When in Rome - (Space Rome. Can we call it Space Rome?)
As you start to grow in all things crypto, your network of resources and friends will be one of your most invaluable tools. Be sure to take some time and get to know your fellow Cryptonauts, no matter which community you find yourself in. Once you join your first Discord (here's ours), check out the rules channel. Read the pins. Say hello and watch how the community interacts with each other. Don't be evil or a jerk. This is a great rule of thumb that will get you 85% of where you need to be in most communities.
Slang, Degens and the gates to Crypto
Lets start with the mindset of someone in crypto. It's a complex place full of many technical minds and laymen alike, all types of players in the digital realm. All levels of risk taking and degeneracy can be found. One thing they all have in common is a personal drive and an acute sense of risk management.
On another side you have old tech industry giants, dipping their toes in and realizing they don't know much about this new digital space. They own the old space and make the rules. Here we own the space, and the code makes the rules. If you can code, you make the rules. It's a new way of thinking. As such, we all have to learn new things to stay ahead and thrive in this fast paced environment.
That being said, one of the most basic things to understand about this space is how to interact with its creators. Just like any place where you are new, learning what to do and when is just as important as what not to do.
You're going to run across a lot of things that seem silly, but in fact act as a sort of gate to keep out those folks who can't take the time to see past it. Much like we all had our sayings and slang as kids, most communication in this space happens in a very organic way, just as it did as kids. You'll see the word Meme Culture. It's simply a way to express a popular idea that has evolved into something easily recognizable and referenceable.
Slang is one of those gates. Here are a few quick examples. The word Ser is used instead of sir 99.99% of the time. Another word, Degen, is a common way to express a person who operates heavily in this space. The acronym DYOR “do your own research” is often accompanied by NFA or “not financial advice”. Which is then coupled with some terrible financial advice. “Safu” is used in place of safe, with the understanding that the term is anything BUT safe. Pamp and Damp are other common ones, corresponding with the terms pump and dump. Wrekt or burned is said when a particular strategy fails. Goated for success, is taken directly from sports culture. Greatest of all time, GOAT.
The names of a lot of the protocols are silly, in the same effort to keep out the mega wealthy Boomers. Those folks already own everything. This movement is about educating those who don't have that kind of wealth. We all want a little financial freedom and nice things. Sushi swap as a perfect example is a very popular place to trade tokens. It’s a Dex. Decentralized Exchange. Very powerful and easy to use. Very useful to people who are in this space and familiarized with such naming conventions. Sushiswap, probably won't be a place where Chips' Hedge Fund would look to deploy 100mm dollars of his clients' generational wealth.
When in Rome. Do as the Romans do. That age old adage applies here as well. Get to know your communities as you find them. Pick up the slang and enjoy using it. Moderate yourself and do your best not to spread FUD and chaos. (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt is FUD). One of the strongest things you could hope to ever have is a group of friends with more knowledge and experience than you. Simple interactions will further your education in more meaningful ways than any planned course of study.
Copy Paste Internet vs Web 3
We will keep this section as short as possible but this all ties into the bigger picture. Once you have an idea of the space as a whole, you can begin to figure out where you stand and where you would like to be.
Copy Paste Internet (right click save internet) VS Web 3, Crypto and digital scarcity. This is a popular topic for people who refuse to try and understand this space. Rather than taking the time to educate themselves, they tend to dismiss or try to discredit the space.. Quotes such as “Thats dumb, $150,000 for a picture of a monkey?!”. I can just copy and paste it!!!’ are far too common. Well, sure. You certainly can take a screenshot. But there is much more to it. To understand the true value exchange, you need to understand blockchain and Distributed Ledger Tech.
The internet you know and love, is called Web 2. It's what we call Copy Paste Internet. Everything is code sitting on a hard drive somewhere. Or in a cloud. We all have an idea of how these things operate. So we won't elaborate here. Now, I say “copy paste internet” because you can literally copy and paste stuff. It's just code after all. This is foundationally problematic as it does not allow for what we call “digital scarcity”. How can anything be scarce if you can just make more? Digital Scarcity seems like an oxymoron at first.
This is where Blockchain, also known as Distributed Ledger Tech, enters the scene. Ledgers are simply an agreed upon way to track information. Common examples of ledgers include Quickbooks, Excel, Inventory Systems and plane flight schedules . Everyone has a ledger of some sort. Most are private and managed by individuals or companies and used to track items or finances. Some can be public as is the case with a flight schedule.
Now let's take that idea of a ledger and expand upon it. Let’s make it world wide and living. Living meaning if I make an exchange on the ledger, you will see it on your side and vice versa. Let's use Quickbooks as an example again. Let's imagine a ledger that is open on everyone's computer at the same time. We are all looking the same one, and if I change it on my side, it shows up on your side, and everyone else's side at the same time. If you make a change to the ledger. It shows up on everyone’s side at the same time. The ledger has now been distributed to anyone who wants to use it and is living in real time.
