A Beginners Guide to Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
As cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology become more abundant throughout our society, it’s important to understand the inner workings of this technology, especially if you plan to use cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle. If you’re new to the crypto-sphere, learning about Bitcoin makes it much easier to understand other cryptocurrencies as many other altcoins' technologies are borrowed directly from Bitcoin. Bitcoin is one of those things that you look into only to discover you have more questions than answers, and right as you’re starting to wrap your head around the technology; you discover the fact that Bitcoin has six other variants (forks), the amount of politics at hand, or that there are over a thousand different cryptocurrencies just as complex if not even more complex than Bitcoin. We are currently in the infancy of blockchain technology and the effects of this technology will be as profound as the internet. This isn’t something that’s just going to fade away into history as you may have been led to believe. I believe this is something that will become an integral part of our society, eventually embedded within our technology. If you’re a crypto-newbie, be glad that you're relatively early to the industry. I hope this post will put you on the fast-track to understanding Bitcoin, blockchain, and how a large percentage of cryptocurrencies work.
Altcoin: Short for alternative coin. There are over 1,000 different cryptocurrencies. You’re probably most familiar with Bitcoin. Anything that isn’t Bitcoin is generally referred to as an altcoin. HODL: Misspelling of hold. Dank meme accidentally started by this dude. Hodlers are much more interested in long term gains rather than playing the risky game of trying to time the market. TO THE MOON: When a cryptocurrency’s price rapidly increases. A major price spike of over 1,000% can look like it’s blasting off to the moon. Just be sure you’re wearing your seatbelt when it comes crashing down. FUD: Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. FOMO: Fear of missing out. Bull Run: Financial term used to describe a rising market. Bear Run: Financial term used to describe a falling market.
What Is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralized digital currency that uses cryptography to secure and ensure validity of transactions within the network. Hence the term crypto-currency. Decentralization is a key aspect of Bitcoin. There is no CEO of Bitcoin or central authoritative government in control of the currency. The currency is ran and operated by the people, for the people. One of the main development teams behind Bitcoin is blockstream. Bitcoin is a product of blockchain technology. Blockchain is what allows for the security and decentralization of Bitcoin. To understand Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you must understand to some degree, blockchain. This can get extremely technical the further down the rabbit hole you go, and because this is technically a beginners guide, I’m going to try and simplify to the best of my ability and provide resources for further technical reading.
A Brief History
Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of Nakamoto is unknown. The idea of Bitcoin was first introduced in 2008 when Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper - Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Later, in January 2009, Nakamoto announced the Bitcoin software and the Bitcoin network officially began. I should also mention that the smallest unit of a Bitcoin is called a Satoshi. 1 BTC = 100,000,000 Satoshis. When purchasing Bitcoin, you don’t actually need to purchase an entire coin. Bitcoin is divisible, so you can purchase any amount greater than 1 Satoshi (0.00000001 BTC).
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a distributed ledger, a distributed collection of accounts. What is being accounted for depends on the use-case of the blockchain itself. In the case of Bitcoin, what is being accounted for is financial transactions. The first block in a blockchain is referred to as the genesis block. A block is an aggregate of data. Blocks are also discovered through a process known as mining (more on this later). Each block is cryptographically signed by the previous block in the chain and visualizing this would look something akin to a chain of blocks, hence the term, blockchain. For more information regarding blockchain I’ve provided more resouces below:
Bitcoin mining is one solution to the double spend problem. Bitcoin mining is how transactions are placed into blocks and added onto the blockchain. This is done to ensure proof of work, where computational power is staked in order to solve what is essentially a puzzle. If you solve the puzzle correctly, you are rewarded Bitcoin in the form of transaction fees, and the predetermined block reward. The Bitcoin given during a block reward is also the only way new Bitcoin can be introduced into the economy. With a halving event occurring roughly every 4 years, it is estimated that the last Bitcoin block will be mined in the year 2,140. (See What is Block Reward below for more info). Mining is one of those aspects of Bitcoin that can get extremely technical and more complicated the further down the rabbit hole you go. An entire website could be created (and many have) dedicated solely to information regarding Bitcoin mining. The small paragraph above is meant to briefly expose you to the function of mining and the role it plays within the ecosystem. It doesn’t even scratch the surface regarding the topic.
How do you Purchase Bitcoin?
The most popular way to purchase Bitcoin through is through an online exchange where you trade fiat (your national currency) for Bitcoin. Popular exchanges include:
There’s tons of different exchanges. Just make sure you find one that supports your national currency.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are EXTREMELY volatile. Swings of 30% or more within a few days is not unheard of. Understand that there is always inherent risks with any investment. Cryptocurrencies especially. Only invest what you’re willing to lose.
Transaction & Network Fees
Transacting on the Bitcoin network is not free. Every purchase or transfer of Bitcoin will cost X amount of BTC depending on how congested the network is. These fees are given to miners as apart of the block reward. Late 2017 when Bitcoin got up to $20,000USD, the average network fee was ~$50. Currently, at the time of writing this, the average network fee is $1.46. This data is available in real-time on BitInfoCharts.
