r/Bitcoin • u/BitcoinFan7 • 16d ago
Bitcoin Newcomers FAQ - Please read!
Welcome to the /r/Bitcoin Newcomers FAQ
You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
It all started with the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following articles/books/videos as a good starting point for understanding how Bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
- Article: The Bullish Case for Bitcoin
- Book: The Bitcoin Standard - or download a free copy here
- Video 1: The Stories We Tell About Money - Andreas Antonopoulos
- Video 2: The Bitcoin Standard - Saifdean Ammous
- Video 3: Bitcoin 101 - Balaji Srinivasan
- Video 4: But How Does Bitcoin Actually Work
Some other great resources include Michael Saylor's Hope.com and "Bitcoin for Everybody"' course, Jameson Lopp's resource page, Gigi's resource page, and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series. Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.
If you are technically or academically inclined check out developer resources and peer-reviewed research papers, course lectures from both MIT and Princeton as well as future protocol improvements and scaling resources. Some Bitcoin statistics can be found here, here, here and here. MicroStrategy's Bitcoin for Corporations is an excellent open source series on corporate legal and financial Bitcoin integration.
You can also see the number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media (LOL) and what you could have earned if you didn't listen to them! XD
Key properties of Bitcoin
- Limited Supply - There will only ever be a maximum of 21,000,000 bitcoins created and they are issued in a predictable fashion per the inflation schedule. Once they are all issued Bitcoin will be truly deflationary. The halving countdown tells you approximately how much time until the next block reward halving.
- Open source - Bitcoin code is fully auditable. You can read and contribute to the source code yourself.
- Accountable - The public ledger is transparent, all transactions are seen by everyone.
- Decentralized - Bitcoin is globally distributed across thousands of nodes with no single point of failure and as such can't be shut down similar to how Bittorrent works. You can even run a node on a Raspberry Pi.
- Censorship resistant - No one can prevent you from interacting with the Bitcoin network and no one can censor, alter or block transactions that they disagree with, see Operation Chokepoint.
- Push system - There are no chargebacks in Bitcoin because only the person who owns the address where the bitcoin resides has the authority to move them.
- Borderless - No country can stop it from going in/out, even in areas currently unserved by traditional banking as the ledger is globally distributed.
- Trustless - Bitcoin solved the Byzantine's Generals Problem which means nobody needs to trust anybody for it to work.
- Pseudonymous - No need to expose personal information when purchasing with cash or transacting.
- Secure - Blocks and transactions are cryptographically secured (using hashes and signatures) and can’t be brute forced or confiscated with proper key management such as hardware wallets.
- Programmable - Individual units of bitcoin can be programmed to transfer based on certain criteria being met
- Divisible - Each bitcoin can be divided down to 8 decimals, which means you don't have to worry about buying an entire bitcoin.
- Nearly instant - From a few seconds on the Lightning Network to a few minutes on-chain depending on need for confirmations. Transactions are irreversible by normal users after one confirmation and irreversible by anyone (including miners) after 6 confirmations.
- Peer-to-peer - No intermediaries taking a cut, no need for trusted third parties.
- Designed Money - Bitcoin was created to fit all the fundamental properties of money better than gold or fiat
- Low fee scaling - Most wallets calculate on chain fees automatically but you can view fee estimates and mempool activity if you want to set your fee manually. On chain fees may rise occasionally due to network demand, however instant micropayments that do not require confirmations are happening via the Lightning Network, an open source second layer payment protocol built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. The Lightning Network enables Bitcoin users to instantly send and receive bitcoin with fees so low that they are negligible.
- Portable - Bitcoin are digital so they are easier to move than cash or gold. They can be transported by simply carrying a seed (a string of 12 to 24 words) on a device or by memorizing it for wallet recovery (while cool, memorizing is generally not recommended due to potential for forgetting the seed and the potential for insecure key generation by inexperienced users. Hardware wallets are the preferred method for most users for their ease of use and additional security).
