Bitcoin Starter and Onboarding Guide
Updated: Feb 26, 2022
Note: Investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies come with inherent risks associated. Always do your own due diligence.
I receive a lot of questions related to Bitcoin. Most of which is "What is Bitcoin?", "How do I get started?", or "Where do I store Bitcoin?". This guide should help you to hopefully jump start yourself into the world of Bitcoin. Share it with someone who you feel can benefit as well.
Table of Contents:
Keywords & Definitions
Altcoin - any cryptocurrency that is NOT Bitcoin
Bitcoin Maximalist - someone who only invests in Bitcoin and no other asset class
Blockchain - can be described as a data structure that holds transactional records and while ensuring security, transparency, and decentralization. You can also think of it as a chain or records stored in the forms of blocks which are controlled by no single authority.
BTC - the ticker symbol for Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency (Crypto) - a digital currency created specifically for usage on a blockchain. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies.
Exchange - a marketplace for buying, trading, and selling cryptocurrencies
Fiat - a government-issued currency that is not backed by a commodity such as gold. AKA the US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, etc.
KYC - "Know Your Customer". This is the process of verifying your identity. This is used for tax and residential purposes.
Proof of Stake (PoS) - a type of consensus mechanism by which a cryptocurrency blockchain network achieves distributed consensus. In PoS-based cryptocurrencies the creator of the next block is chosen via various combinations of random selection and wealth or age.
Proof of Work (PoW) - a form of cryptographic zero-knowledge proof in which one party proves to others that a certain amount of computational effort has been expended for some purpose. Verifiers can subsequently confirm this expenditure with minimal effort on their part.
Satoshi/Sat - named after the mysterious founder of Bitcoin, a Satoshi is a unit of Bitcoin and is equivalent to 0.00000001 BTC. In other words, Satoshi is to Bitcoin as a Penny is to a US Dollar. The plural abbreviation for Satoshis is "sats".
Shitcoin - another way of referring to an altcoin
USD - US Dollar
I am not an expert or a Bitcoin "OG". I educated myself on the topic using the various tools below. I suggest you delve into these resources before becoming too trustworthy in what you read elsewhere.
The Bitcoin Whitepaper, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System - by Satoshi Nakamoto
The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking - by Saifdean Ammous - also available on Audible
The Bullish Case for Bitcoin - by Vijay Boyapati
What Bitcoin Did - hosted by Peter McCormack
Shitcoin Insider - hosted by Guy Swann
The Pomp Podcast - hosted by Anthony Pompliano
Recommended Twitter Accounts
Note: Twitter is not a reliable source of news or education. Always do your own due diligence. I prefer following accounts which educate and provide statistically-backed information, rather than someone just saying "Buy Bitcoin". Having said that, I recommend following these accounts:
and of course, Jordan Hinsch
Other Recommended Platforms
Clubhouse App - this is a great resource for education, BUT take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Some individuals could be pushing their own product and not providing an unbiased perspective.
Instagram - same as the above, but less reliable
How to Invest
Investing in Bitcoin is very easy. First, it's important to know that you can invest in as little as $1 worth of Bitcoin. You don't need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get started. Here are the best platforms to get started. Most links below come with a Bitcoin bonus :).
Coinbase - the most popular onboarding platform into the world of Bitcoin
KuCoin - available to Americans without KYC
Gemini - a high profile exchange with high fees, but it's trusted
Cash App - primarily used to send fiat to other users, but is also a great way to buy BTC
Voyager - new to the crypto space. Offers buying, selling, and interest bearing.
Bittrex - an excellent US-based exchange with a great reputation
Kraken - a very trusted exchange with great staking opportunities
Swan Bitcoin - primarily used for averaging, but has the lowest fees for acquiring Bitcoin
Gate.io - offers a wide variety of cryptocurrencies.
BONUS: you don't always have to pay to earn Bitcoin! Click here to view the best ways to earn FREE Bitcoin.
First and foremost, you should create a strategy on your own which fits your needs. However, here are the most popular strategies.
HODL - Hold On for Dear Life
This is a very popular phrase within the Bitcoin community and has spilled over to other asset classes and stock markets around the world.
Hold on to your investment for as long as you can.
Take profits along the way, but never completely exit your position.
