These are words that might make you think of college or university.
But I use them throughout these pages to describe the experience of participating in crypto markets.
When you’re trading BTC, ETH, ADA or XRP, you are getting a valuable education.
When you do your homework, create a trading plan, execute it and manage your risk, you’re adding to your skill stack.
When your trades don’t work out the way you wanted, you are paying some tuition.
But the formality of the traditional education process is absent.
The passive nature of the interaction is gone.
The structured security of the classroom does not exist.
The black and white answers become a sea of gray possibilities.
It’s you, some money and the crypto market.
You put your ideas and convictions to the test and get the results.
I call this going to Crypto School.
And it’s the kind of school you can attend at any age no matter where you are with any amount of funds.
And the beautiful part of the Crypto School is that you are in the process of learning valuable trading lessons. And as a result, you are also learning important life, financial literacy and business lessons.
Let’s take a step back and look at all of the insights you can learn from crypto.
Trading Bitcoin will teach you about the value of emotion
Emotions are bad, right? As a trader, you have been instructed, probably repeatedly, to ignore your emotions.
Emotions will hurt your trading, they say.
They tell you emotions will cause you to make mistakes and bad decisions.
You will learn how to separate yourself from your emotions and use them as an indicator of human behaviour. Not just your behaviour, but how others might be feeling.
These emotions drive decisions. And they are a window into all of the trading decisions you are seeing.
Emotion reveals the reason all the narratives you hear are constructed the way they are and why.
That emotional intelligence will give you a window into an important part of life. And you will be able to use it to trade better and understand the world around you.
And this knowledge adds to your perspective.
Trading crypto teaches you perspective
At Crypto School, you are learning about the value of perspective.
You have had the unique opportunity to watch something grow and develop organically before your eyes. It’s a whole new take on several old ideas.
Over time you’ve seen lots of ups and downs.
You’ve seen successes and failuresâ€”the twists and turns.
How an entire movement can grow with little or no regulation.
And the storiesâ€¦.
Elon loves Bitcoin. Then he says it’s too high. Then he is worried about the proof of work energy demand.
Bitcoin drops, and it’s attributed to the Chinese banning of miners.
Well, lots of miners have been banned, and more restrictions have happened. And yet Bitcoin marched to all-time highs.
Cardano has been developing a platform for several years, and that’s just coming into its own now.
Ethereum has gone through multiple evolutions, ups and downs.
One area telegraphs the path of the next crypto innovation. Like NFTs provide a roadmap for DeFi growth.
As a crypto trader, enthusiast or participant, you learn that markets are an organic thing and move in their own way in their own time.
They are never static.
Crypto gives you the development of an entire space in a compressed time frame. It’s like watching a 100-year video on 10x.
With crypto, every problem has a solution
The entire cryptosphere seems to not only embrace problems but embrace the hardest problems.
Money isn’t easy to do. Good reliable infrastructure isn’t something just anyone can do.
Each new platform and cryptocurrency is designed to solve a problem. And I’m not talking about the guys trying to line their pockets at the expense of the public.
Every hard and soft fork is designed to deliver a slightly better outcome than the previous version. Sometimes it’s something more subtle like Bitcoin’s Taproot. Other times it’s a leap like with Ethereum’s move to proof-of-stake.
Automated market makers create a feedback loop for staking and liquidity using smart contracts.
Platforms creating cross-chain compatibility to increase the scalability of other layers in the tech stack.
NFTs explore the vast possibilities of value creation and distribution.
DeFi explores different ways of looking at and delivering financial products and services.
Tokens touch many aspects of life in a fully mobile and autonomous way.
Every whitepaper tells you the vision of the solution to a problem. That’s how Bitcoin started.
And they all do this within largely open and unregulated playing fields.
Well, there is regulation. But instead of a government agency, this is accomplished in part through incentives and disincentives.
The power of incentives and disincentives
In a traditional school, you probably don’t think a lot about incentives and disincentives. But when you are working with technology and capital, these are key considerations.
The crypto approach to these is everywhere you look.