- Scalable - While the protocol is still being optimized for increased transaction capacity, blockchains do not scale very well, so most transaction volume is expected to occur on Layer 2 networks built on top of Bitcoin.
Where can I buy bitcoin?
Bitcoin.org and BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular places to buy bitcoin are listed below.
- Cash App
- River Financial
- RoboSats (P2P)
- Bisq (decentralized & P2P)
- List of peer-to-peer exchanges
You can also purchase in cash with local ATMs. Services such as CardCoins let you purchase bitcoin with prepaid gift cards. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoin are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
Securing your bitcoin
With Bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoin OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold your bitcoin for you.
If you prefer to "Be your own bank" and have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party, then you will need to create your own wallet and keep it secure. If you want easy and secure storage without having to learn computer security best practices, then a hardware wallet such as the Trezor, Ledger or ColdCard is recommended.
If you cannot afford a hardware wallet there are many software wallet options to choose from depending on your use case. Mobile wallets like BlueWallet are generally more secure than desktop wallets. Beware of fake mobile wallets and check reviews from reputable Bitcoin websites. Avoid paper wallets or brain wallets.
If you prefer to let third party "Bitcoin banks" manage your coins, try Gemini or Unchained Capital but be aware you may not be in control of your private keys in which case you would have to ask permission to access your funds and be exposed to third party risk. There is a saying in the community, "Not your keys, not your coins". This means that if you don't store your coins in a wallet that you control the keys to, then you do not really own your bitcoin as you have to ask permission from the third party in order to move them.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code or a physical security key to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Avoid using your cell number for 2FA. Hackers have been using a technique called "SIM swapping" to impersonate users and steal bitcoin off exchanges.
|Google Auth||Authy||OTP Auth||andOTP|
Physical security keys (FIDO U2F) offer stronger security than Google Auth / Authy and other TOTP-based apps, because the secret code never leaves the device and it uses bi-directional authentication so it prevents phishing. If you lose the device though, you could lose access to your account, so always use 2 or more security keys with a given account so you have backups. See Yubikey or Titan to purchase security keys.
Both Coinbase and Gemini support physical security keys.
Watch out for scams
As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the r / btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. As they say in our community, "Don't trust, verify".
- Avoid using ad-based search engines like Google or Yahoo: ads are shown based on how much the advertiser bids, and scammers can easily outbid legitimate providers for ad space, since immoral ways of earning money are far more lucrative than moral ways. Use DuckDuckGo instead, which has no ads, and never tracks you as well.
- Ignore private messages offering services.
- Never enter your seed words in a website of any kind. Hardware wallets will recover by displaying possible seed words on their own interface, never on a website.
- Always check addresses on your hardware wallet before sending or receiving. Some malware has been known to replace addresses in your web browser or that you copy-and-paste.
- Avoid clicking on links like that look like links, such as https://www.google.com/, without first hovering over it and actually checking where they go to. Just because a link is labelled with an HTTPS address does not mean it actually sends you to that address. It is trivial for someone to comment a link on Reddit that looks like it will send you to one website when it actually sends you to another, and you might not notice the difference until a scammer has gotten all your money, or you have downloaded and installed software that steals your money.
Common Bitcoin Myths
Often the same concerns arise about Bitcoin from newcomers. Questions such as:
- Will quantum computers break Bitcoin?
- Will governments ban Bitcoin?
- Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme?
All of these questions have been answered many times by a variety of people. Here are some resources where you can see if your concern has been answered:
- Common Bitcoin Myths
- Gradually, Then Suddenly
- Every Reason Bitcoin Will Not Fail
- The Best Articles Debunking Bitcoin FUD
- Why Bitcoin is Not a Ponzi Scheme: Point by Point
Where can I spend bitcoin?
