The Crypto-Noob’s Toolbox

Resources you need to know about ASAP

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Obligatory Disclaimer: To modify a quote from Tim Ferris, “I am NOT a financial advisor, and none of this advice should be taken without speaking to a qualified professional first. Also, my results [are most likely] due to pure luck and zero skill.” But…this is working for me.

In addition, BlockChannel reminds you to always do your own research, and never directly take advice from 3rd parties without due diligence.

If you’re brand new to the world of cryptocurrency, odds are you’re feeling way over your head. Information is everywhere, websites, Slack channels, and Twitter feeds abound. Where do you start?

Thanks to my friends at Cent, countless of hours of personal research, and the suggestions of fellow crypto-pioneers, I am putting together this toolbox of resources just for you. If I’ve missed any, please feel free to comment below to be included in Toolbox 2.0!


Basic terminology

Exchanges:

  • Coinbase — a great place to start your crypto-journey. Easy to use, limited choices, includes only Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Using this link to sign up will get you $10 of free Bitcoin.
  • Purse— with Purse you can shop with bitcoin/ether and almost any crypto and get everything you need from Amazon on their discount marketplace, saving an average of 15%. You can also purchase bitcoin with a credit or debit simply by completing orders on Amazon; Purse also doubles as an online bitcoin wallet, and you can sell goods for bitcoin by setting up a storefront!
  • MetaMask — a crazy-simple Ethereum-only wallet that operates as a Chrome extension.
  • Jaxx — this wallet has a great mobile app and a sleek user interface. They routinely add more tokens. If you’re comfotable with Coinbase and want a step up, this is a good way to go.
  • Uphold — another great, trusted service/exchange for buying bitcoin/ethereum and even litecoin. You can even purchase with a credit card.
  • MyEtherWallet — as far as ERC20 (tokens built on Ethereum) wallets go, these guys are hands down my favorite. Excellent support, community-minded, and easy to use. Check out my guide here on how to set one up.
  • ShapeShift — want to exchange virtually any token for another? Shapeshift is the way to go. They have great integration with Jaxx, and don’t require any account set up. Again, this guide will help walk you through using ShapeShift.
  • Bittrex — If you have to use an exchange where you don’t hold your own keys, and you need a token that Coinbase doesn’t sell, I go with Bittrex. Please do your own research, always use 2-factor authentication, and don’t leave funds on an exchange longer than necessary.

Getting Free Crypto

Free is a word pretty much everybody can get behind. If you’d prefer to hold onto your hard-earned cash, but you still want to get into the crypto-game, there are a few ways to do it:

  • 21.co — This neat platform was created to allow strangers to send you messages at a price. Anytime you respond to one of these messages, you get free Bitcoin.
  • Cent — This Quora-for-crypto platform pays you in ETH just for answering questions well.
  • Airdrops — This is when a crypto-company decides to give out tokens for free. Organizations like Decred, Authorship Token, and OmiseGo have all utilized airdrops. I use this Twitter feed to get notifications on upcoming airdrops. Again, please do your own research, and never give out personal info, keys, etc. There are tons of scams here.

Doing Research

There are so many resources at your disposal to make sure you’re not falling for a scam or compromising your security. Use the following to be sure you’re putting your funds into good hands.

  • Blockchannel — Shameless plug, this Medium publication/podcast/Twitter channel is a one-stop-shop for solid crypto content and advice. Odds are if you have a question, Blockchannel has the answer (bonus: one Centian recommended you watch Steven’s segment with CNBC here).
  • The Bitcoin Podcast — a podcast network for all things crypto. Home to many great shows for staying current with our growing industry.
  • Token Data— A BlockChannel partner, Token Data is an excellent resource for all ICO returns and current token prices. They also have a weekly newsletter, and do regular analyses of upcoming/past ICOs. An essential for any crypto newbie.
  • Zastrin — Another BlockChannel partner; Zastrin is the premier site for learning Solidity development. With in-depth tutorials to give you a firm grasp on Ethereum, and get you on your way to becoming a Solidity developer. [You can also use the code “BlockChannel” for 50% off all their courses].
  • Twitter — following crypto companies, crypto CEOs, and developers is a must if you want to keep current with ongoing news. A lot of people have put together great lists of people to follow. Here’s mine.
  • Slack/Telegram — Instant messaging platforms like these are something I judge the quality of the community with on a regular basis. From general conversation to specific support questions, these messaging platforms cover it all.
  • Reddit — There are a few subreddits I’d recommend: r/CryptoCurrency, r/CryptoCurrencies, r/CryptoMarkets, r/EthTrader, and r/Bitcoin.
  • Coinmarketcap — One of the best sites for tracking prices, volume, amount in circulation, etc. for pretty much any token in existence.
  • CryptoCompare — I use this site for brief explanations of tokens I’m researching, as well as tracking my holdings. A solid research and accounting resource.

Yet again, please do your own research. All of these sites are resources, and are to be used as tools, not commandments. I find it most helpful to aggregate the information I find through all of these sites and form my own opinions afterward. As a beginner it’s important to get advice from plenty of different sources, but it’s just as important to form your own opinions afterward.

If you found this article to be helpful, please hit the 👏 to help others find it. In addition, I’d love to hear about any good resources that have helped you as a beginner in cryptocurrency. Leave me a comment!


If you’d like to start investing in cryptocurrency, the easiest way is with Coinbase. Get $10 of free Bitcoin when you use this link — it’s my referral link — and get started now!