Redbeard's BTC For Beginners Datasheet

redbeard

Hummingbird
Gold Member
There’s been an influx of beginners into The Bitcoin Thread, so I wanted to put together answers to beginner questions all in one place. The main thread is a useful tool for discussion and current events, but at this point, it’s too much for beginners to parse through. Hopefully this thread will stay on topic and help some of you out!

I’ll structure this in simple Q&A form, keeping the answers as succinct as possible. If you’d like me to elaborate, please don’t hesitate to quote & reply.

I want to learn about Bitcoin. Where should I start?
Read The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous.

What about altcoins?
No. Read The Bitcoin Standard and you’ll soon understand why.

Put simply, Bitcoin is king because:

1. "Immaculate Conception" i.e. Satoshi Nakamoto
2. Highest, widespread liquidity
3. Simplest, oldest code
4. Most hashrate
5. Best branding
6. First mover advantage

These facts are baked into the brand, all irrespective of price. No altcoin will ever reach BTC's dominance due to the reasons above.

Should I buy Bitcoin?

I confidently believe that everyone should own some Bitcoin. Even if it’s just 5% of your net worth, this will help provide a fantastic hedge against government inflation.

Is now a good time to buy Bitcoin?
It’s always a good time to buy Bitcoin. I am not a trader and I do not know when is a good time to buy. If you currently own zero Bitcoin, just get started so you can get familiar with the technology. The best & easiest long-term strategy is to Dollar Cost Average. If you’d like to see how DCA into BTC has performed over the years, this site is a fantastic tool.

How much should I invest?
I can’t tell you. A conservative approach is 5% of your net worth, sort of like gold. If you’re young, hungry, and aggressive, you can probably get up to 25% of your net worth. I am not a financial advisor, but make sure you're properly diversified with equities, cash, etc.

What if I’m broke?
If you’re broke, unemployed, or drowning in debt, you shouldn’t invest in BTC. Start fixing up your finances by reading “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi and using “You Need A Budget." Then, once you’re on your feet, start investing into Bitcoin & other assets for diversification.

OK I’m ready to get started. Where should I buy BTC?
Anywhere that doesn’t take your identity. This usually falls into one of three categories.
  • Peer to peer - Buy locally from a trusted friend who will give you BTC in exchange for cash.
  • Bitcoin ATMs - ATMs are expensive but usually have no KYC requirements and are super easy to use.
  • Decentralized Exchanges - Bisq, HodlHodl, etc. Take a little bit more legwork to get started but allow you to buy without leaving the couch.
The fastest way to get started is to go to an ATM and just buy however much coin you want. You can find a map of ATMs near you here. I recommend going in person to see what the identity requirements are.

DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR IDENTITY.

Why shouldn’t I give up my identity?
If the government were to ban Bitcoin, they would track down every single person who bought BTC on Coinbase and make them sell. If this sounds ludicrous to you, I implore you to look up Executive Order 6102. Dr. Howard had a solid post on what could happen. Also, here’s an in depth analysis of the situation I think everyone should read and reflect on.

If you've never given up your identity before, great news, you have a clean slate in the eyes of the government. The ease of Coinbase is not worth the mark on your permanent record.

What wallet should I use?
Samourai Wallet. I wrote extensively about that here. I recommend you buy a separate phone that is ONLY used for your Bitcoin wallet.

What’s the best setup for a wallet?

Hardware: Google Pixel 3a
Operating System: GrapheneOS
Software: Samourai Wallet

Google Pixels can be bought on Craigslist with cash for $100-$300. GrapheneOS can be flashed for free. Look up YouTube there’s tons of step by step instructions.

How do I protect my recovery seed?
The best protection is to use a metal seed storage tool. There’s dozens of options these days with all types of features, too many to count. Thankfully, Jameson Lopp has done hands-on research and identified the best seed storage tools to buy.

Should I spend my BTC?
The only reasons to spend BTC are:
  1. You want to capitalize on gains without using an exchange.
  2. You want to buy something anonymously.
In both scenarios, make sure you spin it through Samourai Whirlpool first.

Where do I learn to trade BTC?

You don’t. 95%+ of traders lose money. Gambling is a sin. Just buy and never sell and you’ll outperform 99.9% of traders.

Why is this post so short?
I’ve been in crypto since 2016. I can confidently say that 99.9% of what you read out there is trash. YouTubers, news publications, even the altcoins themselves? 99.9% trash.

What’s really important here is Bitcoin. The fastest way to understand Bitcoin is to read The Bitcoin Standard. And the best way to make money off Bitcoin is to DCA.

Is it that simple?
Yes.
 
