Crypto currencies. NFTs. Web 3. Smart contracts. Bitcoin. Ethereum. There’s something completely fascinating about these things and we need to at least learn the basics because it is shaping the future of humanity. I’ve written this post for those of you who are interested in getting your toes wet. Keep in mind, I am not an expert nor am I offering financial advice. I am simply sharing my enthusiasm with you and will continue to do so here on my blog and on Twitter (@annemarieinsf).
First you will need a crypto wallet.
Your wallet is your portal to the decentralized web. But, what exactly is it?
Wallets might seem like complicated new tech at first, but using them is similar to simply sending an email or adding a file to a folder. Let’s think of the blockchain as a community-owned cloud storage service. Within this cloud, you have your own digital folder. And like any digital folder, this one has a name.
This digital folder is your crypto wallet, and its name is your public key.
Your public key, which appears as a long string of letters and numbers, acts similar to an email address. Instead of sending and receiving emails, though, your wallet is used to send, receive, and store digital assets like NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Anyone who knows your public key can send a digital asset directly to your wallet. In the same way it is generally safe to give someone your email address, it is safe to give someone your public key.
Now that you know what a wallet is, you’re probably thinking, “where do I get one?” MetaMask is the most popular one that interacts with the Ethereum blockchain. It’s super easy to use and has a Chrome plugin. Go to metamask.io and sign up to get a wallet.
You can either transfer money from a crypto currency exchange platform like Coinbase or you can buy through Wyre, Transak or a direct deposit.
You can move your NFTs to your wallet.
Another wallet is Phantom. It’s a popular wallet for Solano marketplaces. The cool thing about Solano is that the gas fees are way lower than on the Ethereum blockchain. Phantom has a Chrome plugin too: phantom.app
At one point it is a good idea to invest in an external wallet like Trezor or Ledger, to keep your crypto currencies and NFTs safe.
Crypto Exchange Platforms
If you are in America, Coinbase is a reputable cryptocurrency exchange platform. With a Coinbase account, you can purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and even Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB). And lots more. If you sign up using this referral link, we both receive $10 in Bitcoin when you buy or sell $100 or more (on Coinbase): https://www.coinbase.com/join/ward_yf5
I found a great app to keep track of profits and losses on Coinbase — It’s called CoinTracker. Not only does CoinTracker show the percentage increases and decreases (which Coinbase doesn’t do), apparently it also has a nifty tax option where it gives cost basis & capital gains. CoinTracker has a free version and you can sign up using this referral link: https://www.cointracker.io/i/xmomdo1LECGC
Some coins are not found on Coinbase. And, Coinbase isn’t available in every country. An alternative cryptocurrency exchange platform is KuCoin. Its interface is not as simple as Coinbase. It gives candle charts and a lot more options, like Coinbase Pro does. I still have yet to figure out all the features. If you’d like to sign up for KuCoin, head over to this referral link: https://www.kucoin.com/ucenter/signup?rcode=r3L6S5J
Lastly, check out the Learning section on Coinbase. You can earn coins if you watch short (interesting) videos.
Apps & Sites
One iPhone app I really like for creating watchlists is CoinMarketCap. They have lists of top performing crypto currencies as well as a list of airdrops
. I’ve been playing their rewards and collecting diamonds every day. Check them out using this referral link: https://coinmarketcap.com/invite?ref=GUV5092T
We will both get 20 diamonds when you accumulate 100 diamonds. Once you have a certain number of diamonds, you can claim rewards.
Eventually you will use and you may want an account on Etherscan.io. According to an article on Yahoo!:
Etherscan was created to facilitate blockchain transparency and accessibility, Etherscan is the go-to resource for users wishing to discover, verify and approve transactions that have taken place on the Ethereum blockchain.
Etherscan is known as Ethereum’s leading “block explorer”. It is essentially a search engine that lets users look up, confirm and validate transactions on the Ethereum decentralized smart contracts platform. By entering an address into the search box, you can view the balance, value and all the transactions made through that address.
Etherscan is not wallet service provider, it does not store people’s private keys and it has no control over the transactions that take place over the Ethereum network. It is also unable to troubleshoot transaction failures.
What can Etherscan be used for?
Users can register and create an account in Etherscan. Normal users can add an address to the “watch list” and be notified by email for an incoming transfer transaction. Developers can access a set of API services that can be used to either build decentralized applications or serve as data feeds for Ethereum blockchain information.
Since Etherscan doesn’t provide wallet services or have access to your private keys, addresses on the watch list can only be used for portfolio tracking or monitoring. To send or transfer Ether or tokens from your account, you’ll need a compatible wallet such as Ethereum Wallet, Parity Waller, MyEtherWallet or Metamask.