DCA - Dollar Cost Averaging
Dollar Cost Averaging is widely used in the stock market and now in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space. The idea is that you drip-feed and purchase small amounts of Bitcoin rather than one large purchase. If you spread your smaller purchases out over time, you'll "average in".
Come up with a budget. Decide how much you'd like to invest over time.
Decide how often you'd like to invest (daily, weekly, monthly).
Sign up for one or all of the following DCA services
Swan Bitcoin - the lowest fees in the market and the ability to withdraw automatically to your cold storage. Cold storage will be covered later on in this guide. BONUS: Get $10 worth of Bitcoin when you sign up using my link. Read my unpaid and unbiased review of Swan Bitcoin here.
Coinbase - the most trusted name in the world of crypto which also offers DCA capabilities in Bitcoin and any of their other supported cryptocurrencies. BONUS: Get $10 worth of Bitcoin when you sign up using my link.
Cash App - the second lowest fees in the market. Just make sure you verify your account before you buy any Bitcoin. BONUS: Get $5 when you sign up using my link.
Bitcoin + Altcoins
There is a phrase known as "stacking sats". This applies to any method of accumulating Satoshis. Since every cryptocurrency is valued with BTC, the number of Satoshis doesn't only mean value created by owning Bitcoin. For example, let's say you buy a popular altcoin called Ethereum. If Bitcoin is worth $1,000 and Ethereum is worth $100 when you buy, that means Ethereum's value to Bitcoin is 0.10000000 BTC, or ten million sats. Let's say Ethereum (ETH) goes up to $200 while Bitcoin stays at $1,000, you have then doubled your investment and now have 0.2 BTC, or twenty million sats. Instead of buying $200 worth of Bitcoin to have 0.2 BTC, you bought $100 worth of ETH which is now worth 0.2 BTC. Make sense?
This strategy is a very controversial topic between Bitcoin Maximialists and "Shitcoiners". It's a method which is proven to work if you exit your altcoins at the right time. But timing is very difficult, so proceed with caution.
The bottom line is: altcoins will appreciate against the USD, but over time, BTC will outpace them.
Always watch the BTC charts of the altcoin you purchase, NOT the USD.
Store your altcoins in a location which allows you to easily sell them at the right moment.
When is the last time you were able to earn more than 2% by keeping your US Dollars in a savings account? 5 years? This % is trending to zero and possibly negative. Yes, negative. Banks may eventually charge you to store your money with them. Since Bitcoin is inflation-proof, there are lenders who pay as much as 6% for Bitcoin and up to 40% for some altcoins. Here are the top platforms along with some bonuses.
Celsius Network - Bonus: $30 when you sign up and deposit
BlockFi - Bonus: $10 when you sign up and deposit
Gemini - Bonus: $10 upon sign up
Voyager - Bonus: $25 upon sign up and verification
For a deeper look and a review of these savings accounts, click here.
Staking is an activity where a user locks or holds his funds in a cryptocurrency wallet to participate in maintaining the operations of a proof-of-stake (PoS)-based blockchain system. This often comes with a reward similar to the effect of earning interest, but it's paid out after each blockchain transaction. The interest yield is far higher than the aforementioned interest bearing accounts and it's a great way to multiply your holdings. Here are some of the best websites and platforms for staking your crypto:
Kraken - staking rates which are currently up to 14%
Coinbase - staking options up to 6% APY
Crypto.com - lots of options for staking
MyCointainer - staking options up to 40% APY
Exodus - staking options in a trusted hot wallet
Atomic Wallet - staking options in a trusted hot wallet
"Not Your Keys, Not Your Coins", This is a common phrase referring to ownership. In short, if you don't have security keys or a seed phrase for your crypto wallet, you don't own them or have full custody.
Investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies comes with inherent risks. One such risk is exposure to hacks and losing all of your holdings. While it's rare and unlikely to happen to you, it's still possible. There are three methods of storage:
Exchange Storage: storing your assets in an exchange online and not having access to your security keys
Hot Wallet Storage: storing your assets on a dedicated wallet app on your cell phone or computer where are given security keys
Cold Wallet Storage: offline storage in which your security keys are used to store your assets on a physical USB wallets. For more information, click here to read my review on the following methods of cold storage. NEVER buy a cold wallet from a third party site like Amazon. Always buy directly from the manufacturer using the links below.