First of all, I recognize that the state, the corporations, and the banks are really all part of the same capitalist entity. The police, armed forces, and other tools of force belong to the same entity. For the most part, the entire globe and every nation-state on it are firmly in control of capitalist forces now. Yes, there are variations on the capitalist theme – fascist capitalist states, pseudo-democratic capitalist states, state-controlled-capitalism states, and tyrannical capitalist states. The bottom line is that all of these states are under the thumb of bankers, corporate boards, and big finance.
Independent nation-states are an illusion that capital has created in order to keep the people focused on the relatively unimportant business of electing impotent legislative bodies, debating amongst political parties, and protesting tyrants and blowhards like Trump, Dueterte, Kim, Erdogan, Putin etc. I’ve fallen for it and quite likely – so have you.
People (workers) with more power to change get the benefit of living in countries where the standard of living is higher. Organized labor and abundant resources made the UK, USA, Japan, and other ‘Western’ nations dangerous to the capitalist system – and as a result, the people living in those regions are given a higher standard of living and inundated with larger and more powerful control systems such as the internet-entertainment complex.
The good news is that capitalism is failing. The bad news is that it is destroying our one and only planet, enslaving all of us, and quite frankly, a major dilemma for capitalists is already rising – what to do with a workforce that is no longer needed as automation eliminates jobs. Capitalism relies on consumption and control.
This is where Bitcoin comes in. There is no central authority over bitcoin. Bitcoin does not require bankers to mediate exchange. Bitcoin does not require governments to regulate trade. The true identity of Bitcoin’s creator is unknown, it is run on nodes distributed over the entire world, and it is a functioning peer-to-peer monetary system that does not require a federal reserve, the approval of corporations, or government backing.
Bitcoin is the greatest threat to capitalism in the history of capitalism. Owning Bitcoin, enables you to transact without government approval. There is no way for governments to automatically tax Bitcoin, they cannot ‘inflate’ or ‘deflate’ bitcoin by producing more. The price of Bitcoin reflected in fiat currency is a direct result of the true value of fiat declining, rather than the value of Bitcoin rising. A Bitcoin is a Bitcoin.
The simple act of buying any amount of Bitcoin, is the single most revolutionary thing that a person living today can do. Every Bitcoin transaction takes away the power of the capitalist machine. Every Bitcoin transaction, moves power from that machine to the holders of Bitcoin.
It was fantastic to watch a possible crisis flare up (unnecessarily) with the assassination of a government official and all that followed – thankfully, much to our surprise – calmer heads prevailed – personally, we believe that it was an investment ploy to control the direction of markets – as well as a trial balloon to see if assassination can be added to the democratic totalitarian toolbox.
Thankfully, the loss of life in this case was limited to those killed in the initial assassination and the stampede at his funeral – as well as an accidental missile hit to a passenger jet in Tehran from ‘friendly’ fire from Iran itself.
The most interesting part for us – was the panic in the markets. There was a brief window to make a lot of money if one had insider information about the U.S. response – and not completely unexpectedly – investors fled to the safety of Bitcoin. We can expect that any future international conflicts will bring more of this behaviour. Investors also fled to gold – but this seems to have been more of a temporary move.
From 2017 onwards, Bitcoin appears to have been manipulated with news, social media, and movements that could only be pulled off by institutional or governmental whales – in our opinion, all planned out and executed to give said government and institutional bitcoin powers, greater control and power in the bitcoin marketplaces.
One thing we are certain of is that the ‘measured’ Trump response was planned in advance and that Antichrist and his cronies increased their wealth on a massive scale during the seemingly imminent ‘crisis’ that never happened.
It’s no secret that I love Bitcoin and have a deep fascination with the entire ecosystem of cryptocurrency. That love affair goes back to working with alternative currencies and barter systems in the 1990s and then extends through the 2000’s as I learned about the possibilities of using digital currencies to disempower banks, corporations, and governments.
In 2017, I jumped into the swirling maelstrom of digital money and began learning everything I could about the good, the bad, and the ugly of Bitcoin and the thousands of digital ‘altcoins’ that exist alongside it. In early 2018, I decided to get as deep into this underbelly as I could by finding a project, joining a team, and building a crypto token.