That in essence is what a Bitcoin is. It's a living ledger that anyone can use for anything. Unlike Quickbooks however, you can build entire applications on a Bitcoin network. Games, picture makers, forums, anything. The power of this is what we will talk about next.
Now let's pretend that everyone is on this network. What's to stop someone from hacking it, and saying “I've got 100,000,000 Bitcoins and I'm super rich now!!” Well, the network itself will stop that action. Here is what we mean by that. For you to be able to change something on the network, the entire network has to be in consensus. Which is all audited by code. So once the code is deployed. Those are the rules that the system runs by. Bad code would absolutely let someone hack it and say they have 100,000,000 BTC. At the same time, if you create a code that says there are only ever 22 Million BTC, then that's all there will ever be, as long as your code is not flawed in an exploitable way.
“What if we all agree there is more Bitcoin? Then what?”
Well then you created what's called a fork. You can deploy that to the internet, just like Bitcoin. It can be your version with your rules in place. But that will never erase the original bitcoin. That original code is still there and always will be. Because it's on Everyone's computer, remember? It's distributed. There Is no way to turn it off and back on. There is no practical way to erase it. To erase a Living Distributed Ledger, you would have to turn off the internet to the entire world, and then Erase it from every single computer and database it exists on, all at the same time. Then, you have to Hope that someone doesn't have a copy somewhere ready to share back out as soon as the internet comes back online.
“So what does that really mean?”
That's how you can create a system with real scarcity. If the code says 22 million exist. Then that's all that exists. Whatever you create next will be alongside the original, running at the same time, unless you can turn off the world and delete the original. We will talk more about digital scarcity next.
Digital Scarcity and NFT’s
In the previous tab we've lightly touched on this topic, but this deserves its own look. One of the driving factors that makes Crypto so valuable is the network itself. It's a very powerful tool with the ability to create finite amounts of things, in an infinite digital world. Which is all powered by code and the logic that created the code. The advent of scarce resources allows entire ecosystems to be created and empowered by anyone with the will and knowledge to do so. This works especially well for financial vehicles. Allowing tokens that represent portions of the network, to be created and traded based on whatever value the market decides. Which is in turn driven by the need to innovate and desire to explore this new space.
This extends to a lot more than just finances however. Game universes are coming online in a bigger way than ever, and Facebook's name change to Meta should really be a flag on the horizon that big things are underway. Did you know that now you can purchase digital land? Sounds silly right? Remember this is land created on an individual project basis, and each universe has its own rules. Decental Land and Sandbox for example, allow you to buy digital space, and own it. You can sell it, rent it, put up digital shops that sell digital goods. Create art museums to display your favorite pictures. Anything within their creation systems and rules you want to do. You can do it within your digital land.
Another example of Game Land would be the Walking Dead game that Gala Games is putting out. You can buy land plots in the game itself. And own them. You'll be able to act as the ruler of said lands and receive wherever perks and powers are assigned to that land/role. As you progress, and level up your land you can then sell it for more than you paid for it. As it's a living entity on the blockchain and all progress is recorded. A lot of these ecosystems will also let you earn tokens by participating. Which in turn can be worth real world money. Crypto allows the possibility of generating real income from owning or playing games! All due to digital scarcity and the power of a living distributed ledger.
While we are here. Let's take a look at NFT’s or Non Fungible Tokens. NFTs are exactly as the name says. They are tokens, all belonging to the same contract, using the same set of code, but each individual token has its own identity and proterities. An easy way to think of this, is with a video game comparison.
Let's say you and your friends are playing your favorite Shoot’em up game. Your three man team beats the Final Boss. Everyone gets a fancy title and some loot (items) for defeating the boss. Then you make changes to your current gear, buy and sell whatever you need to, to make the best use of your gear, right? In the early days of gaming, the PS2 era, you could save that progress and show your friends the cool gun you got. But that was about it.
Online gaming came along and things started to evolve. Now people are earning special skins and textures for the games. Call of Duty had a fun Prestige system that unlocked more and more rare colors and paint schemes the more times you reset your status to zero, and climbed the ladder.
Trouble with this way of doing things is once the next Call of Duty comes out. You lost everything. All those prestige levels. Your character, your medals, guns, titles, Kill/Death ratio. All of it. Next, enter Fortnight. A free to play game that makes most of its money from selling skins. Which do Nothing to affect game play. They are Purely Cosmetic. Once again, once the next iteration comes out, everything is locked into that game. You can't take it with you in any way. Happily, this is one thing an NFT can solve.
Now with block chain enabled gaming, we are able to own our characters, weapons, items, the whole lot. The space is still very very early, but think of owning one of the Item shops in a large game like World of Warcraft and making real world money from that. Then being able to sell that shop to someone else. That concept is one of the things an NFT embodies. That shop would be an NFT. Along with all of the items in it. There could be 1000 shops but each one is unique to the person who owns it. Upgrade your shop to max level and flip it for some cash? Do it. Want to max your shop and collect $$ every day from just owning it? Do it. Want to buy all the shops you can then sell them later at a profit? Do it. Want to take your shop with you to World of Warcraft #2, you would be able to do that as well in this made up example. We picked World of Warcraft as it's familiar to most people at this point.
