I quit my job and took a new job in crypto and this course was fundamental to my confidence in talking about these complex topics. I went from knowing nothing about Bitcoin, NFTs, or cryptocurrencies to being the go-to person that educates his network. Pomp's Crypto Academy not only educates you on these topics, but it also introduces you to an insanely passionate community, which in my opinion is priceless.
In 2014, my roommate asked me if he could borrow my credit card to buy some digital currency called Bitcoin. My reply was, sure, you can have it as long as it’s not for drugs. But we can leave that conversation there for now. Fast forward to 2018, when again I heard about Bitcoin because it was $17,000 and everyone was like, woah. I was starting my MBA and said, meh, I’ll look into it when I graduate. In 2020, I was furloughed from my full-time job and Bitcoin was $10,000. I thought, okay once I get my job back I’ll look into it. In 2021, the price was $41,000 and I thought, jeez not sure what happened there, but I’m too late. But in May of the same year I thought, hold on there must be more to it, I need to dig in on why that price went up so high. I've known about Bitcoin since 2014, but that's about it. Every time I thought I missed the boat to make money because of the prices either being too high or too low, rather than taking the time to learn about the fundamentals. Multiple friends and family told me to stay away from this technology that denies the government, is used for money laundering, and is mostly loved by drug addicts and nerds. To all of them today I say you are wrong. Learning the fundamentals is what each of you need to do first and it made me see the entire space from a breakthrough innovation perspective rather than a price going up and down perspective. Since taking the course I've become a long-term or 'low time preference' believer in the technology rather than a short-term or high time preference trader that wants to make some quick cash.
Anthony Pompliano aka 'Pomp'
Well-known in the Bitcoin circles and Twitter as ‘Pomp’, Anthony Pompliano's journey started off in the Army, then as a product manager at Facebook, where conversations about cryptocurrencies led to him becoming an investor at various firms. Today he runs a successful YouTube channel and podcast called 'The Best Business Show’, where he interviews builders in the community. He also posts regularly on Twitter, educates people about Bitcoin, and writes a daily substack Bitcoin newsletter that starts ‘Dear investors’. So overall, the guy is a well-informed and educated person to learn from. His newsletter led me to the education arm called ‘Pomp’s Crypto Academy’ and job board ‘Pomp’s Crypto Jobs’.
Now this is what most of you are here for, everything about the academy and my thoughts. So let’s break it down:
It’s a 3 week long course and includes around 55-60 total events, all of which are live and also recorded in case you need to watch later. Yes, 60 events in 3 weeks sounds like the instructors are out of their minds, but there is a lot to cover in a short time. The sessions are digestible and flexible to accommodate people across various time zones across the world, but they do lean a little in favor of US Eastern Time Zone. Pomp himself teaches 6 live workshops and the other 6 coaches teach the remainder of the workshops. You'll also see some guest speakers along the way. There is a dedicated Slack channel for the cohort you join, plus global channels including all previous academy graduates. All sessions are conducted virtually via Zoom, questions are taken live or in Slack, and Maven is the platform that makes the logistics a breeze by sending Google calendar invites and providing access to social contacts of your cohort mates.
The first session kicks off with logistics and then you get pushed straight into what feels like the deep end with coaches to help, and if you just start moving your arms you’ll start swimming.
Week 1: The topics covered start off with the history of money, what is Bitcoin and how it works, how a blockchain works, proof of stake (POS) vs proof of work (POW), and technical breakdown of why the technology is attractive. After every Pomp workshop is a post discussion session to keep the conversation going.
Week 2: Now it starts getting into the meaty topics like use cases, market, price action, lightning network, storage, custody, Web3, ICOs, smart contracts, NFTs, DAOs, Social Tokens, Dapps and creator economy, and technical lightning. This is also when your first assignment is due, which writing about a topic you learned about the week before.
