Bitcoin For Beginners: Welcome To The Rabbit Hole
I’ll never forget the day I bought bitcoin for the first time. I was sitting out on my back deck frustrated as all hell. Why it had just taken so long, and been so difficult, to buy this cryptocurrency thing?
My first ‘real’ introduction to Bitcoin had been a few weeks earlier. A ‘friend of a friend’ mentioned to me he had bought some. He also said that it had increased in value by quite a bit over the past couple months.
I had heard the name over the years, but I really had no idea what Bitcoin was or how it worked. I knew it was a ‘digital currency’ (whatever that meant) and that, was the extent of my knowledge.
My first question was, ‘do I think there’s enough potential value here to justify the time and effort required to learn what I’m going to need to know.’ The only way I knew of figuring that out was to own some.
So, after many milliseconds of consideration, I decided to take $1,000 and buy some of this magical internet money.
What started out as a single question, led to another, then another, which led to another…the most important question being, where do I even start!
While I would hardly consider myself a computer expert, I do have a fairly extensive background in online marketing. I’ve built websites, traffic generation, list building, and even a bit of coding. I understand how different programs interact with each other.
I can remember thinking ‘holy shit! If I’m having this much trouble figuring out how to buy this stuff, how in the world is the average Facebook user going to figure it out!’
This may seem surprising, or even irresponsible to those who prefer complete due diligence before proceeding with anything investor or business related. Ask anyone who knows me, it would come as no surprise at all.
Just Do it
We all have different ways of learning. Part of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing your strengths and weaknesses After years of repeated trial and error I’ve developed a sufficient level of self awareness to know that I learn best by doing. Jumping in forces me to figure it out. It expedites the process of understanding what questions I need to be asking.
It also eliminates what I’ve heard referred to as ‘analysis paralysis.’ It’s so easy to get caught in the trap of feeling like you must have a crystal clear understanding of every step before moving forward. For an entrepreneur that’s death. Experience has taught me that the only way to accomplish anything is to follow Nike’s advice and ‘just do it’.
I’ve watched too many people wait for the right time to do whatever it is they think they’re going to do. The problem is, there’s never a ‘right’ time. There’s always a valid excuse to do or not do something. The only time that works for me when it comes to starting a new project, is right now.
Worth The Effort
Anyway, after spending many hours figuring out where and how to buy it, success! I officially owned Bitcoin! It was then I realized that I needed to have a place to store it.
So, for a couple more hours I repeated the process…figuring out what, where, and how to store my new found wealth. I learned that simplest place is called a ‘hot wallet.’ More on that later.
While I do possess a few redeeming qualities, patience is not one of them. By the time I finally had my new coins safely stored in their shiny new wallet, it took every last ounce of willpower I had to not throw my laptop across the yard.
I was fried and I was frustrated. However I had also seen enough to recognize that I had just opened Pandora’s box. It was my first glimpse of the rabbit hole.
What I Discovered About Bitcoin
I’m not talking about the purchase and storage of Bitcoin here. That’s not to suggest I didn’t feel a sense of accomplishment when the process was finally over. I absolutely did!
What I mean is, that was the point where I began to realize what I had just discovered. It was a much bigger deal than I ever could have imagined. Somehow I knew that I had just stumbled across possibly the greatest opportunity of this generation. The more I’ve learned this past year, the stronger that conviction has become.
No Pain No Gain
The last 12 months have been some of the most challenging and rewarding of my life. When I made that first purchase of Bitcoin I had no idea what blockchain is, much less how it works.
I knew nothing about altcoins, exchanges, or that bitcoin is mined. In fact, when I found out you could trade cryptocurrency just like stocks, or forex, I was really excited! I realized it could be the quickest way to cash flow. It was also a little overwhelming as I knew as much about trading as I did crypto. Add it to the list of things to get to work on.
I have spent literally thousands of hours learning this entire business from the ground up. Taking action. Making mistakes. Asking questions. Researching, studying, trying a different angle, making more mistakes…rinse and repeat.
So Now What?
My goal with this blog is to walk you through step by step exactly what Bitcoin is.
How and why it all started, how it works, what blockchain is and the role it plays, etc.
The first few lessons will be focused very much on the absolute beginner. However as we continue past the basics we’ll be getting into more intermediate and advanced material.
If you’ve been able to understand at least in principle, anything I’ve talked about in this article congratulations! You’re MUCH further ahead than I was when I started.
If it all sounded more like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for.
My hope is that you stick around long enough until things start to click. As confusing as it can be in the beginning, there comes a point where it does start to all make sense.
When it does, I can promise you it will have been well worth the effort.
To paraphrase the famous quote from Martin Luther King Jr…
‘You don’t have to see how deep or where the rabbit hole leads, you just have to see the next step.’