By Brian, IvyWise Master Tutor
The Metaverse is coming! Facebook recently rebranded and changed its mission to create the digital world of the future—all on the blockchain. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are growing in popularity, and collecting digital art has become a favorite pastime of many crypto enthusiasts.
It is an exciting time to get acclimated with the crypto world as the sphere is rapidly evolving. You will hear buzzwords like Bitcoin, blockchain, NFTs, altcoins, wallets, forking, decentralized finance, etc. And much of it can feel like a tsunami of terminology, making it difficult to know where to start.
If you are a college-bound student interested in the world of crypto, our IvyWise tutors have brainstormed a few independent projects that can help you become an expert on the subject and stand out in the college admissions process!
Ethics and Policy of Anonymity
While cryptocurrencies are tech-oriented, the technology also pivots on real-world policy, economics, and ethics. You might have heard about Bitcoin being anonymous. How does an anonymous way of sending money worry the government? Can a Bitcoin transaction be tracked? And how should policy be created such that there is a balance between anonymity and transaction safety? These are just some of the questions regulators and academics are debating.
The extent to which you are anonymous while transacting with Bitcoin varies widely depending on the application you use. Most simple interfaces to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Coinbase and Robinhood provide no anonymity. However, if you set up a hardware wallet or a special software wallet, some level of anonymity is possible. The brief history of cryptocurrency regulation encompasses only five years, which makes it easy to study in full.
To help people better understand the relationship between government and crypto technology, you can build a set of balanced regulations and propose these to state and local regulators. Most of these new regulations require educating both the public and government about what blockchain is. Perhaps you present the technology in a way that aligns with the agendas of a state representative or local regulators. Is there a mayor, governor, or state representative driving for accessibility in the education sector? You can recommend creating a portal or centralized place of education for the public and explain the processes and funding needed to achieve that goal.
Mint an NFT Collection
An NFT is a unique digital object. Most of the recent hype has been for NFTs of art — try googling Beeple or Cryptopunks to see some insanely high prices. However, NFTs can back any digital file: pdf, an audio file (mp3), a photo (jpg), a video file (mp4), a website file (HTML), etc.
It is easier than you think to create these NFTs! Do you have a collection of sneakers, jewelry, photos, memes, songs, or art? Consider minting an NFT collection of those digital files. No coding is required, though students interested in the skill can learn more about it through the process of minting if they wish to. After developing the NFT, you can store it in a digital wallet and even sell or market it to the public!
Along the way, you will learn about the specifics of blockchain and why most NFTs are on the Ethereum blockchain. As I mentioned earlier, the metaverse is coming, and ultimately everyone will be trading, buying, and selling NFTs. So, now is the perfect time to get in on the ground floor.
Economics of Exchanges and Wallets
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have some exchange value in dollars. That means there’s real-world value to all these coins. But how do you buy Bitcoin, and how do you exchange it for other coins? How does a swap between coins work?
Bitcoin shares a lot of the same properties as the US Dollar. It has a set supply, can be used to purchase goods and services, and has a digital form. Bitcoin also trades a lot like a stock. Hedge funds and trading firms trade it to make a profit and diversify their portfolios.
To better understand the financial aspect of Bitcoin, start with comparing exchanges and wallets. Where is the best place to trade Bitcoin? There are many factors to weigh: best price, liquidity, fees, ease of use. What is the best place to store your Bitcoin? After deciding where to trade and store your Bitcoin, you can expand this project to trading it.
What are some indicators to look for? What determines the price of Bitcoin? Are there aspects of traditional portfolio theory from stocks that we can apply to a portfolio of cryptocurrencies? Rather than throw away any of your (or your parents’) hard-earned money while trading, start by trading on paper and testing how strong your predictions are!
Whether you are pitching your million-dollar blockchain idea to your state representative or creating a digital wallet, there is a lot you can do today to become more familiar with the technology and further develop your college applicant profile. Universities like MIT and Stanford have created entire research groups to study the technology and policy. By pursuing an independent project involving crypto, you can show universities a passion and talent that few others will have in their applications.
At IvyWise, we have tutors who can provide expert project mentorship, even as it relates to the world of cryptocurrencies. So, whether you want to convert your art to NFTs or study and trade Bitcoin, the team is here to provide one-on-one guidance. Contact us today for more information on our project mentorship services!