop into it will be incredibly easy to get overwhelmed once you go down the rabbit hole. It’s like stepping into the matrix and seeing digital money flying everywhere at the speed of light with endless waves of people building applications and exciting projects all around you ranging from gaming and entertainment, fintech and DeFi, ecommerce and art, a.i. and machine learning, and about every industry you can think of involving data and the internet at large. I hope to assist anyone ease into this without falling victim to preventable risks, bad actors, and FOMOing into something you don’t fully understand. When you see investments doubling in minutes, hours or days; it’s quite easy to get a little trigger happy. None of this is financial advice, this is simply educational to try and help people navigate this amazing frontier.

First things first, protect yourself with a digital condom. If you haven’t done this already in our data harvesting madhouse of a world, I suggest you take the time to set up a safe browser alternative, antivirus, secure file storage and a password manager. For browsers you have Brave (has a crypto currency BAT with it that rewards you for viewing ads you opt into), Tor Project, Opera, Maiar (put out by Elrond, a crypto smart chain platform, no ads). Password Managers you can use browser based but many advice against for security, Lastpass, Bit Defender a ton recommend for ultimate security, I enjoy RoboForm personally, have a ref link but not looking to shill anything. Antivirus. VPN if you want to get extra juicy. I also utilize a more secure email. Products like ProtonMail are nice.

Wait, what is a blockchain? I suggest doing research, but think of it as an immutable secure ledger. Bitcoin invented the wheel with this, Ethereum put the wheel on a wagon via smart contracts and dApps, the entire industry is starting to build vehicles, trains, airplanes and spacecraft. It’s still early.

Alright! Now you want to get into the meat of financial opportunity! Well, first you want to determine how you want exposure to Crypto. Through an exchange for trading? There’s 100s of them. The US has less access due to heavier SEC regulations on determining securities and tax codes. We love to over-regulate, the SEC and Ripple XRP are in the middle of a historic showdown. Utility Tokens vs Security Tokens — (Boring, but good to know regarding taxes in the states.)

Centralized Exchanges operate a lot like the stock-market, the amount of volume in crypto is insane. For instance, the largest exchange, Binance has over 60 billion dollars of daily volume alone. There are also people utilizing futures, options and perpetuals with leverage and margin trading. Coinbase/Coinbase Pro is a big US exchange and nice fiat on ramp, but offers far fewer assets and steep trading fees. Binance has 340 coins with over 1,000 trading pairs I believe, while Coinbase Pro has 49/142. There is a Binance.US that has a smaller selection. Different exchanges have different requirements for KYC (know your consumer identity verification) vs jump in and just go. There are also variances in fiat onramps for buying Crypto, it’s getting more and more accessible by the day., Gemini, Kraken, Bittrex, Voyager, KuCoin and tons of others have mobile apps that make trading super easy; though often are limited in their mobile capabilities for charting and order types. Avenues like Robinhood, though good for the crypto market, are NOT recommended as currently you don’t own your assets. You can’t transfer them, they hold custody, you can only sell them like stocks. Avoid them. If you choose to use an exchange, you need to take into account their fees. Most all will charge a maker/taker fee on every trade. Usually ranging from 0.05 to 0.5 %. Even more important to note, is different currencies have different fees for moving them. If you want to actually take your coins and do other dope stuff with them, you need to be aware of these transfer fees. For instance, ETH is going through huge growing pains with “gas fees”. The network hasn’t been able to scale to the high traffic and thus makes doing anything on Ethereum expensive. If you were to send a wallet-to-wallet transaction, you would be charged a fee to the miners for making this transaction happen on the blockchain.
ETH Gas Station | Consumer oriented metrics for the Ethereum gas market
Here you could calculate that cost if the wallet you were using doesn’t for you. Most exchanges don’t utilize these standard rates, but instead offer flat rates above them to make money and cover themselves. I.e. was $18 to send any amount of USDT last I checked. You can find lists of exchanges, as well as tokens and other tools using these resources:

