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:
Why decentralization matters
During the first era of the internet - from the 1980s through the early 2000s - internet services were built on open protocols that were controlled by the internet community. This meant that people or organizations could grow their internet presence knowing the rules of the game wouldn't change later on.
How the blockchain is changing money and business | Don Tapscott
What is the blockchain? If you don't know, you should; if you do, chances are you still need some clarification on how it actually works. Don Tapscott is her...
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.
Bitcoin Under The Hood: How Does It Actually Work?
A holistic explanation of the technology behind Bitcoin. Made for beginners. Welcome to Illini Blockchain's first blog post! Illini Blockchain is a curiosity-driven cl ub whose mission is to learn about and get involved in the blockchain ecosystem. We also want to bring others along for the ride!
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!
Ethereum Under The Hood: A Decentralized Computer
A holistic explanation of how Ethereum works & why it's significant. Made for beginners. In this post we will cover the blockchain technology "Ethereum." Ethereum launched in 2015 and is the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap after Bitcoin. This market cap is an indication of how much people believe in Ethereum.
How to get started?
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...
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 ⬇
Illini Blockchain NFT Mint
To interact with a blockchain, you need some sort of address/client to send transactions from. This is the basic function of a wallet. When you open a wallet, you'll get a public and private key pair. The public key is your public address, and your private key is something you can use to prove that you're the owner of your public key.
Become A Part of The Revolution
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):
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.