Here, we give you bonus content that we couldn’t fit in the book. Explore crypto’s basic components, real-world-use cases for blockchain, what to consider before investing in cryptos, important reminders to keep you safe on the blockchain, how to determine which crypto is profitable to mine, and several resources to help you learn even more about the wide world of cryptocurrencies.
The basic components of cryptocurrency
The following sections take a look at how the basic components of cryptocurrency fit together.
What’s in a wallet?
The wallet is where everything begins as far as your cryptocurrency is concerned. When you create a wallet file, the wallet software will create a private key. That private key is used to create a public key, and the public key is used to create an address. The address has never before existed in the blockchain and still doesn’t exist in the blockchain yet.
After you have an address, you have a way to store cryptocurrency. You can give the address to someone from whom you’re buying cryptocurrency or an exchange, for example, and they can send the cryptocurrency to that address — in other words, they send a message to the blockchain saying, “Send x amount of crypto to address x.” Now the address exists in the blockchain, and it has cryptocurrency associated with it.
A wallet program is a messaging program that stores your keys and addresses in a wallet file. The wallet program does these primary things:
- It retrieves data from the blockchain about your transactions and balance.
- It sends messages to the blockchain transferring your crypto from your addresses to other addresses, such as when you make a purchase using your cryptocurrency.
- It creates addresses you can give to other people when they need to send cryptocurrency to you.
Private keys create public keys
The private key in your wallet is used to create the public key that is used to unencrypt your messages sent to the blockchain. Private keys must be kept private; anyone with access to the private key has access to your money in the blockchain.
Public keys create blockchain addresses
Public keys are also used to create addresses. The first time an address is used, someone’s wallet software sends a message to the blockchain saying “Send x amount of cryptocurrency to address x from address y.” Until this point, the address did not exist in the blockchain. After the wallet software has sent the message, though, the address is in the blockchain, and money is associated with it.
The private key controls the address
The private key controlling the address is a hugely critical concept in cryptocurrency, and people who lose access to their cryptocurrency, or have their cryptocurrency stolen, don’t understand this. Make sure you protect your private keys! Don’t lose them, and don’t let other people discover them!
A fork occurs when one cryptocurrency splits into two. That is, the network nodes fall out of consensus, and a copy is made of the cryptocurrency software, a change is made to the copy, and the two different software sets then build separate blockchains.
For example, in January 2015, a copy of the DASH code, named DNET (DarkNet), was made. Both DASH and DNET then continued development as separate cryptocurrencies, and DNET was later renamed PIVX (Private Instant Verified Transaction).
What can blockchain be used for?
The creation of the blockchain technology has piqued a lot of people’s interest, yet, no one knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is. That’s the person who’s credited with inventing blockchain in 2008.
Blockchain’s original intent was Bitcoin. Or, perhaps, Nakamoto used Bitcoin as a tool to introduce blockchain to the masses. Regardless, people soon realized blockchain technology can be used for different purposes, like identity verification and storing medical records.
This list highlights how a few different categories can use blockchain and, more importantly, how the cryptocurrency market uses it.
Payments: Money transferring was the first and most popular usage of the blockchain technology. For more than 40 years, economists have been seeking the holy grail of a digital currency that can eliminate the problem of double-spending and circumvent the issue of needing to trust an unknown third party. Most payments processed over a blockchain can be settled within a matter of seconds.
Voting: Voting fraud has been an ongoing theme in democratic, and not-so-democratic, countries. Digital voting through the blockchain can offer enough transparency that anyone would be able to see whether something were changed on the network. It combines the ease of digital voting with the security of blockchain to make your vote truly count.
Supply chain monitoring: Are you one of those people who must know where their food comes from? Is it organic, kosher, halal? Is there a food-borne illness you need to be aware of immediately? With the help of the blockchain, you can trace your food from its origin to your plate. It can help you make ethical, healthy choices about things you buy.
Blockchain can also help consumers view how products performed from a quality-control perspective as they traveled from their place of origin to the retailer. Furthermore, it can help businesses pinpoint their inefficiencies within their supply chains quickly. The blockchain removes the paper-based trails and locates items in real time.