Week 3: Then take it to a macro level to see how the technology affects the global population, institutional involvement, nation states, how to set up your own Bitcoin node, IPFS, security, and finally, you’re going to learn why memes are important for this revolution. You’ll also have a fun video assignment. The coaches also have assignment clinics, which are like drop in office hours to help if needed.
Week 4: Technically not part of the course, but this is when you write your final assignment of your learnings from the course and also challenge some ideas presented in the course. After completing all the assignments you will be issued an NFT certificate, which is pretty cool!
More than Bitcoin and Crypto
Educating you is not where the academy stops, it expands further into building your brand, resume, LinkedIn profile and interview skills. Every week there is a social hour for your cohort, which is super fun. At the end of the course there is a career fair with companies like Coinbase, BTC Inc, Gemini, Blockfi, and so many more. There is also what Morgan calls the 'Alumni Family Reunion' where everyone from previous cohorts come together and have amazing conversations in various breakout rooms. Oh wait, I forgot to mention there is also an excel sheet for all the alumni that got jobs at various companies who you can reach out to on Slack or LinkedIn for a referral or casual chats. You also have access to Pomp Crypto Jobs (also accessible without the course), which is a career site where multiple jobs are posted every day.
Who is this course for
Curious Thinkers: It’s for anyone who wants to take understanding Bitcoin and crypto fundamentals seriously. I met people ranging from a construction workers, stay-at-home moms, grandmothers, and students in college to startup founders, VPs in Big Tech, C-suites in big banks, and more. What this tells you is that the content is adaptable across age, profession, knowledge level, geographies and genders, oh wait it’s just like Bitcoin!! But fair warning, things might look very overwhelming, which can feel too much too soon and push some people to give up. It is also for people looking to learn what you can do as an investor to protect your purchasing power and build generational wealth.
Career Switchers: It’s for people who want to quit their jobs to pursue a job in this hyper growth industry. If you want to build your brand as a content creator this you'll have a good understanding to do that. I've also seen graduates that went on to founding their own businesses so the world is your oyster here.
Community Builders: It is also for people looking for a community to talk about these topics because your friends and family don’t get it, YET! So overall, it’s not for someone that doesn’t seriously want to push the boundaries of their knowledge and put in the work to grow themselves to understand this new language.
These genuinely helpful people are the heartbeat of this community.
Pomp 'OG': I talked about Pomp in the opening paragraph, but in the sessions he is very genuine in making you understand why all these things matter and how to think about them as you take the course. He also gives his honest take on questions regardless of any biases.
Colton ‘Behind the Scenes’ Sakamoto: The director of the academy who manages everything behind the scenes to keep shit we don’t see running smoothly.
Kenny ‘Slack Police’ DeGiglio: The director who manages logistics, post discussion workshops, and conducts deep dives.
Balázs ‘Big B’ Nagy: A security expert by profession who does an amazing job simplifying complex concepts from a technical perspective. Balázs is occasionally joined by Laszlo, who is a smart contract expert.
Morgan ‘La Familia’ Clemens: The youngest coach who just graduated college and is amazing at explaining concepts that span across culture and technology. He also does a great job of building up the community with social events, so he’s really just Vin Diesel from Fast and Furious.
Claire ‘Career Hype Woman’ Jencks: She hosts all the career sessions to get you all prepped up for career fair and beyond. Some of the formulas and resources she shares are literal game changers.
Kody ‘Low Time Preference’: A software engineer who is brilliant and can take you all the way to the bottom of the rabbit hole in terms of technical knowledge.
Mac: He's a 'new' addition to the course since my cohort, but from what I've heard he's pretty cool and knows his stuff.
