People newly involved with the blockchain industry will usually do an online search or attend events to learn about the topic. I am overwhelmed by the number of online resources about cryptocurrency nowadays. Blockchain novices typically get lost and have no idea whether or not they are accessing the correct information. It is easy, without fundamental knowledge of the IT and finance industry, to be pulled in by biased or hype-driven information online. And of course, sometimes readers are coming across very well disguised paid content.
That’s why I wanted to write this story.
When you are learning, investing, or working on blockchain, it is essential to keep an open-mind. As the industry is in its infancy, sharing diverse opinions can accelerate the maturity of the blockchain-enabled business models, and eventually, our lives. This said, quality matters over quantity. Below are some simple tips to avoid pitfalls for those who are engaging in their own blockchain research.
“This is a ‘good project’ because”…
“I think this is a good project because the team is great and they already have a product.” Sound familiar? Sometimes a good project is defined by the names of lead investors or the pieces of coverage achieved in mainstream publications.
BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen said,
“As a journalist, you shouldn’t give any ICO the benefit of the doubt that they’re a ‘good project.’ Appropriate Bayesian priors are that they are all scams until proven otherwise.“
Being good or bad is highly subjective. Most blockchain projects are startups, so it will take time to show a proven result in their business models. Readers should be aware of an online resource straying too far from neutral when mentioning any blockchain technology or its application, especially when the company has an ongoing token sale.
The story behind gold-backed cryptocurrency, DGD or DGX
In Jan 2018, the significant BTC/USD price drop resulted in wiping off $41 billion of value within a month. Many people claimed online that this signalled the end of Bitcoin and the gold standard was back on track as real value remains in gold or gold-backed cryptocurrency. Groups of people claiming that Bitcoin stores real value, thereby making it a true cryptocurrency, opposed this thinking. Online resources about cryptocurrency supporting the former perspective referred to DGD/USD (DigixDAO Token), which was apparently in an uptrend while Bitcoin and all alternative coins against USD were in a downtrend. The news went viral in early February.
Shortly after, Digix, the company which issues DGD, published an article describing the differences between DGD and DGX. Their gold-backed cryptocurrency is DGX, which was not yet released in Feb 2018. DGD price had no relevance to gold at that time, therefore.
Various online resources that share interchangeable or insufficient information on cryptocurrencies often confuse readers. In this case, a good deal of information online did not make the differentiation BTC, DGD, and DGX rather lumping them all into the same news category.
So what are the credible online resources about cryptocurrency?
Blockchain is a burgeoning industry. While it has welcomed veterans from other verticals, those that have two or three years of experience in blockchain itself are often considered an expert. A lot of information is fresh or learning at the speed of growth. That said, when it comes to credible online resources about cryptocurrency, there are still some great options for newcomers.
Always maintain an open, but critical mindset when reviewing these perspectives. Become a part of the conversation and join local communities on blockchain or cryptocurrency if you think that you have subject matter expertise from your industry that can help drive the conversation even further.
Here are the credible online resources about cryptocurrency that I find useful:
Online courses with certificate
- Free University of Nicosia MOOC lead by Andreas Antonopoulos
- Ivan On Tech Academy
- Oxford Blockchain Strategy
Influencers to follow
- Blockchain influencers list on Twitter
- Top Crypto Writers on Medium in 2018
- Female leaders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency