Go to http://coinmarketcap.com/ a for a list of crypto currencies, including tokens, ranked by market caps. (There are over a thousand.)
Reminder: tokens are digital currencies that sit on top of other crypto currencies. The first and most famous such platform is Ethereum.
Coinmarketcap offers a price chart for each coin which includes volume.
From there, visit the website of an individual coin. Read the white paper. Maybe look for Youtube interviews with the founders.
Next, look to communities for latest news. I personally use two. For most coins, you can go to reddit.com/r/<nameofcoin>. And then there’s the good old Bitcointalk.org. Most coins have an announcement thread followed by pages and pages of forum discussions and updates.
Lastly, if you really want to get into it, many coins have some chat — often on the Telegram or Slack. You can sometimes speak directly with key people there.
bout Initial Coin Offerings
From the NY Times: “Initial coin offerings have come out of nowhere in 2017 to become the talk of Silicon Valley and Wall Street. Programmers have raised over $3.2 billion this year by selling their own virtual currencies to investors. That is 3,000 percent more than the amount raised using coin offerings in 2016.”
Initial coin offerings are way for teams of software developers and entrepreneurs to bypassing gigantic investment infrastructres (and legal requirements!)
Continue reading “What Are ICOs?”
Read about technologies on bitcointalk.org, reddit, or elsewhere before trying it.
I’ve heard good things about hardware wallets, and would feel comfortable using one of the popular ones, like Trezor.
I have a lot of confidence in the Electrum wallet, which can live on your computer, and in the Blockchain.info wallet, which lives online, and you connect to it through a web browser.
If you use an online wallet enable two-factor authentication, so that your coins aren’t vulnerable to a stolen password.
For small amounts, it’s okay to leave coins on the exchange where you bought them. But know that exchanges are notorious for getting hacked or shut down — though the bigger ones (Kraken, Bitfinex, BitStamp, CEX) seem to have their act together.
For medium sized amounts, consider getting a dedicated computer. Install a clean operating system on that device, and only use it for your biggest investments. Do NOT experiment with any obscure crypto currencies on that device. And do not use for anything except your significant crytpo finances.
For large amounts, use an off-line paper wallet. Practice creating and recovering one first. Electrum allows you to do this for Bitcoin. It gives you a 12-word seed that can generate your private keys. So you install Electrum, record the 12 words, save one or more addresses, erase the wallet, then send anything you want to the addresses, and you can recover it at a future date using the 12 word seed.
Bitcoin is open source. That means the code is available in a human-readable format. A good programmer, or team of programmers can study it and see exactly how it works. Most commercial software is not open source. It is only available to you in machine-readable format, so you don’t know precisely how it works.
Openness is another reason to believe in the efficacy of crypto currencies.
Continue reading “Beginner Breadcrumbs #2 – Clones and Forks”
What is Bitcoin?
– Decentralized digital money.
– The first and most popular use of a blockchain (as money).
What is a Blockchain?
My favorites definition comes from Etherum founder Vitalik Buterin:
– A distributed accounting system of digital tokens so secure that not even state actors can interfere with it.
Bitcoin represents 55% of the value of all crypto currencies (ie blockchain based digital tokens). The % is dropping, though the price keeps increasing — which tells you how quickly some of the others are gaining steam.
What can a Blockchain do?
Continue reading “Beginner Breadcrumbs #1 What and why blockchain?”