[OLD] Down the Rabbit Hole

Start here to take a trip down the crypto rabbithole with the help of Illini Blockchain!

Hey there, welcome to Illini Blockchain! We're a curiosity driven club whose sole purpose is to learn about the ecosystem of blockchain. We aim to learn through collective discussion, projects, and community engagement.

Our values revolve around being inviting to all knowledge levels of blockchain and web3 technology, as well as 'no person left behind', meaning we try to keep everyone on the same page when it comes to blockchain understanding.

Why Blockchain Is Revolutionary

First, let's figure out why you should care about this stuff.

Here are some influential resources to get you excited:


Now that you are convinced (or intrigued enough to see potential) that the future will be decentralized. Let's figure out how a blockchain actually works.

We start with Bitcoin, the one that started it all. First, read over our blog post, "Bitcoin Under The Hood: How Does It Actually Work?". It holistically explains why Bitcoin/blockchain is revolutionary and how it works.

Then, we can move onto the Bitcoin Whitepaper. It is concise and combines some of the philosophical aspects of money and main technical innovations that make up a blockchain network. There will be some terms you may be unfamiliar with, and that's OK — google whatever you don't know and it should provide a good basis. We encourage you to read these resources multiple times as well, IT'S DIFFICULT FOR ANYONE TO TRULY UNDERSTAND and appreciate the first time.



Now, we know the fundamentals of blockchain and how it began! Let's learn about the second biggest innovation in the blockchain industry: Ethereum.

Ethereum takes the ideas of blockchain as proposed in Bitcoin, and pushes it's capabilities by adding a computational component, meaning Ethereum is a blockchain that allows for applications to be built on top of it as well. It is a decentralized platform. So, the applications built on top of it can also leverage the benefits of blockchain.

This is important because currency can be used beyond just A—>B transactions, we can build systems of money like we have in the real world. Here's a link to our blog post to get you up to speed on Ethereum. See the resources we used at the end of the post!

How to get started?

The best way to get started with Ethereum and crypto in general is by getting your hands dirty and actually using products and protocols on blockchain!

By now, you should have an understanding of crypto wallets and what they are, so now it's a good idea to get started with your very own...

Install Metamask

Metamask is a crypto wallet that lives in your web browser. This browser extension allows you to send/receive Ethereum, use dApps (decentralized applications), and in general serves as your passport into everything crypto. Here's a link to install your wallet and get started.

Once you've installed Metamask, try buying some crypto on your preferred exchange (like Coinbase or Gemini) and start using dApps (like Uniswap or OpenSea).

If you're a little afraid of using real money, we've built a solution for you! You can mint your very own first NFT from Illini Blockchain by using the website below. Here we use the Rinkeby testnet, which is basically a 'fake' Ethereum which developers use to test their code. The network that you use the fake ETH on works slightly differently than the main network. But, the best part is it's free to use by using a testnet faucet! Learn more by getting started ⬇

Become A Part of The Revolution

The industry moves fast! So, it is important to stay on top of its current implications and future applications. Find resources who will keep you updated with quality info below!

Whether you like it or not, the vast majority of crypto news is circulated on twitter. Here is a list of accounts we find a lot of value from (especially their Twitters & blog posts):

Check out our list who provide valuable insight into the future of everything crypto!

Follow us on Twitter & look at who we follow on Twitter for inspiration.

Also, check out our 📚Resources Database to see resources we found value from.

Other Topics to Explore

There's so much more to crypto than what we've mentioned above. The following is a list of topics in the space as well as some reputable projects to look into.