Identity verification: This is an era where people are stuck between their digital identity and their actual physical presence. Credit agencies and social networks like Facebook and Instagram act as the main gatekeepers for online identity. Meanwhile, consumers are longing for a reliable digital identity system to maintain credit records and prove who they are to employers, banks, or car rental companies without letting private corporations make money from selling their data.
To overcome this challenge, many companies are already using blockchain technology and creating a secure digital identification system that would give users a way to control their digital identities.
Legal ownership of stuff: You can get into legal trouble in so many ways, such as family disputes, lost legal paperwork, or lost assets that aren’t easily traceable. Most people’s assets are currently documented on paper. And blockchain is hard at work to keep paper, and all the middlemen attached to it, out of the way.
So, if you’re buying or selling land, a house, or a car, the blockchain can store titles on its network, allowing for a transparent view of this transfer and legal ownership.
Additionally, if your high-value, portable assets, like bikes, jet skis, luxury handbags, and so on, are stolen, you may be able to trace them back using companies who are working on providing such blockchain-based services.
Health care: One major problem with medical records has been paper record keeping, which the medical sector (at least in the United States) has been trying to move away from for years.
Another issue has been medical identity theft. In the United States alone, the National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association estimates the loss owing to health care fraud to be about $80 billion annually.
Blockchain to the rescue. All medical information related to a patient — such as past and present ailments, treatments, and family history of medical problems — will be stored on the blockchain. This approach will make every record permanent, transferable, and accessible, which will prevent the medical records from being lost or modified. Additionally, the patient, who possesses the key to access these digital records, will be in control of who gains access to that data.
Entertainment: It’s not all dull around the block. The many branches of the entertainment industry can benefit from blockchain technology if they haven’t already started. The music and esports (competitive video gaming) industries are a couple of examples.
The internet democratized content creation in the early 2000s, but a new type of middleman has emerged in digital content. Platforms like YouTube (1.5 billion users), SoundCloud (175 million), Spotify (140 million), and Netflix (around 110 million) are now the middlemen controlling users and artists.
This amount of control has caused a ton of disputes around artists’ compensation. Even someone as famous as Taylor Swift had to go at it with Apple Music and Spotify. As artists grow increasingly disillusioned with such platforms, blockchain technology can be an exciting new option.
The blockchain can give label companies the ability to have completely encrypted records of ownership. When applied to media consumption, the technology can solve the problems surrounding content access, distribution, compensation, managing assets, and digital rights, among others.
Energy: Using blockchain, people can trade energy among themselves, cutting out the energy companies (yep, the middleman.) According to RenewableEnergyWorld.com, “this shift (to peer-to-peer distribution of energy) will stimulate more renewable energy projects as a whole, ultimately forwarding our transition from carbon-emitting electricity generation. Tokenizing renewable energy allows wind, solar, and hydro producers to seamlessly connect with investors, who are willing to pay upfront for the right to consume renewable energy. As a distributed system, the middleman is removed.”
Internet of things (IoT): Internet of things (IoT) is a concept explaining that most of your stuff is connected to the internet. For example, we can control almost everything in our house, from bedside lamps to air conditioning to the microwave oven, and even the baby’s crib, through the internet!
Besides acting as a control freak, the internet of things helps you send and receive data within the network of your physical devices. If you can directly integrate your physical world into computer-based systems, you may be able to reduce human exertions and improve your efficiency.
According to an article in the IEEE Internet Initiative eNewsletter, “IoT capabilities are considered as ‘game-changing’ when combined with the concepts of big data analytics and cloud computing” (other hot topics of the tech world). Put it next to blockchain, and you may be taking the true next step into the future.
Considerations before getting started with cryptos
Are you ready to try cryptocurrency investing? Here we highlight some of the most important things to think about before starting your crypto investing journey:
- Don’t get too excited: Starting to explore a whole new world is always exciting. Starting early can also sometimes get you ahead of the crowd. However, just like any type of investment avenue, cryptocurrency investing requires discipline, risk management, and a whole lot of patience. You shouldn’t treat crypto investing as a get-rich-quick scheme.
