When I got my first Cardano wallet, I thought the only thing it was good for was holding the ada I had purchased on Coinbase and transferred over. It turns out there’s a lot more it can do! Some practical, and some just fun, all of it is worth learning so that you are ready for new opportunities in a Web3 future!
In this series, we have explored how to open a GeroWallet, how to buy, earn, and stake ada, and how and why to buy an NFT. Now that you are familiar with some of your wallet’s essential functions let's push it a little further and learn about other network tokens.
We are highlighting the user experience in GeroWallet, but most of what is described here can also be done with other wallets.
The cryptocurrency that underpins the Cardano blockchain network is ada, but ada is far from the only token available on the network. Many different fungible blockchain tokens exist and are useful for all kinds of things.
If you are about to bail on me because the word fungible is incomprehensible, give me a moment to explain. In the real world, you handle lots of different fungible tokens – quarters and dimes in the US or pounds and pence in the UK. Special tokens exist to run childrens’ rides and arcade games - those tokens are precious metal if you are seven but pretty worthless otherwise. Challenge coins are a way to mark membership or achievement in an organization. Poker chips are a type of token; one blue chip is worth the same as any other. A movie ticket could be considered a fungible token, even though it’s not token-shaped. Fungible just means that one is as good as the next - they are not unique, and if they have any value, they all have the same value.
Same thing for blockchain tokens! Different Cardano projects have gaming tokens, membership tokens, voting tokens, and tokens that represent a share of some value. Lido Nation’s PHUFFY coin is a charitable giving token that represents real donation value. Like ada, tokens are trackable on the immutable blockchain ledger. Some have real-world value, and others, like the kid at the carnival, only have value to you.
So now – wanna get some tokens?
When you do, you will see them listed under the “Assets” tab in GeroWallet. In this wallet, I have some ada and some Gero Tokens!
Play the Lido Nation Every Epoch challenge! Every five days (known as an “epoch” in Cardano), we present a quiz question or easy task for users to try and earn FREE Cardano tokens. All the questions and tasks are designed to help you learn more about Cardano. Quiz questions and tasks are all based on content that is available on the site, so you are encouraged to find the answer if you don’t know it. When you get it right, you get a prize, which may be one of several Cardano network tokens. Everyone can play and earn tokens; if you are delegated to the LIDO stake pool, you get up to 200% more than non-delegates. To participate, you will need to link your wallet to the site – just like you did to buy an NFT at jpg.store! (see previous article) Click the “Connect Wallet” button in the upper right corner, and follow any prompts for your wallet if they appear.
Another way to earn free network tokens at Lido Nation is to stake to our pool! Our delegators earn PHUFFY coins and can use them to direct our company’s charitable giving.
Dirt Cheap Tokens
If you’d like to collect the hottest doggy meme coin on the Cardano network, join a pool in the $HOSKY “rug pool” network. The Hosky project is both serious and fun: serious because it helps pool operators like Lido Nation, and fun because it’s all about collecting millions of low-value coins that feature a pixelated pup. If you are staked to any pool in the rug pool network (LIDO is one!), you can get millions of $HOSKY tokens every epoch (every five days). It’s not quite free, but it only costs a fraction of one ada to participate, so it’s almost free (and totally fun)!
To try it, follow these steps:
- Be sure you delegate your wallet to a Rug Pool like Lido Nation. If you only recently delegated, wait two weeks for your delegation to be fully active on the network.
- In your wallet, click “Send”
- In the wallet address bar, type $rugpool
- In the amount field, enter 2 ada
- Enter your spending password to confirm the transaction
When your transaction is processed, you will receive a return transaction of 1.XXX ada (i.e. most of your ada is returned - it’s just used to cover transaction fees for the 2-way transaction) PLUS a surprise amount of $HOSKY token. The exact amount of $HOSKY varies, but safe to say it’s a lot (though, as always promised by Hosky himself, it’s certainly worth ZERO).
There are various blockchain activities that use some version of this process - sending a specific amount of ada to a particular address in exchange for something sent in return. These types of transactions are not handled by humans manning a busy transaction inbox - instead, a computer program is connected to the receiving address. It is programmed to know what to do when it receives an incoming transaction that meets a set criteria. Trying this out with the Rug Pool program is a good way to practice this kind of transaction and fill your pockets with doggy coins!
DripDropz.io provides token distribution as a service. Projects or stake pools might use DripDropz as a platform to distribute tokens to their members or stakeholders exclusively. Other projects are not aiming for exclusivity; instead, they just want to get their tokens out into the world as a mode of marketing and brand awareness. These projects may offer their tokens to all DripDropz users. Using DripDropz is a great way to fill your wallet with colorful coins, and to start learning about the projects behind them.
As a user on the DripDropz site, enter your $adahandle or stake address from your wallet and click “Check my Dropz.” Then choose up to 10 different coins and click “Claim my Dropz.” The next page will give you a receiving address, with exact instructions on how much ada to send to that address. Most of your ada will be returned to you, minus a processing fee. Plus you will get a big pile of tokens! If you get curious about the coins you are collecting, check out the “Explore Projects'' page on DripDropz.
Tokens For Trade
If you have some ada in your wallet, or $HOSKY, or any other fungible token, you can trade it for other fungible tokens. Gero Wallet makes this exceptionally easy in their mobile app, where you can click the “swap” button, and with a few clicks, you can trade some of one token for some of another. There are some fees involved that make this untenable for very small transactions, but for convenience and ease, it is the easiest thing I have seen on the blockchain.
Centralized exchanges (like Coinbase) are suitable for use as a fiat onramp - using dollars, euros, or other local currency to buy primary network tokens, like ada, bitcoin, ether, etc. They are also good for turning those assets back into fiat if your landlord won’t accept ada to pay the rent (yet!).
To trade for other fungible tokens on a network, such as $HOSKY token, Gero token, or many others on Cardano, a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) is needed. Popular DEXes on Cardano include MuesliSwap, SundaeSwap, and Minswap. The interface in any of these is certainly more confusing than the simple options presented in the Gero Wallet mobile app! However, these DEXes are also more powerful and probably have more favorable fee structures.
If you stick around long enough, you’ll find plenty of reasons to use an exchange, but here’s one use case for today’s imaginings:
Let’s say you are a newcomer who opened a wallet, but you don’t have any ada. You also don’t want to buy any - you’ve got rent to pay! But you stick around at Lido Nation and play the Every Epoch quiz every five days. After ten quizzes, you’ll have earned 80M $HOSKY tokens. You then go plug in your wallet at MuesliSwap, and at today’s prices, you could trade 80M $HOSKY for six ada! That’s not enough to pay the rent, even if you have a very hip landlord, but it’s enough to stake and let your ada start earning rewards or buy your first NFT.
So grab a Cardano wallet and start participating in the economy of the future!