15 DECEMBER 2021

'What is Money?'

A beginner’s sojourn into crypto — a guide on just getting started

This was the question that hooked me into cryptocurrencies, as I explored further in a previous blog from September 21'.

With some time on my hands in recent weeks, I decided to dedicate myself towards studying the mechanisms underneath crypto beyond the news headlines and the price actions, to understand the ‘blockchain’ itself. What motivated me was the fact that I barely had any clue of what people were actually referring to when they spoke about cryptocurrencies, and this bothered me a lot.

How will I be able to keep up in conversations if I continue to know nothing?

How is it reasonable to expect to know something if I have not even tried?

How will I be able to discern the truth from the lies?

It turns out that the world of blockchain is vast and perpetually evolving. The challenge for new starters (such as myself) is finding a reliable jumping off point to initiate oneself and get educated about the space.

As with starting many other things, the point here is to not self-immolate before being able to take the second step. The focus was to find a reliable source of high quality information that would not be too overwhelming — spark curiosity without flooding the fire.

Luckily, the wonderful Tim Ferriss released a podcast episode on The Tim Ferriss Show with two eminent giants in the crypto space, Chris Dixon (the same Chris Dixon that taught me about hill climbing) and Naval Ravikant.

From there, I went down a rabbit hole and dug up a few other leads:

Followed by:

And now, currently working through:

During the journey up to this point, there were definitely moments when I noticed myself thinking ‘Oh, I’m so late to all of this!’ or ‘Man, this is way too complicated for me.’ The source of these doubts came from learning about Bitcoin’s inception in 2008 and the fact that we are already in 2021, to realise that there are all these incredible people out there actively building things with this technology — but the breakthrough came from a sense I had gathered from observing the crypto space, that everyone is also just trying to figure it out.

The space is evolving so quickly, that there is almost no choice but to keep learning. How exciting.

Ultimately, I am grateful of how, in just a few short weeks, I now feel confident enough to want to read whitepapers and to fall into more rabbit holes, like the Crypto Canon. And what is incredible for me to realise is that all of the resources above are free and accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

What a time to be alive, and all of this is not even scraping the frontier of ‘Web 3.0’ yet!

But I’ll try not to get ahead of myself too quickly, and leave that for what is to come in another blog.