DYOR stands for Do Your Own Research and is commonly thrown around in crypto social media circles, usually when someone asks for advice on what to buy or on a specific cryptocurrency. Misinformation can spread faster than the speed of light sometimes so there are two sides to this that we will discuss.
The first and most important is how to do your own research. What resources should you use or seek out that are best for this. Also, we will look at what types of resources to avoid. DYOR can encourage investors and potential future traders to truly understand the major factors around why a cryptocurrency could or could not be a good investment instead of just taking a friend’s advice who told you to buy it because it is going to the moon. Not understanding the basics of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and why this type of technology can be so revolutionary will lead many to buy at the top of a market cycle when price is high and sell as the market price is crashing, even though long term it could lead to much higher prices than previously achieved.
Now, DYOR can also help prevent you from buying a cryptocurrency as it is crashing in price if the project has no real substance and probably will not recover in the long run. Some cryptocurrencies that crashed in 2018 have continued to drop, rather than recover as the market has heated back up mainly because there is nothing special or ground-breaking about them. Thousands of cryptocurrencies are out there on the market and most will die. But, selecting the right ones that have long term promise and potential can bring you solid gains on your investments.
You must also learn to not get too attached to one project because as technology evolves, if a project fails to innovate or something better comes along, you may see a shift and what was once a solid project could wither away. Just remember pagers, also known as beepers, were great technology, until cell phones came along. Technically pagers still work, but why would someone still use it when there is much better technology available.
Another reason DYOR is so important is due to the excess amounts of shilling by celebrities, “crypto influencers”, and others in the space that are either paid by a project to promote their cryptocurrency or are holding large amounts of the cryptocurrency they are trying to promote so they can then dump their bags for a large profit.
Being paid to promote a project is not always a bad thing, but must be disclosed if they are constantly sharing about a project. Be skeptical and make sure to research other sources rather than just an influencer telling you how X coin is going to be 100x in a year.
Many promoters of past ICO’s, or Initial Coin Offerings, that have failed to gain traction from 2017 and 2018 are now facing legal repercussions for their shilling activities. Just be weary and aware of someone’s motives for building hype around a project and look for other sources to confirm or dispute their claims before accepting them as true.
When investing in cryptocurrencies, it is best to make the decision on your own, without just guessing or relying on the word of someone else without researching it. In the end, the sole responsibility to invest in something lies with the person you see in the mirror. Many who rush into investing in projects without doing their own research always want to blame the person they heard about it from, but no one is holding a gun to your head to make you buy. The decision and responsibility of the repercussions from those decisions lies solely with you.
So, how do you do your own research? First and foremost, do you understand the basics of cryptocurrency, blockchain, or even know the history of money? I always suggest someone starts there because if you don’t know how or why this technology is important, you can easily fall victim to a project that just uses a bunch of fancy, flashy words to draw you in to invest or buy their cryptocurrency. Saying a cryptocurrency can handle hundreds of thousands of transactions per second may sound like an amazing attribute, but if you do not not know how secure or decentralized a project is, you could be duped into thinking it is a great project. Visa can process that many transactions in that time frame, but we will not be rushing out to invest in Visa stock.
Once you have a better understanding of the basics, you are better equipped to research and make better decisions. Now for a disclaimer, as you start to evaluate projects, you may find one that you feel is amazing and groundbreaking. But the name of the game is adoption. Hype and speculation can make prices pump up for a time, but if you are looking for long term adoption will need to take place. A great project that does not catch on could never give you the returns you are expecting. You may not be right in all your decisions, but if you continue to educate yourself and stay close to what is happening in the cryptocurrency space, you have a better chance of making the right decisions in the long term.
The next step is to make sure you are visiting the legitimate website of a cryptocurrency when looking for more information. Google search is not a great place to start since scammers have been known to create fake websites made to look like the official website and use Google ads to boost search results of fake websites. One recommendation is to start on Coingecko, https://www.coingecko.com/en, or CoinMarketCap, https://coinmarketcap.com/. On these sites, you not only can see an aggregation of price data, but when you click on each one, you are given links to the legitimate website, and Coingecko also gives you links to their blockchain explorers, and social media pages. The blockchain explorer can be helpful to show you how active the coin or token is, and even how decentralized or centralized the holdings are.
You can also find the links to legitimate social media accounts or communities for the project by visiting the legitimate website and clicking through to the links they provide on their website. Being able to identify active social media channels and active social media communities can help you with your research and verify the validity of the project and team behind it.
From the website, most projects will link you to the LinkedIn profiles of their team and most times, to Github to see their source code and work being done on the project. If their social media channels and groups seem not active or mostly fake bot conversations, then that could be a red flag. If the team behind it is private or cannot find much public information on them, then that could be a red flag as well. Now, some of the best projects out there have anonymous teams, but trust is crucial when it comes to a cryptocurrency being able to thrive. No public team or team with all recently created LinkedIn profiles could be another red flag.
Next you can search for news articles written about the particular project or team. Many will search for YouTube or other videos about the one they are researching, but keep in mind to be skeptical about what you watch until you can verify from other sources. Most making videos about a cryptocurrency usually have a financial incentive to encourage people to buy that cryptocurrency. Cointelegraph and Coindesk are decent places to search, but pay attention to whether it is a news article or a sponsored ad made to look like a news article. It is no surprise that news can be biased, so remember, each bit of information you look at should not be the defining conclusion of whether a project is good or not, but instead used as a piece of the puzzle in making your decision.
As mentioned before, you are the only one responsible for your investment decisions so make sure you understand there is risk with every single thing you invest in. There are no guaranteed winners, but the better informed you are of not only the project, but what is happening in the cryptocurrency world and many of the external factors that can affect price, the better off you will be in your decisions. Over the years, there have been a few projects that many thought would thrive in the space, but failed miserably. On the ones where many did adequate research, most felt confident that they did their part and accepted that risk.
Now a note for those of you that are active in the cryptocurrency communities in all the social media channels. Many times someone new to cryptocurrency will post a question like mentioned in the beginning as in what to buy and many are quick to blast the person with DYOR comments, and the creative ones use DYOR memes. Our goal with cryptocurrency is adoption so if we turn off new people looking for answers, we could be driving many away from even attempting to learn something that can seem overwhelming in the beginning.
If you feel the need to comment DYOR when an uninformed person asks a question, make sure instead of just DYOR, give them some tips or places to start to learn or do research like mentioned above. We have to do a better job as a cryptocurrency community to unite to help those that truly want help. Asking what to buy can seem annoying to those that have been involved for some time, but we must remember that we were all new at some point and needed help and guidance.
Projects will continue to make this tech easier to use and understand, but the ability to benefit financially will continue to diminish as adoption begins to spread. Let’s all do our part to help others and also to take responsibility for our own actions and investments as we all get better at using the DYOR protocol.