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Bitcoin Basics

[1]1,848 words

To get started in Bitcoin, you need to learn a few basic skills and concepts. I’ve listed the key skills here. There are many different Bitcoin wallets and exchanges, and the best ones depend on which country you are in. So doing a comprehensive step-by-step guide for everyone would be too much. My goal here is to point you in the right direction so you can figure things out yourself, or find answers to your other questions elsewhere.

Creating an exchange account

Bitcoin exchanges are where you can buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC). Avoid Coinbase and Cash App, because they are Leftists. If you can, get an account with Gemini. They are run by libertarians who believe in freedom of speech, so they are less likely to kick White nationalists off their service. CEX is a decent exchange in the UK. For more comprehensive lists of exchanges in your country, you can ask users on Reddit, or search the Bitcoin Beginners subreddit [2] for others who have already asked.

Once you’ve found an exchange, you’ll need to link your bank account to the exchange, similar to how you link it to PayPal. To do this you will need your account and routing numbers (the numbers on the bottom of your checkbook). This way you can send fiat currency to and from the exchange without paying wire transfer fees. They will typically want you to send a photo of your picture ID, proof of residency, etc. You will also want to create a secure password for the exchange, and I recommend using random.org [3] for this. They have a password generator function. Some browsers will automatically create strong passwords for you, but either way, you should make sure to write the password down on a sheet of paper. It’s always good to have a physical backup of these things. Finally, you will want to use two-factor authentication (2FA) to keep your account secure. This makes it impossible for a hacker to log into your account without also being in possession of your smartphone.

Buying Bitcoin

Once your account is created and your identity has been confirmed (which may take a day or two), you can start sending fiat currency to the exchange. Choose ACH when possible, because wire transfers cost money and they are a hassle. When the fiat money appears in your exchange account, it will just sit there until you use it to buy Bitcoin. There’s no pressure to immediately buy.

When you finally decide to start buying, you should plan on buying BTC on a regular schedule. No trading. No altcoins. No timing the market. This is called “dollar-cost averaging,” and it’s the best way to avoid the psychological pressure that comes from holding a volatile asset. You’ll also end up with more BTC than if you trust your gut instinct to time the market. Just because Bitcoin “feels” cheap or expensive at any given moment doesn’t mean that it is. Markets have a way of shocking even seasoned traders.

Keeping Bitcoin

Once you’ve accumulated a significant amount of BTC in your exchange account, you will want to buy a hardware wallet to store it yourself.  Leaving large amounts of BTC on an exchange for long periods of time is risky because it’s much easier for hackers to get into an exchange than for them to take BTC stored locally on your own device. Hardware wallets give you peace of mind because they are impervious to hackers even when they are connected to a PC infected with viruses. Even if the hardware wallet is broken or stolen, you can still recover your BTC. It’s possible to make written backups of the recovery seed. A recovery seed is a list of 12 (or 24) random words that, when entered into a computer or another hardware wallet, automatically recovers all your BTC and addresses. Never store a recovery seed as a digital file, only write it on paper using a pen. Store this paper in a safe location, because anyone who has it will be able to access your BTC. I recommend getting either a Ledger or a Trezor hardware wallet. You can get these on Amazon or directly from the manufacturers. Here’s a link to a video on hardware wallets and good Black Friday deals. I highly recommend subscribing to this channel [4] and looking at his other videos, because they are a treasure trove of guides.

Software wallets are slightly less safe than hardware wallets, but they can be useful for storing small amounts of BTC that you want to use for donations or purchases. When creating a software wallet, choose the “Segwit Native” address type. All addresses are compatible with each other, but Segwit Native will reduce your transaction fees and it’s the most advanced address type. A good software wallet you can install on your phone (either iPhone or Android) is called BlueWallet. You can find it in the app store for free. Here’s a video [5] about it.

It’s a good idea to avoid making a lot of transactions. Every transaction incurs a fee. Transactions also open you up to the possibility of making a mistake, which can cost you money. So pay close attention to the recipient address you are copying/pasting to ensure it’s the correct address. A good way to reduce your transaction fees is to make most of your transactions on weekends, because this is when there’s less network congestion. You should also use fee estimation websites to determine what a fair fee is when you make your transaction. I recommend bookmarking the website www.bitcoiner.live [6] for this. Unless you are making an important, time-sensitive transaction, you really don’t need to have it confirmed soon. Nearly every time I make a transaction, I use the fee that ensures confirmation within 12 hours. Usually, it is confirmed within a couple of hours anyway.