This is the narrative of that journey. I joined the ‘Lupecoin Project’ first as a supporter and then as a co-founder. Together we built a community, created a token, and shared a vision. There was good, there was bad, and there was ugly. I don’t want to mislead anyone – none of us were deep in the muck – we weren’t doing scam ICOs, ripping off supporters, or figuring out how to steal millions of dollars. We weren’t buying and selling sex workers, drugs, and murder on the famous Silk Road. In fact, we were just a bunch of pretty nice guys trying to build something we thought might make the world a better place – and failing miserably at it.
In Crypto Confidential, my goal is to teach the reader as much as I can about cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, blockchain, and the bizarre communities surrounding this cool technology. After reading this book, the reader will have a much clearer understanding of why blockchain and crypto are among the most important and revolutionary technologies today. In addition, the reader will learn about the bizarre history of Bitcoin and what Ethereum, and altcoins are. Along the way, the reader will be informed about the many scammers, scams, ripoffs, and strange personalities that live in the crypto underbelly.
I know this week in the stock and crypto markets has been difficult for many people. I’m not one of them. My stock portfolio and my crypto portfolio both lost quite a bit of value over the past month – this week was more of the same. I feel good about every decision I made this week – with one exception – after taking sharp declines in my shares of TVIX, I sold a little above break even and missed 80% growth the past two days…in this case, I let my fear of losses outweigh my desire for gains. And, let’s be honest – I was drinking the kool-ade, I was mostly believing the narrative that the markets would simply keep going up and up and that the crash would come sometime in late 2019 or 2020.
The pullback hit a lot of the rising tech stars of 2018 the hardest. Yext, AMD, Square – along with some old favorites like Ali Baba, Amazon, Google, Netflix. Oddly, Tesla didn’t suffer much, maybe because a bottom was already in. McDonalds and Starbucks both weathered the storm nicely, with both companies actually taking gains in a sea of red. Gene editing, industrial automation, electric self-driving cars, and marijuana stocks all took hard hits.
With all the blood in the equity markets, I thought cryptocurrencies might stage a rally but there was some news timed just right – Gemini, the crypto giant created by the Winklevoss Twins, was denied their bitcoin ETF, again by the SEC. So, crypto dropped significantly.
At this point, I”m grateful to crypotcurrency for making me a better investor. Yes, my investments are down by large margins compared to a year ago, but bitcoin and alt-coin losses have made it possible for me to suffer 20% losses (or 90% losses) and not lose my head. I’ve seen the massive volatility, the rise and fall of shares and all of that has brought me back to the fundamentals. Invest in companies for the long term. Find quality companies with quality management. Watch for buying opportunities. Let winners run. Ditch losers early. Take profits when you can.
The hardest part of this week was controlling the urge to cash in my savings and invest it in more shares of Amazon, Square, AliBaba, and Yext. I’m still bullish on IBM, but sold most of my shares a few weeks ago at the highs. My investing goal right now is to take enough profits to step out of my margin account. This week demonstrated the danger of margin – luckily, I avoided a margin call, but essentially a margin call would have meant 2x the loss.
I’m still drinking the Kool-Ade, by the way. I think the markets are going to rally through the next 12 months with a couple little down turns. I’m hopeful that we’ll see a bitcoin/crypto rally in the next few months as well. The market is going to come down – but the policy makers have enough control at the moment to keep it bouncing back. The range on that is narrowing, however.
My strategy moving forward is to continue scooping up quality companies at bargain prices. I don’t think that Amazon, IBM, Editas, AliBaba, or Square are going anywhere but up from this point. I’m calling this the AIEAS strategy. I live near the town of AIEA, Hawaii. It’s the only U.S. city with no consonants.
For my consonants, my crypto strategy. Bitcoin (BTC), Cardano(ADA), Litecoin(LTC), Digibyte (DGB), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Ripple (XRP) – or BALDER.
I’m not a classic conspiracy theorist, but I do think that there are great powers pulling the strings behind the scenes. We see some of what they are doing, but most of it is obfuscated. I believe that this past week was a test balloon to see how markets would react and what they could make them do. Yes, rising interest rates, yield curve, inflation, and more were at play – but the bottom line is – nobody that I’ve heard or read, has given a compelling arguement for why this massive crash happened – there was no obvious catalyst. More crashes will come and more bull runs. The invisible hand is at play here. We don’t know what it is heading towards, why it is making the moves it is making, or when they will happen – only that they will happen.
