In 2008, the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin whitepaper to the public. Since this important day in cryptocurrency history, Bitcoin has risen to prices as high as $69,000 dollars, reaching a market capitalization over $1 trillion. How did crypto get to this point, and how far has the space come since these humble beginnings? Bitcoin was created to serve as a solution for the problem of peer-to-peer (p2p) transactions, and quickly caught on amongst Cypherpunks and avid believers in digital currency. Bitcoin’s innovation came through the novel blockchain technology, which allowed for a verifiable record of all user transactions involving Bitcoin. As the years went on, the cryptocurrency space saw other coins pop up like Litecoin and Monero, in addition to a multitude of failed projects and exchanges. While many failed, some like Binance were able to cement a place in the wild world of crypto, remaining one of the largest centralized exchanges in the space to this day. It wasn’t until 2014 when crypto saw a decent competitor to Bitcoin come along. The Ethereum ICO raised around $20 million, and quickly grew in popularity due to the innovative Proof-of-Stake (PoS) technology backing it. As more caught on to the innovations possible with blockchain technology, more coins utilizing PoS were created, ultimately driving more users and speculators to the space. Since then, Ethereum has risen to become the second largest coin by market capitalization behind Bitcoin, sitting at around $400 billion at the time of writing this. Crypto has experienced two previous market cycles in its relatively short history, and is currently in what many believe to be its third bull run. The total market capitalization has risen to over $2.5 trillion, and is currently around $2.3 trillion. Many major institutions from the world of traditional finance have caught on to crypto, and it seems as if more hop into the space with each passing month. As more money has been able to flow through various crypto projects and protocols, intelligent developers have created various innovations, whether it be decentralized finance or NFTs. The speed of innovation in crypto has been accelerating in recent years, and more money than ever is entering the space in new ways every year. Traditional venture funds are allocating a portion of their assets to crypto, helping further mass adoption and incentivizing new ideas. As time goes on, cryptocurrency will only continue to change and innovate - history has shown that this is something crypto is great at doing.
Back in 2008, the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto penned the now iconic Bitcoin whitepaper. But after 13 years, the world is still wondering who this mysterious Satoshi might be and why they never revealed their identity. In the Bitcoin whitepaper, Satoshi outlined how he had solved the infamous double-spend problem that had plagued previous attempts in creating internet money. Many had tried and failed at creating what we now know as cryptocurrency - but Satoshi had come up with a solution for a peer-to-peer electronic cash that actually worked. As Bitcoin began to spread amongst cypherpunks - enthusiasts of cryptography and computer security techniques - many began to wonder who this Satoshi was, and why the genius creator of Bitcoin chose to stay under the radar. There are very few pieces of evidence to go off of regarding Satoshi, as he only left a very small trail of crumbs - some messages on forums, the whitepaper, the first Bitcoin transaction and a goodbye message in 2011. The truth is, there might not be a single person on the planet who really knows Satoshi’s true identity. Many have hypothesized as to who Satoshi might really be, suggesting that the most obvious candidates are Craig Wright, Nick Szabo, David Kleiman and Hal Finney. There are interesting ledes that tie these individuals back to the Satoshi identity but, unfortunately, nothing is conclusive. Out of these four, only Wright and Szabo are still alive, and Wright has certainly not shied away from any attention. For many, the thrill of Satoshi Nakamoto stems from the reality that we might never identify them. Maybe the anonymous Satoshi is still alive somewhere, completely indifferent to the success of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a whole. Despite the anonymity, none can deny the debt the cryptocurrency community owes to Satoshi - without him, the world would be a much different place.