- Measure your risk tolerance: Is crypto investing right for you? How much of your money should you invest in this market? Can you stomach high volatility? Do you have the patience to wait out potential storms? You can find the answer to all these questions by measuring your risk tolerance. This essential first step to any type of investment includes both your willingness to risk and your ability to risk.
- Protect your crypto wallet: A crypto wallet is where you store your digital assets, like Bitcoin; you have to have one before you buy a cryptocurrency. So many different types of wallets are available, some of which come from the cryptocurrency exchanges that sell you the cryptos. (But those aren’t the most secure types of wallets, and they’ve often been the victims of hacking attacks that resulted in the loss of cryptos.)
- Find the best crypto exchange/broker for you: Some of the most popular places to get your hands on cryptocurrencies are exchanges and brokers. Some of these marketplaces offer only a few cryptocurrencies, and some carry a wide range. Some have higher transaction fees. Some have better customer service. Some have a better security reputation.
With some, you can exchange your fiat currency (which is the local currency of your country, like the U.S. dollar) for cryptocurrencies. With others, you must already have a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, and exchange it for other digital assets, like Ripple or Litecoin.
To find the best crypto exchange or broker, you must go through all these options and see which one fits your crypto needs most. Keep in mind that you might be better off using multiple exchanges for different purposes.
- Decide to invest short term or long term: The time frame you invest in depends on your risk tolerance, your financial goals, your current financial situation, and the amount of time you have on your hands. For example, if you have a full-time job that requires most of your attention, you don’t want to worry about short-term management of your crypto portfolio, or any other asset for that matter. Investing long term also requires less risk-taking.
- Start small: If you’re just testing the waters and don’t have a solid financial plan, don’t dump a whole chunk of money into the market. Start with a few hundred dollars, or whatever you can afford, and slowly grow your portfolio.
Also, don’t use your money to invest in only one type of crypto. If you’re new to investing in anything, don’t allocate all your investment funds to cryptos, either. Diversification is key until you find your sweet spot, especially for new investors.
- Follow the cause: Many cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain applications that aim to solve a specific problem in the world or in society. Blockchain applications can provide a solution to almost any problem that’s close to your heart, from banking the under-banked to preventing voter fraud to helping out farmers.
By investing in the cryptocurrency of a blockchain application whose cause appeals to you, you support that cause in achieving its goals faster.
- Explore investing in other assets first: If you’ve never invested in anything, you may find the whole cryptocurrency industry a bit overwhelming. Educating yourself about developing investment strategies while also learning about a financial sector you’ve never had any personal experience with can be difficult. In this case, you may consider starting by investing in things you know, like the stocks of a company you’re already familiar with.
After you become comfortable investing in things you know, you can then expand your portfolio to new vehicles like cryptocurrencies.
Rules to never break on the blockchain
Here we dig into what to consider while working with blockchain technology and the cryptocurrencies that run them. And remember: Always consult your CPA and attorney before making financial decisions. This technology is new, and the rules that govern it are not fully developed.
Don’t use cryptocurrency or blockchains to skirt the law
The legality and the legal zoning of cryptocurrencies are still fluctuating in many places of the world. In short, don’t do anything with cryptocurrency and blockchains that would be illegal to do with real money. Here are three very silly questions that we get asked frighteningly often:
- Can I use cryptocurrency as a way to hide money? This idea is a dangerous one.
Blockchains keep records of all transactions forever, so even if you think you came up with a clever way to hide some tokens, those looking for bad behavior have time to find it.
- Can I use blockchains as a way to smuggle money out of my country? Many countries have limitations on the funds citizens can take out of the country. You don’t want to do this for the reason just mentioned: Blockchains keep records of all transactions forever.
- Can I use cryptocurrency to buy illicit goods? The answer is — you guessed it — no! Blockchains keep a trail of your actions forever! Even law enforcement that stole Bitcoin from the infamous Silk Road marketplace got caught.
Keep your contracts as simple as possible
Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), smart contracts, and chaincode are all the rage at the moment. The promise of cutting administration and legal cost is very enticing to many corporations.