In this new era of money, there is no central bank or government you can go to in need of assistance. This means the responsibility of your money falls 100% into your hands. That being said, the security regarding your cryptocurrency should be impeccable. The anonymity provided by cryptocurrencies alone makes you a valuable target to hackers and scammers. Below I’ve detailed out best practices regarding securing your cryptocurrency.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication is a second way of authenticating your identity upon signing in to an account. Most cryptocurrency related software/websites will offer or require some form of 2FA. Upon creation of any crypto-related account find the Security section and enable 2FA.
The most basic form of 2FA which you are probably most familiar with. This form of authentication sends a text message to your smartphone with a special code that will allow access to your account upon entry. Note that this is not the safest form of 2FA as you may still be vulnerable to what is known as a SIM swap attack. SIM swapping is a social engineering method in which an attacker will call up your phone carrier, impersonating you, in attempt to re-activate your SIM card on his/her device. Once the attacker has access to your SIM card he/she now has access to your text messages which can then be used to access your online accounts. You can prevent this by using an authenticator such as Google Authenticator.
The use of an authenticator is the safest form of 2FA. An authenticator is installed on a seperate device and enabling it requires you input an ever changing six digit code in order to access your account. I recommend using Google Authenticator. If a website has the option to enable an authenticator, it will give you a QR code and secret key. Use Google Authenticator to scan the QR code. The secret key consists of a random string of numbers and letters. Write this down on a seperate sheet of paper and do not store it on a digital device. Once Google Authenticator has been enabled, every time you sign into your account, you will have to input a six-digit code that looks similar to this. If you happen to lose or damage the device you have Google Authenticator installed on, you will be locked out of your account UNLESS you have access to the secret key (which you should have written down).
A wallet is what you store Bitcoin and cryptocurrency on. I’ll provide resources on the different type of wallets later but I want to emphasize the use of a hardware wallet (aka cold storage). Hardware wallets are the safest way of storing cryptocurrency because it allows for your crypto to be kept offline in a physical device. After purchasing crypto via an exchange, I recommend transferring it to cold storage. The most popular hardware wallets include the Ledger Nano S, and Trezor. Hardware wallets come with a special key so that if it gets lost or damaged, you can recover your crypto. I recommend keeping your recovery key as well as any other sensitive information in a safety deposit box. I know this all may seem a bit manic, but it is important you take the necessary security precautions in order to ensure the safety & longevity of your cryptocurrency.
Technical Aspects of Bitcoin
Address: What you send Bitcoin to.
Wallet: Where you store your Bitcoin
Max Supply: 21 million
Block Time: ~10 minutes
Block Size: 1-2 MB
Block Reward: BTC reward received from mining.
What is a Bitcoin Address?
A Bitcoin address is what you send Bitcoin to. If you want to receive Bitcoin you’d give someone your Bitcoin address. Think of a Bitcoin address as an email address for money.
What is a Bitcoin Wallet?
As the title implies, a Bitcoin wallet is anything that can store Bitcoin. There are many different types of wallets including paper wallets, software wallets and hardware wallets. It is generally advised NOT to keep cryptocurrency on an exchange, as exchanges are prone to hacks (see Mt. Gox hack). My preferred method of storing cryptocurrency is using a hardware wallet such as the Ledger Nano S or Trezor. These allow you to keep your crypto offline in physical form and as a result, much more safe from hacks. Paper wallets also allow for this but have less functionality in my opinion. After I make crypto purchases, I transfer it to my Ledger Nano S and keep that in a safe at home. Hardware wallets also come with a special key so that if it gets lost or damaged, you can recover your crypto. I recommend keeping your recovery key in a safety deposit box.
What is Bitcoins Max Supply?
The max supply of Bitcoin is 21 million. The only way new Bitcoins can be introduced into the economy are through block rewards which are given after successfully mining a block (more on this later).
What is Bitcoins Block Time?
The average time in which blocks are created is called block time. For Bitcoin, the block time is ~10 minutes, meaning, 10 minutes is the minimum amount of time it will take for a Bitcoin transaction to be processed. Note that transactions on the Bitcoin network can take much longer depending on how congested the network is. Having to wait a few hours or even a few days in some instances for a transaction to clear is not unheard of. Other cryptocurrencies will have different block times. For example, Ethereum has a block time of ~15 seconds. For more information on how block time works, Prabath Siriwardena has a good block post on this subject which can be found here.
What is Bitcoins Block Size?
There is a limit to how large blocks can be. In the early days of Bitcoin, the block size was 36MB, but in 2010 this was reduced to 1 MB in order to prevent distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), spam, and other malicious use on the blockchain. Nowadays, blocks are routinely in excess of 1MB, with the largest to date being somewhere around 2.1 MB. There is much debate amongst the community on whether or not to increase Bitcoin’s block size limit to account for ever-increasing network demand. A larger block size would allow for more transactions to be processed. The con argument to this is that decentralization would be at risk as mining would become more centralized. As a result of this debate, on August 1, 2017, Bitcoin underwent a hard-fork and Bitcoin Cash was created which has a block size limit of 8 MB. Note that these are two completely different blockchains and sending Bitcoin to a Bitcoin Cash wallet (or vice versa) will result in a failed transaction. Update: As of May 15th, 2018 Bitcoin Cash underwent another hard fork and the block size has increased to 32 MB. On the topic of Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash and which cryptocurrency is better, I’ll let you do your own research and make that decision for yourself. It is good to know that this is a debated topic within the community and example of the politics that manifest within the space. Now if you see community members arguing about this topic, you’ll at least have a bit of background to the issue.
