Crypto basics to get you started

February 21, 2023

Upskilling and being open to learning are key in this industry. There is a certain standard for what you most likely need to know before you get through the door to your next career, however, it can be somewhat difficult to know where to start. 

We've all had to go through the process of learning key concepts for the Web3 space and especially DeFi. So we’ve put together some key pointers where we have focused on honing our skills in Web3 to hopefully help you do the same. 

1. Decentralised wallets

As if there hasn't been enough in the news on this, self-custody and knowing how to get your own decentralised wallet such as a Metamask should be where you start. allows you to download a hot wallet on several browsers, whether that be Chrome, Firefox or Brave Browser - the most secure option of them all.

2. Smart contract basics

Smart contracts are simply the mechanism that provides functionality on blockchains. Behind all dApps and their respective UIs sits a smart contract. Getting used to interacting with smart contracts, transactions, gas fees and respective gas tokens using your wallet is fundamental. Therefore, tools like Etherscan are essential to help get a basic understanding of blockchains and their functionality, as well as the massive library of dApps available on all networks from Ethereum to Avalanche.

3. Transferring funds from wallet to wallet

Every token has a unique token address whether that be USDC, ETH or Captain Star Trek Inu. There’s no such thing as Captain Star Trek, FYI, we’ve just thrown that in there to make a point of the names you may come across in the low-cap space. It could well exist by the time this is published, though…

This address identifier allows the token to be imported into your wallet for viewing so you can keep on top of your balance, but also when sending money to another wallet. However, just like a bank sort code, each network has unique token addresses native to it and therefore understanding how to send this correctly without losing it in the black hole between sending to another wallet is an essential skill. 

4. Swapping tokens using a DEX

Similar to sending tokens, decentralised exchanges allow you to swap one token for another. However, understanding which DEX to use for which token on the corresponding network is a skill in itself to ensure there is enough liquidity available when transacting. Equally knowing when to sign transactions, how gas fees work and what slippage means are all tools to your arsenal in DeFi.

5. LPs

As mentioned above, liquidity is a big pot comprising at least two tokens. To swap from one token to another there needs to be certain availability as you can't swap for thin air! 

In cryptocurrency, there is an incentivised function to gain interest by providing this liquidity across several providers. Aggregators like Beefy or liquidity protocols such as Curve Finance are good platforms to explore once you own your own tokens. 

6. Lending and borrowing

DeFi 1.0 has brought about the ability to use protocols such as Aave which allow individuals to lend against their collateral in order to leverage their current positions without selling. Although caution needs to be taken, knowing how to do so is an essential skill as part of your DeFi kit. This one’s a little more complex so don’t worry if it’s over your head for now. There is tons of educational content on lending and borrowing available to read over on blocmates.

7. Bridging 

Finally, DeFi has grown and the options are endless in terms of products of innovation. However, they now span across different networks from Ethereum to Arbitrum to Avalanche. Knowing how to move your tokens from network to network is key. It does, however, also come with several pitfalls which tie in knowledge from areas of the other aforementioned areas.

Even though this checklist is super topline, we totally understand that it may sound a little intimidating if you’re brand new to crypto. So keep an eye out for our seminars over on blocmates, where we’ll be bringing you up to speed step by step with some of the basics to stay ahead of the curve on your learning. 

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to the Ape Enclosure newsletter to keep on top of the latest moves and grooves within our industry. 

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