A sometimes overlooked characteristic of this technology is that it is just code. That means that there is no human being interpreting the rules that you’ve laid out for everyone to follow. The code becomes law, and the law only stretches to what is incorporated into the blockchain contract. The “fat” that was cut can sometimes be very important.
There is no one to interpret the code. That means that if the code is executed in a fashion that you did not expect, there is also no one to enforce the intent of the contract. The code is law and nothing unlawful occurred. That’s why you should keep your contracts simple and modular in nature to contain and predict the outcomes of contract fulfillment. It’s also a good idea to have your contract tested and beaten up even by other developers who are incentivized to break it.
The reach of the blockchain you’re building your project on matters, too. You can think of it like jurisdictions. Sure, a smart contract can execute on outside data, but the smart contract cannot demand funds from accounts that they do not have access to. That means that all the value must be set aside in some manner, which may encumber cash flow.
Another thing to think about is the source of information that your contract uses to execute against. If it’s weather data for an insurance contract, do you trust and agree on the source? Is it possible to manipulate the source data? A lot of thought should go into the oracle source before implementation. When building a smart contract keep in mind that your data channels may be dynamic. For example, APIs are updated frequently, and if your contract is calling one that has changed it may break your smart contract.
Publish with great caution
The whole point of blockchains is that once data is put in, it’s hard to take it out. That means that what you put in will be around for a long time. If you publish encrypted sensitive information, you need to be okay with the fact that the encrypted data may one day be broken and what you published may be readable to anyone.
As yourself these questions before you publish:
- Would I be comfortable with this information being decrypted at some point?
- Am I comfortable sharing this information for all eternity with anyone who wants to review it?
- Is this data harmful to a third party and something that I could be liable for if published?
There is work being done in cryptography to make quantum proof encryption, but because both quantum computing and quantum proof encryption are still in the testing phase, it’s difficult to say what the technology will be capable of 20 years from now.
Back up, back up, back up your private keys
Blockchains are very unforgiving creatures. They don’t care if you lost your private keys or passwords. Many a crypto nerd has been laid bare and given up countless tokens to the great blockchain oceans — treasure that will never be recovered.
The private keys that control your cryptocurrency often live inside your wallets, so it’s important to protect and secure them. Heed these tips to help keep your keys and crypto safe:
- Be careful with online services that store your money for you. Many cryptocurrency exchanges and online wallets have had their funds stolen.
- Do not take a screenshot or image and store it on the cloud. This is the same thing as sending yourself an email. Whatever you do, do not do this. It will compromise your keys.
- Plan ahead, so your loved ones can access your keys should something happen to you. A healthy 30-year-old CEO of a cryptocurrency exchange died and locked up $190 million worth of assets because he did not have a succession plan.
- Don’t overlook Bluetooth connectivity as a hidden door to your cold storage. Make sure your device is completely inaccessible from the Internet.
- Only store small amounts of tokens for everyday use online or in an Internet-accessible device. Think of cryptocurrency wallets like your cash wallet. Don’t keep more money in it than you’re willing to lose at any given time. (More than a hundred known malware applications are looking to get ahold of your private keys and steal your tokens.)
- Keep the rest of your currency in cold storage — completely offline with zero access to the Internet. This could be in a paper wallet, on a computer that can’t access the Internet, or in a unique hardware device built for securing cryptocurrency.
- If you choose to use a paper wallet to secure your cryptocurrency, laminate it and make copies. Also keep in mind that printers often have access to the internet and their data can be retrieved by third parties. The truly paranoid only use printers that have no access to the web. Keep your paper wallet copies in different locations such as a bank vault and a secure location in your home.
- Back up your digital wallets and store them in a safe place. A backup is in case your computer fails, or you make a mistake and delete the wrong file. The backup will allow you to recover your wallet in case your device was corrupted or stolen.
Also, don’t forget to encrypt your wallet. Encrypting your wallet allows you to set a password for withdrawing tokens. Encryption is a helpful measure to protect you against thieves, but it can’t shield you against keylogging software.
