An Introduction to the Ethereum Ecosystem V1.1
For anyone who’s beginning with cryptocurrencies and looking for more resources to help them dig deeper. 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.
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is a block chain with an Virtual Machine layer that allows for much easier programming of smart contracts
An amazing article to learn about Ethereum & how it works/what you can do with it.— click here
Some Definitions/Terms to Know:
Smart Contracts — A program that has the ability to create trustless & automated workflow processes, by creating a predetermined rule set and terms built into code that is immutable by the blockchain.
Proof of Work — An algorithm that provides nodes with a mathematical hash function to solve, that once solved can give the solver the right to add a new block to the blockchain. The block is then signed and the “miner” is rewarded through transaction fees and block rewards that are essentially inflation on the token supply.
Nodes — Nodes are computers that run blockchain wallet software which downloads and stores a record of the blockchain history & communicates with other computers on the network. It can also participate in verifying transactions and blocks by running mining software.
Whitepaper — The initial project proposal, where the functions of a blockchain project are detailed & its objective, value proposition, & how the token will be used are defined.
DAPP — Decentralized Application, which isn’t stored on any specific server but instead runs on the blockchain which is stored across a network of nodes. This means in order to shutdown a DAPP you would have to shut down every node running the blockchain.
ICO — Initial Coin Offering, the first time a blockchain token is offered to the masses. Usually done through a smart contract that returns new “INSERTNAME” tokens in return for sending them some other token of value (Mainly Ethereum & Bitcoin).
Genesis Block — The very first block in a blockchain. This is when the initial distrubition of tokens is determined & sometimes when mining begins if it is a POW 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
Types of Wallets:
Exchange — Example: coinbase or bittrex,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 — Example: 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 — Example: “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, Bitfinex, etherdelta, Yunbi, & GDAX,. 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.
Epicenter — Do weekly interviews with project leads & the most prolific blockchain thought leaders. These guys get to the real questions & I highly recommend brushing up on their videos with any projects your invested in.
Crypto’s News — Covers a wide variety of topics from individual projects to overall blockchain market commentary & philosophy. Tends to focus on recent updates to the scene, including price discussion, forum posts, slack comments & articles. Occasionally does interviews as well.
Ameer Rosic — Talks about cryptocurrency quite a bit, his videos aim to be informative for the average person & he typically dedicates each video to a specific topic. Sometimes makes videos about other things as well.
Ethereum Foundation — The Ethereum development teams youtube channel. All the public dev meetings are posted here so this is one of the best ways to learn the direction of Ethereum and what challenges or progress they made as well as what they are turning their focus to.
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
Aragon — A decentralized jurisdiction that provides companies the ability to do financials, payroll, governance, share issuance, voting, permission management, etc, all on the blockchain & through smart contracts.
Melonport — Decentralized asset management platform that is self regulating/requires no dealers/middlemen/brokers.
Iconomi — Crypto Index Fund Platform with a fiat on-ramp.
Numerai — A new hedge fund built on top of machine learning powered by encrypted datasets that are analyzed by over 20,000 data scientists.
Blockchain Capital — Venture Capital fund that invests in blockchain startups that don’t issue tokens
Augur — Prediction Markets (Gambling on Anything)
MakerDAO — Stablecoin, Collateralized Loans
Status — Mobile Ethereum browser & App dock/Messenger
Well, if you’ve made it this far that’s all I have for now. If this helps people I may do a part 3 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!