How I Learnt About Cryptocurrencies and Built One in 2 Months

#9 — Ninth month of my challenge: 12 topics to learn in 12 months

This is actually how a running blockchain looks like!

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin… those are 3 buzz words we keep hearing about 😬. In order to understand why are these words so trending, I decided to dig into them and learn about this topic.

I already knew the basics of the concepts of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. I even learnt about how Cryptocurrency trading works but I still had a lot of questions unanswered: how are cryptocurrencies decentralized? what is the purpose of mining? what are the alternatives? how does the mining puzzle work? how is the security ensured? how can you create a currency?

Creating a currency feels like creating a website … 15 years ago

In order to answer all these questions, I needed to take my time to learn about cryptocurrencies and blockchain 🚀.

This learning is part of my learning challenge, I started it the 25th of January right after learning about Cryptocurrency Trading.

Preparation

  1. Finding a mentor
    I didn’t have a dedicated mentor to learn about cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, a few people helped me solve some of the issues I encountered and I want to thanks them: Xaxuke (from the Pesetacoin community), Unmesh (a friend), the Peercoin community (via the forum), the Jelurida community ,and all the people who helped me compile in mac since I don’t have one (Patricia, Etienne, and Farbod).
  2. Defining the scope of the topic
    Understanding how cryptocurrencies work, how mining work, what are the different consensus, and how to build one.
  3. Choosing a learning resource
    I used many resources, here are the main ones:
    - Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies —Coursera MOOC from Princeton University — https://www.coursera.org/learn/cryptocurrency
    - Naivecoin Tutorial — https://lhartikk.github.io/
    - Bitcoin Whitepaper —https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
    - Peercoin Whitepaper — https://peercoin.net/whitepaper
    - Peershares Whitepaper — http://wiki.peercointalk.org/index.php?title=Peershares_whitepaper
    - IOTA Whitepaper — https://iota.org/IOTA_Whitepaper.pdf
    - ByteBall Whitepaper — https://byteball.org/Byteball.pdf
    - Nxt Whitepaper —https://nxtwiki.org/wiki/Whitepaper:Nxt
  4. Defining a project
    My initial project was to build a Proof of Stake Cryptocurrency with its own blockchain, but after starting I decided to also create a Proof of Stake coin generator.

Because this article would have been too long, I decided to cut it into 6 smaller articles! You can read them in any order! I hope you like them 😃.

Why Cryptocurrencies Matter?

Let’s talk about the specifics of cryptocurrencies. What makes them special, and why it’s more than just buzzwords. If you don’t know what a cryptocurrency is you should definitely read it!

Why Cryptocurrencies Matter? - Sandoche ADITTANE - Medium

How Cryptocurrencies Work (Technical Guide)

Wonder what is happening when you transfer your cryptocurrency? Or why some cryptocurrencies need mining? how the mining works? or what are the current limitations of cryptocurrencies? Read this article, you will have all these questions answered and more!

How Cryptocurrencies Work (Technical Guide) - Sandoche ADITTANE - Medium

Proof of What? Understand the Distributed Consensuses in Blockchain

In order to runs cryptocurrencies need nodes to run. Since these nodes are distributed all around the world they need to agree on what transactions are valid and what are the next blocks. Therefore they need a consensus to do so. In this article I describe the different existing consensuses with their pros and cons. Also you can see that you don’t necersarly need to waste energy with mining!

Proof of What? Understand the Distributed Consensuses in Blockchain

How to Make Money with Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrency rhymes with money, see what are the different ways to make money with cryptocurrencies 💸🤑.

How to Make Money with Cryptocurrencies?

How I Integrated Blockchain to My Existing Productivity App (Kanbanote)

I wanted to experiment by creating my own cryptocurrency with its own blockchain and to implement it to an existing product. This is how I created Motive, a coin given as a reward for doing your own tasks in Kanbanote (a productivity web app).

How I Integrated Blockchain to My Existing Product (Kanbanote)

How to build a Proof of Stake coin in a few minutes?

Want to create your own energy efficient cryptocurrency with its own blockchain? Follow this tutorial!

A step by step guide to build a Proof of Stake cryptocurrency with its own blockchain

How to Build Your Own Cryptocurrency (PoS) in Just a Few Minutes

The final results

Here are the projects I built during this learning challenge about Cryptocurrencies & Blockchain 🙌🚀.

Motive Cryptocurrency

As you could read here, I built Motive, a coin given as a reward when you accomplish a task in Kanbanote.

Screenshot from https://motive.network

I invite you to check out its website: https://motive.network
Feel free to stake it or to go to https://www.kanbanote.com and set up your wallet to earn some MOTIVs.

CoinGenerator

As you could read here, I built CoinGenerator, a tool to generate a Proof of Stake Cryptocurrency with its own blockchain.

Screenshot from https://coingenerator.sh

I invite you to check out its website: https://coingenerator.sh

Feedback from this learning month

What went well

  • Learning from Coursera was very good, and I validated my assignments (you can find them on my Github)
  • I understand how blockchain & bitcoin works
  • I understand how some of the Proof of Work alternatives work
  • I created Motive, a Proof of Stake Cryptocurrency with its own blockchain, integrated in Kanbanote
  • I created CoinGenerator, a Proof of Stake Cryptocurrency generator
  • I learnt a new style of design (cf. Motive’s website, and CoinGenerator’s website)
  • I learnt how to create an interactive CLI generator
  • I learnt how electron works (when I first tried to build a wallet for my cryptocurrency)
  • I combined some of my previous learning: colors (by using the color palette I did), Webpack (by using the Jekyll-Webpack-Boilerplate), and creativity (by using the process of finding inspiration)

What to improve

  • My Java skills, I was losing some time in the Coursera assignments with some Java syntax problems. I am a Web developer using Javascript, PHP, HTML, CSS, life is a lot easier with those languages
  • My C++ skills, I struggled a lot trying to compile some cryptocurrencies such as Peercoin, I just talk about compiling not even reading or editing the code
  • I finished my learning the 5th of April it took me 70 days!
  • I kept adding tasks for the projects: like the generator, then building a website for the generator,…

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How I Learnt About Cryptocurrencies and Built One in 2 Months was originally published in Learning Lab on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.