With thousands of cryptocurrencies in the world today, you may be asking yourself, "hey, how do I get in on this?"
Minting your own crypto coin may seem a little daunting, with terms that sound like they came straight out of an engineering dissertation, but industry analysts say it's not as complicated as it looks.
Copy-pasting Some Code
"Creating a coin is a simple as copy-pasting some code, and launching a smart-contract for your coin onto one of the major blockchain networks," said Brad Harrison, CEO of Venus Protocol. "The opportunity of creating a coin lies in aligning the incentives of all those involved around what’s being supplied and demanded."
A good example of this would be Steem.it, Harrison said, where the platform aligns the incentives of content providers and consumers of the content by incentivizing content creation consumption around a coin.
You want to be aware that coins are used directly for transaction, while tokens represent digital files and function as tradable assets.
"Unlike in 2017, creating your own cryptocurrency can be done without any prior programming experience," said Keegan Francis, Bitcoin & crypto specialist, Finder. "There are web interfaces such as DexPad that make creating a token as easy as filling in a few fields such as the name of your token, the symbol (ex. SHIB), and the number of tokens that will be in existence."
All tokens are open source, Francis said, and so as soon as one person figured out a good standard for creating tokens-- which later became the ERC20 standard--then others were free to copy that template.
"They then just needed to edit some of the details of the template, and then launch it as their own brand new token," he said. "This is analogous to being able to see the details of any website on the internet. Once one website was created, it was simple to create tens of thousands more."
Brock Pierce, chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, said that "now with the emergence of Bitcoin and other Digital assets, people are realizing there are more ways to create crypto currencies and tokens through a variety of different functions."
"Individuals can create coins that they issue to certain communities or that have distribution over time," he said.
'Community is Everything'
Pierce noted that when people put out coins that have very little purpose or utility, "there will be very little adoption and interest over time."
To create a cryptocurrency, Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner of Nexo, said "you need high coding skills, high communication skills, or both."
In crypto, he added "community is everything so we stand strongly for sharing both the challenges and the successes."
"Yes, you can try and build your own blockchain, but you can also establish a new cryptocurrency using existing code – this method is rather encouraged and has resulted in the evolution of the space," he said. "Building open-source blockchain platforms that combine one project’s transaction model with the execution functionalities of another, for instance, is the basis for numerous successful projects."
Trenchev said that he last time he checked "there were more than 12,000 digital currencies but more than half of them won’t exist in a few years."
"Like start-ups, they emerge in order to solve a range of issues, be it financial or technological, but most importantly – their goal is to loosen the tight monopoly of central governments over people’s lives," he said. "When creating a cryptocurrency, everyone aims to create something that is not controlled by a central authority."