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README.md
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README.md

Guiding Principles
  • Starting simply and improving is better than than not starting at all
  • It's more engaging to use tools before reading a detailed explanation
  • Always keep full control of your bitcoin (use non-custodial tools)
  • Stay focused and avoid scams (use bitcoin-only tools & services)
Step Description Done
0. Setup
1. Get a Wallet
2. Buy some bitcoin
3. Why use bitcoin?
4. What is bitcoin?
5. Further Learning
6. Better Backup
7. Running a Node
8. Joining In
9. Bitcoin Privacy
10. Bitcoin MicroPayments (Lightning)
11. Technical Details
12. Buying privately

Step 0. Setup

I have a printer I don't have a printer
Print this PDF & Track your progress by ticking off steps in the Done column. Save this PDF to your desktop & Track your progress by renaming the PDF to include the next Lesson Number (e.g. bitcoin-intro_Lesson2.pdf)

Step 1. Get a Wallet

Aim: Make and backup a bitcoin wallet

  1. Download Blockstream Green wallet.
  2. Make a new wallet and write down the 24 words presented to you. These 24 words act as a key to access your bitcoin.
  3. Make another copy of these words and put them both somewhere hidden/safe in your house.
  4. In green wallet, click receive and copy the address shown on screen, this can be done by clicking on the QR code.

Step 2. Buy some bitcoin

Aim: Get a small amount of bitcoin

  • Only buy a small amount of bitcoin to start (in a later step we will improve your backup redundancy).
  • These recommendations let you buy bitcoin quickly at the cost of reduced privacy.
  • Buying Privately is detailed in a later step.
USA (1.5% Fee)
  1. Check cashapp on Trustpilot
  2. Download Cashapp from the app store.
  3. Make an account & connect a Debit Card.
  4. Buy 25 USD of BTC.
  5. Find the Withdraw Bitcoin button, specify an amount and paste your first bitcoin address from Step 1.
  6. Wait for the funds to appear in green wallet (< 24 hrs).
EU (Bittr - 1.5% Fee)
  1. Check bittr on Trustpilot
  2. Go to Bittr.
  3. Enter your email & phone number
  4. Paste your first bitcoin address from Step 1
  5. Copy the reference and send 25 EUR from your personal bank account to the bank details provided via SEPA
  6. Wait for the funds to appear in green wallet (< 24 hrs).
CAN (BullBitcoin - 0.25% Fee)
  1. Check BullBitcoin on Trustpilot
  2. Go to Bull Bitcoin.
  3. Deposit 25 CAD & Buy 25 CAD worth of bitcoin
  4. Paste your first bitcoin address from Step 1
  5. Wait for the funds to appear in green wallet (< 24 hrs).

Congrats you now officially hold some BTC. As long as you keep those 24 words safe nobody can steal the funds from the wallet you have created. Without these words (known as your seed words or your private key) nobody can access your bitcoin wallet.


Step 3. Why use bitcoin?

Aim: Learn why bitcoin is useful

  1. Read 'Why Bitcoin' by Wiz
  2. Read 'The Bullish Case for Bitcoin' by Vijay Boyapati
  3. Watch 'Why Bitcoin Matters' by Aleks Svetski

Step 4. What is bitcoin?

Aim: Learn what bitcoin is

  1. Read 'What Is Bitcoin' by Greg Walker
  2. Watch 'Bitcoin - The Genesis' by RT

Step 5. Further Learning

Aim: Further develop your understanding of bitcoin

Listen
  1. The Bitcoin Standard
  2. Intro to Bitcoin Austrian thought
Read
  1. The Little Bitcoin Book
  2. Sovereignty through mathematics
  3. The Bitcoin Standard (Listen to the prologue)

Step 6. Better Backup

Aim: Improve your backup so you are ready in-case bitcoin goes up in price or you decide to buy more.

  1. Read the Seed FAQ
  2. Pick a setup (e.g. Two full backups, one on paper one on stamped metal)
  3. Implement your selected setup

Step 7. Running a Node

Aim: Understand how and why bitcoiners run their own full nodes.

Note: Running a node only benefits you if you use your node to send and receive transactions.

  1. Watch Benefits of a Full Node
  2. Evaluate below tables to determine which route seems most suitable given:
Route A Route B Route C Route D
Cost Zero Zero Low High
Time Requirement Low High Mid/High Low
Setup Difficulty Low High Mid Low
Downtime High Low Low Low
Route Ideal User Positives Negatives
A Non-technical Beginner Free, Easy and Quick When your computer is off your node will not be running so when you do want to use it you will have to wait for it to sync.
B Technical Enthusiast Free Requires significant time to setup & is technologically difficult if you have not used linux before.
C Less Technical Enthusiast Reasonably low cost & quick Requires some time to setup though typically guides specify hardware making setup as simple as following instructions precisely.
D Anyone who can comfortably afford this option Quick and Easy High cost compared to alternatives
Route A: Bitcoin-Core on your day to day computer
  • Download NodeLauncher, a simple program to help you intstall bitcoin core.
Route B: Bitcoin-core on an available always-on computer
Route C: Build a standalone node
Route D: Buy a pre-built standalone node

Step 8. Joining In

Aim: Discover how to get involved in discussions about bitcoin.

  1. Attend a local meetup
  2. Subscribe to bitcoin op-tech
  3. Join Twitter and follow bitcoiners you come across.

Step 9. Bitcoin privacy

Aim: Understand how and why to use bitcoin in a private way

  1. Read how to Hodl Privately
  2. Learn about CoinJoin

Step 10. Bitcoin MicroPayments

Aim: Understand what the lightning network is and how you can use it.

  1. Download a non-custodial bitcoin lightning wallet
  2. Transfer some bitcoin to it (a small amount)
  3. Send bitcoin over lightning
  4. Watch The Importance of Layer Two
  5. Read LNP/BP as compared to TCP/IP (extract from Q/A About Bitcoin).

Step 11. Technical Details

Aim: Better understand how bitcoin works & the terminology

  1. Watch But How does bitcoin actually work
  2. Watch How Bitcoin Works Under the Hood

Step 12. Buying Privately

Though the methods explained in Step 2 are simple and easy for buying your first bitcoin it is worth considering more private options for further buying.

Overview table
Private Methods Semi-Private Methods Non-Private Methods
Method of Payment Cash Bank Transfer Debit Card
Interface In person Website Website
Email & Phone Not Required Required Required
Name & Address Not Required Not Required Required
Relative Privacy Great Fair Fair
Examples BISQ / Vouchers Bittr CashApp / Bull Bitcoin
BISQ
  1. Download & Install BISQ
  2. Set local currency
  3. Look for local sellers (Select BUY BTC button on top ribbon )
  4. Buy from local seller (Select Create new offer to buy BTC with ... )
  5. Withdraw bitcoin to bitcoin address from Step 1.

Note: As stated when installing BISQ, the user is responsible for using the software in compliance with local laws.

Vouchers
  1. Check whether there are any merchants near you who sell vouchers on Azteco or FastBitcoins
  2. If there aren't any local voucher vendors check out the below options. If there are, buy the minimum voucher denomination and follow the voucher instructions to redeem the bitcoin to your own wallet.
  3. When prompted, paste your first bitcoin address from Step 1.
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