Check out Spendabit, Bitcoin Directory, or Coinmap for a plethora of merchant options. You can also spend bitcoin anywhere Visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card, Fold card or other bitcoin debit cards. Some other useful site are listed below.
|Bitrefill, Gyft, and Fold App||Gift cards for thousands of retailers worldwide including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.|
|Spendabit, Overstock, and The Bitcoin Directory||Retail shopping with millions of results|
|NewEgg and Dell||For all your electronics needs|
|Bitrefill, Bylls, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Swapin, Coinsfer, Coins.ph, and more||Bill payment|
|Menufy and Takeaway||Takeout delivered to your door|
|Expedia, Cheapair, Destinia, Abitsky, SkyTours, the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats||For when you need to get away|
|Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA||VPN services|
|Namecheap, Porkbun||Domain name registration|
|Stampnik||Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage|
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations.
There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
- 1-3% savings over credit cards or PayPal.
- No chargebacks (final settlement in 10 minutes as opposed to 3+ months).
- Accept business from a global customer base.
- Convert 100% of the sale to the currency of your choice for deposit to your account, or choose to keep a percentage of the sale in bitcoin if you wish to begin accumulating it.
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;
- BTCPay Server
- Square cash
- Blockonomics (direct to your wallet)
- CoinCorner Checkout
Can I mine bitcoin?
Mining bitcoin can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read the mining FAQ. Still have mining questions? The crew at /r/BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the Bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node. You can view the global distribution of reachable Bitcoin nodes on this webpage.
Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoin by being paid to do a job.
|WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, Coinality, Bitgigs, /r/Jobs4Bitcoins, BitforTip, and Rein Project||Freelancing|
|Lolli||Earn bitcoin when you shop online!|
|Purse.io, Bitify, and /r/Bitmarket||Marketplaces|
You can also earn bitcoin by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoin for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoin).
The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the Bitcoin space.
|Lightning Network||Second layer scaling|
|Liquid and Rootstock||Sidechains|
|Tierion and Factom||Records & Titles on the blockchain|
|BitMarkets, and DropZone and Beaver||Decentralized markets|
|JoinMarket, Samourai Whirlpool, and Wasabi||CoinJoin implementation|
|Peer-to-Peer Exchanges||Peer-to-peer exchanges|
|Keybase||Identity & Reputation management|
|Abra||Global P2P money transmitter network|
One bitcoin is worth quite a lot (thousands of £/$/€), so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
|bitcoin||BTC||1 bitcoin||one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis|
|millibitcoin||mBTC||1,000 per bitcoin||used as default unit in Electrum wallet|
|bit||μBTC||1,000,000 per bitcoin||colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin|
|satoshi||sat||100,000,000 per bitcoin||smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor|
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10,000 for one bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
- 0.001 BTC
- 1 mBTC
- 1,000 bits
- 100,000 sats
For more information check out the bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /r/Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community, so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit.
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification, you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
Please note that this thread will be moderated and non-constructive comments will be removed.
r/Bitcoin • u/rBitcoinMod • 21h ago
Daily Discussion, April 01, 2023
Please utilize this sticky thread for all general Bitcoin discussions! If you see posts on the front page or /r/Bitcoin/new which are better suited for this daily discussion thread, please help out by directing the OP to this thread instead. Thank you!
If you don't get an answer to your question, you can try phrasing it differently or commenting again tomorrow.
Please check the previous discussion thread for unanswered questions.
r/Bitcoin • u/Strict-Woodpecker792 • 12h ago
265 days after and DCA’d another one
Another one taken off market!
r/Bitcoin • u/293949586758493921 • 6h ago
You heard it here first folks, Schiffy SR finally saw the light…
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r/Bitcoin • u/002_timmy • 2h ago
r/Bitcoin • u/KAX1107 • 13h ago
Fighting back against monetary colonialism
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r/Bitcoin • u/markmze • 9h ago
Got to the hotel to find this on the bed ! Cabo Verde, Maio
r/Bitcoin • u/escodelrio • 1h ago
Andreas Antonopoulos Uploads New Video to YouTube in Over a Year - "Attacks on Bitcoin? Don’t Worry; Bitcoin Is Unstoppable! (But That Doesn’t Mean We’ll Do Nothing)"
r/Bitcoin • u/HappyGoLacky • 2h ago
Run your own node.