What is Block Reward?
Block reward is the BTC you receive after discovering a block. Blocks are discovered through a process called mining. The only way new BTC can be added to the economy is through block rewards and the block reward is halved every 210,000 blocks (approximately every 4 years). Halving events are done to limit the supply of Bitcoin. At the inception of Bitcoin, the block reward was 50BTC. At the time of writing this, the block reward is 12.5BTC. Halving events will continue to occur until the amount of new Bitcoin introduced into the economy becomes less than 1 Satoshi. This is expected to happen around the year 2,140. All 21 million Bitcoins will have been mined. Once all Bitcoins have been mined, the block reward will only consist of transaction fees.
Any computer that connects to the Bitcoin network is called a node. Nodes that fully verify all of the rules of Bitcoin are called full nodes.
In other words, full nodes are what verify the Bitcoin blockchain and they play a crucial role in maintaining the decentralized network. Full nodes store the entirety of the blockchain and validate transactions. Anyone can participate in the Bitcoin network and run a full node. Bitcoin.org has information on how to set up a full node. Running a full node also gives you wallet capabilities and the ability to query the blockchain. For more information on Bitcoin nodes, see Andreas Antonopoulos’s Q&A on the role of nodes.
What is a Fork?
A fork is a divergence in a blockchain. Since Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network, there’s an overall set of rules (protocol) in which participants within the network must abide by. These rules are put in place to form network consensus. Forks occur when implementations must be made to the blockchain or if there is disagreement amongst the network on how consensus should be achieved.
Soft Fork vs Hard Fork
The difference between soft and hard forks lies in compatibility. Soft forks are backwards compatible, hard forks are not. Think of soft forks as software upgrades to the blockchain, whereas hard forks are a software upgrade that warrant a completely new blockchain. During a soft fork, miners and nodes upgrade their software to support new consensus rules. Nodes that do not upgrade will still accept the new blockchain. Examples of Bitcoin soft forks include:
A hard fork can be thought of as the creation of a new blockchain that X percentage of the community decides to migrate too. During a hard fork, miners and nodes upgrade their software to support new consensus rules, Nodes that do not upgrade are invalid and cannot accept the new blockchain. Examples of Bitcoin hard forks include:
Note that these are completely different blockchains and independent from the Bitcoin blockchain. If you try to send Bitcoin to one of these blockchains, the transaction will fail.
A Case For Bitcoin in a World of Centralization
Our current financial system is centralized, which means the ledger(s) that operate within this centralized system are subjugated to control, manipulation, fraud, and many other negative aspects that come with this system. There are also pros that come with a centralized system, such as the ability to swiftly make decisions. However, at some point, the cons outweigh the pros, and change is needed. What makes Bitcoin so special as opposed to our current financial system is that Bitcoin allows for the decentralized transfer of money. Not one person owns the Bitcoin network, everybody does. Not one person controls Bitcoin, everybody does. A decentralized system in theory removes much of the baggage that comes with a centralized system. Not to say the Bitcoin network doesn’t have its problems (wink wink it does), and there’s much debate amongst the community as to how to go about solving these issues. But even tiny steps are significant steps in the world of blockchain, and I believe Bitcoin will ultimately help to democratize our financial system, whether or not you believe it is here to stay for good.
Well that was a lot of words… Anyways I hope this guide was beneficial, especially to you crypto newbies out there. You may have come into this realm not expecting there to be an abundance of information to learn about. I know I didn’t. Bitcoin is only the tip of the iceberg, but now that you have a fundamental understanding of Bitcoin, learning about other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, and Ethereum will come more naturally. Feel free to ask questions below! I’m sure either the community or myself would be happy to answer your questions. Thanks for reading!