So, my AIEAS BALDER strategy is designed with that in mind. Quality companies and crypto projects. The bulk of my investment will be in Bitcoin and Amazon. They aren’t pure safehavens, but they are the best we have at the moment.
I read something the other day that was very interesting. It was talking about how the trade war and tariffs and political scandals that should be rocking the market daily – simply aren’t. The reason, this article said, was that the money in the market which was scared or nervous had already left.
Think about that for a second.
It means that the money that is still in the market is either sure that the markets will recover from negative news or that it is not concerned with negative news and holding on with a longer term perspective. I’d like to offer a different and much more dangerous perspective: the violent rises and falls of the stock markets since Spring of 2018 have made many investors more gun-shy about losing out on gains following dips, than on losing out on dips. It means that the risk tolerance for the market as a whole has gone much higher. Personally, I think that the Robinhood App and the violent rise and fall of Bitcoin have a lot to do with it.
Robinhood and Bitcoin in tandem have brought an entire new generation of investors into the markets. I remember hearing a seasoned trader in January say something like “I don’t know where this volume is coming from, but these traders are absolutely stupid” because the conventional rules were being broken by a large number of traders.
Let me break it down. Bitcoin bubbling in late 2017 and early 2018 brought millions of mom and pops, college kids, mechanics, builders, waiters, house cleaners, and other non-traditional investing types into an ultra-high-risk trading environment where dreams of becoming debt free, financially independent, or filthy rich were born and crushed. For those who took part in the 80% rise and 90% fall of Bitcoin over the past year – seeing a stock swing 7% is nothing. Seeing a stock swing 20% is almost nothing.
Those same bitcoin losers (and I’m a bitcoin loser as well, but time will tell if that stays the case) probably found the Robinhood App the same way I did – through the fact that Robinhood opened up to trading cryptocurrency AND stocks on the same phone app. So, where is the money the Robinhood traders are trading with coming from…there are a few possibilities.
1) From their bitcoin gains
2) It’s what is left after their bitcoin losses
3) They have borrowed, used student loans, taken out mortgages
4) They have closed down other broker accounts, 401ks, IRAs, or are using savings
Any way you look at it – this is not the same conservative money that looks to build 6% annually and sells a loser after 7%. Because they are in the market (along with trading bots) those strategies are no longer as effective as they once were. The massive market swings trigger buy and sell orders, sweep through stop losses, and leave traders who aren’t paying attention with overpriced shit on their hands or with selling at a loss and then watching a 250% wild upward swing…which brings me to the bots.
The vast majority of trades on all of the markets today are conducted by trading bots which conduct millions of trades each minute (or faster). There is no human way to beat the bots except through playing it safe and getting lucky.
So, with all of that, what scares me about these markets?
It’s the human traders using the app with their finger on the trigger. They may be exhibiting a strong risk tolerance, but they are human and eventually…somethinig is going to collectively set them off…when it does, the bots will take over and the losses will be massive and nearly instant. Yes, the markets will shut down…but as we saw with Tilray yesterday…that doesn’t necessarily solve things. Imagine what happened there, happeneing on a market wide scale.
These markets are terrifying…but honestly, there are huge gains to be made – despite that.
I’ve shifted my investing strategy. I’m not day-trading or trying to lock in short term gains. I look at a company and try to imagine where it will be in twenty years. I look at what it offers in growth between then and now and what it currently offers in dividend and yield. That’s where my money goes. At the moment there are three very exciting places I have my money parked.
1) IBM – big blue has become a world class innovator while the innovators like Google and Facebook have become boring and conservative. IBM offers one of the best dividends out there and is constantly innovating in new areas of growth.
2) Gene editing. There are three companies leading the charge here. Crispr Therapeutics, Editas Medicine, and Intellia Therapeutics. This is the area where disease gets solved, aging gets set aside, and humans potentially take the next step in evolution
3) Industrial Automation. The workplace is being automated. There is nothing that can be done about that. Brookstone, Holisys Automation, and ABB Group are the three companies currently leading the charge on this world changing shift.