Exploring Ethereum addresses
You can use Etherscan to search all transaction histories, including token transfer and contract execution, of any address at Etherscan.io. You simply paste an address into the search bar and the address details will appear.
You are going to want to hop over to Unstoppable Domains or another place to buy domain names that end in .nft, .crypto, .x, etc. The reason I chose Unstoppable Domains over ENS is that there are no renewal fees, ever. Here’s the referral link to get your domain names: https://unstoppabledomains.com/?ref=daf8d4bc126b40e
Their competitor ens.domains
offers domain names ending in .eth. Their domain names need to be re-registered every year.
If you are interested in earning high interest rates on your coins, check out this referral link for Nexo: https://nexo.io/ref/6hrl4jc7ro?src=web-link
They say “For every friend who tops up $100 or more, we’ll reward both of you with $25 in BTC.”
>>MATIC earns 20% interest
>>AVAX earns 17% interest
>>NEXO Token earns 12% interest
What you can do is send currency from Coinbase to Nexo. And then sit back and watch your money grow 😉
You may have heard gaming is taking off. Giancarlo loves tokens is a great YouTube Channel if you want to be plugged into the crypto & NFT scene. He was a stock analyst for the gaming industry and focuses a lot on popular games that are coming out. You can check Giancarlo out on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPC2iE2Yuj20m5Dimn-vVBg
Gala Games is one of the biggest in the scene. You can sign up using this referral link: https://gala.fan/IaB3bDSGI
The referral code is: 61a2e6365b560c0774d6fa64
Other popular games you might want to look into include:
There are several places you can mint NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Some of the most popular ones are:
And then there’s secondary markets like:
The most popular marketplace for NFTs that you can purchase with Solano is:
And there is a well-known marketplace for buying fractions of NFTs:
Note that you will be charged gas fees for the processing of the transaction. ETH gas fees are getting high and that is why people are favoring Solano.
Giancarlo has great suggestions on which NFTs to keep an eye out on. He has a beat on this space altogether.
It’s interesting how Mark Zuckerburg and Vitalik Buterin both came out with impressions about metaverse around the same time. We are moving fast into a world where reality and virtual reality are combining. Check out this video explaining Vitalik’s vision of a metaverse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdBpE6FDw9k
Which crypto currencies should you keep an eye out on? Who knows. They are highly volatile and their prices fluctuate rapidly. This is a good thing when you buy low and sell high. But not so good if you bought on a high and suddenly the market drops. The best thing to do is keep an eye out for what’s happening with BTC and ETH. Oh, and tweets from Elon Musk, who ends up driving some of the shit coins up at times.
Talking about shit coins, since its conception SHIB has gone up +2,426,891%. I read that if you invested $1 when it got started, that you would be a millionaire. Crazy, right?
Here are other coins that have done really well since their inception:
Other coins you might want to start researching include: AVAX, SAND, NU, DOT, COTI, CRO and AMP. Keep in mind that most of the ones listed in this section aren’t stable. My friend who runs a hedgefund in the city for millionaires says only buy BTC and ETH via Coinbase. I have a less conservative take on this whole scene and say dive into these other crypto currencies and see what happens. But that’s me.
One aspect that’s so beautiful about this space is that people and the groups behind projects are truly interested in creating a community. And many projects include in their smart contracts ways they are going to give back to the community.
The two most popular social platforms where you can find out about the latest news is Twitter and Discord. Follow people like Pak, Larva Labs, Art Blocks and GOOP Troop.
And be super duper careful of scammers!!! I’ve run across two in my fairly limited time in the scene.
There’s a ton of great videos on YouTube where you can learn about crypto currencies, NFTs, blockchain, metaverse, smart contracts, ERC-1155, etc.
My favorite channels are:
Other channels that I learn from include: DeFi Tutorials with DeFi Dad, Dapp University, Brandon’s Drawings, Simply Explained
And here’s some words and phrases to keep you in the know by @punk6529:
Ser – means “sir.” It is a way to respectfully introduce oneself or perhaps share an alternative point of view
Fren – means “friend.” Because we are all friends here on a happy mission quest together
GMI / WAGMI – “Gonna Make It” / “We All Gonna Make It.” The happy future state when everyone understands our JPGs the way we do.
“MOMA just bought a punk. WAGMI”
NGMI – Not Going To Make It. Best used in a self-deprecating way about one’s own personal bad decisions
“Sold a Fidenza for 5ETH. NGMI”
McDonald’s – Our backup career plan in case the NGMI scenario comes true
“Sold a Fidenza for 5ETH. Applying now to McDonald’s”
LL – Larvalabs, the creators of punks, autoglyphs and meebits
“LL rarely tweets”
AB – ArtBlocks, the most important platform for generative art in the world, that has three collections: “Curated” (ABC), “Playground” and “Factory”
“Her ABC collection is”
Generative Art – art that is algorithmically generated, ideally in real-time when minted.