For anyone who it interested in learning more about investing, crypto, finance, blockchain, and entrepreneurship can checkout this list I made of the top podcasts to follow in 2019 with some selected episodes chosen from each one: Off The Chain With Anthony Pompliano Host Anthony Pompliano talks to some of the most respected names in crypto and Wall Street to find out how intelligent investors from the new and old financial system are thinking about digital assets. Top Episodes: CZ, Founder and CEO of Binance: Binance and the Future of Global Crypto Regulation Murad Mahmudov: The Ultimate Bitcoin Argument Travis Kling: The Secrets of A Crypto Trader Unchained: Your No-Hype Resource for All Things Crypto This weekly, hour-long podcast with host Laura Shin dives deep into the people building the decentralized internet, the details of this technology that could underpin our future, and some of the thorniest topics in crypto, such as regulation, security and privacy. Top Episodes: Vitalik Buterin, Creator of Ethereum, On The Big Guy vs. The Little Guy Naval Ravikant On How Crypto Is Squeezing VCs, Hindering Regulators, and Bringing Users Choice Blockchain 101 with Andreas Antonoloulos What Grinds My Gears From Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson, What Grinds My Gears is a podcast about the bizarre and buzzworthy happenings in the world of cryptocurrency. Each week, they delve into one key theme in crypto, and examine this theme through a broader financial, political, and cultural lens to learn from the past, understand the present, and explore the future. Top Episodes: An Unfetted Orgy Of Capitalism It’s All About The DEX, Baby! Tarred & Tethered What Bitcoin Did Since the birth of Bitcoin in 2009, a new class of Crypto assets built using the innovative design of the blockchain is disrupting technology and financial markets. In this podcast you will hear host Peter McCormack speak with crypto traders, miners, venture capitalist, investors, technical developers, CEOs, journalist and other people driving forward the growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Link To Listen Top Episodes: Andreas Antonopoulos: What Happens When Bitcoin Takes Over? Peter Van Valkenburg on Lightning & The Law Tuur Demeester on Why Bitcoin Is In Heavy Accumulation Untold Stories with Charlie Shrem Host Charlie Shrem dives deep into the lives and personal histories of some of crypto’s most influential leaders. A focus on personal stories weaves together a nuanced, untold narrative of how the crypto movement truly came to be. Top Episodes: J. Maurice “Wiz” — The Real Story of Mt. Gox & How to Become a Self-Sovereign Bitcoin Miner Arianna Simpson — Why Founders Shouldn’t Think About an Exit & Becoming BitGo’s 3rd Employee Steven Nerayoff — Crypto as a Disruptive Technology & Governments Debasing Their Own Currencies Tales From The Crypt Tales from the Crypt is a podcast hosted by Marty Bent about Bitcoin. Join Marty, Editor in Chief of “the best newsletter in crypto”, as he sits down to discuss Bitcoin with interesting people. Top Episodes: Tales from the Crypt: Pierre Rochard Pt. I Tales from the Crypt #3: Santiago Siri Tales from the Crypt Ep1: The History of Bitcoin Pt. 1 The Token Daily with Soona Amhaz Host soona amhaz sits down with the movers and shakers of the crypto industry to discuss the big ideas they spend their days thinking about. Soona and her guests examine everything from industry trends, to what books they’re reading, to human psychology and investing. Top Episodes: Taylor Pearson, Author of The End of Jobs: Markets Are Eating the World Dani Grant, Analyst at Union Square Ventures: The VC Outlook on Crypto’s Trends and Future Tony Sheng, Independent Analyst: A Writer’s Take on Bitcoin Lore The Flippening Flippening is for cryptocurrency investors. Each week host Clay Collins discusses the cryptocurrency economy, new investment strategies for maximizing returns, and stories from the front lines of financial disruption. Flippening is for a new class of investors that were not part of the financial services world before bitcoin, but got into the finance because of their passion for cryptoassets, blockchain, altcoins, and distributed ledger technology. Top Episodes: Strategies for Accumulating BTC (Instead of USD) w/ Tuur Demeester from Adamant Capital The Economics of Cryptoasset Markets w/ Professor Stephen McKeon Bootstrapping A Crypto Nation State From Scratch, w/ Eric Meltzer of INBlockchain The Chain Reaction Podcast Host Tom Shaughnessy of Delphi Digital converses with the top names in crypto and blockchain. Top Episodes: ConsenSys’ Joe Lubin: Ethereum’s Competition Isn’t Even Close Delphi Digital’s March Analyst Call — Ethereum, Enjin and Our Short Term Bitcoin Outlook Vision Hill Group’s Scott Army: Digital Asset Management of the Future a16z Podcast The a16z Podcast discusses tech and culture trends, news, and the future — especially as ‘software eats the world’. It features industry experts, business leaders, and other interesting thinkers and voices from around the world. This podcast is produced by Andreessen Horowitz (aka “a16z”), a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm. Top Episodes: What Time Is It? From Technical to Product to Sales CEO Principles and Algorithms for Work and Life Five Open Problems Toward Building a Blockchain Computer Unconfirmed: Insights and Analysis From the Top Minds in Crypto Events in crypto take place at warp speed. This weekly crypto podcast reveals how the marquee names in crypto are reacting to the week’s top headlines. With host Laura Shin, the guests also discuss what they’re thinking about these days and reveal what they believe is on the horizon in crypto. Disclosure: Laura is a nocoiner. Top Episodes: To the Moon and Back With Polychain’s Olaf Carlson-Wee Don Wilson of DRW Holdings on What’s Been Driving 2018’s Crypto Downturn Hu Liang of Omniex on What Institutional Players Are Planning to Do in Crypto The Unhashed Podcast Unhashed breaks down the latest in Bitcoin news and developments and puts them