Beginner's Guide to Crypto User's Apps and Tools

The onboarding process to crypto can seem daunting. We’ve got a primer on common apps and software to help understand and read the room.

By
Kyle Heise
on
October 27, 2021
Category:
Tutorials

New Industry, New Lingo

One of the intimidating factors to learning anything new is the new words and jargon associated with entering and engaging a new industry. The learning curve of new terms combined with different ways to use familiar apps causes confusion and fatigue. Many terms are similar to traditional finance, but completely new and esoteric terms can befuddle even savvy minds. 

In this article, we will review some of the common applications and software that every crypto user should know well. Call it a beginners guide to the standard apps and software needed for success as crypto users. 

We’ve divided the applications into four categories: communication, tools, education, and security. Each section will give a few apps or services but are in no way the end-all for research of tokens, coins, or projects. Hopefully, this can help serve a novice use for introduction to the wide world of Web 3.0 and crypto.

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Communication: 

Twitter - Likely the most well-known of all apps on this list. Twitter is the top source for breaking news in the world. A project on crypto will almost always have a Twitter and will use it to notify the community of updates. 

Crypto Twitter is also a phrase used to describe the atmosphere and personalities associated with the industry. Crypto Twitter is an entire beast of its own. Like with every niche community, understanding phrases and acronyms used throughout the comments and banter is a significant learning curve to overcome. The speed at which phrases and lexicon evolve is one that can even lose veteran users. From Tungsten cubes to comment sections filled with shills saying ‘NGMI,’ the 

Discord - The versatile messaging and social media, discord, helps manage and organize different protocols and projects. Discord is a way for fans and users to engage and participate in projects. Discord allows for voice, video, chat, and other forms of communication. 

The intricacies of Discord run deep. The platform is capable of a wide variety of customization to help manage polls, commentary, and all kinds of user engagement. Used mainly as a messaging service, Discord can be a proving ground for users to interact with projects and their personnel. 

Telegram - Telegram can be described as similar to Discord. Both are messaging apps, but Telegram has limited functionality. In some ways, Telegram is a more chaotic form of Discord. It has less organization, and the commentary is not subdivided. All the functions are for just one at a time: one common chat, one common voice chat, and one common channel. 

Many projects will prefer a Telegram over Discord, and it is often that less mature projects will opt for Telegram over Discord. 

Medium - The website Medium serves as a common blog space for many projects. Some projects will have a blog page on their website, while others will use Medium. Medium works and functions like most other blogs, similar to something like WordPress. 

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Common Tools:

Wallets - When you buy crypto, you’ve got to store it somewhere. That’s where a crypto wallet comes into play. In a similar manner that a bank holds your money, a crypto wallet will act as the custodian for your assets. Choosing a crypto wallet can come down to convenience and availability. 

Hard and soft wallets also have the ability to make or break a crypto user’s safety. Having your funds secured on hard wallets is likely the safest way to hold your value, however, soft wallets provide greater versatility and ease of investment. 

To engage in DeFi, it is imperative to get a wallet like MetaMask, TrustWallet, or others. Some wallets are only available on mobile (Trust Wallet) while others (MetaMask) straddle both mobile and desktop. BSC News has written several explainers on how to make and set up a crypto wallet. 

Crypto Exchanges - One of the first and most important things to be familiarized with is the wallet ledger that one chooses. BSC News has written several articles about the pros and cons to several common exchanges. 

Connecting to Coinbase or Binance is a common first step for users looking to buy and hold cryptocurrencies. However, the further down the rabbit hole one ventures, the more likely you are to want to engage with Decentralized Finance (DeFi). 

Portfolio Trackers - The more one engages in crypto and DeFi, the more likely they are to invest their fund and assets across different protocols. Users can go on an endless loop of bouncing between different yield farms and liquidity pools to maximize returns. 

As your funds begin to spread, it can become tedious to check each site individually. Thanks to the creation of portfolio trackers, users can link their wallet address to see an overview of all their funds. Portfolio trackers from groups like Dapp Radar and ApeBoard become useful tools for users who are spread across different platforms.

Blockchain Transaction Scanners - One of the most intimidating aspects of crypto is the code. Each user has a wallet address and seed phrase. Each project in DeFi has a corresponding smart contract code too. Each of these codes can be publicly tracked and followed. 

Learning to read and follow the transactions (tx) on a public scanner like BSC Scan (for Binance Smart Chain tx) or ETH Scan (for tx on Ethereum). The ability to follow transactions across the blockchain is helpful to understanding the behavior of blockchain. 

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Education Sources:

Youtube Tutorials - Youtube is a wealth of knowledge for a variety of subjects, crypto included.  Learning strategies before you dive in and invest is a healthy strategy. Channels like DeFi Direct and Finematics are home to many tutorials, explainers, and recorded events to help users of all levels educate themselves to be better crypto users.

Learn and Earn - One of the hottest ways to become educated about new projects is through the phenomenon called ‘Learn and Earn.’ Projects and protocols have campaigns of quizzes, tasks, and games for users to educate themselves while earning tokens or assets in the process.

Blogs and Twitter - Again, blogs and Twitter can be their own education sources. Who you follow can be a carefully curated selection of personalities who fill your feed with intelligent content. Be sure not to fall down an isolation chamber or follow a variety of sources. One place to start is by following who your favorite projects follow.

For those looking for tools and strategies regarding safety and crypto education, be sure to check out the Tutorials, Cryptonomics Explainers, and Trading Tool Kits from BSC News.

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Security Strategies:

Wallets- Both an important tool and security barrier, the type of wallet used can make or break a user. Every wallet address comes with a private key, which is the most precious piece of information to any crypto user. The private key (sometimes called a seed phrase) should never be shared. Sharing a see phrase can lead to stolen or compromised funds.

The usage of a hardware wallet like Ledger or Nano has also been proven to increase the security of funds on the blockchain significantly. BSC News has chronicled this in explainers as well. 

Internet Browser - Not all internet browsers are created equal. As crypto has become more prominent, custom widgets and new browsers have been built specifically to cater to crypto users and their habits now exist. Brave is a top browser for many common crypto users, while many users still use other common browsers like Chrome or Mozilla. Most browsers can be customized using widgets and extensions to have added tools and services for internet usage. Proper use of a browser can help keep funds safe and secure.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)- Using a VPN is an extra layer of security for many users. A VPN gives that added obfuscation that helps hide the identity and blur the location of a user. There are myriad VPN services available, while many are characteristic of the user’s location. Services like Express VPN are common, while some crypto security protocols, like Hacken, offer VPN services to their token holders. Beware of fake or sketchy VPN services as well. 

Familiarization and adaption to the apps and software associated with cryptocurrency can help take novice users to someone who can comfortably navigate the world of Web 3.0. Crypto is full of terms and likenesses that can be fun tools to help liberate a user’s financial difficulties once understood.

Again, if you are looking for tools and strategies regarding safety and crypto education, be sure to check out the Tutorials, Cryptonomics Explainers, and Trading Tool Kits from BSC News.

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Kyle Heise

Born and raised in the East Bay of California. He has studied and worked on three continents and lived in eight countries. Kyle resides in San Francisco. He holds bags mostly in Ethererum, Cake, and BSC GameFi projects.

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