An Introduction to the Ethereum Ecosystem
Hello Everyone, Our community has seen an absolute explosion so far in 2017. While many of have been here for a while and know the ins and outs of this environment, there are a lot of new people looking to find a ledge to grab in this sea of information. This guide is for you.
Disclaimer: This is not to be treated as investment advice, please do your own research and formulate your own ideas as to where to put your money. This is strictly for education.
This will focus on the Ethereum ecosystem, where many projects are being built using the ERC20 standard. Most token/coin come with some certain functions that range from store of value/medium of exchange, rights to a piece of gold, property, license on a piece of music/tv/etc, share of a company, dividend, or membership in a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), share of a source of revenue, etc.
If you are brand new to Ethereum, this is a great article to begin with.
Some Definitions/Terms to Know:
Whitepaper — The initial proposal where the functions of a blockchain project will give the details on the project, purpose, value proposition, & how the token will be used if there is one.
DAPP — Decentralized Application, A program running on the blockchain
ICO — Initial Coin Offering, the first time a blockchain token is offered to the masses.
Genesis Block — The very first block in a blockchain
Wallet — A place where you can store your coins/check their value. Coins are always on the network, a wallet allows you to access your coins by using your private key to “sign” for your transactions.
Address — A string of numbers/letters that provides destination to send or receive coins from
Altcoins — Any token/coin that isn’t bitcoin
Where to buy from:
Types of Wallets:
Exchange — Like coinbase or poloniex,only “renting” your tokens until you pull them off the exchange as they hold your private/public keys and are vulnerable to hacking.
Light Wallet — Like Jaxx, there are dozens of light wallets you can use on your phone or laptop, these allow you to store your own private/public keys and have full control over your assets. The wallet file is still held on the computer/phone and is susceptible to hacks/virus. Jaxx
Hard Wallet/Cold Storage — Like the “Ledger Nano S”. It is a removable usb drive that stores the wallet file and private key on a device that is off of the network. Meaning it cannot be hacked into. Ledgerwallet
Paper Wallet — Similar to a hard wallet, a paper wallet is exactly what it sounds like. It is a backup of your wallet file in a qr code printed on a piece of paper. Held off the network so not hackable. Myetherwallet
*A hard wallet is recommended if you own more than $1500 worth of coins.
Most tokens aren’t purchasable directly with fiat currency — you must trade for them on an exchange.
Poloniex — One of the largest exchanges in the U.S, can find a lot of the more mature cryptocurrencies here. I find that the selection is limited, they have started removing a lot of the “scam coins” lately though so that’s a bonus.
Bittrex — Has the widest range of tradable tokens/coins, some lack volume but most are liquid enough to not matter.
Liqui.io — The newest exchange I’ve started using, lots of room for arbitrage between exchanges when you use this. Also receives the newest tokens the fastest, so you can flip ICO coins very quickly for a profit. Also the only place that lists some of the newer projects.
There are many more like Kraken, etherdelta, Yunbi, GDAX, and a whole lot more. You can check what exchange the coin you want is traded on by using the markets tab when the currency is selected on coinmarketcap.com
Etherian World- A relatively new website, but a great history of all interesting project updates and news. Highly recommend using this.
Week in Ethereum- Evan Van Ness manages a very informative newsletter that he sends out once a week. It even captures some of the most important slack conversations which can be awesome when slack teams get large and out of hand.
Coinmarketcap— Has 99% of crypto projects listed here, can see market cap, volumes, %Change, websites for all tokens, where they are listed, social media accounts. This site is one of the best tools to use.
Steemit — A “reddit inspired” discussion board powered by the blockchain. Users can be paid for posting quality content. Has a lot of info about blockchain tech, and other topics as well.
Medium — If you aren’t using medium yet (and found this through reddit), you should be. Is the best source of news, most people in this ecosystem post their blogs/press releases/news/development updates on here.
Slack— Slack is a team chat application. This is where you can talk to the developers of the projects directly. Everyone responds to each other and it’s a good place for insider info. Join the team slack of the projects your interested in and get the insider info!
Ethtrader — The best discussion board for ethereum tokens & projects built on ethereum, also has market discussion/Technical Analysis/& a bunch of other stuff
Ethereum— The best discussion board for Ethereum tech talk/news. No market talk allowed! can be an awesome filter for people who want to understand the tech.
Projects I’m invested in now:
Ethereum — Potential Web 3.0 Base Platform, Decentralized unstoppable computer that you can build programs on.
Digix — Physical Gold back token, gold can be mailed to you in exchange for the token or the token can be spent via a debit card at the current gold/cad exchange rate
Melonport — Decentralized asset management platform that is self regulating/requires no dealers/middlemen/brokers.
Iconomi — Crypto Index Fund Platform
Tokencard — The Visa of the crypto world. Spend your tokens through a debit card without needing to exchange to fiat.
Blockchain Capital — Venture Capital fund that invests in blockchain startups that don’t issue tokens
Singular TV — Netflix competitor
Swarm City — Peer to Peer Marketplace
Augur — Prediction Markets (Gambling on Anything)
MakerDAO — Stablecoin, Collateralized Loans
Well, if you’ve made it this far that’s all I have for now. If this helps people I may do a part 2 with some extra info. This started as an email I was circulating through my office to people I was getting into the space. Decided I might be able to help some folks online so I expanded on it a bit.
Thanks for reading, if you want to send some love my way then my ETH address is below, or using one of my referral links for coinbase or quadrigacx that would be awesome as well!