Cryptocurrencies: What Even Are They? by@lucienlecarme

Cryptocurrencies: What Even Are They?

Only 3,9% of the population in the world uses Cryptocurrencies. Experts will tell you though, blockchain tech and crypto are going to impact the lives of everybody on the planet. Bitcoin is the flagship currency, dictating the trend for the entire space. This is a beginner's guide for when you love to dive into the wonderful world of Crypto.
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Lucien Lecarme

Crypto Blogger. Founder of Spirit of Crypto pub on medium, +100k readers in 3 years. Ex Team member of ThreeFold

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A starter's guide for the 96.1% of humans that doesn't own crypto

Going back to basics is great for Crypto newcomers. And also for when you wander around in the cryptoforest and lose the plot.

Let me guide you home.

Here are some definitions of Cryptocurrency.

  • Encrypted money
  • Crypto expresses the value of a specific blockchain it represents
  • Crypto is digital money, or, according to Wikipedia, a collection of binary data which is designed to work as a medium of exchange
  • Crypto uses cryptography to become anonymous digital value
  • Crypto is a big bubble and Crypto is the future

I didn’t even start talking about Bitcoin, which is also a Cryptocurrency.

When you operate directly within the world of Cryptocurrencies, it seems there’s nothing else and people can get pretty religious about the subject.

It’s good to go to the base of everything every once in a while. Zoom out. You’ll discover that only 3,9% of the grown-up population in the world uses Cryptocurrencies. Yet, the underlying blockchain technology is a true revolution. Experts will tell you this is going to impact the lives of everybody on the planet.

As Crypto Educator it’s my passion to go back to basics continuously, explaining this magical world to newcomers and people that got stuck in the complexity of today’s digital world.

Did Crypto start with Bitcoin?

Let’s start with where it all began. January 3rd, 2009. The first bitcoins were mined by founder Nakamoto. This mining process is computers solving a puzzle. The winner earns Bitcoins. The direct use case is validations of transactions on that specific blockchain. This is called proof of work.

Blockchain tech is highly disruptive for an economy built on middlemen. Like banks.

Since money became digital, coders needed to solve 2 burning issues. Double spend and the single point of failure. Cryptography was used to solve both issues. It’s way more complicated than this but lets not go into that rabbit hole for now or read my crypto starters guide.

Bitcoin and the birth of Blockchain technology already started back in the 70ies with the open-source movement. The 2008 financial crisis accelerated the process for Cypherpunks, Libertarians and a guy named Nakamoto to revolutionize money.

The takeaway is that crypto is nothing without blockchain technology, the real revolution.

It’s solving a massive pain point for humanity created by the legacy financial system: Non-transparency, corruption, money created as interest-bearing debt and middlemen sucking out all of the wealth to the top of the money-power pyramid.

Some numbers

Blockchain tech, Crypto, ALT coins and NFT’s have become a huge hype in 2021.

99% of people focus on price movements and since the world of crypto is highly volatile, a huge amount of money can be made in bull markets. And also lost. The total market cap of crypto is 2.7 trillion US$

2021 is the year of the bull market for Bitcoin. This is the flagship currency, dictating the trend for the entire space. The Bitcoin price rose from 20K all the way to 69K in one year. Altcoin season is here again with some coins like Shiba Inu gaining 700% a month.

If you were to have invested $100 into SHIB at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, and you held onto that stake throughout the entire year, you’d now be sitting on a position valued at :


That’s a 45.000.000% rise in less than a year. Some say crypto is a bubble, reminding us of Tulip Mania in Amsterdam or the bubble in 2002. Would you agree?

CryptoCoins are created every day. Without basic tech knowledge, you can create your coin within 5 minutes. The total amount of tokens hovers around 7500 at the time of writing. According to this website, 1686 coins have died, their price floating around zero in digital space. Forever.

The number of Bitcoin wallets grew to 16 million in 2021. There are now over 100 million Bitcoin owners. As of 2021, global crypto ownership rates at an average of 3.9%, with over 300 million crypto users worldwide. 160 Million are located in Asia.

What’s the buzz about?

What’s up for the 96,1% of the world's population that doesn’t own crypto? Are they living in constant fear of missing out?

That’s hard to answer.

I can imagine they look at the next buzz, like NFT’s, with some reserve. Henry Ford already famously quoted that most people love sound money. In fact,

They (the people) are so unalterably on the side of sound money that it is a serious question how they would regard the system under which they live, if they once knew what the initiated can do with it — Henry Ford

In these times of super accelerated technological change, people get massively scared. They jump from the high-speed data train and freeze in complete conservatism, holding on to what they got ferociously.

When you ask me what’s the buzz about I would answer: Systemic change

Crypto & Blockchain means disruption

Crypto is a huge mirror for the infinite free printing money fake bubble economy.

NFT’s are a huge mirror for our old model of rights, contracts, and ownership creating a new open digital signature of ownership

WEB 3 is a huge mirror for gigantic gatekeepers like Facebook that see internet users as products.

It all comes down to these 3 qualities that are part of the revolution of money, powered by (decentralized) blockchain tech

  1. Peer-to-peer value exchange. No more middlemen needed. We’re going from the pyramid to flat.
  2. Borderless. Computer networks don’t need a passport.
  3. Censorship resistant. Banks can blacklist people how they want, but everybody with a smartphone and an internet connection can join the world of crypto within the hour

Tech can free us or enslave us

Nuclear tech has bombed the living daylight out of Hiroshima and brought us relatively clean energy

I can write the next Nobel prize-winning novel with my laptop, or kill my neighbor with it with a firm slap.

Every tech invention can liberate us all or can become the next most dangerous weapon in the history of mankind. Same with blockchain tech.

Nakamoto’s dream was to free humanity from the shackles of a legacy system that debt-slaved billions, creating free money for a few, and bails out the cancer of corruption every decade.

The movement of decentralization is a great redistribution of the money from the top of the pyramid into the wallets of all.

It’s up to the people to decide which crypto to use for what purpose.

The network effect is the deciding factor for this. Meaning the total value of the community or network of users backing up the blockchain, empowering it either through proof of work or proof of stake. Crypto is the representation of this value.

China is using Blockchain tech with a state-run cryptocurrency, the digital Yuan, on top of it. It’s the end of privacy, AKA the social credit system. Russia is in an experimental phase with its digital Rouble.

Revolutionary blockchain tech can free us from slavery or connect our brains to a centralized Borg dictating to us what good behavior is.

Elon Musks Neurolink and the Metaverse could be just the beginning of a Brave New World. Or free our minds forever from this earthly realm.

The choice is eventually ours.

Bitcoin will become most likely the new digital gold standard, not an everyday means of exchange.

Crypto will be always the expression of the value of the underlying Blockchain.

Lucien Lecarme

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