Breaking Into Web3

Posted on February 24, 2022

The Sandbox map

Today’s Morning Buzz is by Patrick McDonnell, Senior Product Manager for the Austin Transportation Department, Data & Technology Services Team. Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn and Twitter.

What I’m reading: The Cryptopians by Laura Shin
What I’m watching: Severance
What I’m listening to: Orion Sun

At the end of podcast #478 The 2021 GovieLovies, the question was asked, “What’s one thing you can’t let go?” Podcaster Toney responded, “Crypto, NFTs, and the Metaverse.”

I couldn’t let it go either. I’ve been looking into crypto since 2018, over the last 2-years got sucked down the rabbit hole of Web3 technologies, and now I’m looking at how it’ll overlap with local government. 

Rather than dive into a treatise as to why I think adoption is inevitable, I thought it would make more sense to show you where the entry points are, and encourage you to take some time to learn on your own.

Taking Action

This list starts with the lowest barrier entry and gets progressively more complex.

The first two actions Follow a Podcast and Join a Discord Server are good for building your context and starting to understand Web3 communities. The next three actions Purchase Crypto, Set up a Wallet, Buy an NFT encourage an exploration of the financial and digital assets side of Web3. And the final action Join a Metaverse is about learning how your digital self can become part of a digital economy.

The action that could act as the biggest obstacle is Setting up a Wallet. Even if you don’t store crypto on it, you’ll need one to gain entry to Web3 sites and tools.

1. Follow a Podcast

In the sea of information to ingest, it’s been great to listen to people who are deep into the goings-on of Web3. The following are my go-tos for the history of Web3 and everyday crypto news. Unchained is hosted by Laura Shin who’s considered the OG crypto journalist, and Bankless is about living in a bank-free world, daily news, and interviews with big players in this space like Vitalik Buterin. 

2. Join a Discord Server

Discord was originally created for the gaming community  – it’s like Slack, but better – and has slowly evolved into a communication staple in Web3. If you’re starting a Web3 project it’s a prerequisite for building your community and creating a space for open discussion. CityCoins features discussions about crypto in cities, and Lobby3 is a DAO initiative lead by Andrew Yang to promote Web3 in government. 

3. Purchase Crypto

The easiest way to get crypto is to buy it on an exchange. In the early days it was relatively lucrative to mine it yourself, but now there are giant operations that have mining farms, so it is more economical to buy. Exchanges are linked to your bank account so that you can transfer fiat money to the platform to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and dozens more coins and tokens. 

4. Set up a Wallet

Once you buy from the exchange you’ll want to move your crypto to a wallet. There’s a saying in crypto “not your keys, not your crypto.” Until you move it off the exchange it’s not really yours. A hot wallet refers to a wallet online or on a mobile app, whereas a cold wallet is disconnected from the Internet. Metamask is probably the most well know wallet, but there are lots to choose from. The cold wallets kind of look like USB drives and are considered a must have when you start to accumulate considerable wealth. 



5. Buy an NFT

An NFT is a Non-fungible token. It’s a cryptographic asset that gets one unique identifier and metadata that distinguishes it from all other assets on the blockchain. Crypto Punks and Bored Ape Yacht Club are among the most popular NFTs that are sold for hundreds of Ethereum, which equates to hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. These platforms allow anyone to mint NFTs and collectors to buy them. Do your research on NFTs, it can get scammy. Check out website links and Discords if they have them to make sure they’re legit.

6. Join a Metaverse

A metaverse is a digital space that is owned and driven by a community of people who have created an economy around digital assets and tokens. In The Sandbox which is a voxel world where the economy revolves around NFTs and the Sand token. Decentraland’s token is called Mana. 

The 6 actions above are a good foundation for Web3, and will get you started on your journey. I’ve added 3 more actions, which are more advanced and good to know about. I’ll leave it up to you to go deeper. 

7. Buy an ENS domain name
8. Join a DAO – Decentralized Autonomous Organization
9. Stake Crypto

Keep Learning

On the daily, I read news about Mayors or Governors introducing a policy to adopt crypto. I read stories about unbanked community members getting access to finances for the first time, and homes being turned into NFTs. I also see massive fluctuations in the market and whales rug-pulling retail investors.

There’s positives and negatives but nobody really knows how it’s going to play out. Regardless, I don’t think it prudent to ignore these fast approaching Web3 technologies.

I hope you learn more, find out what the implications of these new technologies mean locally, and how to governments co-exist with the communities that are driving Web3 into the limelight.  

Toney, if you’re reading and you still haven’t let go of Crypto, NFTs, and the Metaverse, hit me up.

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