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Blockchain and Crypto 101 - October 2017


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A short 101 on blockchain and cryptocurrencies - What is blockchain? How to get started investing in crypto? Tactical tips for keeping your investment secure. Presentation for Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Meetup at WeWork San Francisco, Oct 23 2017.

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Blockchain and Crypto 101 - October 2017

  1. 1. blockchain & crypto 101 audrey chaing october 2017
  2. 2. Table of Contents •Blockchain •Cryptocurrencies
  3. 3. Blockchain
  4. 4. What is Blockchain? Source: Blockgeeks, Wikipedia, Don & Alex Tapscott - authors Blockchain Revolution (2016) • A continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography • “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” • Invented by person/group Satoshi Nakamoto • Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin, the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology
  5. 5. Why Is It A Big Deal? Source: Blockgeeks “Transfer of trust in a trustless world” – No 3rd party needed
  6. 6. How Does it Accomplish This? Source: Blockgeeks, Yevgeniy Brikman • Blockchain is: – Distributed database – Public and easily verifiable. No centralized version. – Transparent & Incorruptible - Network reconciles every transaction that happens in ten-minute intervals. Each group of these transactions is referred to as a “block”. Altering any unit of information on the blockchain would mean using a huge amount of computing power to override the entire network -> Can’t change it. – A network of nodes - Every node is an “administrator” of the blockchain, and joins the network voluntarily (in this sense, the network is decentralized).
  7. 7. How Does Blockchain Work? Source: Blockgeeks
  8. 8. Blockchain Market Map Source: CBInsights
  9. 9. Cryptocurrencies
  10. 10. Cryptocurrencies Source:, • A digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency • As of October 2017, there were over 1000 digital currencies in existence • The cryptocurrency index CRIX is a conceptual measurement jointly developed by statisticians at Humboldt University of Berlin, Singapore Management University and the enterprise CoinGecko and was launched in 2016. The index represents cryptocurrency market characteristics dating back until July 31, 2014
  11. 11. Major Cryptocurrencies Source: Release Currency Symbol Founder Hash Algorithm Timestamp Notes 2009 Bitcoin BTC, XBT Satoshi Nakamoto SHA-256d Proof of Work 1st decentralized ledger currency. Most famous, highest market capitalization 2011 Litecoin LTC Charles Lee Scrypt Proof of Work 1st to use Scrypt 2013 Ripple XRP Chris Larsen & Jed McCaleb ECDSA “Consensus” Designed for P2P debt transfer. Not based on bitcoin 2015 Ethereum ETH Vitalik Buterin Ethash Proof of Work Supports Turing -complete smart contracts
  12. 12. Price of Bitcoin Source: Coinbase
  13. 13. How To Get Started? Source: Coinbase, GDAX • Open an account with an exchange and fund with fiat (USD) • Coinbase does make this easiest, GDAX lower transaction fees • Connect bank account or use debit/credit cards • Can only trade BTC, ETH, LTC on Coinbase • Link - we each get $10 BTC after first $100 in trades ad3000025
  14. 14. Tips • Never Invest More Than You Would Feel Comfortable Losing • Do NOT Keep Your Crypto on Exchanges • Exchanges are targets for hacking • You do not control your private keys. NEVER give away your private keys -> SCAMMERS • DO Keep Your Crypto in Cold Storage • Holding = Hardware or paper wallet – fully offline, “HODL” • Trading = Hot wallet/software wallet – apps, online wallets • How to trade Altcoins? Must use different exchanges • Bitfinex, Kraken, Poloniex, Bitmex, Bitstamp, Gemini… • Send funding cryptocurrency to wallet address on new exchange
  15. 15. How To Make a Free Paper Wallet Source:
  16. 16. How To Check Addresses Source:
  17. 17. Other Ways to Invest Source: Techcrunch, Travis Scher, CoinDesk • Initial Coin Offering (ICO) • Start-ups and founders have raised more than $1.7 billion so far in 2017 by selling customized virtual currencies via ICOs • Lots of excitement but pitfalls • Regulatory uncertainty • High valuations/over-capitalization • Lack of controls • Lack of business use cases • Lend Cryptocurrency – Considered slower but safer compared to direct trading. “Passive income” – Lend your crypto to traders using margin for 2-30 days on Poloniex and Bitfinex – Lately, daily rates for lending have been in the 0.01-0.03% range – Compare best bank rates for savings accounts = 1.30% APR
  18. 18. Upcoming Bitcoin Forks Source: Various – Bitcoinmagazine • What is a Fork? – A “fork” is a change to the software of the digital currency that creates two separate versions of the blockchain with a shared history – Forks can be temporary, lasting for a few minutes, or can be a permanent split in the network creating two separate versions of the blockchain. When this happens, two different digital currencies are also created • Why Do They Happen? – When a change is proposed to a digital currency protocol, users need to show their support for the new version and upgrade — in a similar way to people regularly update applications on their computer • Bitcoin Gold - October 25, 2017 • SegWit2x – TBD, a few weeks later • Takeaway: Control your private keys before so you receive all new currencies post-forks
  19. 19. Thank You Audrey Chaing is a cryptocurrency trader and blockchain analyst, and runs the news site • Trading Bitcoin since 2013. Member of the Oakland Blockchain Developers. • Co-founded 2 companies in food tech and genetics, through which she participated in Start-Up Chile and Singularity University Global Solutions Program. • Over a decade of experience on Wall Street as an investor, trader, and research analyst at companies like Credit Suisse, Wells Fargo, and BlackRock. • Audrey has a degree in Computer Science from MIT with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence, and earned her MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. @audsinthecity