I also believe that Amazon will continue to dominate and grow like the Borg and that electric cars with self driving technology will take over the automotive industry. Tesla may be a dead man walking but GM, Volkswagon, and Toyota are stepping up and newcomer NIO out of China is one to watch closely.
I’m putting my money in these areas now and in twenty years, I expect that I won’t be disappointed.
Now, a word about Bitcoin and blockchain. I still believe in Bitcoin. I think any money put into it before 2020 will see massive returns. I also believe that there are a number of great use cases for blockchain technology – but the more I’ve learned about the current run of projects – the more I believe that there is better coming and the money I’ve put into them may never be recovered. The hype got me…now, whether I get lucky from that – that’s just a matter of luck and fortitude. I’m not going anywhere with my losses…and it would be nice to see them turn into winners. Only time will tell.
In the middle of October of 1929 – the stock markets of the United States reached impressive new all time highs. Investors were giddy and one of the leading economists of the day, Irving Fisher, said that the new all time highs were going to be the base level from that time forward.
Last week, the U.S. stock markets reached new all time highs. The most corrupt and exploitive president in the history of the United States crowed about the record breaking highs. He’s not an economist, he’s a guy who got his start in business with millions of dollars of seed money from his dad. He’s a guy who has never turned away from the chance to take a deal that left someone else screwed. He’s a reality TV star and an annoying talker with tiny hands. But none of that is important. Like the economist in 1929 – he called the top but he doesn’t realize that.
At the end of October 1929, just a few weeks after the giddy highs – the market began to crash and it just kept crashing. October 29th was the tipping point. All told – the stock markets lost 40% of their value and didn’t recover for a decade. The period leading up to the crash was a period of unbridled excess and thoughtless borrowing. Kind of like now…but milder.
Make no mistake, friends. A big crash is coming. Markets are inflated. The dollar is overvalued. Inflation is being hidden. Credit is easy and out of control. Your money and your investments are worth half of what you think they are. And, a correction is coming.
This isn’t going to be a healthy, buy the dip correction. The shit is going to hit it. The yield curve has not only flattened – it has inverted some time ago but that is being hidden by market manipulation, cash infusion, and strategic use of policy that isn’t intended to fix the problems but only to hide them.
What can you do to protect yourself and your investments? Several things:
1) Get out of cash – keep enough to pay a few months of expenses but not more – hyper inflation is coming.
2) Buy Bitcoin – this is your hedge. Don’t let the volatility fool you – bitcoin is an actual store of value
3) Put your money in big companies that aren’t going to go away for the long term. – I’m not talking about Amazon here. I’m talking about IBM and Ford and GE. Despite fluctuations – these companies are not going away. They will recover from any market chaos. Will they lose share price? Of course, everything will.
4) The Bond markets are a recipe for disaster.
5) Real Estate is due for another large crash – sell while you can or hold for long term if you can do it and it makes sense.
6) Vote for sanity – things like universal healthcare and universal basic income aren’t just for poor people looking for handouts – they are well thought out economic strategies that actually end up costing less than allowing people to get sick, starve, or become homeless.
Did I mention that you should buy bitcoin and get out of cash? What do you think will happen when all the paper money becomes worth less than the paper it is printed on? Yes, people will turn to sound money. Gold, silver, bitcoin, and Swiss francs. Only bitcoin is a sure thing. Buy some.
For the past year, I have wanted to buy a cryptocurrency hardware wallet . I haven’t bought a Ledger or a Tresor wallet yet because when I looked into buying one or either of them, I found a lot of stories about how they were arriving to purchasers already compromised. There was a lot of FUD going around about them and I opted to look for something better.
First, I ordered a HooFoo which has still not arrived or possibly even been produced yet. I bought it more than six months ago. The crowdfunding campaign wouldn’t give me a refund and HooFoo recently contacted me to say that it will be shipped…someday. When it does, I will review it. I hope that day comes.
In late June of 2018, I started seeing John McAfee shilling Bitfi an unhackable hardware wallet. “The most unhackable hardware wallet ever made”. For those who don’t know, John McAfee is the guy who invented McAfee software and who was accused of murdering his neighbor in central America and who ran for President as a Libertarian in 2016 and who has become a sort of unwanted step-child poster boy for cryptocurrency and is now a master shiller of all things related to cryptocurrency. McAfee is the William Shatner of crypto, he’ll sell his soul if the price is right – so it wasn’t that I trusted him, it was more that I figured it like this. McAfee is known for hacking. He’s known for crypto. He’s putting his name right on this. Chances were it was a good and possibly a great product. So I ordered one.