Another thing to note is Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs). These are huge if you get more into crypto and trying to gain exposure to newer startups and assets from ICOS and IDOS (initial coin offerings, think IPO). Uniswap is a giant though it has been experiencing some of the woes of Eth gas prices while Ethereum works to migrate to Eth2 (Eth is proof of work mining, going to the industry standard of PoS — proof of stake.) PoS eliminates most of the “environmental damage” you may have heard of for the energy intensity of mining coins via PoW. If you were to utilize a swap like Uni, you’d want a MetaMask wallet, also know as a Web3 wallet, which is downloaded a browser extension (has mobile and desktop support as well.) When it comes to wallets, there are A LOT. Full node, custodial, desktop, hardware, mobile, cloud, software, paper, network specific, universal.. Your important ones would probably be a web3 wallet like MetaMask, hardware if you plan to have a lot invested (Ledger), then possible a good universal or dedicated wallet to what chain ecos you find yourself at home with. It can seem daunting, but if you just take a lil time to learn and backup your wallet seed phrases for security, you’ll be gold.

Time for a warning: Crypto is an incredible landscape of innovation and limitless potential. The deregulated nature and emphasis on open-sourced code, collaboration and decentralization has allowed exponential growth via Cooperation instead of Competition. Less BS with copyrights and ownership, with a heavy emphasis on efforts to build platforms and communities that are democratized. Many assets give you ownership and the ability to vote on changes in the ecos via governance utility, much like a stock claim to once be. There are some very cool tokenomics that give you great utility holding a digital currency or native token, and large rewards for backing the right projects… Unfortunately, this lack of regulation also has facilitated rampant fraud and scams. As it sadly is within the realms of greed. If you utilize any social platform and get messaged about free crypto, it’s a scam. It’s improving every day with numerous integrity-based programs, incubators and resources to check the legitimacy of a project and audit their work though. Regardless, you should ALWAYS DYOR (do your own research) and never invest in anything high-risk that you can’t afford to lose. For a glimpse into the fraud, here is a list of dead coins and a scam list:
List of Dead Coins and Failed ICOs | Coinopsy
Crypto Scam List: 2020 Update — Scam News Channel

Now that that’s out of the way, back to it. Identify what you want in Crypto. The total market cap record was like 760 billion dollars back in 2017. That remained the record until early January when it hit 1 trillion. In about 5 weeks it was above 1.6 trillion followed by a decent dip/correction. As I’m writing this, market cap is about 1.75 trillion, bitcoin accounting for over 1 trillion. This isn’t incorporating a ton of volume in the realms of capital venture and other less tangible value measurements. This is in a market where ETH can’t support traffic, but layer2 solutions are rolling out via rollups, optimism, etc while waiting on Eth2. The Eth2 scaling solution question is arguably a multi-trillion dollar question. You have tonnnns of new Smart Contract Platforms like Eth gaining massive headway in their tech with a lot of new dApps and projects launching on their platforms. Whether it’s Polkadot, Cardano, Solana, VeChain, Stellar, Cosmos, BSC, Elrond, Terra, Avalanche, Tezos, the list goes on. Cardano is a 35 BILLION dollar network, and the fracker essentially hasn’t even launched yet. It gets realllll deep when you start digging into all these projects and their use cases. NFTs? Booming. Beeple just sold his 1 a day collection NFT for 69 million dollars. FEWoCIOUS is an 18 year old kid making millions off his NFT artworks in minutes of auction drops. CryptoPunks are the godfather of NFTs, 10,000 were given out for free on Ethereum.. lil 8bit like buggers, one sold for 7.5 million yesterday.

Curious about NFTs?
The Non-Fungible Token Bible: Everything you need to know about NFTs — OpenSea blog
Non-fungible tokens (NFT) |
Explain It Like I Am 5: NFTs | Messari

Gaming? Land and NFT assets are selling like crazy. Collectibles, music, domains… it’s a bit out of control, but the large-scale use cases for NFTs is here to stay. Whether it’s to give artists and creators more ownership with less middleman bs, or to facilitate legal contracts of any kind, real estate transfers/fragmented ownership, etc. The blockchain tech isn’t about bitcoin, it’s finally getting to the point where it can facilitate large enterprise solutions for immutable transfers of data or ownership of all kinds.