- Always use a secure password that contains letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and is at least 16 characters long. The most secure passwords are those generated by programs designed specifically for that purpose. Strong passwords are harder to remember. You might consider writing down your password and laminating it like your private keys. There are limited password recovery options within cryptocurrency, and a forgotten password could mean lost tokens.
Triple-check the address before sending currency
As soon as the money is out of your wallet, it’s gone forever, and there is no way to get it back. There are no chargebacks and you can’t call customer support. Your money is gone, which is why we recommend that you triple-check the wallet address before sending. You want to make sure you’re sending it to the right address. Also double-check the address even if you copy and paste it. (There is malicious software out there that can swap your addresses for Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V commands.)
Take care when using exchanges
Cryptocurrency exchanges are central points that hackers like to target to steal tokens. They’re seen as pots of gold just ripe for the picking, and more than 150 of them have been compromised. Use these tips:
- Research the exchange you’re using to see what security measures it has in place.
- Two-factor authentication is critical. You may also consider setting up a secret phrase with your telecom provider to help prevent social engineering. You don’t want to be the victim of a SIM card swap. Your phone number doesn’t have to be your backup; Google and several other companies also offer a two-factor authentication option (check out the Google Authenticator app).
- Use exchanges only to move your funds in and out. Don’t use the exchange as a place to store value. Instead, hold significant amounts of crypto in cold storage or in a laminated paper wallet with several copies.
If your router wasn’t set up correctly, it’s possible for someone to see a log of all your activity. Also, when you’re on an unsecured or public portal, you may also be exposed to malware. You must assume that the owner of the network can see your activity.
Only use trusted Wi-Fi networks and make sure you’ve changed the password on your router to something as secure as a password. Most Wi-Fi router passwords are set to a factory default of “admin” and can easily be taken over by a third party.
Identify your blockchain dev
Blockchain technology is new, and there just aren’t that many people who have a lot of experience when it comes to building blockchain applications.
If you’re thinking about hiring a developer to help you with a project, check out their profile on GitHub and see what work they’ve done before you get started. They may not need to be experienced with blockchain specifically, but if they aren’t, they should be a very experienced developer outside of the blockchain world.
There aren’t many resources out there yet to help developers when they get stuck. Inexperienced developers may struggle, and at this point, most are inexperienced and will take longer to develop your application.
Don’t get suckered
The blockchain industry as a whole does not have the same protection and security measures that banks and other financial institutions have, and there are not the same laws for your protection and financial welfare. If you get robbed or conned, you may not be able to turn to anyone for help.
When you’re looking at developing a project and trying to decide if it’s worth the investment, always take a minute and make sure it even makes sense. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there real value generated?
- Is the value created in the way that benefits you?
- Why hasn’t it been done already?
- Are there other more tested technologies that could be used to accomplish the same thing with the same efficiency or better?
Don’t trade tokens unless you know what you’re doing
Cryptocurrencies are very volatile and will swing wildly in value at any given time and sometimes for no discernable reason. Many of the cryptocurrencies have little depth, and trading large amounts can crash the market value. Working with public blockchains means that you’ll likely need to hold some amount of the currency to utilize them.
Don’t get caught up in trading the tokens unless you take the time to understand the market well. A good general rule is if you haven’t traded traditional assets like stock before, be sure to take extra time to understand cryptocurrency.
You need to dive just as deep into it as you would to learn about the stock market before you get started. If you do choose to trade the tokens and cryptocurrencies, don’t forget to report this activity to your accountant. You may need to report your gains or losses on your income tax return.
The mining profitability of different cryptos
Some tech junkies mine just for the heck of it, but at the end of the day, most people mine cryptos with making a profit in mind. Even if you fall in the former group, you may as well get a reward for your efforts.
Mining profitability can change drastically based on cryptocurrency value, mining difficulty, electricity rates, and hardware prices at the time you’re setting up your mining system. Use mining profitability tools to consider which cryptocurrency to mine and when thinking about expanding.
Even if mining isn’t profitable at any given time, your cryptos can be worth a lot in the future if the coin value surges. But remember, mining cryptos that have low profitability at the moment means you’re taking an investment risk.