Bitcoin’s proof-of-work mining is a perfect example of an incentive/disincentive system. Miners are rewarded for securing the network and creating blocks. Proof-of-stake is a different incentive system. And there are multiple takes on PoS.
Look through the whitepapers of virtually every platform. You will see these incentive disincentives as a fundamental part of the project.
Take Uniswap. The UNI token is a governance token providing the holder with certain rights and responsibilities. The token creates an incentive to support and advance the system. To promote and enhance it.
This is done with clear guidance and a system that incentivizes those that do good and punishes those that don’t. They are, in essence, a form of digitized regulation.
Each one is just a little bit different. Each one is an experiment that is built on and refined in each new project.
Disincentives and incentives are an important part of business and life.
In crypto, they are applied by smart contracts and the community.
Crypto teaches us about the power of community
Everywhere you look in crypto, you see communities.
There is a Bitcoin communityâ€”one for Ethereum. Uniswap has one, as does Cardano. You can belong to one or many.
The communities involve stakeholders and users. Community members are incentivized through different methods, including rewards, governance tokens, and participation in the project’s direction.
Communities also shape hard and soft forks of projects creating updated or new projects to address important problems.
Cryptocurrencies thrive or die on the strength of their community.
For fiat currency, you have to use it because the government decrees it. This is what gives the government its capability and power.
But cryptocurrencies don’t have this luxury.
Acceptance has to be earned. The project has to stand for something. It has to demonstrate viability and legitimacy. And there has to be some sort of gain.
It requires holders, takers and users to endorse, use and guide. And it requires protection from predators.
In a globalized world, sometimes, the concept of community is forgotten. Crypto School shows you the power or loosely formalized community structures guided by incentives and disincentives.
Crypto means participating in what gets built next
I recall a founder saying that a select group of VCs determine every new innovation that will get done. That’s because they control the resources required to build them.
This situation is a result of existing regulations around Accredited Investors. It’s changed a bit recently. But in general, these rules exclude certain people from assuming risk and responsibility for their financial decisions.
So if you don’t have enough money, assets or income, you’re excluded.
Token sales, airdrops and different ways to earn and participate in crypto changed all that.
You can participate by buying and selling various crypto projects. This helps vet their code and identify important upgrades and changes.
You can stake and earn a return providing crucial liquidity.
You can hold governance tokens giving you a say in the direction of the project you are involved in.
Now, as long as you are clear that the space remains speculative and act accordingly, you are making a valuable contribution. You are helping to decide what gets built by voting with your support and activity.
And you are learning to take responsibility for your decisions while you do it.
So at Crypto School, you get to act a bit like an accredited investor without actually being one.
And you get to learn about the risk and rewards of this participation.
There is no other education or school that comes close to the value of real-world participation.
Crypto embraces the power of experimentation
Crypto School also shows you the power of experimentation.
There is nothing static in this space. It is highly competitive, always moving. If a platform falls behind, it will be forked, and a new competitor will knock it out of relevance.
Or, if the experiment fails, it will join the long list of thousands of casualties on various websites across the web.
If you look back at the history of crypto, you can see this evolution play out at an accelerated rate.
Take the Lighting Network, which started as a whitepaper in 2015. The development proceeded with approaches using different development languages that were brought together.
Over time the project has been improved and expanded. Now it’s a robust layer two side-chain application for Bitcoin.
The power of experimentation applies to Ethereum, Bitcoin, Cardano and all of the currently successful projects.
And the best part is that you can choose which experiments and new ideas you want to participate in.
Crypto School is education for the digital world
Change happens so frequently that it isn’t change any more. It’s more like normal.
How new things challenge the status quo and lead to slow but significant changes.
But in the meantime, cutting-edge technology like crypto has more freedom. And that, of course, means more upside and downside.
This potential does not exist at this scale anywhere else for the vast majority of people.
There are few other markets as open and accessible.
This is why the crypto markets are the best pure trading markets on the planet.
What you learn every day as a crypto trader, enthusiast and participant at Crypto School can be applied elsewhere.
Even though crypto markets are digital, open-source and largely automated, the human element is a fundamental part of the interaction.
And you are contributing to its ongoing development.
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