So, you want to learn how to research blockchain projects. And, of course, you’re not going to settle into looking at your screen for five hours per project, are you?
A common trend we’ve noticed with first-time investors in the crypto markets is that they tend to be either too lax or too self-demanding when entering our world. Sadly, both of them are problematic, since one of them can lead to mediocrity and the other to burnout.
So, how do you turn investing in crypto into a second nature? In this article, we’ll explore the difference between a mindset of naturally submerging yourself in the crypto community and an overactive approach.
We’ll also make sure to give you some takeaways, so you can learn something about this crazy blockchain world!
We’ve all got too much in our hands. So to be effective, crypto research must be efficient
If you think you might not have enough time to research crypto projects in-depth, you might be right. (Source)
If you want to turn your (we suppose) already busy life into a system that effectively spots, assesses, and then invests in the future’s crypto disruptors, you need to be smart. Powering your way through an elbows-in-table approach, manually reviewing project after project, will hardly get you to where you want to be.
If you take anything from this article, make it this: When the markets are hot, everyone in crypto hurries to raise capital. Therefore, the best thing you can do is build a body of knowledge to be prepared when the time to pull the trigger comes around.
Don’t believe us? Let’s see if there’s something we can learn from the past
If you’re used to seeing Bitcoin above $20,000, you might not fully remember the infamous 2017 ICO explosion. Back in the times when Bitcoin climbed up to the $20k mark, a perfect storm brewed as serious (and not-so-much) ventures used the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) model to raise billions of dollars.
2017 was one of the most explosive bull markets in History, and it saw some 800 ICOs raising a number that some estimate to be around $20 billion. Many of them were oversubscribed, overhyped, and, of course, there was a share of problematic ones leading to regulatory scrutiny. The kind that puts people in jail, mind you. It wasn’t a small number of projects that got classified as outright Ponzi schemes.
Since then, and given the consequent market decline, the trends shifted to put a halt in the number and value raised by ICOs. In January 2018, 160 ICOs were in the market. As soon as October 2019, no projects registered Initial Coin Offerings for the first time in a while.
And History, as it does, repeats itself
The ICO explosion we saw in 2017 isn’t the only instance of its kind. DeFi also delivered an impressive value avalanche.
In June 2019, the TLV or Total Value Locked (the sum of money circulating in DeFi protocols) accounted for around $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency deposited in DeFi applications. One year after thst, this sum had exceeded the $20 billion mark. And today, TVL is getting closer to $100 billion, according to data from DeFi Pulse.
However, this time around, there was an important differentiator (and keep this in mind for later!): As opposed to the opportunity of raising money out of thin air, DeFi brought a cascade of innovation in technological use cases, which in turn originated trends that were successfully leveraged by projects. In fact, some of these projects managed to raise several millions of dollars and make their investors quite happy.
These trends were:
Decentralized exchanges (DEXs)
According to Messari, the volume of funds handled by DEXs has surged by a massive 8,000% in Q1 2021, compared to Q1 2020. Curve Finance and Uniswap are the two largest DEXs in value traded and funds locked.
Futures and options exchanges are one niche that, within DeFi and DEXs, doesn’t seem to have a clear winner at the moment. Projects like Hegic, Perpetual Protocol, and Mirror Chain are growing in popularity, and their value reflects it, but users seem to remain with centralized counterparties when it comes to day-trading.
Asset management (aka Yield Farming)
One of the first applications of DeFi to successfully attract users, with a global growth that doesn’t seem to stop thanks to interest rates’ decline. Yearn.finance appears to be the dominant DeFi protocol for the asset management sector, going from $500 million in value locked to $4.5 billion.
And behold… because 2021 is the year of the NFT!
DAOs also had a big explosion in growth this 2021… but why read about it when we can see this clip of us discussing their importance in our podcast?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, found a major use case outside the expectations of even the sternest crypto nerd: Representing art, mainly collections of digital illustrations. Some people might consider this case, and the numbers often mentioned around it as an overhyped asset class. Others believe it is a definite step towards the digitalization of every aspect of our lives.
Whether you consider NFTs as art, music, and collectibles a step towards something greater, a waste of time, or virtual real estate, they are, undoubtedly, an exciting asset class for investors. Proportionally, everything related to them within the crypto market seems to be blossoming at the same time.
So, how do you turn your goal to research blockchain projects into a natural instinct?
By now, you might have picked up a theme on how the crypto market works or how money gets made in the blockchain industry: Usually, a significant technological breakthrough carries with itself several use cases and, before we know it, trends are forming. In 2017, it was crowdfunding. In 2020 it was DeFi and, for 2021, it is NFTs.
We know a thing or two about how smart capital invests in crypto projects, but we’ll tell you more about ourselves later. What matters for now is that you understand that there are two ways to make remarkable turnarounds in crypto: Investing in deep value (which we’ve covered before) and staying on top of trends to benefit from them.