NFTs can do a lot more than video games, and that's just one way to think of them. NFTS are a set of tokens, all operating with the same base code, all with custom properties for each individual token. Letting each token represent whatever the coders decide for whatever universe they are creating. Some powerful stuff here. We will expand on this knowledge later on in this series but it's important to have some idea of what an NFT is now.
Discords, Social Media and Crypto
We touched on Discord earlier in this series, Here we will expand on the entire concept a little bit more. Social media plays a large role in the online communities. Chat lobbies for specific games can be quite toxic. One way people have gotten around this annoyance is by forming tight knit communities on the social platforms that best allow for such things.
Discord is probably one of the best resources that exists in the Crypto Space. Here you have a lot of options to create, moderate and motivate your community members. The options to do so are as infinite as anything in the digital realm. Common features found in good communities are Games, Giveaways, White Lists, Alpha Channels, Learning Channels, Mental Health and Well Being channels. You can Gate these discords with various levels of security, you can make the discord NFT access only ( must hold a specific NFT to enter the discord or certain locked channels). You can create and assign roles to community members, upgrade the emoji and stickers, create custom banners and quite a bit more. All in one program that runs on your desktop or phone. Each one can be modified by custom bots to help manage content, links, spammers, unverified scammers. If you can program it, discord can probably integrate at some level.
The next most valuable Social platform would have to be Twitter. But specifically what is known as CT or Crypto Twitter. It's the same platform but the content and groups are so specific to each other, that it might as well be its own platform. Crypto twitter is the fastest place around the internet to get news. Developers and companies announce happenings here every day. There are a lot of bright minds and helpful links to new discords found here as well. As with anything social media related. This space is also full of influencers, scammers, spammers, ne'er do wells and all kinds of baddies.
It takes a little bit of looking around to figure out who to watch and who is full of it. Luckily we have a list of Vetted resources, folks to follow, and fun discords to get you started!!
After that, Telegram is still very popular with a lot of people. We don't recommend this environment to people who are new to Crypto Space, as it can be very misleading and dangerous. There are still a lot of great resources to be found on telegram but be very careful, should you venture there. Time is much better spent in an active Discord with friendly people and strong ethics in place. A good community will teach you far more than you can learn on your own. In this space community is a large part of your success.
One of the largest benefits of being active in these communities is the speed at which you can get into new projects or discover new ideas. Be prepared to learn something new every day that you are active in this space. There is a saying that a day in crypto is a month in stocks. The pace that the entire space moves at is astounding and should never be underestimated. It's very easy to take a win and turn it into a loss.
Something to also consider is the current lack of regulation in the space. This means, all the players who are used to operating under very tight restrictions, are no longer under restrictions and are free to use all of their tricks here. These people//organizations have had a long time to get very good at playing by rules and now have no rules and all of that experience to use. Never get too comfortable and always do some research! If you don't know how to research in this space, we will have a section for that as well!
What is DeFi
Hello again Cryptonauts! Welcome back to another look at some crypto basics. By this point you should have a great idea of what Crypto is and how it does things differently than traditional internet. You should also know how much the community drives everything in this space. Now it's time to take a look at Defi. Or decentralized finance. In an earlier chapter you may remember reading that one of the things blockchain does very well is financial vehicles.
“Did you know? Every single transaction//interaction that makes a change to the blockchain is recorded.”
Financial vehicles are protocols that do things with crypto tokens. Specifically those tokens that are supposed to hold monetary value. As opposed to tokens that have value, but are meant to operate the network they represent. There is a fine line decided by the use case of each token. The options are as many and varied as there are tokens.
Under the concept of Defi, we often refer to being your own bank. What we mean by that is the ability for a person to operate their own investments using a number in vehicles designed for many purposes. A few examples are staking, liquidity providing, operating nodes, compounding, and more recently, gamified protocols such as Magic and Defi Kingdoms. Each of these things provides a unique set of opportunities, challenges and risks that must be navigated. Once you understand how each one works, you will be able to decide which approach works best.
We highly suggest you pick one or two areas of interest and focus your attention on learning all you can about those areas. You will naturally continue to learn about all of them as you spend time in the space. Specialization in an area of interest to yourself is the most reliable way to start seeing real gains. Everything should be calculated and decided on before any moves are made in any of these sectors.
Hello Cryptonaut! Welcome to Lunar Capital. Here we will give you all the information and resources that you need to be successful in Crypto and web3. This can be a very daunting topic and our goal is to simplify that. Take a moment and look at our table of contents. It will give you an idea of what you can expect to find within these pages. Have more questions than you started with? Perfect! Head to our Discord and find a new friend.