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Bitcoin 101 : What, Why, and How is It.

Information contained therein should not be interpreted as investment advice, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security. It is intended to be for informative and entertainment purposes only.

IT’S TIME TO LEARN!!

When you’re first starting out, there can be a ton of questions about how to get into Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency:
• How do I get started?
• What is Bitcoin?
• How do I buy and spend Bitcoin?
• Is Bitcoin safe?
• How do I keep my data safe and private?
• What’s the difference between blockchain and cryptocurrency?
• What’s the difference between cryptocurrency and coins?
• Is it all a giant pyramid or Ponzi scheme?
• How do I spot a scam and avoid losing my money?
• How do I store my coins and keep them safe?
• Should I invest?

If you don’t yet know the answers to these questions you’re not alone—most people can’t answer a single one. People are intimidated by cryptocurrency and think it’s too complicated to wrap their heads around, so they give up. Even worse, some feel the cryptocurrency craze has already passed them by, so they don’t even try to get started.

I’m here to tell you, it’s not too complicated to learn and nothing has passed you by.

First off – Buy My book. BE LEFT BEHIND
Yes, it’s a shameless plug but the book is the easiest way to understand the market in a short time. It’s also the cheapest way to learn about Bitcoin because everything you need to know is all in one place. Also, much of the info in this post is pulled from my book.

If you’d like an autographed copy go to my website. www.yuricataldo.com

Second, Here is a link to the original Bitcoin white paper

What is Cryptocurrency:
The easiest way to explain it is to tell you what cryptocurrency is not. It’s not dollars, or yen, or rupees, or euros, or any of the national currencies with which we’re all familiar. These are known as fiat currencies, meaning they’re government-regulated and government-backed. There’s general agreement about how they’re valued, traded, and issued.

If you think about it, you often refer to currency as what you spend. For example, the national currency in Great Britain is British pounds; you spend pounds, which you also call quid. In the United States, you have dollars and spend dollars or bucks.

So why am I telling you this?

Because we talk about cryptocurrency in a similar way to how we refer to fiat currencies. The units of money in cryptocurrency are called coins. Bitcoin is one of many types of cryptocurrencies. The smallest unit of Bitcoin is called a Satoshi.

However, unlike fiat currency (dollars, pounds, yen, etc.), which you can only spend, coins are used in a variety of ways. Coins can be used as a method of payment or as a store of value, and in some ways, they can mimic shares. Coins can also have a utility value.

In other words, coins transcend what we typically think of as:
1. Currency to spend
2. Utility as a reward, fee, gift, or benefit
3. Shares in companies
Coins have the characteristics of all three at the same time.

Here are some examples of how coins can be used.

You can:
• Transfer money to anyone in the world within minutes (with very low fees).
• Buy things online (airplane tickets, online shopping).
• Spend it at your local grocery store, pay your babysitter, or buy a coffee at a local café.
• Put it on a Visa or Mastercard debit card and spend it.
• Buy coins as an investment in companies and projects.
• Buy and hold coins, watching the value continue to rise as more and more people get into it.

And this is just the beginning.

Bitcoin:
Perhaps you’ve heard of Satoshi Nakamoto. He’s the founder of Bitcoin. Or is he? Satoshi is the person or group that created Bitcoin, although nobody knows for sure who or what he really is. We’re serious. “His” identity remains a mystery.

In October 2008, someone (or a group, nobody knows) using the name Satoshi Nakamoto published the famous white paper describing a vision for a digital currency called Bitcoin. A few months later, in 2009, Satoshi released the first specifications and proof of concept that launched Bitcoin.

That white paper of Satoshi Nakamoto turned a lot of heads because it laid out a completely new and exciting system where two people can send money to each other through a trusted network (run completely by computers), with transactions that are reliable, fast, and convenient. And you can track your transactions online, something you can’t do in banking. The ease of sending and tracking a transaction was one of the first things that really appealed to people.

People started perceiving value in Bitcoin and suddenly, it wasn’t just a way to send funds, it was a way to spend and invest as well. With that, Bitcoin took off. And when we say, “Bitcoin took off,” it might be an understatement.

This led to the creation of cryptocurrency exchanges. When the first Bitcoin exchange was launched on March 17, 2010, one Bitcoin was worth about $0.003. Two months later, on May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz made the first Bitcoin transaction. At that time, Bitcoin was worth $0.01.

Once people created a demand by buying Bitcoin, the value increased. As a matter of fact, the value of Bitcoin has increased every year making it one of the most valuable currencies in the world. Al-most more valuable than brownie points (or gold stars or red flowers).

If one Bitcoin is worth thousands of dollars, how could you possibly afford it unless you are super-rich? The beauty of Bitcoin is that it can be broken down into fractions. In fact, the smallest fraction that can be sent (or purchased) is one hundred millionth of a Bitcoin. That’s 0.00000001! The unit is called a Satoshi after the founder. And it makes buying Bitcoin as an investment accessible to anyone.

Third: How to Buy Bitcoin.

STEP 1: REGISTER AND SECURE YOUR ACCOUNT ON AN EXCHANGE
When you’re just starting out, and you only have fiat (like USD), you need to register an account with an exchange so you can buy Bitcoin. You have numerous options, all around the world; some examples include Coinbase, Gemini, Bittrex International, and Binance.

Here are links to the ones I use:
Coinbase (Click on this for $10.00 free bitcoin)
Voyager (Click this link for $25 Free of Bitcoin once you trade $100)
Binance.us

To register, you’ll provide your name and email address (you may be asked for other information as well, such as your birthday and home address); you’ll also create a password (make sure you create something unique and really secure, because this is where you’ll be storing your coins—remember our trick).