Thanks the post. Not gonna lie i think the part on not using crypto exchange sites that require identity verification (e.g. Coinbase) is a little extreme but good info nonetheless
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Thanks the post. Not gonna lie i think the part on not using crypto exchange sites that require identity verification (e.g. Coinbase) is a little extreme but good info nonetheless
It seems "a little extreme" because us Americans are so cucked that we're conditioned to give up our privacy every step of the way. Boarding an airplane, buying a gun, getting a hotel room, all of these require ID's. So, bending over to KYC seems normal. However, when you realize what's at stake with Bitcoin, I think you'll realize it's not extreme in the slightest.
 

john_Jea

Sparrow
  • Decentralized Exchanges - Bisq, HodlHodl, etc. Take a little bit more legwork to get started but allow you to buy without leaving the couch.
Do you have any experience with Bisq/HodlHodl, you need to already own bitcoin for these to work, right?
I think this would be the only reliable way for me to accumulate bitcoin over time without buying p2p in larger amounts. No Atms In my country :(.
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Do you have any experience with Bisq/HodlHodl, you need to already own bitcoin for these to work, right?
I think this would be the only reliable way for me to accumulate bitcoin over time without buying p2p in larger amounts. No Atms In my country :(.
Bisq is probably your best bet. I'm not sure what you use, but they do accept tons of different payment methods:
 

john_Jea

Sparrow
My bad, unfortunately yeah you need some to get started to cover security deposits & fees.
Yeah, that is what I expected. My initial plan was to buy p2p so I guess I´ll start there. From what I have seen tho my countrymen are reluctant to sell in person, always directing the buyer to a local exchange that requires your digital I.D. ( which we already have a version of here). Man, I hope one day that I'll find someone i can trust as much as these people trust the government lol.
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Yeah, that is what I expected. My initial plan was to buy p2p so I guess I´ll start there. From what I have seen tho my countrymen are reluctant to sell in person, always directing the buyer to a local exchange that requires your digital I.D. ( which we already have a version of here). Man, I hope one day that I'll find someone i can trust as much as these people trust the government lol.
Try to go to meetups (if COVID hasn't taken them out) and offer a significant percent above spot price.
 

JayR

Woodpecker
Peer to peer - Buy locally from a trusted friend who will give you BTC in exchange for cash.
Sorry for the stupid question, but you invited inquiries. I don't have any friends who I can call up and meet in the park, say "hey man, you got the bitcoin for me?, hand him a $100 bill, and he hands me....what?...a big yellow cartoon coin with BTC printed on it?

I should probably read "The Bitcoin Standard" before asking dumb questions like this, but how would the peer-to-peer use case you recommend play out in real life?
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Sorry for the stupid question, but you invited inquiries. I don't have any friends who I can call up and meet in the park, say "hey man, you got the bitcoin for me?, hand him a $100 bill, and he hands me....what?...a big yellow cartoon coin with BTC printed on it?

I should probably read "The Bitcoin Standard" before asking dumb questions like this, but how would the peer-to-peer use case you recommend play out in real life?
  1. Find someone who will sell you BTC. This could be at a local BTC meetup, your church, sports team, the forum, something like that.
  2. Convince them to sell you some BTC. Either because they want to take profits, make money using markup, or just to be charitable.
  3. Meet them, hand them cash, then they send a transaction from their wallet to yours.
Make sense?

The hardest part is probably finding someone, now that meetups are on pause due to COVID, but you gotta do what you gotta do. You can check out meetup.com for events, or this list is a good starting point:
 

Meraki

Sparrow
Super noob question, but I’ve got a modest online business. Makes about $250 -1k a month. I get paid thru PayPal and have opted to have it exchange for BTC & ETH in PayPal itself. I notice the transaction fee is a bit high,
but is this acceptable? My PayPal account is over a decade old and I didn’t have to jump thru many KYC hoops, since I’ve never updated it.
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Super noob question, but I’ve got a modest online business. Makes about $250 -1k a month. I get paid thru PayPal and have opted to have it exchange for BTC & ETH in PayPal itself. I notice the transaction fee is a bit high,
but is this acceptable? My PayPal account is over a decade old and I didn’t have to jump thru many KYC hoops, since I’ve never updated it.
Good question. You haven't surrendered KYC which is nice, but are you allowed to withdraw the BTC to your own wallet? Last I checked, you can't take BTC off of their platform, so it's sort of like an IOU.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Hummingbird
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
What are you sentiments on charging clients for services/products in BTC as a way to get into the space?

I have a side-business for which I only accept BTC/crypto (people have only ever paid in BTC) :blush:. It comes with the territory. I have paid a few people in ETH for a few small things. People are open to accepting a bit of crypto, but no one wants to pay in it, because if they have it they are hoarding and if they don't it's an extra step.

Crypto.com can handle crypto payments on their site, either from their app or hardware and software wallets. I will likely integrate this later or a similar offering, though I don't expect it to ever be used.

Screenshot-at-2021-01-13-14-25-46.png


There are a few companies that allow you to receive a salary to an IBAN: Revoult, BitWala, possibly Wirex and Monolith are working on it. Then you can convert it to crypto. Crypto.com, BitWala and Revolut are three companies that are trying to merge crypto in the mainstream and become something similar to a PayPal for crypto. But this is all KYC-heavy - not recommended by OP.
 
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Meraki

Sparrow
Good question. You haven't surrendered KYC which is nice, but are you allowed to withdraw the BTC to your own wallet? Last I checked, you can't take BTC off of their platform, so it's sort of like an IOU.
Hey Redbeard - the idea was to just cash it out gradually. Just trying to magnify the cash from my side gig over the course of the year - not looking to purchase things in BTC itself. Looking to actually transfer it from PayPal as foreign currency, once it’s up high enough to have crypto gains so that the forex fee is negligible. Everything else goes into stocks & trading.

The downside to the PayPal situation is the transaction fee, so the goal is to see what happens in the 40-50k range again, and start scaling out. Then buy tangible assets like backup batteries, vehicle supplies, tools, lots of storable food etc.
 
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