The Value of Bitcoin will Blow your Mind, how to Join this Revolution?
By Lucien Lecarme on ALTCOIN MAGAZINE
8 simple steps to invest in crypto for starters.
It is May 2019. Bitcoin is off the charts. The dam of resistance created in the previous bear market is definitely broken with a big bang. Altcoins are following like fish in the strong Bitcoin grinding current. More importantly, this epic start of crypto spring is being picked up by the ‘old’ financial world. Institutions that were sitting on the tip of the chair, still cautious and critical, but now seemingly getting convinced of the value, solidity and bright future for crypto. These are indicators for further mass adoption in the make. Possibly empowering the start of a further bullrun. Some signs are: Facebook is getting serious about its own coin, ETF’s are filed and probably approved on a wider scale soon, HTC is building a phone with a full bitcoin-node, fidelity, investment banks, and funds are starting to give full green lights on BTC possibly followed by nation-states buying cryptos.
Bitcoin and altcoins are making their next serious growth spurt into further adulthood. With stronger foundations, saver networks, and products getting ready.
The main question at the coffee table: Are you into crypto (yet)?
If not, don’t worry. Prices will rise further as the abovementioned fundaments will get more and more solid. As Crypto Educator, I am advising my friends and followers to start saving BTC for ages now, and some selected altcoin. Read all about it in my beginner's guide.
* Educate yourself
* Step in from values
* Go for the long run.
In this blog, I explain why and how in 8 simple and easy steps. This is not investment advice, this is the result of following my passion and a believe that the value of bitcoin and crypto for humanity is evident and beyond imagination in the long run. This will be expressed in ‘money’ value, whatever the future money will be. But it will be digital.
1. Educate yourself
The main importance of actually starting to see the real value of crypto is education. The mainstream has been brainwashed after BTC’s bull run of December 2017 by influential media-corporations about crypto. You need to deep diver, beyond that initial mistrust that is fed by fear and ignorance. The disruptive element of blockchain and crypto is so huge, that the first strategy of the people and institutions that feel threatened the most has been misinformation. Bitcoin is the safe haven for pornographers, criminals and terrorists, they have shouted from their tabloids and newscartels. Still, up to a few days ago, economists and congressmen like Bradley Sherman have been making this claim. Ask yourself: why not be interested and open about a new technology that can save billions in efficiency and drive sustainability by cutting out middlemen?
The people that have the most resistance, are probably the first that are not needed anymore.
Educate yourself about why Bitcoin and crypto are so disruptive, why people get so nervous, why it is so volatile and what is its potential value. When you like to dive in really deep: This is the best article around on the topic.
When the internet was about the revolution of information, Crypto is about the revolution of money. When the internet brought more and more information to the masses, Crypto will bring more money to the masses.
2. Getting into crypto: Choose your strategy first
Let’s get practical now. When you are still a crypto virgin and want to jump in, the most valuable information obviously is where to start and how. I strongly recommend to first make an essential choice. This choice boils down to: Will I trade or will I hold or anything in between.
Trading will take you a lot of time, nerves and when you are cryptobeginner I definitively would not recommend this. Due to the high Volatility of crypto, it is both an ideal water for making big profits in ample time, but the opposite is that other 50% of this truth. You can lose a lot in a matter of minutes even, get nervous, sell out, and miss that next run up the hill. Than crypto becomes a Casino. Finally, to get into crypto trading is way more difficult than to just move some fiat into wallets.
Let's stick to the latter. Maybe you have some spare money to spend, even 50 bucks will do in fact. My best recommendation here is to see crypto as a very secure way of saving. In my opinion, crypto is the future, so it is just the smartest thing to do: to invest in the future.
Here we come on another crossing: Do you need monthly cash outs from your investment, or can you hold your breath for a longer period. This is called Hodling in crypto-language. When you need money from money, you need to make sure it's easy for you to make the crypto-fiat switch again. This strategy is advisable when you have a bigger amount to your disposal and you want to top off wins.
The golden rule here though: Only invest money that you are prepared to loose!