In a world that’s increasingly becoming more digital, our lives are changing at a fast rate. Even money has become digital, with cryptocurrencies reaching a market capitalization of over $3 trillion in 2021. A strange world has built itself around crypto, with a diverse and eccentric community that has formed on Twitter, calling itself ‘Crypto Twitter’ (commonly referred to as CT). On CT, a majority of participants are anonymous - many of them might work in crypto, regularly participate in work calls and interact with financial institutions, yet maintain the opportunity to withhold their identity. You might find yourself reading about a new DeFi protocol, only to realize it was created by a few teenagers with anime profile pictures. This is the new paradigm of working in web3 - this is what it means to be ‘anon.’ Because of the flexibility that comes from working in a digital space, anons are able to experience the same things that any other person could, arguably with more benefits. Due to no one knowing the identity behind an anon - except for maybe a few close friends - these individuals are able to operate with impunity online. Nobody has to worry about who said what, or where a person came from in life. As long as anons are able to contribute like anyone else, this is allowed in crypto. Anons can take on any role in crypto, whether it be a community manager of a project or a shadowy super coder working on new DeFi primitives. You could even maintain anonymity and work as an analyst for a venture fund, so long as you put in the work. Some of the most successful individuals in crypto are anon - just think of Tetranode (crypto whale), Zeus (OlympusDAO) or TzTok-Chad (Dopex). Whether or not you choose this path is up to you. Not everyone is cut out for the life of an anon, as most of us enjoy recognition and will eventually fold, revealing our identity to the world. However, the benefits of anonymity cannot be understated. The crypto community is very welcoming and willing to accept anyone, so it could be worth it to fire up a new Twitter handle and start shitposting. Just make sure you pick the right anime pfp.
While much of the discussion around crypto comes from Crypto Twitter, a large number of projects and teams utilize the social messaging app Discord to communicate privately. But what is Discord, how can you use it effectively in crypto and what are some of its benefits? Discord is a communications app, allowing for both text and voice options similar to applications like Telegram or Skype. Used primarily by gaming communities and friend groups, Discord has allowed for coordination of users like never before. Create a Discord server, invite some friends and establish channels - just like that, you’ve set up a “home base” for you and your community. In crypto, there are a myriad of different communities, whether it be a DAO structure, trading group or team behind a novel DeFi protocol, there’s always a reason to group together. With Discord, this is easy. Creating a Discord server is a huge step up from simply congregating in a Twitter DM. Within your Discord server, moderators can assign roles and create different channels with specific purposes. This could be a channel for the backend developers of a project or a server for the community managers - this level of composability makes operating autonomously even easier. A major tenet of crypto is decentralization. Where centralized entities and corporations have failed us, those venturing into Web3 have made it their goal to do better and govern themselves more efficiently. Through ease of communication on apps like Discord, crypto as a whole is able to function smoothly and maintain its youthful spirit. Those who operate strictly within the world of Web3 know that email chains are dead - everything interesting happens on Discord and Twitter. If you’re new to this, you can start by creating a Discord account. The good part is you don’t even have to use your real identity if you wish to do so. Many in the crypto space operate anonymously - something that the community sees no issue with. Once you’re in, you can easily find communities that fit your interest, whether you search on Crypto Twitter or YouTube. Every Discord server has its own unique set of rules, so it’s important to pay attention to the laws of the land whenever you end up somewhere new. Most users are friendly, so while it can be overwhelming on a new server, simply ask for help and your new community will be happy to help you. As the world transitions to a more remote existence, Discord will only grow in popularity. It’s important to try and understand it now, so by the time you have to catch that job interview in the metaverse, you’re ready to go!
Privacy and anonymity have always been a large part of the cypherphunk ethos. For many of the earliest Bitcoin adopters, fortunes beyond their wildest dreams were acquired - which soon led to a problem. If one were to suddenly gain a vast sum of money, how do you keep things under the radar? As the years went on, crypto carved a niche for itself as a “nerdy” sort of digital money for those who were good at computers. Many didn’t see a need for it or viewed it as a scam, even as the price of Bitcoin and other alt coins continued to rise. Since then, crypto has found its way into the general public, but many still aren’t interested. Many see it as harmful to the environment, due to misconceptions of energy consumption or the supposed environmental impact NFTs cause. So what is one to do if they wish to discuss crypto but don’t want to be condemned for it? Enter the alt account. On the social media application Twitter, many might see celebrities and well known crypto founders discussing the currencies, but often other accounts - ones that are a little bit different. They may have a strange name - one that isn’t theirs - or a profile picture that is anything but a LinkedIn headshot. These are known as “alt accounts,” Twitter accounts for crypto lovers that are anonymous. On Crypto Twitter, a vast majority of accounts are anonymous, something the inhabitants don’t seem to pay attention to. It is a field dominated not by status or “who you know” but by what you know and how you market yourself. If you wish to join this unique and burgeoning new way to interact with the community, simply create a new Twitter profile and leave out your personal information - it’s that simple. Having an alt account is a great way to interact online freely with like minded individuals, all while retaining privacy if you wish to do so.