So… you’ve heard all the buzz and now you want to learn more about cryptocurrencies – what are they, how do they work, and which ones should I buy? These are great questions for any potential cryptocurrency users or investors to be asking, and in this guide, we’ll set you on the right path to finding answers for these crypto questions and many more.
Researching Cryptocurrencies in General
If you’re new to the cryptocurrency space, the first thing you’ll want to do is learn a little more about the basics of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology before you dive into any new and exciting projects. We have plenty of suggestions for this, but the Bitcoin whitepaper is the perfect place to start.
The Bitcoin Whitepaper
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be created. Since it paved the way for all that followed, the Bitcoin whitepaper – its original release document – should be number one on your reading list. The eight-page, research-style paper explains the fundamental and technical ideas behind Bitcoin, like Proof of Work or public and private keys. While you might not understand (or care about) half of the content, you’ll walk away knowing the vision for the world’s very first cryptocurrency.
If you’ve got a bit more time to spare, we’d definitely recommend sticking your head in a full-size cryptocurrency and/or blockchain book. Over the course of a few hundred pages, you’ll learn a lot more about cryptocurrencies than 90% of the world’s population, and you can focus in on the areas that interest you most.
For some concrete reading suggestions, consider CNBC’s top six (link above). From those, we’d recommend #2 Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond if you want to learn about cryptocurrencies themselves, or #3 Blockchain Revolution if you’re curious about the novel tech behind them.
Although it’s got a bad rap among academics, Wikipedia really is a fantastic resource for learning about all sorts of things. Cryptocurrencies are no exception; with articles dedicated to every crypto term and project you can imagine, all provided for free in dozens of languages (including Simple English, if the articles ever get too technical), Wikipedia is the spot for finding individual knowledge nuggets on demand.
Again: YouTube has a bad rap for learning new topics (especially finance) since anyone can contribute. However, if you pick the right creators, YouTube is just another medium – indeed the most popular video-based medium – for learning about cryptocurrency. Similarly to Wikipedia, YouTube creators cover a wide range of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related topics, so you’re sure to find the information you need.
DataDash is one of the most popular cryptocurrency YouTubers and focuses on analyzing cryptocurrency price charts and occasionally new blockchain projects. He also covers non-crypto topics such as emerging markets and traditional finance.
Altcoin Buzz is another big cryptocurrency channel – this time covering all sorts of topics. This channel uploads new videos very frequently, so this could be the one if you’re looking for a daily crypto fix.
Researching Specific Cryptocurrencies
Learning about cryptocurrencies, in general, is great, but if you’re looking to use or invest in individual cryptocurrency projects, there’s plenty of due diligence that can be done. In this section, we’ll show you how to research specific cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency projects and how to find new ones.
We might be a little biased, but we think that our cryptocurrency tracking platform Coinpaprika.com is an easy place to start discovering and researching new projects. Not only can you compare projects by their market caps, price movements, and social followings – you can also look for coins labeled with specific tags or traded on certain exchanges.
Once you’ve found a project that you like, our website will tell you all its technical details, link you to websites and social media pages, and show you a detailed price history for the token in question. We have plenty more features that you’ll find helpful when researching cryptocurrencies, but you’ll have to discover those yourself!
If there’s a certain project on your mind, its website is probably the most obvious place to learn more. You can find most cryptocurrency projects’ official websites using Google or, as we just mentioned, on our platform.
The benefit of looking directly at a project’s website is that you’ll instantly learn the information its team thinks is most relevant. After all, everybody wants to know what makes one coin different from the next, and teams will be proud to share this on their websites!
As a word of warning, these websites will only tell you what their teams want you to know. This means you should be extra careful when investing in or using a new project, as it could have a hidden side to it that the website isn’t telling you about!
Earlier on, we suggested you read the original cryptocurrency whitepaper – the Bitcoin whitepaper. However, it’s become something of a norm for cryptocurrency projects with an associated coin to publish a whitepaper (and in some cases a so-called technical paper) explaining what the project is and how it works.
If you’re a potential investor, it’s especially important to check why the project needs its own token and how that token is distributed. As a rule of thumb, it’s the less passionate developers that keep stacks of tokens for themselves and quickly give up on projects.
More Research Ideas
That’s almost it for our suggestions on how to research cryptocurrencies, including individual projects and the space as a whole. While the methods above should be more than enough to get you going, there are of course other options. Here are a few to think about: Listen to cryptocurrency/blockchain podcasts Attend cryptocurrency events Join projects’ social media channels (especially Telegram) Ask plenty of questions!