The book is not intended to be financial advice, so don’t ask me how much you should buy. The only information I’m providing is the price of each coin and token as of this writing.
This book does not provide an endorsement of any cryptocurrency or token listed in the table below. I don’t know anything about their team, their technology, or their business model. This is a public data source which I have constructed for educational purposes only.
The purpose of this book is to help people understand cryptocurrencies and make their first investment.
The link above will take you to the full list of cryptos and tokens that are included in this book. These prices are not intended to be financial advice, so don’t ask me how much you should buy. The only information I’m providing is the price of each coin and token as of this writing, along with links to more information about each coin or token.
I hope you enjoy reading my book! Here’s a link to my site for more information about me: https://www.prestonwilson1010.com/about-me-2/
Cryptocurrencies, as you might have gathered from the title, are digital currencies that are encrypted and decentralized. They are not a form of money, but they can be exchanged for real money. Most people who want to get involved in cryptocurrency try to mine or trade it. This can be profitable, but you may not feel like hanging around with a bunch of nerds who are trying to outsmart each other.
Maybe you’d prefer to buy your own coins, whether by using an exchange or buying them when you find them for sale on the ground. If so, then you should read this book.
The goal is to demystify cryptocurrencies and give people a basic understanding of how to make use of them without getting lost in the world of all these different cryptocurrencies and tokens that are floating around out there.*
Cryptocurrencies and tokens are just like any other investing option. You don’t have to understand them, but you do need to understand the kind of thinking that leads to good decisions.
Cryptocurrencies, at least the ones that have been around for a while, are all built on the same idea: creating money out of thin air. The big difference between them is their design. Some are based on a currency that was already in circulation, like the US dollar or yen. Others are based on thin air: new currencies created from nothing.
If cryptocurrencies were just about making money out of thin air, they would all be pretty much alike. But they aren’t. They differ in two respects: how they are created, and how they are distributed.
As far as money is concerned, there isn’t much difference between Bitcoin and Dollar Coin or Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin Gold or Bitcoin Diamond; they’re all just as good as money as long as you can use them to buy things. The problem is that some people think cryptocurrencies don’t deserve to be money because they’re not backed by something real; the same people would say that dollars aren’t really dollars because they’re not backed by gold bars. But dollars were once backed by gold bars too—and not only
Cryptocurrency is a relatively new thing. It’s like a casino, but instead of cards there are blocks and lines of code, and instead of chips there are no-one-knows-what.
Like casinos, people can take risks. With cryptocurrency, that risk is losing a big chunk of money. And in the same way that someone who plays cards for fun can get lucky and win big, someone who plays cryptocurrency for fun can lose their savings.
If you want to invest in cryptocurrency, you need to understand two things: how it works, and what it is doing.
To understand how it works, you need to know something about computer science and maths. If you’re new to either field, this book is for you. We’ll give you an even start on both subjects in this first section. The second section will show you how these subjects are relevant to what cryptocurrencies are really about – decentralization: the use of computer systems without a central controller or administrator.
Cryptocurrencies are not new. Bitcoin was launched in 2009, and there have been hundreds of others since. But they have grown in profile recently, partly because of their association with the dark web, and partly because they are so volatile.
The main event has been the collapse of MtGox, a major Japanese exchange that went bankrupt after losing several hundred million dollars’ worth of bitcoins. The cause of the crash was a bug in a software program called Gox, which caused it to “lose track” of where all the bitcoins it had were actually stored.
MtGox is an extreme case of what has become a more general problem. Cryptocurrencies themselves don’t have any intrinsic value. They just exist digitally: no one knows how or where they were created, other than the people who created them; it is easy to create new ones; and everyone agrees that if you have them you can trade them on exchanges for other currencies or for goods and services.
And yet cryptocurrencies got their start as money-like currencies: that is, things people could exchange for things they wanted but didn’t have enough of themselves. The first round was gold coins used by kings in ancient Egypt and Greece; next came cowry shells used in Africa; then came
Popular cryptocurrencies aren’t really rare. But they are expensive. The reason the prices are so high is that they are tiny, while the total number of coins is huge. Bitcoin’s market cap was $18.2 billion at the end of 2016; its circulating supply was only 17 million, and it has been trading at a price of around $1,700 since then.
That isn’t because Bitcoin itself is especially scarce. The problem is that there aren’t very many people who want to buy it. In fact, there appear to be fewer and fewer people all the time who are willing to buy it, although we don’t yet know why.
We might call this book