In all my discussions and brainstorming sessions about crypto with others, I keep going back and forth on one particular aspect – reliable reading resources on various topics. Whenever something new comes up, the first thing on my mind is where to learn all about it.
Where to read about vampire attacks in DeFi? What site to refer to for Austrian economics à la Bitcoin? Where to look at for tax filing guidance for capital gains in crypto? Where to get an ELI5 on yield farming?
And so on and so forth.
The easiest way to solve this is to Google and read whatever comes up in the top search results, thereby leaving it to the SEO Gods to recommend the best study resources. Another way is to search for keywords in subreddits like r/cryptocurrency. A downside of this is landing up on unrelated portals for learning about nuanced topics and having to go through unverified information.
If you are not mindful of your search term choices, you will probably end up getting a bunch of Twilight links like above
Finding a single legit knowledge repository for, say, all-things-Bitcoin or, all-things-DeFi is difficult when there’s information overload and little oversight. So one of the first things I did when starting on my crypto journey and something that I continue to do even today is zero in on one portal for a topic like crypto taxation for all related reading.
It usually takes a while to finalize on a reliable website because of initial cross-referencing, checking for author credentials etc. But once done, it saves a ton of effort and time for future research. Having said that, there will always be outlier topics that need Googling/referencing outside of these portals. But now that there’s a ready reckoner of top cryptocurrency guides available for me on various topics, I thought it would make sense to share these educational resources with others as well. A very meta list which I hope will turn out to be relevant for folks in crypto and blockchain.
On Bitcoin – https://www.lopp.net/ by Jameson Lopp
As I set off on my crypto quest, the first thing that I needed was a reliable archive for Bitcoin research material. After going through multiple repositories, I decided to make lopp.net my primary Bitcoin reading library. The portal is authored and maintained by Jameson Lopp who is a software engineer focusing on Bitcoin. He has worked on various related projects like BitGo and Statoshi. Jameson is currently CTO at the crypto custody platform, Casa.
Lopp.net covers a wide gamut of topics ranging from bitcoin history, to operating a full node, to more advanced matters like using the bitcoin blockchain for data anchoring. It also hosts resources and outside links for setting up BTC wallets, free online courses, podcasts etc. I also got a lot of my Lightning Network reading material from lopp.net. For anyone starting from scratch, the best place to begin is at the Getting Started page.
The sheer volume of BTC topics covered on lopp.net is mind boggling. This is just one of five resource categories there.
Crypto taxation is a biggie since regulation is unclear in many jurisdictions and more so in India where I am based out of. Plus, finding dependable info on crypto taxation is the hardest among the five topics here. All search queries result in standalone articles but no consolidated knowledge repo for FAQs or in-depth explanations on how to file crypto-related taxes with Indian authorities. So the next best thing was to look at guides for countries that have certain rules and regulations in place already, such as US, Germany, UK etc. For this, I found ACCOINTING.com's tax guides to be detailed and explained in simple terms. ACCOINTING.com offers crypto services like portfolio tracking and tax reporting.
So far there are guides for US, Germany and UK taxes along with step-by-step resources for filing in US and Germany. There are also multiple options that explain how to either personally file reports or approach professional services. As a bonus, the site also has a guide section for absolute beginners. This guide explains starter concepts in non-technical terms. Oh how I wish I had discovered one of these early on in crypto!
ACCOINTING.com's multi-country multi-language guides are expected to grow in scope
On Blockchains and DLTs – https://bitsonblocks.net/ by Antony Lewis
The blockchain-verse is dynamic and keeping track of developments is always a challenge. Bits on Blocks made this easier for me. It’s a blog focussed on blockchain technology which aims to cover the most important updates and the news worth knowing. From private blockchains to fintech applications to Hyperledger, the blog covers a lot of ground. The author, Antony Lewis, believes that blockchains will make a notable difference in the lives of people and in the way businesses are run. He has been associated with crypto brokerage firm Paxos in the past, and now uses his knowledge about business, financial services and blockchains to “distill it into something (hopefully) useful for you (the reader)”.
Bits on Blocks also contains articles which explore different applications of blockchain technology. The posts there are suited for slightly advanced investors (and enthusiasts), who are well versed with the basics of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. With its focus on explaining the underlying technology driving various projects, tech-savvy investors will find this website educational and entertaining in equal measure.
On General Crypto Topics – https://academy.binance.com/ by Binance
The full scope of cryptocurrencies can be quite intimidating, especially for new entrants. With projects taking off every other day and technical jargons being coined constantly, even seasoned crypto veterans can have a hard time catching up. Binance Academy serves as an excellent go-to guide for understanding important topics related to crypto. An educational initiative by leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, the Academy contains a repository of articles which explain a range of subjects in layman terms. From fundamentals of trading to technical concepts, the reading list covers all the bases.
The prequalifying filters set Binance Academy apart from other guides in terms of ease-of-navigation
There is also a handy list of sections which elaborately explain basic topics that beginners might find troublesome, such as setting up a Metamask wallet or trading on a decentralized exchange. For topics that aren’t covered yet, there’s a separate forum where readers can post their queries for other community members to answer. New articles are published at an interval of 2 or 3 days. Articles are marked as per their reading difficulty level, in terms of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Whether you’re a newbie or an expert, there’s something for you in Binance Academy to simply read through at your leisure.
On DeFi – https://finematics.com/ by Jakub
Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has come up as one of the most exciting use cases of crypto and more so of Ethereum. Multiple DeFi platforms have mushroomed over the last few years, which allow users to deposit their crypto assets into liquidity pools (think of interest bearing products in banks) and earn handsome yields. The value of assets locked in various DeFi applications has already touched USD 15 billion, and is increasing day by day.
It’s natural that any crypto enthusiast would want to dip his or her toes into the DeFi pie. Finematics is a convenient and well-documented source for all your queries related to DeFi. The site is maintained by Jakub, “a software engineer passionate about decentralized finance and cryptocurrencies” by his own admission. The Finematics’ website contains a host of articles which cover various aspects of DeFi. The content is arranged into 3 levels – Novice, Apprentice and Master – which helps the readers ramp up in a streamlined manner. Technical concepts are explained in a simple manner using recent news items as references, adding context to the topics being discussed and helping the readers relate more.
It took me less than a week to read through the three DeFi levels on Finematics
What’s unique about Finematics is that complicated technical concepts are presented through animated videos along with article explainers. When the site first started in 2018, Jakub used to post whiteboard animations to explain complex subjects. I am glad that he has continued that tradition. Anyone can use this site to learn about the latest news and developments from the world of DeFi, but I found it to be especially useful when beginning to learn new concepts in this space.
With these 5 guides, you should have most of your bases covered in cryptocurrencies. However, it is an evolving space with new niches coming up every day. Let me know if you found more reading resources like these that helped you. Come say Hi at Telegram. Maybe I could add your reading recommendations to the list here or write about them in a follow up article.
Disclosure: The author has no vested interest in any of the websites mentioned above. These are all reading resources and do not constitute any financial advice whatsoever.
This article is a repost of my recent Hackernoon article.
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