I would recommend allocating 3-5hrs to your Crypto Education. Which is a decent chunk of time. But I think it's pretty challenging to get a sufficient foothold in the basics in less time.
A few warnings:
- Some of the material will feel fun as you're going through it. But a lot of it probably won't
- When it comes to the more technical stuff you should expect to only understand 10-20% of everything you're reading / hearing. And that's fine.
- You should also expect to hear/read the same thing over and over. and over. You'll start to see the same thing from a slightly different perspective and by the time you're sick of hearing about it, you'll know that you're actually understanding it :)
If you stick with it and complete a full 3-5hrs, I'm guessing you'll start feeling more comfortable with the core ideas and then maybe you’ll have the organic motivation to follow the threads that are of interest to you.
Also, there's much more than 5hrs of material included here, I recommend skimming through it all and then picking 1-2 of the Beginner's Guides starting with that. And then you can go with whatever looks most interesting to you.
1. Andreas Antonopoulos
I’m starting with Andreas because he had a huge influence on my early education and introduction to bitcoin + crypto. And he offers an impassioned, accessible high-level intro to bitcoin and some of the reasons why it’s so interesting and powerful.
2. Beginner's Guides + Quick Courses
(a) Coindesk Crash Courses on Key Areas (Bitcoin, Ethereum, DeFi, NFTs..)
Coindesk is a media company that's been focused on crypto for the last 8yrs or so. Pretty reliable reporting and they've got a solid set of 20min introductory courses to key subjects.
(b) Coinbase has a similar offering. I'd recommend doing both courses for Bitcoin, Ethereum, DeFi and NFTS
(d) Quick intro graphics to Web3: https://twitter.com/UrszulaSolarz/status/1501283423821963271
(e) A few more technical videos that might be helpful if you really want to understand the details of proof of work + blockchains
- Bitcoin + PoW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBC-nXj3Ng4
- Blockchains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSo_EIwHSd4
The first two books are about the story behind Ethereum. I haven't read/listened to either but I've heard good things about both. Both books will give you access to some of the personalities and behind the scenes stories. And I suspect that both also act as something of a primer on Ethereum and why so many people find it interesting (including me!).
(b) The Infinite Machine by Camila Russo (audiobook). A history of Ethereum. https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Infinite-Machine-Audiobook/0062990187
(c) Digital Gold: This is a history of bitcoin and the earlier days of crypto. https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Gold-Bitcoin-Millionaires-Reinvent/dp/006236250X
Laura Shin is solid.
Here are a couple that might be of particular interest:
- Will Every Piece of Media Enter the Internet as an NFT? Variant Fund Says Yes (link: https://unchainedpodcast.com/will-every-piece-of-media-enter-the-internet-as-an-nft-variant-fund-says-yes/)
- Crypto’s Gender Disparity: What Can Be Done About It? 4 Women Weigh In (Link: https://unchainedpodcast.com/cryptos-gender-disparity-what-can-be-done-about-it-4-women-weigh-in/)
There are a few other podcasts I like too:
- Bankless: http://podcast.banklesshq.com/
- Epicenter: https://epicenter.tv/episodes/
- NFT Specific Episodes:
5. Twitter Lists
Crypto twitter is a very active community. Probably the best place to skim through 100+ perspectives of the moment and find the things that resonate with you.
- Women in Web3: https://twitter.com/womeninweb3
- Women in Blockchain: https://twitter.com/i/lists/883748699964411905
6. Cypherpunk Origins
I put together this bitcoin/cypherpunk reader a few years ago for a talk I gave at Stanford. This will appeal to a very narrow audience who are interested in learning more about the philosophical + political + cultural precursors to bitcoin (and crypto in general).
And the Nakamoto Institute offers a somewhat similar but more comprehensive list of resources: https://nakamotoinstitute.org/literature/
1. Crypto is often super volatile. Sometimes it goes up a lot, but it also can go down. A lot. and it can drop very fast. And we just don't ever know what's coming next. I've been through bitcoin drops of 75%, 90% and 85%. and my rule is that it's important to be prepared for a 90% drop... Always.
2. Only invest what you can afford to lose. This is a restatement of #1. but it's worth saying twice.
3. Self-Custody / Security: Keep your password safe.
Why? If your crypto gets stolen, it’s very unlikely that it will be recovered - that $$$ is probably gone forever. Unlike credit cards or banks, there is no central authority to appeal to when things go wrong.
You are responsible for managing the security + safety of your crypto.
One of the defining features of crypto is the ability to hold assets yourself, to maintain custody of them yourself. When you deposit money with a bank, the bank acts as a custodian - you are trusting the bank to keep your fund safe. and you are trusting the bank to give you your money when you ask them for it.
With crypto you can be your own bank by choosing a wallet that puts you in control. There are many positives: Anyone with a smartphone can download a digital wallet and start receiving and sending crypto - you don’t need to have a bank account, you just need to download an app.
But there’s a flipside: The security of your crypto is in your hands.
Metamask wallet (for Ethereum) has a great (very short) explainer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b1tQnOI-no
Where to Buy Crypto