Now, just so you know, I did ask for a free one to review and McAfee told me there were none available.So, I had to pay full price for it. This is a legitimate review with nothing given to me to influence what I would write. Which is kind of too bad for Bitfi. I think it would have worked in their favor to have me obligated. Two days after I ordered it (and ten days before mine arrived in my mailbox), the Bitfi got destroyed by motivated hackers and deconstructed by engineers and then it got hacked..in several different ways.
Ryan Castellucci, a security researcher from WhiteOps, described it as “a cheap stripped down Android phone” and strongly advises against using it.
Another set of researchers pointed out that from a secure point of view, the use of Baidu as a search engine, and the inclusion of the Adups ‘spyware’ make for an even less wholesome environment.
Bitfi has gone a bit Trumpy in its response, denying all the accusations and accusing OverSoftNL of actively working for competitors.
By the time it got to Hawai’i, I had read so many scary reviews about this thing that there was no way I would ever use it to store anything larger than what I would carry in my wallet. I feel more comfortable leaving cryptocurrency on Coinbase and Binance – because Coinbase is insured and Binance has promised they will reimburse if they ever get hacked. This thing…well…
I like technology but I’m not a hard core coder or hacker. I’m an early adopter of platforms and new technology and an innovator in the uses of tech but I’m not a security expert or a hacker – so you can find other reviews that will go into that stuff.
I’m a user of technology and part of the reason I ordered Bitfi was so I could have fun using it. Even after all the bad things I had heard, I was ready to have fun. The box was fun. It had a quote from Satoshi Nakamoto on it. It even said there was a six-sided die inside. That sounded like fun too.
The problem is – it’s not fun. It’s not fun at all. There’s nothing fun about Bitfi.
I opened the box and found what looked like the same Samsung phone I bought in Morocco back in 2012 for $50. It was in a nice blue monogram wallet. The outer box was taped with clear strapping tape. The inner box had been taped with scotch tape. In the box were a charger cord, adapter, the six-sided die, and some instruction cards. And the wallet of course.
Seriously, this thing is almost identical to my old $50 Samsung but when I turned it on, I found the touch screen to not be as responsive. It felt like garage sale technology – the kind you find at G-sales on Saturday mornings. But, I didn’t want to judge, I dove into the instructions.
The first thing I had to do was connect to wifi and then to set up an account on their website using my iphone or a computer. Then I had to sync the old phone..I mean wallet…with the website. The numbers and letters were tiny – actually hard to see with my 46 year old eyes and my fingers must be getting fat because they kept hitting the keys next to the ones I was trying to hit. There were cute instructions about how to use the six-sided die to create an unhackable pass phrase using the cyper on their website. I followed all the instructions, I got it set up, and then I went to transfer a little cryptocurrency in.
It doesn’t do Stellar, Cardano, Tron, Ripple, Eos, Iota, Ethereum Classic, or Bitcoin Cash. It does do Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Monero, Neo and a bunch of other coins that McAfee has promoted in the past like Golem, Docademic,Bezop, etc.
So, honestly, I should have read all this before. Most of the currencies I wanted this for are safe because they aren’t supported by the Bitfi. My bad.
I was surprised at how little the wallet does. It’s basically a confirmation device for transactions which are all ran from the Bitfi website on a different device. I pretty much think that sucks. It might be great for security but my thought is this – how is this more secure than just using another website and enabling an authenticator app? Or even going further and getting a hardware authenticator like I used to use on my paypal account back a decade ago. The answer is, it’s not. I’m sure the website is all unhackable and secure, but I bought a hardware device to store my crypto on…not so I could store them on someone’s website. There’s no interface on the device so if the Bitfi site is gone, there is no way to get your funds. I know I’m a simple caveman but this seems like bullshit to me…
Look at that handsome wallet though! And, it’s got a great box. But, when it comes time to punch in your salt and your phrase, be prepared with your magnifier glasses and also make sure that you don’t pick any of the letters or numbers near the sides because this old phone doesn’t have a nimble modern keyboard that pops up – it’s like trying to use the first touch enabled devices in the late 1990s. Remember those video trivia games in all the beer joints back when people didn’t have phones to stare at? It’s like that. Expect to hit the same button a few times and make some mistakes.
