The market has about 9 different types of cryptocurrencies today, including payment, security, utility, DeFi tokens, NFTs, stablecoins, etc. These categories are mainly based on the project use cases that affect the specific token’s function. This article explores cryptocurrencies and how we use them in our app.
What is Cryptocurrency?
Unlike traditional currencies, cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies secured by cryptography, so they can never be counterfeited or double-spent. Cryptocurrencies often rely on blockchain technology, which is a distributed ledger enforced by a network of computers.
Alt coins (alt for “alternative”) is a phrase used to describe any coin except Bitcoin or Ethereum.
These alt coins are often payment, security, utility, NFTs, stablecoins or they might be DeFi coins with complicated tokenomics plans. Alt coins usually change prices in a very volatile way. They might make a huge gain one day, then crash much lower than anyone thought possible the next day. Alt coins are typically very risky investments, but are useful for governance and DeFi.
Governance and DeFi Tokens
A governance token is a token that gives you voting power in a network. In a DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization, you typically need a certain number of tokens to be able to cast votes. These governance tokens are like voting chips that you need to hold in your crypto wallet. There are also many tokens that are used in DeFi, such as tokens that a network airdrops or emits over time to users as an incentivization mechanism. Or, there are DeFi tokens that accrue value or represent your stake in a network, such as the stETH token you receive from Lido when staking ETH.
There are many alt-coin scams out there, so you need to be aware of the potential to lose money on a scam if you buy a token you’re not familiar with. It’s best to do research to find out if the token is legitimate.
One of the problems with many alt-coin issued by different projects is that they may be considered unregistered securities. A security, or stock, represents a piece of ownership in a company and must be registered by the SEC and follow certain standards, such as quarterly reporting.
This makes holding and trading some alt coins riskier than you may want. Do your research and be aware of the possible risks and benefits of holding alt coins.
NFTs, Non Fungible Tokens, are another form of cryptocurrencies where its interchangeable. Their best known use case is profile pictures (PFPs) that people use to signal belonging in a community, but NFTs have many use cases beyond that as well. NFTs are Non Fungible because they are uniquely tagged as individuals. They’re different from fungible tokens like ETH. If I have one ETH and you have one ETH, and we swap our ETH, we both still have one ETH. They’re swappable.
NFTs cannot be swapped like that. If I have one Bored Ape and you have one Bored Ape, we can’t swap them and still have the same as what we started with. Everything is completely unique and therefore cannot be swapped. NFTs can be minted by anyone. Using the open source ERC 721 standard, anyone can create an NFT and sell it. Platforms like OpenSea aggregate NFTs into a single marketplace, so browsing and buying is even easier.
Many NFT projects became famous for the 10,000-pfp mint, which is when there are 10,000 unique NFTs minted with some defining characteristics that unite them into one project, like the Bored Apes. This became a common community-building and hype-creating tactic in the NFT boom of 2021. NFTs have also made their mark in the areas of digital land ownership (Decentraland), digital identity (Ethereum Name Service), and community-entry (NFT-gating of Discord via tools like Collab.land and Guild). There are many different applications for NFTs being talked about in the future, such as NFT tickets for event entry, but these ideas are still in very early stages.
NFTs are still highly speculative, and many people buy them and flip them to make money. This has caused them to be highly volatile, similar to the Alt Coins we talked about in an earlier course. NFTs have greatly opened up the options for artists and creators to make money on their work. While the space is still in early stages, the beginnings have been promising for an exciting future.
How do we use cryptocurrencies?
Continuum is the community-led education platform that helps creatives learn they need to succeed in the digital economy. You can think of us as your favorite social media app, but tailored specifically to help you learn whatever interests you. As a learner, you can discover educational content that’s actually useful from the best creators and professionals across a wide range of topics. Instead of paying to access the best educational resources, you get paid. The tokens you earn from learning inside the app allow access to opportunities for ownership and residual income over time.
Actions inside our app, like watching shorts, passing quizzes and finishing courses will reward you in Gems and XP. Gems are our in-app virtual currency that may be used for in-app utility like tipping creators or gaining special access to features. XP stands for “experience points”. As you accumulate XP through actions in the app, you’ll level up and unlock more utility. You can check your Gem and XP balance at any time on the Dashboard screen. Gems and XP have no monetary value and cannot be purchased, but Gems will be able to be exchanged to $UUM in the future.
$UUM is an ERC-20 crypto token on the Ethereum blockchain outside of the Continuum app and will have monetary value. $UUM will be our native token. For fungible tokens created with the Ethereum blockchain, the ERC-20 standard is used. There are some renown projects that use the ERC-20 standard.
Here are some popular examples:
Additionally, finishing courses on our app will also grant you a “proof of completion” NFT unique to each course. The NFTs are on Polygon chain so you can also see the transaction on polyscan. You can also view your NFTs in your wallet connected to the app on the Dashboard screen inside our app. These NFTs are unique as they are non-transferrable or more commonly known as soul-bound tokens where a user can’t transfer nor could they sell their “proof of completion” NFTs. There are a growing amount of soul-bound token related content for you to consume on the internet.
What are your thoughts on cryptocurrencies? Have you exchange cryptocurrencies in the last few months?
If you are looking to dive deeper into the topic, download our app and take our “Intro to web 3” course as well as other blockchain related courses available on our app. Getting into Web 3 requires you to try and test out the technology that you would be building or bringing in to your life.
Share your “proof of completion” NFT on social media and stand a chance to win some Matic tokens.
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