how to get bitcoins

How to Get Bitcoins: A Beginner’s Guide to Cryptocurrency

Naturally, I’m an investor. Going through my 20’s and now my in my 30’s, I’ve always tried to find things to pour money into that over time would yield me a larger income.

I think I started this way back in my teen years when I played video games that allowed me to buy ingame property that would continue to give me money over time after buying it.

Thinking about that, I believe what pulled me into reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad was that I could understand what Robert Kiyosaki was talking about. However, I made a dead stop when he said that you need money to be an investor. And that the smart way to build up that money is through building a business system.

At the time I was a college student, and I didn’t really have spending money as what I earned was going to pay my tuition and rent.

So, I put the idea on hold and continued my formal education – eventually wanting to come back to investing – someday – when I had that spare money!

 

Someday Happened

Soon after I got out of grad school, some of you might know that I got involved with a series of startups. One thing that you probably don’t know is that I when my mom passed suddenly in 2010, I got a significant inheritance. With that inheritance, I was able to 1.) help get those startups going a bit more and 2.) learn more about and improve myself as a person. One of those startups is America Multisport where Maria and I still contribute to in several forms – including this past weekend where we’re always found at the events taking pics.

I full heartedly believe that it’s been because of this inheritance that I’ve had the luxury of time where I’ve been able to learn about topics that most people don’t get the chance to learn about. I understand what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck because that’s how I lived all throughout my college years – you just don’t have time to really explore.

And, that’s kinda the point of this site; it’s to give you all insights into what I’ve learned along this journey! (Thanks to David Anderson for helping me realize I needed to tell you guys about this part of my past. I haven’t really known what to do with that information.)

 

Be Prepared…

Anyway, knowing that someday that I would get an inheritance – albeit I didn’t know it would be so soon and as big as it was – I had to be prepared. I knew what I wasn’t going to do with it – blow it all away like some who just won the lottery might. However, I also knew that I wasn’t going to be a miser and just sit on it either.

I was going to invest it into long term, mid term, and short term options.

So, looking back, I ended up with these choices:

  • Long term investments were annuities, index and mutual funds.
  • Midterm investments included the startups and individual publicly traded stocks.
  • And short term investments included CDs and… cryptocurrency.

 

Yes, I know – I need to get involved in real estate. I’m simply not at that point yet!

Here’s a tip – if you ever find yourself with a large sum of money, the worst thing you can do is let it just stick around as a liquid asset or spend it. Make sure you get it invested correctly so it can continue to grow for you. This is the biggest difference between those that earn a lot and live well for the rest of their lives versus those that earn a lot and end up broke.

So about cryptocurrency…

 

What the heck is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is simply a form of currency that is purely “internet money”. Wikipedia defines it as a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Ever since I heard about Bitcoin in 2009, I knew I wanted to get started – but I had no idea how. At that time, the best way to get started was to be a miner – but I didn’t know where to look to even begin with that.

That’s where I stood for quite awhile – until I started hearing how much of the world is really starting to pay attention to Bitcoin as a low barrier way to invest – similar to investing in gold or silver.

Remember what Robert said about investing? He said that investing was for people who already had lots of money to invest, right?

Well, while this might be true for most investment situations, it isn’t necessarily the case for cryptocurrency – Bitcoin included. In fact, you can start investing with as little as a few dollars here and there and start a pretty good ball rolling. (In fact, that’s about as much as you’d want to use in one sitting because really – this market is highly volatile – it goes up and down quite regularly. So only spend “Las Vegas” money when you’re getting more.)

Unlike stocks, you can buy fractions of a Bitcoin. So instead of sinking a certain amount on one share of TSLA stock, you can use that same money to invest in different forms of cryptocurrency – and as low of dominations as you like.

 

Forms of Cryptocurrency

how to get bitcoins

You’ll see in the above image, I’m participating in 3 cryptocurrencies in this portfolio: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. There are of tons of them out there. (Just to note – I started this account back in May and only bought $25 per currency. So not bad performance thus far!)

Here are 6 you should know about. But there are many more.

Here’s Wikipedia’s collection where you can find out more about them including Dogecoin.

Here’s the thing. There are some that are regulated. And there are some that aren’t as much. Stick with the ones that are regulated such as the three above – and you’ll be good to go.

Wallets

The above image is from a wallet called Coinbase.

I’m currently checking it out as an alternative to where I’m currently keeping mine: bitpay.

Before you buy your first “crypto-coinage”, you’ll need a wallet to keep your stash. Again, just like cryptocurrencies themselves, there’s plenty of options to choose from. And just like anything else, there’s yearly writeups in which is “best”.

So far I like Coinbase and while bitpay is open source, I like Coinbase’s ease of use.

 

Using Your Funds

So sure, you can save your crypto-coins indefinitely just like you can with traditional stocks. The difference is you’re allowed to use them for payment as well.

In fact, more and more businesses are starting to accept Bitcoin online and offline. SpendBitcoins  & Spendabit has list of places that accept Bitcoin around the world.

Here’s a long list just in case you wanted to see more examples at once. Or if you want a short list of 8 major retailers – here you go.

And for us creative folk, there’s a specific reason we should take interest in cryptocurrencies. We can use them to pay your VA’s around the world. Just make sure that they can get a wallet tied to an account where they can retrieve their payment! 😉

 

Action Steps: Getting Started Yourself

So now that you know theoretically how these cryptocurrencies work – how do you get started again? Here’s how:

  1. Find a wallet. Perhaps go with Coinbase if you’re in the US. Seems to be pretty straight forward. It reminds me a lot of Paypal.
  2. Setup payment methods. Just like Paypal, you’ll need to connect and verify payment methods. Paypal is an option itself.
  3. Buy any or all of the three options there. (If you want to get more options – you’ll need to find another wallet! Just make sure they’re “on blockchain”.)
  4. Buy low/sell high if you’re in it for prospecting.
  5. Spend as you see fit – knowing that the banks aren’t following your buying habits!

After you’ve gotten started, keep learning about the future of this technology called blockchain. If you’re really into tech, here’s an article I picked up via Wired that dives deeper into that side of things.

If you want to go at a more conceptual level, here’s two great TEDx videos I saw last year:

How the blockchain is changing money and business

How the blockchain will radically transform the economy.

And be sure to keep me posted as you discover more about cryptocurrency and blockchaining. It’s really interesting how it’s developing and changing!

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