into terms everyone can understand. Expect to be both entertained and educated about cryptocurrencies and blockchain. How do hardware wallets work and do they really keep you safe? Which crypto exchanges pose the greatest risk to the bitcoin ecosystem? Does Litecoin help or hinder bitcoin development? Expect the answers to these and many other questions from the Unhashed professionals offering different perspectives to all the blockchain issues you care about! Top Episodes: The Very Rich, Very Patient Binance Hacker Bitcoin Goes High Fidelity Initiating Unhash The Scoop The Block’s team, led by Frank Chaparro, draw out the freshest and deepest insights about digital assets from traditional Wall Street, crypto native, Fortune 500 and many other crypto ecosystem leaders. It’s light, fun and informative brain food! Top Episodes: A Conversation with Mark Yusko, CEO and CIO of Morgan Creek Capital Management A Conversation with Stephen Palley, Partner at Anderson Kill A Conversation with Emilie Choi, VP Business and Data, Coinbase Base Layer Base Layer with host David Nage will be providing insights from founders and investors in the base layer of cryptoassets. Simplifying complex projects and the technology being developed, from interoperability to relayers and more — who is building the future, why are they and how are they doing it. Top Episodes: Base Layer Episode 028 — Zaki Manian (SkuChain, Cosmos, Tendermint) Base Layer Episode 026 — Diogo Monica (Co — Founder, Anchorage) Base Layer Episode 032 — Alexander Skidanov (NEAR) Blockchain Innovation: Interviewing The Brightest Minds In Blockchain Blockchain Innovation is where host Frederick Munawa interviews the brightest minds in Blockchain and cryptocurrency — entrepreneurs, executives, and top academics — to discuss present and future applications of Blockchain Technology. Why? To determine how Blockchain can be used to increase profits, cut costs, and disrupt traditional industries and business models — so you can borrow their strategies, tools, and tactics for your own success. Join Frederick every Tuesday to learn how the brightest minds in Blockchain are pushing the envelope with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales, public blockchains, private blockchains, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, smart contracts, and much more. Top Episodes: Why Bitcoin Should Hard Fork With Roger Ver How Blockchain Assets Are Changing The World With Erik Voorhees Blockchain Meets Artificial Intelligence with Dr. Ben Goertzel Blockchain Insider Blockchain Insider, hosted by Simon Taylor and Colin Platt is a dedicated podcast specializing in Bitcoin, Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). Simon and Colin break down the week’s news with expertise and enthusiasm for the blockchain and digital currency sector. Since the price of Bitcoin has rocketed, and Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin have become household names, Blockchain Insider has charted their rise in a way that’s accessible to new listeners. Top Episodes: Ep. 42. Santander Makes Ripples and Charles Hoskinson Shares His Vision of Cardano Ep. 27. XRP’s Ripple effect and Blockchain use cases Ep. 43. Sexism in Crypto, Pornhub takes Verge, and Binance Denies the Dollar Let’s Talk Crypto Have you ever heard of digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and buzzwords like blockchain, cryptocurrencies and mining? Don’t know what it all means or how to get started? Let’s Talk Crypto with Barry Moore and Tom Galeski breaks it all down in easy to understand terms and helps you “learn and earn” in the age of cryptocurrencies. Top Episodes: 006: Altcoins 017: Fiat & Crypto 010: Proof of Work vs. Proof of Stake Blockchain 2025 Blockchain is a technology that will disrupt nearly every industry. Host Matt Aaron and Blake Moore explore one industry in every episode. How will blockchain change art, music, or online advertising? What projects are already underway? Listen & find out. Top Episodes: Online Ads — Publishers and Advertisers vs. Centralized Platforms Music Biz — Can Artists Have More Money + Freedom? Crypto Debit Cards — A Bridge to the Future? TenX, Monaco, Comit IBM Blockchain Pulse Host and blockchain-evangelist Matt Hooper engages with the planet’s most dynamic blockchain thought-leaders, explorers and innovators to discover the countless new ways blockchain is leaping from theory to reality: From entertainment to identity, from payments to secure supply-chain transparency. Top Episodes: Making Cross-Border Payments Seamless — IBM Blockchain and Stellar’s Collaboration That is Bringing Commercial Payments to the Financial World A Blockchain Origin Story and Enabling Complete Ownership With Blockchain The Future of Protecting Your Wallet and Identity: Blockchain Identity and Digital Credentials, with Adam Gunther and Drummond Reed Messari’s Unqualified Opinions Unqualified Opinions is a podcast hosted by Messari’s CEO Ryan Selkis featuring candid, fast-paced interviews with crypto’s top builders and investors. Top Episodes: Bill Barhydt, CEO & Founder of Abra Anthony Pompliano, Founder at Morgan Creek Digital Unlock Protocol CEO Julien Genestoux
Coinbase Binance Dance. Guide to Purchasing Altcoins.
Coinbase Binance Dance. Guide to purchasing altcoins.
The Coinbase Binance dance is a multi-step process used to purchase altcoins. (An altcoin is any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin). Reddit in particular is very fond of this method as it is commonly recommended to newcomers. How it works: You purchase Ethereum using Coinbase, send that Ethereum to your Binance account, then execute a trade selling said Ethereum for your cryptocurrency of choice. This is a process that seems very tedious and a bit complicated to crypto-newbies. No need to worry, I’m going to walk you through the process with photos included for visual aid. Using this method, you can purchase various types of cryptocurrencies including:
Etc… the list goes on. So long as it’s listed on Binance, you will be able to trade for the coin.