3. Stay realistic, you can lose money with crypto
Before I explain how to move your first money from fiat to crypto, and in fact join the revolution of money, I explain how you can lose your money. Not to make you too afraid, but out of the virtue of being realistic. Personally, I try not to be swept away by short term big gains perspectives from this space. Greed is always lurking around the corner and I don’t want this game to become too much of a ‘thriller’ for me. Too much greed kills the fun for me. But that's personal. I do advice to check in with yourself what kind of person you are regarding your attitude towards money. How much security you need versus how much of a gambler you are.
Let's assume you go for the saving options, then you put in your weekly or monthly share, and rest in peace. Meaning, you don’t develop the habit to open your wallet or chart every 5 minutes to see how much money you have made(or lost). You have peaceful days and happily can follow the news about more and more mainstream adoption. And to come to the core of things: THIS IS THE MOST PERFECT TIME TO START SAVING. Even after this majestic first runner up after the long and cold crypto winter.
Coming back to how you can lose your money, and I don't want to spoil the fun here:
- Your money gets hacked from an exchange
- You lose your private key
- You get hijacked by greed and get lost in the volatile movements
4. What are crypto wallets and keys
Before moving your first fiat into a crypto wallet, I need to explain what a wallet is. A crypto wallet is a virtual place on a network where your money is stored in a series of numbers. In essence, Bitcoin is the internet of money!
To keep things easy, your future crypto wallet is an app you can download from the app store. This wallet is your bank, and it does not have a costumer service. I come back on that later.
Onboarding on a wallet means you are provided with a public key and private key. The private key or seed key is a 12 or 22 or 24 sequence of random words. For obvious reasons, it is not smart to save this seed key on any digital device in this world of a growing army of hackers. Just write it on a piece of paper. It is a bit cynical and funny at the same time that in this era of rapid digitization the safest place to store your digital crypto assets is on a plain piece of paper. Read more about the important topic of safety and your wallet in a blog I dedicated to this subject! Remember: your smartphone becomes your bank but without customer service.
The public key is there to be shared with people. It is like a bank account number where other crypto holders can send their coins to. This usually happens with a generated QR code for sending and receiving. Scan the code and sent or receive, it’s that simple with little or none commission.
5. Choose your wallet
Now we arrived at the most important section in your crypto journey. What wallet to use and how to get into crypto. You need to get into the so-called super coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum first.
It is still a bit complicated to get from fiat into ฿. You can onboard on an online exchange like Coinbase or Binance or start a private wallet on a platform like blockchain.com. In general, an exchange like Coinbase will do KYC. This stands for “know your client’ and requires the upload of your ID card and proof of address. You can download Coinbase from for example the app store, scan your ID and sent an electricity bill and BOEM, there you go, welcome in Cryptoland. I mention Coinbase because it is currently the biggest exchange around. It also accepts credit cards. After an initial ban from banks and credit card companies in early 2018 to purchase Crypto with credit cards, they eventually didn’t want to miss out on the commissions made from crypto buyers. These 10 exchanges accept credit cards. Commissions can be high on these exchanges since they are just companies making money on crypto.
One of the most simple wallets to use wallets is Breadwallet (BDW), offering an introduction commission of only 0,2%. This wallet is specially designed for the unbanked entering. It uses Coinify to make transactions with Ibans in Europe. Another made simple wallet is LUNO wallet. Also very popular in Africa and Asia. With Localbitcoins you only need your driver's license! This is a physical exchange method. You meet somebody in your town that wants to trade bitcoins. Paxful is a Peer to Peer Bitcoin marketplace connecting buyers with sellers. Abra allows you to securely invest in 30 cryptocurrencies, 50 fiat currencies, all from one app.
It is great that some brands especially focus on keeping things simple and lower the barrier for people to get in. Maybe the easiest way to get into crypto is to download any of the wallets mentioned above, find the nearest Bitcoin ATM and follow the instructions there. You can easily go from cash money to bitcoin within minutes. Don't forget: always check commission rates.
6. Test your wallet
This phase is very important. You need to make sure it is easy to get your money out of your wallet. You can connect PayPal to some exchanges like Coinbase. To most of them, you can connect your bank account. Transfer a small amount back to your bank, PayPal or another fiat account. You might encounter that the withdrawal amount is set on a minimal amount, like 100 euro on blockchain.com for example. The advice here is to try several wallets and see which ones fit best and which one has the lowest exchange rates and ‘getting out’ rates. Sometimes you can buy into bitcoin for the price of that moment, but the sales price is hundreds of dollars less. Check all of this!
