Follow Decoding Crypto while I try to figure out up from down, left from right in the cryptocurrency game.

Hi, I’m Andrew Zalasky. A real-life, regular, old(ish) guy with a growing interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency. I have no background in finance. I have no training in anything more technologically advanced than the Facebook Pages app.

I am a freelance writer and graphic designer with an ownership stake in a few small businesses. Oh, and I go by “AZ.” You’ll see it’s right there in the title of this column.

Now, about the column.

Decoding Crypto: What It’s All About

In late summer of last year, I sat down for a cup of coffee with a good friend, now fellow Iowa Blockchain Team Member, Clayton Mooney. He wanted to talk about what he was learning about blockchain and how we could leverage our creative skills to develop a 101 level “curriculum” on the technology. From that conversation, I jumped in with both feet and began consuming as much information as I could.

In looking into blockchain, I was introduced to cryptocurrency. I had heard of bitcoin, but never paid much attention to it. My deep dive into blockchain changed that. The more I read about cryptocurrency, the more interested I became. I was intrigued by the peer-to-peer nature, the virtually unhackable network, and the fact that banks were in no way involved.

Asking Questions

I was hooked. In my next conversation with Clayton, I began to ask questions. I understood about 5% of what he had to say. In thinking over our discussion later, I decided it would be kind of fun to find my way through the cryptocurrency maze right along with you.

So that’s what this is. I will publish this column a couple times a month, sharing something I’ve learned in the week previous about navigating the sea of information available and how I have employed it to increase my holdings (fingers crossed!).

I am using my own money and making my own decisions. Nothing in this column should be taken as a recommendation. I told you before, I’m a writer and graphic designer. I have absolutely NO expertise in finance.

Decoding Crypto: In Each Column

What I do have is a rich curiosity. In each column I will provide you with an update in these areas:

  • Portfolio breakdown by percentage: I will share how much of my portfolio is dedicated to each of the cryptocurrencies I own.
  • Percentage gain/loss since the previous column: No further explanation needed. Hoping it will be heavy on the gains, but knowing there will be bumps in the road.
  • Additions to the portfolio for the week: Either in expanding current holdings or adding additional cryptocurrencies.
  • One thing I learned: A paragraph or two about a cryptocurrency, app or other related item that helped me move closer to understanding what I’m doing.
  • Additional subjective thoughts: This will be open-ended. I fully anticipate there will be times I’m feeling like I’ve got the game licked and others where I feel like the poor house is imminent.

Let’s Do This!

I would like to do this WITH you. Please sign up for a subscription to, even if it is our free monthly plan. If you comment on a post, I promise I will offer up as honest a response as I can muster. You can also follow me on Twitter at @DecodingCrypto. I will do my best to answer any of your questions and reply in like if you want to conversate in .gif.

I’m not sure where this will go, but I’m sure ready for the ride. I hope you’ll join me!