This is the same as saying that you should develop your radar and become acquainted with the crypto community, becoming a member yourself. Let us, then, explore some ways in which you could do this:
Crypto community immersion strategy #1: Follow the leaders
This is also something we’ve covered before, and for a good reason.
Within the Internet age, the explosion in diversity for our communication means has gotten, some might say, out of control. There is a never-ending stream of information in online and traditional media, as well as social media. Most of us find it hard to focus in a highly complex, hyperactive, and incredibly meme-fueled entity such as the crypto market.
Therefore, a good strategy is to keep your “follow” list relatively lean and only follow accounts that might provide great value. That is, relative to your mission of staying on top of the crypto community!
To start with, we might recommend:
Vitalik Buterin (2.3M Followers), Ethereum’s co-Founder.
Vitalik is the world’s youngest crypto billionaire, a fact that doesn’t seem to sway him at all. He is better known for his collaboration and ongoing work with Ethereum, but Buterin also gets involved with the overall crypto ecosystem.
On Twitter, Vitalik often engages in insightful commentary about the general state of the crypto/blockchain world and its first principles. He’s not particularly active and can get quite technical, a helpful mix if you’re looking to gain an understanding over time.
Andreas Antonopoulos (619K Followers)
Andreas Antonopolous is credited with the Bitcoin education of more than one layman-turned-crypto-believer.
Andreas is a Greek-British tech entrepreneur known for his passionate Bitcoin and blockchain lectures. He’s authored books such as Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Currencies, Mastering Ethereum, and The Internet of Money. Amongst a sector of Bitcoin-first educators that classify themselves as ‘maximalists’ (a term used for people who only care about Bitcoin and, therefore, we’d argue, are missing out on a great time in the crypto world), Andreas represents a clear perspective.
Andreas runs his own Youtube channel, aantonop, covering the topics he’s famous for with great depth. He also does interviews, Q&A sessions and live streams.
Balaji Srinivasan (442,4K Followers)
Balaji doesn’t come from the cryptocurrency world. In fact, he rose to prominence in the tech world after founding a biotechnology firm that sold for 9-figures and being considered to run the American FDA. Balaji, at some point, was also the CEO of the popular centralized exchange, Coinbase. After the acquiring of Earn.com by Coinbase (which went on to become Coinbase Earn), Srinivasan became the company’s CTO.
Balaji is an advisor to over 17 startups, crypto projects and businesses. He was also renowned within the MIT Technology Review’s “Innovators Under 35” and went on to win a Wall Street Journal Innovation Award. He’s regarded as a tech oracle and futurist by his followers. He’s also famous for posting insights on other topics like macroeconomics and life extension. He’s extremely active on Twitter.
Crypto community immersion strategy #2: Join the top crypto subreddits and communities
If you want to dab into the crypto community’s antics and you don’t fear, as they say, “getting your hands dirty”, there might not be anything better than going directly to its deepest places. To do so, you’d go where the true crypto nerds (those that refuse to become a part of mainstream social media) hang out.
There are three kinds of such places:
Telegram crypto chats
An example of a project’s announcement (ANN) Telegram chat.
If you are a Telegram user, you might have noticed that every time there is a leakage of information from Facebook (or Whatsapp is down), people tend to join Telegram en masse.
With its heavy end-to-end encryption, Telegram is ideally suited to be crypto land’s favorite messaging application, as well as a hedge against mainstream chatting apps. This makes it so that most crypto communities form on Telegram. There are user-created communities (e.g. a Bitcoin Club from Acapulco, Medellin or London), crypto projects’ announcement chats (in which projects post their latest updates), and project community channels in which their followers interact.
Telegram also features a user-friendly search bar, so you can directly start looking for communities centered around projects and topics you like!
Another one of our favorite podcast episodes features Justin Ehrenhofer, a moderator in r/Cryptocurrency!
Reddit is one of the top 20 websites by traffic in the world. So-called “the Internet’s Home page” Reddit is one of the largest aggregators of content on the Internet. Reddit users can submit text posts, pictures, videos, and links to external content within different communities that other users create, manage, organize and maintain.
There are Reddit communities (subreddits) centered on all conceivable topics, from networks of architects, anime, videogames, farming, Pakistanis in America, and, of course, cryptocurrencies.
Reddit’s crypto communities can be extremely active, and some, due to their history and rules, are more popular than others. You might find that Reddit communities share a language, idiosyncrasy and common topics.
r/CryptoCurrency (3.4M Members)
r/Cryptocurrency is Reddit’s most famous cryptocurrency community.
It features cryptocurrency news and general discussions, as well as analysis. However, this is not what made r/Cryptocurrency its 3+ million user base.
