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Investing in Bitcoin and buying CryptoKitties isn’t the only way to contribute to the cryptocurrency economy.
For those technically skilled, hardworking and motivated enough, creating your own cryptocurrency is quite possible — if a little challenging.
It’s all a matter of knowing where to start. Working with blockchain technology can get complicated quickly, even for the best developers. Having the right resources to hand is key.
If you’re looking to create your own cryptocurrency, or if you’ve already started, these are the resources to turn to for guidance at every stage of development.
Building a Blockchain From Scratch
The blockchain is the fundamental technology behind every cryptocurrency. While building your own chain isn’t necessary if you’re just creating a token, it can be very useful to understand how blockchains work.
Teza Technologies’ Eric Munsing provides a step-by-step guide to creating a blockchain using the Python programming language.
Daniel van Flymen believes that the quickest way to learn blockchain technology is to create your own. That’s exactly what he does in this in-depth guide, also using Python. Van Flymen provides a lot of background detail (with screenshots) on the how and the why.
For a C language guide, look no further than developer Davide De Rosa. His 16-part guide covers everything you need to know about blockchain programming and is complete with sample code.
If time is of the essence, Sylvain Saurel’s guide promises to help you build a blockchain in just 30 minutes. Saurel uses the Java language to create his blockchain and provides an accompanying YouTube video for programmers who’d rather watch than read.
If you’re more of a visual learner, Sean Han’s app-based demo and accompanying Medium post are the perfect, most user-friendly ways to learn about blockchain development.
Perhaps the most in-depth guide on blockchain development belongs to Haseeb Qureshi, a general partner at crypto hedge fund MetaStable Capital. Qureshi’s guide covers the theory behind blockchain and how to build one yourself. But his guide goes further than others by explaining how to successfully navigate the blockchain community and how to get a job in the industry.
Building on the Ethereum Blockchain
If you aren’t interested in creating your own blockchain, then the Ethereum blockchain is a sensible choice given that the technology has been tried and tested over a number of years. There is plenty of source code to copy.
The best place to start is Ethereum’s own guide to creating a token on their blockchain. This is probably the most in-depth guide to creating an ether token anywhere online. But it may be too long for some developers who want to do less reading and more coding. If so, the following make for suitable alternatives.
Adam Bavosa has written an excellent and detailed article on creating your own ERC-20 token, testing the code and deploying it on the Ethereum blockchain. All of the tools you need are clearly listed, and his screenshots make following along a breeze.
If that’s too long still, Jay Nagpaul provides a concise follow-along guide to building a cryptocurrency on the Etherum blockchain in less than 100 lines of code. Short, sweet and straight to the point, Nagpaul’s guide gives you everything you need to create your own token.
Forking Another Coin
Another viable option for creating a brand new coin is to fork an existing currency like Bitcoin. Some of the most well-known coins, including Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Classic, are actually forks of Bitcoin.
One of the most comprehensive guides to forking a cryptocurrency is by Aziz Zainuddin, founder of Master The Crypto. While Zainuddin doesn’t provide a guide for developers looking to fork a currency, he does provide essential background reading for anyone attempting a fork (or confused about what the term means).
If you’re looking for a follow-along guide to forking Bitcoin, Jordan Baczuk has everything you need. Complete with code screenshots, Baczuk offers clear instructions to copy and change the most famous of cryptocurrencies.
Of course, Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency you can fork. As long as the code is open-source, you can clone and change any cryptocurrency in existence. That makes understanding the fundamentals of forking key. CryptoNote has created a visually stunning guide to help developers achieve just that. The guide uses CryptoNote’s own coin as the repository. The final coin will have no commercial value, but it is an excellent tool for learning the basics of forking.
Smart Contracts on Ethereum
If you want your cryptocurrency to have real-world utility, consider implementing smart contract functionality. Ethereum’s is the perfect blockchain to use in this regard, as it was built to be a smart contract platform.
That doesn’t mean creating smart contracts on Ethereum is easy, however. If you’re just getting started, Zeppelin CTO Manuel Araoz has written the perfect guide to ease new developers in. It’s long, but it’s a must-read for getting started.
Another guide that should be considered a must-read for new smart contract programmers is this three-part series from ConsenSys. Again it’s very, very long, but smart contracts aren’t the simplest concepts.
Launching and Promoting a Cryptocurrency
If you’ve already created your own cryptocurrency, coin or token — and you intend to release it into the wild — you probably want to learn how to promote it effectively.
While it’s relatively easy to find guides on creating a cryptocurrency, finding guides on marketing one can be a struggle. It’s all the more unfortunate given that this is the hardest part of the process for many developers.
Proof of FinTech’s Mike De’Shazer has your back, though. In a 5000-word guide, De’Shazer teaches you everything you need to know about launching and promoting your coin in 22 steps.
If 22 steps weren’t enough for you, blogger Marko Saric goes two better. Saric provides 24 steps for successfully running an online marketing campaign for your cryptocurrency or ICO. If you don’t know a thing about digital marketing, this post is an excellent place to start.
Complete End-to-End Guides
You don’t need to jump from one guide to another as you move through development stages. Some blockchain developers have created incredibly detailed end-to-end resources on creating blockchains and cryptocurrencies from scratch. Even better, they are available for free.
Finnish programmer Lauri Hartikka has written Navecoin: a tutorial for building a cryptocurrency, a six-part guide that teaches you to build a working cryptocurrency from scratch. Hartikka uses the Typescript programming language and a blockchain that he created himself (which you can replicate) in 200 lines of code.
For an even higher-level guide on what it takes to create a cryptocurrency, turn to Oleksii Shevchenko. Rather than providing a follow-along guide, Shevchenko shows you all of the possible ways you can go about creating your own coin, the pros and cons of each strategy, and where to turn for further advice. If you aren’t sure why you want to create your own coin or how best to go about it, read this guide first.
We’ll be frank: Creating cryptocurrency is a challenge. But with the help of these resources, it should be a little bit more manageable.
Images by: André François McKenzie, CoinView App, Stanislaw Zarychta
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