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A Guide to Crypto Currencies (mycrypto.guide)
195 points by frag on Aug 31, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 46 comments

I recommend Perry G Mehrling [Columbia], (free) course on coursera [1] called Economics of Money and Banking. It provides a great context for how the current monetary system works. This context helps a bunch when comparing it to crypto.

[1] https://www.coursera.org/learn/money-banking/home/welcome

The course is great, but nothing I learned there about the nature of money seems to apply to cryptocurrencies (about which admittedly I know very little). Could that be your point? That bitcoin only looks like money if you don't understand what money is

Thank you for sharing. Crypto is an interdisciplenary field, and we (folks on HN) view it through the lens of CS, at the exclusion of the other ways to approach the field.

Any other courses / topics you recommend?

[1] Federal Reserve Economic Data (charting) - Treasure trove of data.

[2] Balance sheet of the fed

[3] Access to all the flows of the US Money System

[4] Monthly Treasury Statement (MTS) - The Bank money flows of all accounts of the US Government

[1] https://fred.stlouisfed.org/

[2] https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/

[3] https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/current/

[4] https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/mthTreasStmt/b...

Don't read guides. They won't help you. Try to use the stuff. Get some money on the exchanges, on MyEtherWallet, use the Ledger Nano, invest in some ICOs, use the Etherscan API, etc.

I did the mistake reading too much about all this crypto stuff for too long actually doing nothing.

Once you do something it clicks and you understand the whole picture much better and you read automatically stuff that matters and which gives you a deeper context.

Edit: Why the downvotes?

While I think there is always a benefit to having skin in the game, as it makes things more real and gives you a better understanding, not everyone has the disposable income to do so. I think making the assumption they do is why you are getting the downvotes.

Using most crypto projects is on the scale of cents if anything at all to try, the decentralised storage options offer 25 gb free.

Regardless,anything half decent likely has a testnet running where you can play around.

Read all the marketing in the world, but you won't see how decentralised systems fair against their centralised competitors until you try.

Great advice for people with a disposable income.

Some people just want to understand.

Want to donate money to me so I can play around with it? Thanks!

While it won't be as effective as actual skin in the game (investing real money), you could try virtual investing. Give yourself some imaginary money, 'buy' your currency, and see how it does, like with virtual stock markets.

Or you can just buy $X a month, every month, and get whatever you can get out of it. Some places allow you to set up automatic purchases, so you could have it happen without you having to pay attention to it (I know Coinbase does). It accumulates over time.

Hey, a real suggestion that doesn't presume I have a job with a crazy salary and no idea what to do with my newfound fortune! I'm honestly surprised to find this on HN.

On which platform can I try virtual investing?

The website seems a little broken, but https://coin-folio.com/ let's you enter values per coin manually, then aggregates it. Claim you bought however much you want of any coin they support (which is a lot), and see how it performs.


I doubt you need a lot of money just to get your feet wet. Anyone's entertainment budget would suffice.

PS: at the risk of sounding pedantic, anyone with any income in a jurisdiction with less than 100% tax has "disposable income". See: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/disposableincome.asp

TIL that "disposable income" is not what I thought it meant.

> Disposable income is total personal income minus personal current taxes.

> (...)

> Discretionary income is disposable income (after-tax income), minus all payments that are necessary to meet current bills. It is total personal income after subtracting taxes and minimal survival expenses (...)

"Discretionary income" sounds odd to me, but probably derives from the more logical "discretionary spending".

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disposable_and_discretionary_i...

Considering my income is $0, I suppose my statement was correct.

considering your income is $0, maybe you should fix that first.

but in any case, what's your point?

Being a student is enough of a job, thanks.

Your assumption that I should have a job on top of this, without knowing my life or financial situation, is evidence that people rarely consider lives apart from their own on websites such as this.

You don't need money to use testnets, which particular tech are you interested in? Happy to point you in the relevant direction.

Heres free coins for Ethereums ropsten testnet


Can i note begging is considered bad form around most forums also. There's plenty of solutions to your problems. It just requires some effort on your part.

Why so confrontative? You don't need a lot of money to start. And it's not about playing around. Once you invest $100 you are forced to understand and to learn what's going on. Much better than reading some guides without having any goal (the linked guide is still good).

I have no income at the moment and I will likely remain in this state for the next two years. I am not sure that my savings will last me that long, so I am erring on the safe side while still being interested in learning about the current technologies.

Not everyone reading HN has money to spare, or a job that allows them such luxuries. Not everyone who wants to study blockchain is interested in making money just because they can.

Some of the things advice can be applied to are gambling, drugs, extreme sports...

There is probably some kind of lesson here.

Comparing investing to gambling and drugs is misleading. Yes, daytrading feels very much like gambling but long-term investments with a diversified portfolio?