Here are a couple of popular profitability tools:
As cryptocurrencies become more mainstream and more investors allocate a higher percentage of their portfolios to digital assets, you can expect traditional financial media to cover crypto-related topics more often.
In addition to sites dedicated to cryptocurrencies and traditional outlets that cover cryptocurrencies, you can explore plenty of other resources with information about cryptos: reddit pages focused on a particular crypto, tools to compare cryptocurrencies, white papers, and more.
Here’s a list of crypto-specific news sites:
- AMB Crypto: https://ambcrypto.com
- Bitcoinist: https://bitcoinist.com/
- Bitcoin Magazine: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/
- Blockonomi: https://blockonomi.com
- CCN (Crypto Coins News): www.ccn.com/
- CoinDesk: www.coindesk.com/
- CoinGape: https://coingape.com/
- CoinGeek: https://coingeek.com/
- CoinJournal: https://coinjournal.net
- Cointelegraph: https://cointelegraph.com/
- Coin Insider: www.coininsider.com/
- Crypto Briefing: https://cryptobriefing.com/
- Crypto Daily: https://cryptodaily.co.uk/
- Crypto Vibes: www.cryptovibes.com/
- Cryptolithy: https://cryptolithy.com/
- Ethereum World News: https://ethereumworldnews.com/
- NewsBTC: www.newsbtc.com/
- Ripple News: https://ripplenews.tech/
- Smartereum: https://smartereum.com
- The Daily HODL: https://dailyhodl.com/
These are traditional news sites that offer crypto updates:
- Bloomberg: www.bloomberg.com
- CNBC: www.cnbc.com/
- Forbes: www.forbes.com/crypto-blockchain/#1c35cd8b2b6e
- Market Watch: www.marketwatch.com/
- Wall Street Journal: www.wsj.com
- Yahoo! Finance: https://finance.yahoo.com/
Cryptocurrency Live Market Data
Many cryptocurrency news websites provide market data on a select page. However, some websites put most of their energy on providing live data. Here’s a list of such websites:
- CoinCap: https://coincap.io/
- CoinCheckup: https://coincheckup.com/
- CoinCodex: https://coincodex.com/
- CoinGecko: www.coingecko.com/en
- Coinlib: https://coinlib.io/
- CoinLore: www.coinlore.com/
- CoinMarketCap: https://coinmarketcap.com/
- Coinratecap: www.coinratecap.com/
- CryptoCompare: www.cryptocompare.com/coins/list/USD/1
- Live Coin Watch: www.livecoinwatch.com/
- OnChainFX: https://onchainfx.com/
Some websites are dedicated to delivering comparisons and alternative sources to resources you may already be familiar with. For example, if you’re looking to find an alternative to a crypto data source like CoinMarketCap, you can simply search that on these services’ sites to find the alternatives. Here’s the list of the top comparison service providers:
- AlternativeTo: https://alternativeto.net
- Finder: www.finder.com/cryptocurrency
- Product Hunt: www.producthunt.com
Cryptocurrency Reddit Pages
Reddit is among one of the top social media sites for cryptocurrency communities to discuss and debate the trending topics of the day. This is a list of some of the top cryptocurrency Reddit pages:
- r/Bitcoin: www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin
- r/Ethereum: www.reddit.com/r/ethereum
- r/BitcoinCash: www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoincash
- r/Litecoin: www.reddit.com/r/litecoin
- r/DashPay: www.reddit.com/r/dashpay
- r/ZEC: www.reddit.com/r/zec
- r/DogeCoin: www.reddit.com/r/dogecoin
Cryptocurrency White Papers
The Bitcoin and cryptocurrency explosion that has occurred over the past decade started with Satoshi Nakamoto’s release of his idea to the Cypherpunk Mailing List (archives found at http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki), some code, and an accompanying whitepaper.