Both Coinbase and Binance are cryptocurrency exchanges you must sign up for in order to do this method. I recommend you create these accounts sooner rather than later as it can take a few days to get fully verified (especially for Coinbase). If you’re having issues, or questions, or would just like more information, I have full detailed tutorials regarding both Coinbase & Binance. See below:
Awesome! You’ve got the accounts created, now it’s time to do the dance. For the sake of this tutorial I’ll be purchasing the cryptocurrency XRP. Remember, this method works with any cryptocurrency so long as it’s listed on Binance.
Step 1: Make sure your token can be purchased with Ethereum. Go to Binance's home page and select ETH Markets use the search bar to look for your tokens ticker. See photo. If your token does not appear, check BTC Markets. If you see it there, you'll need to buy BTC and send it to Binance instead of ETH.
Step 2: Purchase Ethereum using Coinbase. See photo. For the lowest possible fee in Coinbase, link your bank account the downside is that it will take 5-7 business days for your funds to be available to send from your account. To have instant access to your funds, pay with a credit/debit card. The downside to this being that fees will be higher.
Step 3: Send your Ethereum from Coinbase to your Binance Ethereum wallet address. See photo.
Optional: Depending on your location, you may or may not have to pay a Coinbase transfer fee. If you see that you do and would rather not, you can mitigate this fee by sending your crypto to Coinbase Pro or GDAX then to Binance. If this otherwise does not concern you, please continue below. To find your Binance Ethereum wallet address, go to: Funds > Deposits > ETH - Ethereum and click Copy Address. See photo. Once you click confirm, you’ll be asked to complete 2-step verification provided by your phone. See photo. You can view the transaction in Coinbase. After a few minutes you’ll see confirmations coming through. Refresh the Binance deposits page as well and you’ll see confirmations. See photo. You’ll get two emails during this process. One from Coinbase, another from Binance. Cryptocurrency transactions are not instantaneous on the Ethereum blockchain. In this case it took ~6 minutes for this transfer to complete, however this may vary depending on how congested the network is. During high periods of high traffic on the Ethereum blockchain, you can expect it to take longer than 6 minutes so don’t worry if it’s taking longer. As long as you’re seeing confirmation, you should be good. See photo. Once you receive the Deposit Success Alerts email from Binance, go to Funds > Balances in Binance. You’ll see that you’re Ethereum balance has increased. See photo.
Step 4: In Binance, go to Exchange > Basic. You’ll be met with a screen that looks like this. See photo. I know this screen looks a bit confusing. It’s really not. First thing we need to do is make sure Ethereum (ETH) is set as our baseline currency for trade.
Step 5: Set Ethereum as baseline currency. See photo. You can see in that photo what is shown is all the possible cryptocurrencies pairings available with Ethereum.
Step 6: Use the search bar to search for the token’s ticker you’d like to purchase. See photo. In the case for Ripple, the ticker is XRP. If you don’t know your coins ticker, Google it.
Step 7: Set your prefered parameters and click Buy. See photo. The 25% 50% 75% and 100% buttons refer to how much of your set baseline funds you would like to dedicate towards your purchase. In my case, by clicking 100% I am saying I’d like to use 100% of my Ethereum funds to purchase XRP. Clicking 75% would be 75% of my ETH funds etc… The Amount and Totals sections are automatically filled out based off your % choice.
Step 8: Wait for your order to be filled! Depending on the market, your order may be filled right away or not. If you’re getting impatient you can always cancel the order and try again at a slightly higher price. If you’re going to edit the price per coin section, just be sure you don’t accidentally end up paying a ridiculously high amount. If you click into the price field a blurb will appear showing you how much you’re paying per coin. See photo.
Congratulations! You’ve just done the Coinbase Binanace dance. Wasn’t so hard was it? Once your order has been completely filled, the Funds > Balances page should reflect your purchase. See photo.
Lower Fees using BNB
It helps to purchase a little bit of Binance native token BNB to help save on fees. Make sure you enable it in your account settings! See photo. You can purchase BNB using the same method described above.
Selling your crypto.
Selling your crypto is a very similar process. In my instance with my XRP, if I wanted to sell that back to USD. I’d need to sell the XRP for Ethereum, then sell that Ethereum for USD on Coinbase. The process would look something like this:
Sell my XRP for Ethereum in Binance
Withdrawal the Ethereum from Binance to Coinbase
Sell the Ethereum for USD through Coinbase.
If you consider yourself a hodler, and do not plan to actively be making trades, I highly recommend you send your crypto to a hardware wallet such as the Ledger Nano S. Hardware wallets are a form of cold storage and are the safest way to store cryptocurrency. It is highly recommended you DO NOT store crypto on any exchange as exchanges themselves are prone to hacks (see Mt. Gox hack). I also highly recommend you secure your Binance and Coinbase accounts with 2-factor authentication (2FA) and google authenticator to reduce the risk of a hack.
In the end, be glad that you learned how to do this process! Figuring out how to actually purchase cryptocurrency is one of the most challenging things for newbies, and now that you have a Coinbase and Binance account setup, you have the ability to purchase 95% of coins. If you have any questions feel free to comment down below or send me a message. I’d be happy to help!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why not use Bitcoin to send to Binance. Why use Ethereum?