Edit: What is going on here, why the downvote? Downvoters thhink that long-term investing in assets equals gambling and drugs?

Is this how you have almost 600 positive karma in just six months, by complaining so much about downvotes? Three posts in just the last hour, in this thread and another thread:


Plus (in just the first few pages of your other comments that I looked at):







Yes, if I get downvoted I like to understand why and ask, you call it complaining. I have no problem with that.

> if I get downvoted I like to understand why and ask

How many times have you misunderstood why you were upvoted and had to ask?

> you call it complaining.

    "If downvoters keep on this hypocrisis I will
     delete the post again. This is ridiculous."
Yes, I call that complaining.

Yes I agree with the last example you brought, this was def complaining, I should work on that.

A few times though, I got good feedback and was also able to make my point more clear after I asked about the reasons for the downvotes.

Also, I prefer that people reply instead of downvote (except it's trolling) which is also a reason I address this. Look, I reply to you as well. Hope I didn't make you too angry and I try to improve.

> I prefer that people reply instead of downvote

I agree. I don't think downvoting is particularly conducive to good discussion (there's already a way to flag posts that may be inappropriate or spammy), but most people who downvote probably just disagree and don't want or have time to reply or argue.

> Hope I didn't make you too angry

I wouldn't say I was angry, I just saw three comments about downvotes which seemed a bit excessive, then saw more in other comments.

Thanks for the replies and reasons though.

Could someone with a grudge be following him around downvoting him? Is there a mechanism in HN to flag that?

For a quick video intro I recommend this video from 3Blue1Brown ("youtube mathematician") https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBC-nXj3Ng4

IMHO the best intro to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.

Reading the introduction one question came to me: do the Big Five (Google, Amazon etc) show interest in blockchain technology and/or cryptocurrencies ? Google has invested in at least 2 companies that I know of (?)

Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have all made blockchain-related announcements. I'm not sure about fb and apple.

Microsoft and Tierion(TNT) collaborate on attestations & Blockchain proofs

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/blockchain-identity-p... https://coinmarketcap.com/assets/tierion/

I was wondering the same thing ... I know Microsoft has sponsored some Ethereum events and that is it. Perhaps blockchainization of the majority of their core business would impact revenue negatively?

Another thing that I am wondering is the lack of coverage on the blokchain technology on HN, I see articles every where except here?

> Another thing that I am wondering is the lack of coverage on the blokchain technology on HN, I see articles every where except here?

Blockchain has become a word like AI, in that marketers have learned that inserting it allows them to capitalize on hype even if the use of the block chain is either overengineering or unnecessary.

Microsoft also added "Blockchain as a Service" to their Azure offerings.

I'm not sure if that was because they think it's a good future technology or if they just think it's a technology that people will give them money for.

Microsoft was one of the big founding members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance [1]. But in general, the biggest companies in that alliance are financial companies, not tech companies. Like DTCC, MasterCard, J. P. Morgan. And a lot of banks. Though Cisco is also a member, and a local government of India. But in general it's really only financial companies and pure blockchain companies.

[1] https://entethalliance.org/

I presume you don't see much coverage on HN because lots of people who talk about blockchain tech are excited about their own money even more than the tech.

Microsoft was recently one of a group of big companies (including IBM) that were looking to hire a blockchain programmer.

This is missing byteball under the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directed_acyclic_graph (that iota branded as "tangle") non blockchain using cryptocurrencies.

I like byteball, more than IOTA, because of the supposedly private blackbyte state.

Sleeper right there

Does anyone know a good way of determining global net savings held in depository institutions? So basically fiat held on deposit globally? And stated in USD?

Opinion request: What are the up-and-comers for popular adoption? Monero, Ripple, EOS, Ethereum?

This is of course an opinion, but I've been following Ripple pretty closely. It's taking a much different approach than BTC or Ethereum in the sense that its getting the banks involved, and operates using a "web of trust". This results in much quicker transactions.

You can also convert between currencies, assuming you can trust the third party. This isn't that much of a stretch when you consider that we already do it in markets like Coinbase's exchange (GDAX).

They market themselves as the "bridge currency" in the sense that you in addition to sending money, it can easily bridge between multiple currencies. USD sort of fits that niche at the current moment, when you look at forex markets, most currencies (with some exceptions) are compared against USD.

Good points. The fact that they are giving the big players a good reason to get involved seems like it could dominate if those same big players decide to promote it.

I could see Ethereum overtaking bitcoin since it can be seen as a more functional alternative.

I could also see it not if this pump and dump ICO trend grows to the point that if defines ethereum the way darknet markets did for bitcoin.

lot of biased (or to be blunt, incorrect) information from a quick glance.

There is a lack of protocol depth understanding from the author. Most of the recommendations seem to serve as market "advice" if you want to call it that.

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