“She is a bright new star in gen art”
PFP – Profile Picture. The punks, apes, cats, dogs, skeletons and so on, that we all use in our proto-metaverse of Twitter and Discord.
“That golden snail PFP is sick”
Looks rare – rarity is often a driver of value in this space. Used ironically.
[posts picture of steak]
Cope – the opposite of FOMO. Failing to buy an NFT because one is coping with one’s earlier error of not FOMOing at 1/10th the price.
“I know Golden Snails are up 50x and heading to Christie’s, but I didn’t like the launch so staying out”
“OK, LOL, cope”
1:1 Art – art where each piece is unique (1 of 1). This can be thought in contract to PFP and Generative Art collections that range from 200 to 10,000 pieces typically.
“1:1 szn is coming soon”
Szn – means season which means market cycle. Crypto szns are accelerated IRL seasons. NFT szns are accelerated crypto seasons. Might last as little as 1-4 weeks.
IRL – In Real Life, otherwise known as the world beyond OpenSea, Twitter and Discord. It is not recommended to spend too much time there. IRL does not have sufficiently good JPGs.
Probably Nothing – “probably nothing” means “probably something”. It is the polite way to FOMO, with just barely some plausible deniability.
“Visa bought a punk. Probably nothing”
Up Only – Originally popularized by @CryptoCobain
for ETH this year (I believe).
It is everyone’s desired direction of NFT prices, certainly preferable to the less popular alternative of “Down Only”
Liquidity – available ETH to buy JPGs. This is an impossible state of being. Any available ETH converts into JPGs immediately so everyone is a state of perpetual illiquidity.
Mint – the act of initially issuing a piece of art on the blockchain, either by the artist or the collector.
“Wow, beautiful picture. Mint it!”
HEN – an absolutely infuriating marketplace for art issued on the Tezos blockchain that combines: a) huge amounts of interesting and inexpensive NFTs and b) the worst UI made by any marketplace website in decades
1/1 of X – the way to think about PFP and gen art collections.
Punks are 1/1 of 10,000. Fidenzas are 1/1 of 999.
Each one is unique, but they belong to a coherent whole collection in contrast to 1:1 art.
Right Click Save As – every non-NFT person’s first “gotcha” move when learning about NFTs – demonstrating their vast technical capacity to download an image from a web browser.
Civilian: “I Right Click Saved 6529 and now it is my PFP”
6529: “Go right ahead”
This is the way – a way to commend socially positive behavior
“She never shilled her project”
“This is the way”
Floor Price – the lowest available asking price on OpenSea / Larvalabs/etc either for a collection as a whole or for a subset of the collection.
“Golden Snails have hit a 3ETH Floor, but Golden Snail Nerd Glasses are 12ETH floor this morning”
OG – original gangster. First become popular through 1990s hiphop, the super-Lindy term just flows through community after community. It means the folks who were here early and earned respect.
“He is an OG punk holder”
Alpha – term from the investing/hedge fund community representing the outperformance generated by the skill of the asset manager vs beta (the market’s performance). Most people’s alpha IRL and in crypto is beta in disguise.
“She dropping serious alpha today”
Its Money Laundering – this is meant to suggest that NFT prices are not real because people are using NFTs to money launder. The exact mechanism of how this works in highly liquid markets is never described.
This is a specific form of IRL and crypto twitter coping about NFTs
JPGs – JPGs refers to our NFTs that might be JPGs or GIFs or PNGs or audio files or video files or computer games.
It is reclaiming a cope/insult for the community given many normies think “but you are just buying JPGs, are you mad?”
“They will never steal our JPGs”
Whales – Big collectors
DYOR – do your own research
DeFi – decentralized finance – anything having to do with moving traditional financial services to the blockchain, like exchanges, lending, and payment processing.
Stake – to lock up your tokens for a set amount of time, usually with the goal of earning more tokens as interest, and/or to become a node in a proof-of-stake network
DAO – decentralized autonomous organization – code that runs by itself when certain rules are met. Code is law (this is very simplified and worth a deeper dive).
Goat – Greatest of all time – “Crypto Punks are the goat NFT”. Unless it’s an actual set of NFT goats… probably literally a goat in that case.
Shill – promoting a project to get eyes on it in a tactless manner. Imagine 10k people watching a Cancer Foundations livestream and some guy in the chat keeps spamming
“Elon Muskrat NFTs gonna MOOOOOOOOON!” That guy is shilling.
Swap – swapping one token or coin for another, usually via a DEX (decentralized exchange) like Uniswap.
Burn – tokens are permanently removed from the circulating supply, thus making the remaining supply more limited.