When we examine the take money out strategy, it is advisable to choose a wallet in where you can easily swap your investment into a stable coin. A stable coin is a crypto coin that is paired to the dollar for example. Blockchain.com and Coinbase both offer this.
The one and only rule for making money from a fixed initial amount of lets say $10.000,- is that you buy the dip, and get out on the high. And keep your initial start up sum in tact.
The swapping mechanism on the bigger wallets like Coinbase and Binance makes it possible to secure your ‘win’ of that moment without getting your money out of the wallet. This is important since getting your money out can take up to hours. The exchange needs to be validated by the blockchain when it is busy in blockland, you need to wait for this validation. In the meantime, maybe your asset made a big jump again. Welcome to the hickups of this system that is not yet adult. it jumps up and down like an excited child, and as a child, these movements are sometimes totally unpredictable.
7. Just one Love or Diversify
The last choice you need to make is putting your bet, support, and hope on the most dominant coins that rule them all: Bitcoin, or to diversify in let's say 5 upcoming gems. The latter needs education, time investment, and proper technical knowledge. You need to make a deep dive in what pain point a specific coin and project are solving. I can only advice here to choose a coin where you feel aligned with its values. Read the initial whitepaper to see what problem they want to fix. Crypto is a community and circle-based. I have published much more about this here and here.
Ask yourself, with what crypto family do you feel at home? And support this project by investing in there. I invested some money in BAT token since I support their values. I believe it is important that we start owning our data and be able to monetize it. Also, their energy saving solution by blocking ads and trackers with the brave browser is a sustainable improvement. Lastly, they have a product ready: the brave browser.
It is important, after reading the whitepaper of projects, to scan their telegram channels and Twitter accounts to what degree their product is getting ready!. In the end, it is all about real-world value. Just like the internet back in the days. Out of the dotcom bubble rose projects and website and search engines with tangible value and utility. They would skyrocket later in terms of market capital and stock value. The core takeaway is to stay focused on this core solution, the intrinsic value that solves a real-life problem or pain point.
Technology is only that good in relation of its ability to make the lives easier of ordinary people
8. Stay focused on the real value of Bitcoin and crypto
The reason why bitcoin is here to stay, the reason why it is better to look beyond the short term bull euphoria, is because bitcoin and crypto is solving one of the biggest pain points of our time: Centralization and an economic system that rewards sucking out as much as money as possible by bending laws and bailing out banks when they need some more cash from taxpayers.
No More, Nakamoto said and he created the blockchain.
This painpoint that crypto is solving possibly will lead to system changes in the hardware of our economic definitions. It will value and reward many more people than the ones feeding themselves in the top of the pyramid. It will reward the people that trust in this new trustless system that removes the single point of failure: corruption and unnecessary middlemen that suck out the wealth from the system and get away with it.
This is possibly the real overlying common value of Bitcoin and maybe all crypto in the long run. A real value for humanity not only expressed in technological innovation but solving a massive pain point for the whole of humanity. This value is truly beyond comprehension yet.
The blockchain is the stone tablet for the new technological era, introducing a complete new set of values out of which new cultures will arise
It brings forth a completely new design that is peer to peer, borderless, neutral and censorship-resistant. The people that understand that huge potential, are the people that are now into crypto. Added with the ones that will follow, and some old money that doesn't see this yet, but is eagerly playing along to make more money. The latter group will slowly start to understand that it is not just a new money-making tool. It is, in its core, a very disruptive technology that will put a lot of people from that money always makes more money old (often) boys network out of work and out of place. But there is always time to learn and adapt for people like Bradley Sherman. A new network is silently but irreversibly replacing that old boy's network. A technological network without a single point of failure or let's say; corruption. A network that is equal to all and that rewards trust in the network. This is the beauty of crypto. Early adopters get rewarded for their trust. So the real question you can ask yourself is: Do you trust this new story to be mainstream for your children and grandchildren? Then my advice would be to start saving. Not only for yourself, but for the solutions the projects are bringing, for a better and more sustainable world, and for the financial empowerment and freedom of yourself, your children and grandchildren.
Lucien Lecarme, Crypto- Educator