Getting Started with Web3
There are things you can’t learn by reading.
Like riding a bike. It doesn’t matter how many bike-riding books you’ve read or how many bike-riding statistics you can quote. Until you go out there and ride one yourself, you aren’t really qualified to talk about the merits of riding or not riding.
Having spent many years working in the field, I think technology also falls into this camp. That is to say, you can pound the table about this merit or that shortcoming of a particular technology…
But until you actually use it, it’s likely you won’t fully get it.
So if you or someone you know is curious about getting started with Web3… this is for you.
Getting Started – Guidelines
Here’s how I got started, and would recommend to fellow dabblers.
Technology: A browser wallet such as Metamask, and an active Discord account.
Psychology: A willingness to lose money in exchange for learning. 🙂
Investment: About $150 in Ether for each experiment.
Where to Start with Web3
“I’m sold!” you say. “What can I do?”
First, you can brush up on “What is Web3?” Next, you may consider what appeals to you most. Here are three good questions to start with:
Curious about community? Join a DAO.
Love art? Start with buying or minting an NFT.
Interested in investing? Scan and research IDOs. Delve deeper into yield farming in DeFi.
Let’s dive into a short list of resources, from least to most risky.
Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) Resources
Looking for something free AND anonymous? Join a DAO!
All you need is an active Discord account and a DAO or two that you’re interested in. If you’ve never used Discord before you can watch a short 2-minute video at the end of this article. And you can pick up the basics in a 7-minute video (at the end of the same article).
Once you’ve set up an account, you can simply search the public servers for “DAO” and read through the summaries to find one that appeals to you.
Join, verify your account, and lurk away! There’s usually a “#general” channel for casual friendly chat.
Digital Art Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Resources
An NFT is just a contract for any number of things, which is why I’m specifying these as “digital art.” People luuuv collectibles, and that probably explains how quickly they’ve grown in adoption.
If you’re looking to dip your toes in Web3 and commit some capital, NFTs could be the gateway drug to web3. As long as you understand there’s no guarantee of future value, if you buy a piece of art that you love (bonus if you like the artist or project) then you’re simply investing in something that brings you joy.
Buying on the secondary market:
- OpenSea – Probably the largest marketplace by volume.
- LooksRare – Launched January 2022, offers its own token for trading rewards.
- NiftyGateway – Curated, verified collections.
- Foundation – Invitation-only creator economy, photographers seem to favor it.
Minting NFTs for the first time:
This is my preferred way to acquire NFTs, although there are a few considerations:
- At the time of minting you will be assigned random NFTs in the collection.
- You will need to invest time to find new up-and-coming projects that haven’t minted yet.
- Be prepared to get involved in Discord servers – you may even score a giveaway or pre-sale spot!
The best way to find new projects is searching Twitter or Discord for “NFT” accounts, on Twitter my special trick is to search for the phrase “minting now.”
Initial DEX Offering (IDO) Resources
Because this involves buying a cryptoasset before it’s available to the public via an exchange, this is for high risk tolerance and you’ll want to play with money you’re willing to lose.
With due diligence you might be willing to commit a small stake in a project or two once you understand the tokenomics.
Projects with a good core leadership team, a solid roadmap, and a reliable supply of developers have the best promise. Your token could see outsize returns if it’s solving a real market need, so it is important to evaluate these projects much like you’d evaluate a company stock.
Organizations that help manage various IDOs are called launchpads, and typically you’ll need to buy and stake the launchpad’s native crypto token to participate in upcoming IDOs.
There are many out there, but here are two popular ones that aren’t fly-by-night outfits.
- TrustPad – A multichain launchpad where you can read about upcoming IDOs. What I like about TrustPad is that it is audited. They feature a lot of metaverse/gaming projects if that’s your area of interest.
- SkyLaunch – What I like about SkyLaunch is that they have an in-house team who conducts due diligence on projects, and that they offer post-IDO support. In my opinion, offering the support of onboarding and continued guidance shows they have skin in the game for their projects and are committed to making them successful.
One could fill a book with lessons and observations, here are just a few highlights from this experiment.
- The amount of energy and optimism from most of the communities is infectious.
- I haven’t seen this much enthusiasm or potential since the late 90’s internet boom.
- The level and quality of secondary technologies arising to support blockchain-based internet use is really impressive. Some of these come from regular companies, and still others are decentralized applications (dApps).
- If you have an eye towards the future, global trends, and technology innovation you will feel like a kid in a candy store.
- These technologies have the power to harness two things very effectively: speed and scale. As a result, we can expect to see rapid adoption.
- This adoption acceleration will likely result in cultural shifts that we can only guess at today.
- Aside from putting in the investing time, playing with IDOs, NFTs and DAOs is something anyone – even you – can do.
- If you’re not tech-savvy, the user experience on many of these platforms leaves a lot to be desired.
- Learning any new technology = time & troubleshooting investment. Fortunately, most processes have written or video walkthroughs so you can follow along step-by-step.
- Transactions on the Ethereum mainnet can have exorbitant gas (transaction) fees.
Yes, there is a learning curve. But for the most part it’s a lot of fun. If you’re already curious, perhaps the above list of benefits will be the carrot that tempts you down the rabbit hole.
Are you just getting started with Web3? What’s your experience so far? LMK on Twitter. 🙂