Transactions on the Ethereum blockchain are faster than Bitcoin's. Ethereum has a block time of ~15s, Bitcoin has a block time of ~10min. This means on average, Ethereum transactions will be faster than Bitcoins. Fees are also lower on the Ethereum blockchain so I consider Ethereum to be a much better bridge currency in the use of purchasing altcoins.
You could also use Litecoin if you wanted to. Litecoin has a smaller block time (2m 34s) compared to Bitcoin and the fees are much lower. To see block time data on blockchains, BitInfoCharts is a very good resource.
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What is Waltonchain?
The Waltonchain Foundation is building a cross-industry, cross-data sharing platform by integrating Blockchain with the Internet of Things through self-developed RFID Chips with intellectual property rights. The in-house developed Waltonchain RFID chips integrate a proprietary, genuine random number generator and an asymmetric encryption logic and hardware signature circuit, all of which are patent-protected. The combination of self-developed RFID chips and the Waltonchain blockchain will ultimately achieve the interconnection of all things and create a genuine, believable, traceable businessmodel with totally shared data and transparent information. Waltonchain will unfold a new era of the Value Internet of Things (VIoT).
The Waltonchain team has formulated a 4-phase development plan, starting from infrastructure platform establishment to gradually incorporating retail, logistics and product manufacturing, and to finally achieving the full coverage of the business ecosystem.
As for the phase 1.0 of the project, the team has developed the clothing system integration scheme based on RFID. The application scenarios at phase 1.0 will establish Golden demonstration template At phase 2.0, our RFID beacon chip will be massproduced and can be used in clothing, B2C retail and logistics. At phase 3.0, manufacturers will achieve traceable customization of intelligent packaging. At the project phase 4.0, with the upgrading and iteration of assets information collection hardware and improvement of blockchain data structure, all assets can be registered in Waltonchain in the future.
Do Sanghyuk (都相爀) – Initiator in Korea Korean, Vice Chairman of the China - Korea Cultural Exchange Development Committee, Director of the Korea Standard Products Association, Chairman of Seongnam Branch of the Korea Small and Medium Enterprises Committee, Chairman of Korea NC Technology Co., Ltd., Senior Reporter of IT TODAY News, Senior Reporter of NEWS PAPER Economic Department, Director of ET NEWS.
Xu Fangcheng (许芳呈) – Initiator in China Chinese, majored in Business Management, former Director for Supply Chain Management of Septwolves Group Ltd., has rich practical experience in supply chain management and purchasing process management. Currently, he is the Director of Shenzhen Silicon, the Director of Xiamen Silicon and the Board Chairman of Quanzhou Silicon. He is also one of our Angel investors.
Kim Suk ki (金锡基) Korean, South Koreas electronics industry leader, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from the University of Minnesota), Professor of Korea University, previously worked at Bell Labs and Honeywell USA, served as vice president of Samsung Electronics, senior expert in integrated circuit design field, IEEE Senior Member, Vice President of the Korea Institute of Electrical Engineers, Chairman of the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association. Has published more than 250 academic papers with more than 60 patents.
Zhu Yanping (朱延平) Taiwanese, China, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from National Cheng Kung University), Chairman of the Taiwan Cloud Services Association, Director of Information Management Department of National Chung Hsing University. Has won the Youth Invention Award by Taiwan Ministry of Education and Taiwan Top Ten Information Talent Award. Has deeply studied blockchain applications over the years and led a block chain technology team to develop systems for health big data and agricultural traceability projects.
Mo Bing (莫冰) Chinese, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from Harbin Institute of Technology), Research Professor of Korea University, Distinguished Fellow of Sun Yat - sen University, Internet of Things expert, integrated circuit expert, Senior Member of Chinese Society of Micro-Nano Technology, IEEE Member. Has published more than 20 papers and applied for 18 invention patents. Began his research of BitCoin in 2013, one of the earliest users of btc 38.com and Korea korbit. Served as Technical Director of Korea University to cooperate with Samsung Group to complete the project Multi sensor data interaction and fusion based on peer to peer network. Committed to the integration of block chain technology and Internet of Things to create a real commercialized public chain.
Wei Songjie (魏松杰) Chinese, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from the University of Delaware), Associate Professor of Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Core Member and Master Supervisor of Network Space Security Engineering Research Institute, Block Chain Technology expert in the field of computer network protocol and application, network and information security. Has published more than 20 papers and applied for 7 invention patents. Previously worked at Google, Qualcomm, Bloomberg and many other high-tech companies in the United States, served as R D engineer and technical expert; has a wealth of experience in computer system design, product development and project management.
Shan Liang (单良) Graduated from KOREATECH (Korea University of Technology and Education) Mechanical Engineering Department, Venture Capital PhD, GM of Waltonchain Technology Co., Ltd. (Korea), Director of Korea Sungkyun Technology Co., Ltd., Chinese Market Manager of the heating component manufacturer NHTECH, a subsidiary of Samsung SDI, economic group leader of the Friendship Association of Chinese Doctoral Students in Korea, one of the earliest users of Korbit, senior digital money player.