On the positive side, it was only $120 including shipping and it arrived within two weeks. It has a great box, nice case, and ships with a die.
On the negative side – I pretty much hate this thing and never plan on using it for anything unless I have to. Maybe someday I can put it in the Cryptocurrency Museum if I keep it preserved good enough. I don’t like the website or interface. I don’t really want to carry this thing around with me or have it take up space in my safe deposit box. It’s already a relic.
Don’t buy the Bitfi. I’d tell you this even if they’d given it to me for free but maybe I would say it in a nicer way like “I see a really good future for the Bitfi when they solve a few early quirks that keep popping up” – and that’s true. I really like the idea of shipping an old phone with a die, but personally, I would have probably been more impressed with an eight-sided or a 12-sided die.
Congratulations! You’ve bought some crypto! Maybe you bought a piece of a bitcoin, a whole bitcoin, a litecoin, some XRP, a Lumen, some Ethereum, or Digibyte…it doesn’t really matter. The good news is that you bought some crypto and you are asserting your currency independence.
Or are you?
Here’s something a lot of people don’t think about. When you buy cryptocurrency, what you are doing is claiming a piece of the blockchain. Your public key allows anyone to see that your crypto belongs to the address that you have parked it at. Your private key allows you to move it to a different address if you want to. Remember, blockchain is a permanent (immutable) ledger of transactions. Which brings up a good point – the only way your transaction is private is if you are using a privacy coin like Monero which tears up the transaction records or if there is no way to associate you with your public address. When people buy crypto – most people buy it on an exchange. Exchanges like Coinbase handle all of this for you and because of anti-money laundering laws (AML) and know your customer (KYC) rules…there is no such thing as privacy AND – and this is important, while you are the legal holder of your crypto – the private keys are actually held by the exchange – so you can request them to move your crypto to somewhere else (another wallet, a friend, etc) but they have the custody and if something happens (a big hack like Mt. Gox for instance) your coins and tokens can be lost and never recovered.
And that, my friends, is why the old timers in crypto advise you to never keep your cryptocurrency on the exchanges. You need to have control of your own keys and to do that, you have to have a way to account, move, track, send, and recieve. Welcome to the world of crypto-wallets. This will be a brief guide and in time, I will be adding individual reviews of the various solutions presented here.
There are many different wallets.
There are the aforementioned exchange wallets which allow the exchanges to control your currency. This is important if you are actively trading. Some exchanges guarantee that your holdings are protected. Binance is one of these. Advantages of exchange wallets are that you can buy, sell, and trade. Exchange wallets usually take care of airdrops, forks, and mainnet swaps for you. The disadvantage is that your every move is being monitored, your accounts are clearly tied to you, and you do not actually control your keys. So, if currency independence or privacy are one of your reasons for investing in crypto – keep your crypto somewhere else.
Browser wallets aka Web Wallets use an online interface to keep track of your crypto. Again, if privacy is an issue, you have to take some extra steps because your computers IP address and other factors are showing the world who has control of that wallet. Probably the most popular browser wallet is MEW aka MyEtherWallet.com
Since Ethereum has been used to build thousands of ERC-20 compliant tokens – a browser wallet like MEW is very useful because it can hold them all. Also, since the contents of the wallet are visible to anyone on the blockchain – if you hold your Ethereum in a MEW or similar wallet, you will get air drops of new ERC-20 tokens from time to time if you are holding any Ethereum.
Similar to MEW but downloaded onto your machine or device are software wallets. Software wallets are also known as desktop or mobile wallets. The main advantage to using a software wallet is that they are more secure because they are on your machine or device. Some examples are JAXX, Mycelium, Electrum, and Green Wallet. Generally, when you set these up, your private key is given to you and encrypted using a series of words which are also given to you. This means you can recover your wallet even if your computer or phone is stolen or broken. A similar system is used with browser wallets. The difference is that a browser wallet can be logged into from anywhere as long as you have your keys, the software wallet is only on your device.