So where do you want to be? Do you want to invest in “blue chip” currencies that are providing predictable growth when the market is healthy? Do you want to get into gaming before it inevitably becomes the host of Ready Player 1 down the road? Do you want to be an early investor and HODL? Day trader? If you’re going to HODL, you can look-into staking your currencies to help the network and be rewarded, or you can even run a node if you’re tech savvy. Miners still have a market, but PoS is taking over. I don’t recommend HODLing if you’re going to look at your phone and follow the ups and downs religiously, it will drive you mad in a down market. Bitcoin currently is the life blood of the market, if BTC goes down = almost everything will go down with it (exclusions for really popping assets or low marketcap assets, etc). This industry is still very young and prone to some elements of market manipulation, which means its growing pains could equate to massive swings like it has over a decade; especially with the BTC reliance on market stability. Will BTC always be this gold standard for market evaluation? No idea, but I could see it changing perhaps in 2–10 years and that transition would have some interesting effects on the market and all it’s intricate moving parts to say the least.

Added to this madness, is DeFi and fintech. You have TONS of projects that are creating all the financial elements of the “real world” within crypto. Lending, liquidity provision, leverage, margin. Couple this with the fact that we have multiple smart chain ecosystems with different asset classes that are trying to become more interoperable. Ethereum based coins are ERC-20 tokens, they can only be sent to Ethereum addresses. BEP-20 are Binance Smart Chain tokens. There are ton of intuitive bridges and swap protocols that help you transfer your coins from one chain to another, it just can be daunting at first if you happen to get into synthetics or lending/burrowing. Take your time, sending the wrong asset to the wrong address can result in permanent loss. With these different blockchain platforms needing to communicate and streamline how they interoperate, exchanges and all these different DeFi projects booming; think of it all in terms of a bank needing liquidity to provide services like lending and currency exchange — this equates to HIGH APY returns on providing said liquidity. You can get 8%+ APY on your CASH stablecoins…… and that is considered low and stagnant for the DeFi and trading wizards. Your grandma would crap her depends if she heard 8%+ APY on cash. Stablecoins are tokens that are supposed to be audited and backed 1–1 to a fiat dollar or other fiat currency. I.e. USDT (Tether), USDC, and numerous others.) Stablecoins can be your bestfriend if you are an active trader or simply want to minimize risk to market down swings. You can easily swap your coins to a stablecoin and not have to worry about it ever not being worth it’s cash equivalent. If you get into trading, there are also a lot of 3rd party apps and software that utilize bots and tools for trading techniques like trailing sells, scraping, stop losses, etc. You can even get exposure to the markets through ETFs, basket funds and trading options, futures and perpetuals; eliminating needing to hold cryptocurrencies.

Looking for a new career? Consider the jump to blockchain and crypto. A TON of projects are desperate for a wide variety of talent in various skillsets; be it devs, customer support, marketing, development, finance, etc. Looking for a community or have an idea you want to launch? There are a ton of great businesses and projects fostering great communities and leveraging collaboration to turn countless ideas into prospering dApps and services.

I apologize if this is a bit ADHD, but I hope it helps a little bit for the wave of migrants coming into the space. I’m just a guy who loves this space, so I’ve been putting my root beer, sleepless nights and TLC into building a passion project: Crypto Accord. Its purpose is to be a free, always adless, gateway into crypto and blockchain tech with an emphasis on integrity, education and collaboration. I’m mostly on Twitter while I chip away on a website and content to help cut through the BS and help build a network of integrity focused initiatives, resources and tools. Hopefully will have website and a fun video done in a week, with other projects brewing. Will be dropping some curated lists on Twitter and information streamlining to help connect people to the networks, resources, news, early projects and industries they are interested in throughout this week via the CryptoAccordBot that’s now live. Interviews and guides if there is a demand for it. I also have about 900 bookmarks saved if you all want me to dump more analytic resources lmao just didn’t want to link spam.

If you’re an artist, will be hosting an Artist of the Week to flash your art around the socials ❤
Also will pay some crypto or cash as a reward for a Logo Creation Contest if people are interested😊

To the Future,

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A free gateway into the limitless worlds and opportunities of blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies and their various use cases; with a focus on integrity and transparency to help newcomers and veterans navigate the various ecosystems.

Crypto Accord - A Gateway Into Blockchain
Crypto Accord - A Gateway Into Blockchain

Crypto Accord is a free gateway into the limitless worlds and opportunities of blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies and their various use cases; with a focus on integrity and transparency to help newcomers and veterans navigate the various ecosystems without being blindsided by bad actors or preventable risks. This is a cultural/tech renaissance.

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