Chen Zhangrong (陈樟荣) Chinese, graduated in Business Management, received a BBA degree in Armstrong University in the United States, President of TIANYU INTERNATIONAL GROUP LIMITED, leader of Chinese clothing accessories industry, Chinas well-known business mentor, guest of the CCTV2 Win in China show in 2008. Researcher in the field of thinking training for Practical Business Intelligence e-commerce and MONEYYOU course, expert on success for Profit Model course. Began to contact Bitcoin in 2013 with a strong interest and in-depth study of digital money and decentralized management thinking. Has a wealth of practical experience in the business management, market research, channel construction, business cooperation and business model.
Lin Herui (林和瑞) Chinese, Dean of Xiamen Zhongchuan Internet of Things Industry Research Institute, Chairman of Xiamen Citylink Technology Co., Ltd., Chairman of Xiamen IOT. He successively served as Nokia RD Manager and Product Manager, Microsoft Hardware Department Supply Chain Director. In 2014, started to set up a number of IoT enterprises and laid out the industrial chain of the Internet of Things. The products and services developed under his guidance are very popular. Assisted the government in carrying out industrial and policy research and participated in planning of multiple government projects of smart cities, IoT towns and project reviews.
Ma Xingyi (马兴毅) Chinese, China Scholarship Council (CSC) special student, Doctor of Engineering of Korea University, Research Professor of Fusion Chemical Systems Institute of Korea University, Korea Sungkyun Technology Co., Ltd. CEO, Member of Korea Industry Association, Associate Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, has published his research results in the worlds top journal Nature Communications and participated in the preparation of a series of teaching materials for Internet of Things engineering titled Introduction to the Internet of Things. His current research direction covers cross-disciplines that combine blockchain technology with intelligent medical technology.
Zhao Haiming (赵海明) Chinese, Doctor of Chemical Conductive Polymer of Sungkyunkwan University, core member of Korea BK21th conductive polymer project, researcher of Korea Gyeonggi Institute of Sensor, researcher of Korea ECO NCTech Co., Ltd., Vice President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Director of Korea Sungkyun Technology Co., Ltd. He has been engaged in transfer of semiconductor, sensor and other technologies in South Korea. He is an early participant of the digital currency market.
Liu Cai (刘才) Chinese, Master of Engineering, has 12 years of experience in design and verification of VLSI and a wealth of practical project experience in RFID chip design process, SOC chip architecture, digital-analog hybrid circuit design, including algorithm design, RTL design, simulation verification, FPGA prototype verification, DC synthesis, backend PR, package testing, etc. Has led a team to complete the development of a variety of navigation and positioning baseband chips and communication baseband chips, finished a series of AES, DES and other encryption module designs, won the first prize of GNSS and LBS Association of China for scientific and technological progress. Finally, he is an expert in the consensus mechanism principle of blockchain and the related asymmetric encryption algorithm.
Yang Feng (杨锋) Chinese, Master of Engineering, worked at ZTE. Artificial intelligence expert, integrated circuit expert. Has 12 years of experience in VLSI research and development, architecture design and verification and 5 years of research experience in artificial intelligence and the genetic algorithm. Has won the Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Award. Has done an in-depth research on the principle and realization of the RFID technology, the underlying infrastructure of blockchain, smart contracts and the consensus mechanism algorithm.
Guo Jianping (郭建平) Chinese, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong), Associate Professor of the Hundred Talents Program of Sun Yat-sen University, academic advisor of masters degree students, IEEE senior member, integrated circuit expert. Has published more than 40 international journal conference papers in the field of IC design and applied for 16 patents in China.
Huang Ruimin (黄锐敏) Chinese, Doctor of Engineering (graduated from the University of Freiburg, Germany), academic advisor of masters degree students, lecturer of the Department of Electronics of Huaqiao University, integrated circuit expert. Mainly explores digital signal processing circuit and system implementation and works on digital signal processing technology long-term research and development.
Guo Rongxin (郭荣新) Chinese, Master of Engineering, Deputy Director of the Communication Technology Research Center of Huaqiao University. Has more than 10 years of experience in design and development of hardware and software for embedded systems, works on the long-term research and development of RFID and blockchain technology in the field of Internet of Things.
Dai Minhua (戴闽华) Chinese, graduated in Business Management, received a BBA degree from Armstrong University, senior financial expert, served as Vice President and CFO of Tanyu International Group Co., Ltd. Has 13 years of financial work experience, has a wealth of experience in developing and implementing enterprise strategy and business plans, as well as achieving business management objectives and development goals.
Liu Dongxin (刘东欣) Chinese, received an MBA from China Europe International Business School, Visiting Scholar of Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, strategic management consulting expert, investment and financing expert. His current research interest lies in the impact of the blockchain technology on the financial sector.
Song Guoping (宋国平) Qiu Jun (邱俊) Yan Xiaoqian (严小铅) Lin Jingwei (林敬伟) He Honglian (何红连)
Ko Sang Tae (高尚台) Liu Xiaowei (刘晓为) Su Yan (苏岩) Zhang Yan (张岩) Ma Pingping (马萍萍) Peng Xiande (彭先德) Fu Ke (傅克) Xiao Guangjian (肖光坚) Li Xiong (李雄)
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