Reddit selected this subreddit to introduce a novel concept, a native cryptocurrency. Users can receive Reddit Moon tokens by receiving upvotes (the equivalent of likes from others) for their contributions. These cryptocurrencies are distributed monthly and allow users to vote in governance polls. This, however, has created controversy within Reddit since some users have taken to “gaming” the system.
With 3 million users, governance, a currency, and culture of its own, r/Cryptocurrency has certainly become an institution in the crypto world.
r/CryptoMarkets (588K Members)
r/CryptoMarkets, the second most popular crypto subreddit, emphasises market information, altcoins, and investment strategies and timing. Unlike r/Cryptocurrency, this subreddit allows and encourages exchange, technical analysis and tokenomics talk, and has half a million users.
If r/Cryptocurrency seems too self-referential and strange for you, this community might be a better fit for you. Since it doesn’t have the former’s Moon system, some users equate it to “what crypto Reddit used to be like”. It also has more experienced users.
r/CryptoCurrencyTrading (105K Members)
If you are or aim to be a high-frequency trader within the cryptocurrency space, this subreddit is better suited for your purposes.
As its name says, this subreddit and its rules are geared towards providing a place for traders to comment, develop strategies and interact. Content that doesn’t adhere to these practices is actively discouraged and, in some cases, banned. There is also a great difference in activity between this subreddit and its most active counterparts, which could be an asset.
Discord crypto channels
As you can see here, Discord (here Minima.global’s) has a slightly more complex interface than Telegram, similar to Slack’s.
Discord is a text and voice chat application, although it has fundamental differences from Telegram. Some crypto users prefer it because of this. To start with, Discord allows for multiple servers and channels, so users can customize how they organize their communication. Discord also allows for the same crypto project or chat to have different sub-channels to streamline topics.
Discord also offers voice communications.You can join a given room’s voice chat and have audio and video group conversations there. This is because the platform was first conceptualized to cater to video game players and streamers. Therefore, all of its features are thought for this particular use case.
As happens with Telegram, you can search for communities and join them within Discord. However, it’s better to directly find projects you’re interested in and then look for their Discord links.
Crypto community immersion strategy #3: Follow the top crypto podcasts, content creators and crypto Youtubers
Of course, if you’re already consuming content for your entertainment, you might as well do it for information and as a part of your podcast/Youtube rotation!
Here’s our recount of the best crypto podcasts and Youtube channels in 2021:
The CoinBureau channel is particularly famous thanks to its highly charismatic host (a.k.a. Guy). Guy and CoinBureau seem to have taken crypto-Youtube by storm, recently becoming the most popular crypto channel on the platform. CoinBureau aims to be the go-to informational portal in the crypto and blockchain ecosystem.
The Bureau is well-respected due to its efforts to present unbiased commentary on crypto’s most relevant news and happenings. It also does light price and project analysis!
D-CORE’s Blockchain People (obviously)
A lot of love goes into the production of our podcast. You can find interviews with crypto builders, community members, CEOs, journalists and more!
Our very own effort to create unbiased, fun and informative content for the crypto sphere. Our podcast features the top minds in crypto and blockchain, commenting about our industry’s values, sharing ideas, and reflecting on the philosophy behind their own projects and creations. It’s hosted by our own Creative Lead, Carlos Cano.
Every week we post one interview, as well as several snippets from it. We also have Community Specials in which we discuss news and happenings, and Asset Report Reviews, in which crypto projects join us to take a look into the reports we produce on them!
Bankless has been one of 2021’s revelations in the crypto content space. It features a predominantly Ethereum-ecosystem oriented approach to decentralising finance and the Internet, and is highly popular within the Ethereum community. Bankless has a wide variety of sections revolving around these topics and often interviews some of the industry’s leaders.
They also produce extremely cool merch!
If all of this sounds exciting but time-consuming, we can also be your bridge to the crypto community
There is, however, an extremely cost-effective route that you can take to developing your crypto radar.
D-CORE is the professional solution to uncovering crypto disruptors. We specialize in creating beautiful, comprehensive crypto reports that analyze upcoming projects to weigh their possibilities of making a killing. So far, we’ve been incredibly accurate, even if we say so ourselves!
The Distributed Comprehensive Objective Research Engine (D-CORE) comprises a dedicated team of professionals and advisors and 150+ pseudonymous, passionate researchers distributed around the world. Thanks to this mixture of expertise, decentralization, and peer-reviewed research, we’re able to quantify every aspect of a project’s development and determine its potential. If you’d like to learn more about this process, you can click here. And, if this sounds like something you might need, you can contact us by clicking the button below!
We hope you have enjoyed this article! If you’d like to claim a free gift we’ve designed for the crypto-curious, just click here.
Oh… and, by the way! By clicking the button below, you can also ask one of our specialists about the performance of the projects reviewed by D-CORE 😉 They’ll be more than happy to show you the hard stats!