Improvements I’d like to see
No academy is perfect and definitely not one with just over a year of cohorts that have 120 students in each of them. So apart from my answers in the surveys, this is what I think can be improved upon:
Bitcoin and beyond: I might get some hate for this one, but I’ll say it, there is a HEAVY focus on Bitcoin. Rightfully so, because it’s the most important revolution of our time, but there are so many other protocols in the market. I don’t expect to learn everything about everything – that would be ridiculous. But, I would like to see more education around Ethereum, Solana, Tezzos, Polygon, stablecoins, and meme coins. If Pomp or my coaches read this they might want to close the tab right away, but as a student exploring something new and as David Epstein said in Range, “In a wicked world, relying upon experience from a single domain is not only limiting, it can be disastrous”. I want to learn about the top five or so things that people outside of Bitcoin are talking about and I’d like to learn about them in a nonbiased way. A counterpoint to that statement would be 'all roads lead to Bitcoin', but help us students take our own path and know why the road is good or bad, because learning by curiosity is what led me here.
Women and diversity: There are women in the course, but it definitely feels like a boys club with a lot of masculinity. I’ve had conversations with some women in the course who felt they would like to see more women participate in the course and also more female coaches. The counterpoint would be that Bitcoin doesn’t care about gender. Sure, but we do. We want to empower women to take control of their financial journeys and welcome more gender diversity with more dedicated resources. I’d even like to go further to say try out one cohort with just women, it might be super fun. I’d also challenge the team to hire more people of color, rather than having eight white people teaching the course. Inspiration and diversity in the industry comes when people see more people like them being successful.
DAO spotlight sessions: The Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) and Web3 ecosystem looks wildly different today compared to a few months ago. I’d like to see various DAOs come and present, similar to a career day format, on what they are building and why someone should consider working at one. It’s hard to find a DAO to start with and with the connections the team has in the industry I can see some amazing collaborations coming to life!
My advice to get the most out of the course
I get this question a lot and my answer is always the same.
Be genuinely curious: Ask the question that's in your head that you think is really dumb and might make the entire cohort judge you for being so stupid. Let me tell you a secret, 90% of the class will have the same question in their minds and everyone will thank you for being the brave soul that opened the can of worms.
Reach out to your peers: Don’t hesitate to slide into anyone’s DMs to just connect and get to know people’s stories, why they are here, and where they want to go.
Annoy the coaches: In a good way please, ask them questions in DMs that you might have not gotten a chance to ask during a session.
Read the material: Read it once, then reread it twice to really understand what is being taught. Listen to the recordings of the sessions you weren’t able to make.
Become a sponge: There is a HUGE list of resources ranging from articles, books, websites, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. that will be shared with you. Be the person who utilizes that library and absorbs knowledge even after the course like a boss.
Get out there: Start posting content, commenting, interacting with people in the broader communities and let people know who you are. It feels daunting, but trust me, everyone will love you and support you to achieve your dreams.
Don’t miss out on meeting in real life: I met all the coaches and alumni at Bitcoin Miami and I’ve never had so much fun while learning new stuff as much as I did during that one epic week. These connections instantly felt like I’ve known these people for years.
What did I do since graduating
Look at the world differently: I’m definitely a person who looks at the world differently. After graduating, I took some time to reread the materials – yes, I took my own advice from above.
Put learnings into practice: I heard about a marketing DAO called Jump during one of the alumni calls so I joined it and became a community manager there. I had multiple calls with people working at places I wanted to work at to build the future of crypto. I went down the NFT and Web3 rabbit holes with various communities and bought some fun artworks from great collections.
Started content creation: I started a podcast to educate my friends and family about these topics. I started creating LinkedIn content to break down complicated news stories into digestible bytes. I attended the Bitcoin conference in Miami, which was amazing.
Got a new job: And, finally after six years with the same company, I quit my job as a product manager. I’ll be starting in a remote, product marketing job at Okcoin, which is one of my favorite exchanges. So yeah, dreams do come true if you keep working consistently on them.
The work begins today because you are never too late to work on yourself just like you are never too late to start learning about this whole new technological revolution. Like any education model, a LOT of resources and opportunities are available to you, but it’s up to you what you get out of it.
You can sign up for the course via step 1, but if this article was helpful and you are interested in signing up with a little discount (for which I get a referral) then go through steps 2 and 3.