Many cryptocurrencies were launched without whitepapers (Litecoin and Dogecoin, for example). You can search for others, but this list has links to some of the most popular cryptocurrency whitepapers:
- Bitcoin: https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
- Ethereum Original: https://web.archive.org/web/20140111180823/http://ethereum.org/ethereum.html
- Ethereum Updated: https://ethereum.org/en/whitepaper/
- ZCash: http://zerocash-project.org/media/pdf/zerocash-extended-20140518.pdf
- Monero: www.getmonero.org/library/Zero-to-Monero-1-0-0.pdf
Free Blockchain Resources
This list highlights several free resources available across the blockchain ecosystem that can help you stay informed and get involved in the community:
- Ethereum: Ethereum is an open-source crowdfunded project that built the Ethereum blockchains. It’s one of the most important projects in the space because it has pioneered building a programing language within a blockchain. Ethereum 101 (www.ethereum.org) is a website started by the members of the Ethereum community. It’s a curated repository for high-quality educational content about blockchain technology and the Ethereum network. Anthony D’Onofrio, Ethereum’s director of community, oversees the project.
- DigiKnow: DigiByte is a decentralized payment network inspired by Bitcoin. It allows you to move money over the internet and offers faster transactions and lower fees than Bitcoin. The network is also open to those who want to mine its native token. The founder of DigiByte, Jared Tate, created a video series on YouTube called DigiKnow, which teaches just about everything you need to know to utilize DigiByte. Here is a link to his first video, where he walks you through the basics of how blockchains work and how the DigiByte network adds value: https://youtu.be/scr6BzFddso.
- Blockchain University: Blockchain University is an educational website that teaches developers, manager, and entrepreneurs about the blockchain ecosystem. It offers public and private training programs, hackathons, and demo events. Its programs are solution-oriented design thinking and hands-on experiential training. You can find Blockchain University in Mountain View, California, or at https://theblockchainu.com and https://dlt.education.
- Bitcoin Core: Bitcoin Core (https://bitcoin.org) was originally used by Satoshi Nakamoto to host his whitepaper on Bitcoin protocol. It’s home to educational material on Bitcoin core protocol and downloadable versions of the original Bitcoin software. The site is dedicated to keeping Bitcoin decentralized and accessible to the average person. It’s a community-run project, and not all the content is managed by the core team. Keep this in mind while perusing the site.
- Blockchain Alliance (www.blockchainalliance.org): The Blockchain Alliance was founded by the Blockchain Chamber of Digital Commerce and the news organization Coincenter. It’s a public-private collaboration by the blockchain community, law enforcement, and regulators. They share a common goal to make the blockchain ecosystem more secure and to promote further development of technology. They do this by combat criminal activity on the blockchain by providing education, technical assistance, and periodic informational sessions regarding Bitcoin and other digital currencies and those utilize blockchain technology.
- HiveMind (http://bitcoinhivemind.com): Paul Sztorc founded Truthcoin, a peer-to-peer oracle system and prediction marketplace for Bitcoin. It utilizes a proof-of-work sidechain that stores data on the state of prediction markets. Bitcoin can support financial derivatives and smart contracts through HiveMind, the platform developed out of the Truthcoin whitepaper. Check out their resources and education materials at.
- Smith + Crown (https://www.smithandcrown.com): Smith + Crown is a blockchain research organization focusing on global trends, industry intelligence, and blockchain systems structure. They’ve created research tools to expand blockchain companies. Smith + Crown looks for impact, application, and accessibility. They’ve made most of their research publicly available and free of charge. You can take advantage of the research tools, countless reports, and databases of all noteworthy projects in the blockchain space. Smith + Crown are the researchers and advisors to several prominent blockchains and cryptocurrency advocacy groups, such as the Chamber for Digital Commerce, the Token Alliance, and Social Alpha.
- The Unchained and Unconfirmed Podcasts (https://unchainedpodcast.com): The Unchained and Unconfirmed podcasts feature amazing and up-to-date interviews with top industry folks in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Unchained is a weekly, hour-long podcast by Laura Shin, a former senior editor of Forbes and the first mainstream reporter to cover crypto assets full-time.
Unconfirmed is a weekly, 20-minute-long podcast focused on the week’s headlines. Shin does impressive and well-thought-out deep dives into the people and companies building the decentralized Internet. She can help you get a better understanding of regulation, security, and privacy issues that are inherent in blockchain technology.