There are a growing number of hardware wallets. Ledger, Trezor, Bitific, and more. I will offer reviews of some of these in the future. One wallet which I ordered and was excited to demo was the HooFoo wallet. The company has unfortunately proven to be a fly by night scam and has not shipped wallets to any of their backers or offered refunds. It’s a shame because it looked like a very good solution. In any event, hardware wallets are not dependent on your computer, the web, or exchanges. By storing your cryptocurrency on a hardware wallet, you are retaining full control of your crypto and retaining the maximum amount of currency independence.
Paper Wallets, Wallet Cards, etc
A paper wallet is little more than a bitcoin or crypto private key printed on a piece of paper. Nothing complex about it. Wallet cards are a way of digitally managing private keys offline but still loading and spending online. Paper wallets are as secure as you keep them – think of them as almost the same thing as dollar bills. If you leave them lying around, they will probably disappear.
So, in summary: cryptocurrency is moved around with numbers and math. The math is complex and for all intents and purposes impossible to counterfeit unless you have two sets of numbers – the public key and the private key. Wallets are a way of managing and keeping those keys safe. Many people call any wallet with an online component a soft or hot wallet and any wallet that is offline a cold or hard wallet. Cold wallets are safer than hot wallets.
A lot has been made int he past ten years about the 1%. The ultra-rich who control more wealth than the other 99% of us. I’m not going to get into all of that. Suffice to say that I’m not a member of that club but I wouldn’t turn down an invitation.
The 4% are something altogether different. It is estimated that with a maximum of 21 million bitcoin that will ever exist – ownership of a whole bitcon will become a bit of a status symbol. Currently trading at right around $8200, buying a bitcoin is not something that most people on the planet are capable of. Shelling out $8200 is a big commitment – in some markets that’s a down payment on a house, it will buy the very cheapest of brand new cars, or many other things. Now consider – some of the 1% have hundreds or even thousands of bitcoin in their wallets. It’s estimated that Satoshi Nakomoto, the creator of bitcoin has more than a million btc. The top cold wallet has nearly 200k and the other top 100 range from that down to 70k. What that means is that most of the existing bitcoin are already spoken for by those top wallets and Satoshi. The rest of them are split up into little pieces called Satoshis or Sats. The majority of bitcoin enthusiasts only own a piece of a bitcoin and then own a lot of alternative coins (aka ‘alts’) which add up to crypto holdings that can be in excess of 1 bitcoin – but usually don’t hold the bitcoin as such.
A recent estimate says that only half of one percent of the population on the planet owns any form of cryptocurrency. So, we are talking about the 1/2 percenters here, not the 1 percenters. Out of those 1/2 percenters – only 4% of them own 1 or more bitcoin. It’s tricky to do the math here because there are some (many actually) people with more than one bitcoin wallet. When we do some very rough calculations we come out with the fact that out of roughly 8,000,000,000 people on the planet – there are only 160,000 of them who own a whole bitcoin. So, my friends, if you stepped up or got lucky or were smart enough to invest early on when bitcoin were cheap and plentiful in relation to demand…congratulations…you are part of the .002% of humans that will probably be among the wealthiest human beings int he history of our species. Congratulations!
If you haven’t bought any bitcoin yet, what are you waiting for! Use the coinbase link to the right to get started…you can buy little bits at a time or many bitcoin, but don’t forget, if you leave them on the exchange…you don’t really own them. If you don’t know how to begin, check out my quick guide about How to Invest in Bitcoin to get started
Investing in Bitcoin is really very simple. The easiest way is to:
1)Setup up a Coinbase account using my affiliate link (We will both get $10 in Bitcoin when you make your first $100 purchase). To set up your coinbase account you will need a valid government issued ID, a bank account, and a phone number/address
2) Wait a couple of days for account approval
3) Buy Bitcoin (or other crypto)
After that, you hold it until you find a price you want to sell at or hold it forever or wait until you find something you want to buy with it. Bitcoin traditionally has a lot of up and down movement so you can either buy high and sell low (don’t do this, instead just give your money to charity or something) or have patience, avoid selling in panic or on market emotion, and wait for a return you are happy with.
My advice, and it’s worth what you paid for it, is to buy at least one Bitcoin either all at once or over a longer period of time – (you can do like $10 a week if you want to) and hold that thing for five to ten years. I firmly believe that in a decade, a single bitcoin will be worth $1 million dollars or more.