Where to Start with Bitcoin
Lesson #1. First and foremost: If you don't control your private keys, then you don't control your Bitcoin! Part of what makes Bitcoin so special is the potential for self-sovereignty, i.e. cutting out "Trusted-third parties" like banks, and taking responsibility for your own finances.If you're so new that none of that made sense.. don't worry!
Although slightly outdated, I would recommend starting out by watching the Netflix documentary "Banking on Bitcoin." It gives some history on Bitcoin's inception, and provides a great context for future learning:
Now onto future learning!
There are many books on Bitcoin, but I would say that these three are REQUIRED reading:
They are incredible reads, not very technical, and will reshape the way you see Bitcoin and the world around you. I personally really enjoy the audiobooks for "The Internet of Money" series, and I would also highly recommend watching Andreas Antonopolous' original talks which are available on YouTube.
But wait.. what if you don't have the attention span for a documentary and you hate reading? What then?
There are plenty of great resources out there, but I am a big fan of Binance Academy. Binance is the leading exchange, and their "Academy" is a great resource with bite-sized lessons about Bitcoin and crypto that you can digest at your own pace.
But that being said, I am all about Bitcoin education overall.. If you want to learn about altcoins, go right ahead, but you should really do a deep dive on Bitcoin before you dismiss it. There are plenty of reasons why Bitcoin is, and will remain king.
A fantastich resource I can't recommend enough is the Nakamoto Institute:
Another fun way to learn is from the many talented content creators working in the crypto space. One of my favorite people in the space is Naomi Brockwell, and I would highly recommend subscribing to her Youtube Channel. If you're just starting out, she has a fantastich playlist called "Bitcoin for Beginners."
A word of caution though..
Everyone in crypto has their own biases, including me. Always DYOR (Do Your Own Research) and question everything! Just because someone has a lot of followers on Twitter or YouTube and she or he sounds convincing... does not mean that person knows what she or he is talking about.
In addition, the crypto space is not all rainbows and sunshine. People have disagreements. They're people. But sometimes this disagreement leads to confusion for newcomers. Bitcoin.com for instance, is run by individuals who are seeking to promote Bitcoin Cash, which is a hard fork of the original Bitcoin (an offshoot not the same as the original.) Why on earth are they trying to confuse everyone by using Bitcoin.com as their website? That's a great question, and I cannot speak to why someone would intentionally try to mislead anyone. But it is something to be wary of.
Which leads me to this..
Watch out for Scams!
Wherever there is an opportunity to make money, scammers will arise. The only thing you can do is educate yourself and be vigilant. If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
I've mentioned books and documentaries and YouTube channels, but I do most of my crypto learning from crypto podcasts. They are an invaluable resource, and allow you to learn from some of the finest minds in crypto.
These are some of my favorites:
- Tales from the Crypt
- Coinboys Podcast
- What Bitcoin Did
- Bitcoin Knowledge
- Off the Chain
Where to Buy Bitcoin
CashApp - The easiest way to buy Bitcoin. Period.
Local Bitcoins (referral link) - Used by people all over the world who want to buy Bitcoin "Under the radar" of local governments or simply prefer person to person deals. It has been around for a long time and has allowed many people to buy Bitcoin.
Coinbase (referral link) - I used to recommend Coinbase. It's where I bought some of my first Bitcoin. However I think their fees are too high, and IMO they are no longer acting in the best interest of consumers. Still, Coinbase is very easy to use, and I would recommend Coinbase Commerce if you wish to accept crypto on your website like I do.
Where to Trade Bitcoin (and other Cryptos)
These are my referral links to trading platforms that I will recommend to friends and family, and I would be very grateful if you decide to use them! I am not really a crypto trader though, so do so at your own risk.
Binance - The largest Crypto Exchange, well liked by the crypto community
Beaxy Exchange - Beaxy is a new platform launching soon that I am very excited about. I am not much of a trader, but their GUI and list of features looks very promising. They will be fully US complaint, and will also have a fiat onramp, unlike many other exchanges.
What about Mining? That sounds cool!
Mining IS cool! Mining is an essential part of Bitcoin and other Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies. When you mine for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you aren't just minting "new coins," you're actually validating transactions on the network, allowing it to function! But when it comes to mining you have to DYOR (Do Your Own Research)!
Watch out for "Cloud Mining" services and anyone offering to do the mining for you. More often than not, THESE ARE SCAMS!
Whenever someone asks me for advice on mining, I always point them towards my friend "Crypto Christopher Walken."
He is very knowledgeable and very helpful! I am no mining expert, but thanks to Chris' help, I'm currently running three separate mining rigs. Highly recommend checking him out!
Mining with Honeyminer
I'm also a fan of Honeyminer as a way to try mining without any real commitment. If you have an extra PC lying around, you can install Honeyminer, and it will mine for whichever cryptocurrency is most profitable at the time, then automatically convert your mining profits to Bitcoin. If you have an old computer or even a gaming PC with only one graphics card, this isn't going to make you rich. Not at all. But it's a great way to get your feet wet and start to understand what this mining thing is all about. It won't make me rich either, but I'd still appreciate if you sign up with my referral link, because every satoshi counts!
What in the World is "Crypto Twitter" ?
Crypto Twitter is a glorious place where all your memes come true! In all seriousness though, I would highly recommend anyone serious about crypto to create a Twitter account. You can create an anonymous profile and simply use it to learn. Follow the major players in crypto and turn on post notifications for anyone you find interesting. I was hesitant about Twitter at first, but now I love it. People share interesting articles. They debate important topics in crypto. The funny memes are excellent, but as a resource for learning, I cannot emphasize Twitter enough.
Thanks for reading this far! This page is just a starting point for learning about Bitcoin and crypto currency, but I hope it has been helpful. Everyone's crypto journey is different and no single path is correct. Crypto can be daunting, but I always try to remind myself that the learning never ends.
Personally, the more I learn about Bitcoin and crypto, the more excited I get!
I am definitely no expert, and none of this is financial advice, but if you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, Instagram, or by emailing me at email@example.com