Plan to hold for at least 5 years, ideally 10. Long term prospects are important. Familiarize yourself with the investment thesis, which is based on stock-to-flow ratio [7]:

[8]

Donating Bitcoin to nationalists

Once you have some BTC you would like to donate, there are a few ways to do it anonymously. The first is pretty straightforward — just transfer the BTC from your exchange account to another wallet you control, and later move the BTC from that wallet to the donor’s address. This creates plausible deniability because you aren’t sending the BTC directly from your exchange account to a publically known nationalist.

But if you want more anonymity than this, and the recipient has a Monero address, you can install the Exodus desktop wallet software on your PC and move some of your BTC into it. You will see an exchange button next to the send and receive buttons. Click that, and on the left side, you’ll see where you can enter the amount of BTC you’d like to swap for Monero. Then choose “Exodus” in the dropdown menu on the right side, and under that choose “XMR Monero” in the other dropdown menu. Click “Exchange.” The exchange will take a few minutes to occur, and once you’ve received the Monero, you can send those coins with a high degree of anonymity.

I recommend against investing in Monero long term. Its main use is for the transactions you want to keep very private.

It’s possible to make Bitcoin equally private, but it requires you to have at least 0.1 BTC. Once you’ve accumulated that much, install Wasabi wallet (for PC) and send your BTC to the address it generates. You can then use Wasabi to participate in a CoinJoin, which is a kind of group transaction that effectively shuffles your BTC with up to 100 other people who also have 0.1 BTC. Once they pop out the other end of the transaction, it’s impossible for an observer of the blockchain to know which 0.1 BTC are yours and which are someone else’s (as long as you keep them segregated from your other, non-CoinJoined BTC). There are videos you can find on YouTube that will guide you through these processes. Here’s a good one for Wasabi [9].

Receiving Bitcoin

Learn how to generate new receiving addresses and how to copy/paste them. Keep a close eye on the address when you paste it, because you want to make sure you don’t accidentally paste the wrong address or have malware on your computer that causes you to paste someone else’s address.

Keep good records of when you buy, receive, and sell Bitcoin. Usually, exchanges will send you an email whenever you buy or sell, so that’s a handy way to go back and see the exact dates and figures. Just search your email for messages from the exchange. You can use this information to keep a running “FIFO,” which is just an Excel document that helps you calculate how much tax you’ll owe when you sell. As long as you don’t sell, you won’t owe any tax. If you do sell, the rate will usually be pretty low — in the US it’s typically only 15% of the profit you made on the sale (not 15% of the full sale value!). So you shouldn’t stress about taxes unless you are being an active trader. Yet another reason to avoid trading.

I use https://bitcoinwisdom.io/markets/bitstamp/btcusd [10] to check prices. I’ve bookmarked it on both my phone’s browser and my desktop PC. I select the “1d” time interval in the upper left, and zoom in and out using the scroll wheel on my mouse. This way each of the “candles” you see represents one day of trading activity.

All of this can seem daunting at first, but I promise it’s not tough. Use common sense, poke around software options, avoid making transactions until you are confident you know what you’re doing, and ask knowledgeable people for help if you need it. There are many great YouTube channels that provide tutorials for using various Bitcoin software and hardware wallets, some of which I have linked in this article. Ignore people who send you messages saying you can “invest your crypto” or “earn interest on your BTC” — these are common scams. The key to success in Bitcoin is inactivity. Other than accumulating BTC over time as a long term investment (and the occasional donation to nationalist causes), you should just sit back and be patient. Trying to make a quick buck in other coins or by trading almost always ends badly. Be sure to read my first article on Bitcoin [11], published on Counter-Currents early last year. It’s still very relevant today!

Finally, I would like to plug my Telegram channel [12] for anyone who would like to join and see my updates and analysis on Bitcoin. I post daily, and comments are open so you can ask questions.

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