Crypto is complex, not least of the reasons why is that it encompasses a wide array of knowledge silos, and true understanding entails being versed in most if not all of them
. And sometimes, the idea is simple and yet complex at the same time. How long did it take for you to realize that a blockchain is simply a chain of blocks? That’s all it is. And yet, it’s so much more than that, too.
Emotions run high in crypto world. As soon as you think you’ve “got it” something comes along to disrupt your state of being. Crypto is disruptive by nature, so this shouldn’t be surprising. What is a surprise is how often and how long it can surprise even the most jaded, experienced crypto-user.
Crypto requires certain “next-level” knowledge. These are things we shy away from because they cause us physical pain to learn. This is any subject in college that you just couldn’t get excited about, either because it was boring or arcane or seemed too limited to have any practical bearing on your life. For me, it was matrix maths. For you, it might be an economic principle, or business concept, or it might be some philosophical topic that makes your eyes glaze over.
In crypto, things like cryptography, ledger technology, and even the foundational idea of a blockchain is vital to get fully invested in if you want to master crypto. And to do so takes breaking down the topic to its base parts and studying them individually and cohesively.
Finally, mastering crypto is about time management. Your time, specifically, is one of your most valued resources. And crypto, by its nature, is demanding on the clock. At first the temptation is to try to absorb everything. You read all the pertinent subreddit threads, subscribe to Telegram and Discord, join Slack channels, follow 200 Twitter gurus, and discover Bitcoin forums.
And maybe this can work for you, if you’re Batman and you have preternatural focus. But for the rest of us, limiting our intake of media is actually going to be more useful in the long run. For one reason, the less you take in, the less subject you are to FUD, scams, lies, deception, and general unpleasantness that any online sources inevitably dumps on you. For another, you will be more inclined to curate your sources and find only the best quality information available to keep you satiated.
Find authors whose work is trustworthy and vetted. Read primary sources such as ICO whitepapers and even Wikipedia for information. Check out books from the library (yes, there are books on cryptocurrencies
, and some of them are excellent
). And if you get to a point where you’re comfortable with a particular area of crypto, try teaching it to someone else. You will quickly learn where your knowledge falls off a cliff.
If you are paranoid like me your instinct will be to follow the X-Files dictum to “Trust No One.” This is misguided. First, you can trust me.
Kidding. Well, not really. You can trust me.
But really, you should find SOMEONE you can trust. Hopefully multiple someones. You cannot navigate this on your own. Crypto is a ladder, and the ladder is created by geniuses and users. The geniuses help us build the steps higher, the users follow in their footsteps. So find people who offer legitimate information and insight. They will be your guides.
And then you can be a guide to others, as you gain in knowledge. Sharing is caring, and all that.