On that note, when you put your coins on an exchange, they will not provide you with a private key to keep your coins safe. You must trust the exchange to keep your coins safe for you (similar to how you trust a bank to do it for you). It’s not ideal and we know how much we’ve stressed the importance of managing your coins yourself. Our advice is never put more on an exchange than you’re planning on trading. You can always move them offline to a hardware wallet once you have made your investments and are ready to hold them.

Next, you’ll be able to set up additional security features such as two-factor authentication. We highly recommend you do this right away, so you get your account locked down, safe and secure. And remember: don’t use your mobile phone for verification. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of these steps. The more secure your account, the safer you will be.

STEP 2: VERIFY YOUR IDENTITY WITH KYC (KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER)
Now that your account is set up and secure, you’ll need to verify your identity. This is the same process you follow when you open a bank account or other service where you’ll be sending and receiving money.

When you sign up with an exchange, the verification process is called KYC (Know Your Customer). You’ll be asked to provide a copy of your passport or other forms of national identity. You may also be asked to do a biometric scan where you use their app or website to scan your face for additional authentication and verification.

This is being done to secure your account, so hackers won’t be able to gain access to your personal accounts. It’s also required to protect against money laundering. But don’t worry, the data you provide is only being provided to the exchange, who still must comply with all of the laws around data security and privacy.

After you supply a copy of your national ID, many of the exchanges ask for additional forms of verification. They may ask you to provide a selfie along with today’s date and the account number for the account you just opened. You’ll need to take out a piece of paper, write the information down, and hold up your passport or national ID in the picture as well. This is somewhat unique to the cryptocurrency exchanges, but don’t be surprised if you start seeing this being added to other systems you use.

Once you have submitted your identity information, you’ll receive verification in as little as 15 to 20 minutes or, in some cases, within a day. Once you get your email confirmation, you’re approved and ready to start buying Bitcoin and trading other coins.

STEP 3: BUYING YOUR FIRST BITCOIN WITH FIAT
You’re now ready to start buying some Bitcoin. Depending on the exchange, you’ll be able to buy your first Bitcoin with a credit card, a debit card, an instant bank transfer, or a wire transfer of funds to the exchange. Your choices will depend on the local country, the exchange you’re using, and local regulations for that exchange.

Depending on your credit card limits and the price of Bitcoin, you may prefer to do a wire transfer instead of trying to buy it with your credit card. If you’re buying Bitcoin by sending fiat to the exchange through a wire transfer, then you’ll have to wait until the funds arrive, are cleared, and confirmed.

If you’re buying Bitcoin with a debit or credit card, the process is generally very straightforward. There may be some short delays to confirm the transaction, but the exchanges are really good about keeping you informed via emails and system notifications.

That’s it. You’re now the proud owner of anywhere from 0.00000001 Bitcoin to something higher.
Congratulations!

Fourth – How to Keep your Coins Safe

There is one crucial thing to do in the world of cryptocurrency, and arguably it might be the most important thing to do. You must make sure to keep your coins safe.

Think about getting money from the ATM: you don’t flash your cash around for everyone to see. You put your money somewhere safe. You keep it close to your body, but you still watch out for pickpockets.

It’s very much the same for managing your coins. You don’t want just anyone seeing your coins—you need to be aware that people will try to “pick your pocket.” So, short of posting a fire-breathing dragon at the door to your cryptocurrency cave, here’s what you should do to keep your coins safe

With the middleman (and his bureaucracy and fees) nearly eliminated, you must act as your own bank with cryptocurrency. You’re the one responsible for protecting your own coins.

Here are the two ways to secure your wallet and keep your coins safe: private keys and mnemonic phrases (otherwise known as a seed phrase).

PRIVATE KEYS: All your coins are still on the public ledger, but you access them by using your own private key that is linked to your wallet address. Think of this as your key to access your super top-secret vault. It’s the secret code—a very long string of numbers and letters that’s next to impossible to crack because it’s based on a cryptographic algorithm—that makes your wallet accessible. Don’t lose your private keys! We can’t emphasize enough the importance of storing your private keys in a secure place.

MNEMONIC PHRASE: When you start with any software or hardware wallet, it provides you with a backup phrase that’s typically 12 (up to 24) random words that you have to string together in order.

You need the mnemonic phrase to restore your wallets in the event you lose your PC or phone. Just download the software to a new device and your wallet will be restored; everything will be fine. This is the same as restoring a backup of your iPhone or Android. You need the password and login details to regain access and restore your apps and content. The mnemonic phrase serves the same purpose to restore your coins.
By the way, sometimes we call the mnemonic phrase a seed phrase, probably because it’s a whole lot easier to type and remember

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Why Bitcoin Matters By Marc Andreessen

Fat Protocols By Joel Monegro

A Beginner’s Guide to Ethereum By Linda Xie

People to Follow on Twitter:
• Anthony Pompliano (@APompliano)
• Mark W. Yusko (@MarkYusko)
• Tim Draper (@TimDraper)
• Thomas J. Lee (@fundstrat)
• Brock Pierce (@brockpierce)
• Andreas Antonopoulos (@aantonop)
• Bobby Lee (@bobbyclee)
• Tone Vays (@ToneVays)
• Crypto Sara (@altcoinsara)
• Herbert R. Sim—TheBitcoinMan (@HerbertRSim)
• Steve McGarry (@stvmcg)
• Ben Armstrong (@BitBoy_Crypto)

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