Practical crypto n00b guide

1. Joined an exchange platform

Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange platform — allows anyone to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and many other currencies. Coinbase is a real company and a user friendly way to own crypto, available in many countries.

2. Got a wallet (or two)

Once I realized I want to play with the crypto-money, buying an NFT and all— I had to have a wallet. A wallet is a unique identifier and to access it, I need a browser extension or a mobile app that shows balances and let me approve transactions — very similarly to 2-factor authenticator apps.

3. VHS/Betamax of 2022*

(* for younger readers)

4. Bought my first “art”

NFT stands for non-fungible token. If you’re like me with a 300-word vocabulary, here’s an explanation: Tokens described above (BTC, ETH, SOL) are fungible — like cash is cash is cash, if I give you a Bitcoin, you can give me back a bitcoin from totally elsewhere and I’m still whole.

  1. Bought some ETH on a crypto exchange like Coinbase
  2. Transferred ETH to my wallet
  3. Went to opensea.io and clicked on the profile icon on the top right
  4. Logged in using my wallet
  5. It’s a website, looked around (here’s a search to get started)
  6. Once I fancied something, I clicked on “Buy now” and approve the transaction using my wallet. It took a (literal) minute for the transaction to process.

5. Heard some good gossip on twitter & discord

The above description has a crucial point missing: what do I buy? NFTs on Opensea are pieces that are already are on the blockchain and someone wants to sell them (for profit). What if… I wasn’t at the bottom of the pyramid game?

  1. I stumble upon a great crypto project on twitter (by sheer luck or following a list)
  2. I find the twitter handle running a new project, look at their profile and see a discord link
  3. I join the discord server and learn All Secrets that make me well informed and learn about events that allow me to mint (create new NFTs) for cheap. When I mint a new piece of NFT, the image is usually randomly generated so one needs some luck. Not everyone is lucky.
  4. So that I can put the art on OpenSea for sale and get rich etc.

6. Participated in my first DAO

…and saw some tweets from folks who want to buy the US Constitution, or at least one of the few a copies of that. Send us some crypto-money and we’ll take care of the rest! The plan of these people was to collect a big chunk of money and go to an auction, and buy an early copy of the document.

  1. Had to go to the website, connect my wallet and send some money
  2. Joined their discord server to follow all the news
  3. Watched the auction live with a heart rate elevated totally inconsistent with the amount of money at stake
  4. And finally… had my heart broken when it turned out that the DAO did not win the auction, and the whole thing shut down.

7. Won the vanity game (tjp.eth)

The reader might be aware that once a domain is typed into a browser, the code will contact a DNS server that turns the domain name into an IP address (long hexadecimal number) of the servers for that domain. In crypto land, every wallet is identified by a long hexadecimal number and if wallets are people, it can be awkward to refer to people like 0x4cdf45f378f8950f25fb8fba690c56431e5ec064.

  1. Have some ETH on my wallet
  2. Went to https://ens.domains/ and clicked on “Go to App” in the right corner.
  3. Used the search bar to find my favorite domain.
  4. Bought it, following the instructions and configured it.

8. Won the vanity game (again)

This might be a personality trait — I had to play the dumbest game ever https://pay.game/ — you pay some ETH and you get on a hall of fame list. Everyone who pays gets a NFT of a spinning coin; and whoever is currently leading gets to hold another one that says winner, until obviously a more vanity-hungry person pays in a bigger amount.

Consolation prize for losing pay.game

9. Looked around in Solana land

The transaction costs and speed on the Ethereum network are truly awful, and it’s hard to tell if people will turn to less embedded ecosystems because of their speed/fee benefits.

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