Based on my response to another post where I explained why I no longer use a ledger wallet because of the difficulty of connecting it to your own node, I thought it was worth dropping this learning link in here for those that don’t understand why running your own node is beneficial to you, inexpensive (a couple hundred $ or less if you install it on your desktop), and good for Bitcoin in general.
r/Bitcoin • u/Original_Writing_539 • 10h ago
Let's talk about my bank experience today
Had to transfer money to someone and my HOA account today. Two different banks.
Sat down with my coffee and tried to wire them money. Bank $70 in fees for wires. Both branches are less than 10 minutes from house, so f that.
Go to branch 1. Long line. Can't withdraw the $700 I need for 1 transaction from the ATM. But I can if I use a "virtual assistant" from the same machine. So I withdraw my $700 and ask her to do a bank check for me. She can't, but tells me the tellers can. Problem is the line is still long and the bank across the street I need to deposit at closes at noon today. So I go over there and deposit the money.
Come back to bank 1 and wait in line. Find out they can't do bank checks at this branch and I'll have to to another bank in another town to get a bank check.
TLDR: Banks are stupid. Bitcoin would have saved me $70 and/or 2 hours of time. And I wouldn't have to write this and you wouldn't have to read it.
r/Bitcoin • u/fractalfrenzy • 6h ago
The willful ignorance of people on the main subs drives me insane.
Any opportunity to shit on crypto, no matter how irrelevant it is, they will take. Any opinion, no matter how devoid of facts or understanding it is will be upvoted so long as it is negative on crypto. Any opinion, no matter how educated on the subject it is will be downvoted if it is positive or even neutral on crypto. People are not interested in learning or discussing in good faith.
How can people hold such strong opinions on things they know almost nothing about? It's baffling. Are there massive bot armies or paid dissidents brigading the main subs? Or are people really this brainwashed?
r/Bitcoin • u/LorriCrawley • 19h ago
misleading El Salvador President Officially Signs Bill Of 11 Pages Eliminating All Taxes
r/Bitcoin • u/Leading_Day7667 • 8h ago
What's wrong with Ledger?
So I'm just starting out (actually a few months now), and all my btc is stored on an exchange (Kraken), although not a significant amount.
I've decided to get a hardware wallet after browsing this sub for a while, and I was considering buying the Ledger Nano S Plus as it seems like the cheapest and most approachable option. But it seems like many people here have strong opinions against Ledger, especially because of the personal info leak that happened, the fact that it's not open source, etc....
I looked at Coldcard, watched a YT video from btc sessions on how to use it air-gapped with a micro SD card etc. It doesn't seem that complicated but it's pretty expensive ($147 for the cold card + $39 for the SD card, additional fees for shipping, etc).
I just feel like it makes more sense to get the Ledger given that I'm just starting out and that I still don't have a significant amount of btc to to justify making such a large investment on a HWW; But I'd like to hear your suggestions.
UPDATE: I've settled on the Trezor Model One
r/Bitcoin • u/WoodchopDigAss • 10h ago
Magic Internet Money
r/Bitcoin • u/Popular_Worry_9294 • 5h ago
Nearly 1 Million Blockchain Addresses Now Hold Over 1 Bitcoin
The Warren Argument
r/Bitcoin • u/Pilifo006 • 7h ago
Friedrich Hayek was a fan of BTC before it was cool
r/Bitcoin • u/MajorLeons • 4h ago
Bitcoin's 'watershed moment' is here, thanks to the banking turmoil. Here's why the biggest cryptocurrency is enjoying its best quarter in 2 years amid financial turbulence.
r/Bitcoin • u/TheBTCTherapist • 10h ago
#Bitcoin is your life boat.
r/Bitcoin • u/the_great_red_panda • 16h ago
April 1st France: the government uses 49.3 to impose Bitcoin as a legal tender currency
r/Bitcoin • u/lBrownbeard • 7h ago
Something important to anyone new
The fear that Bitcoin will eventually become almost impossible to get. I remember the golden days mining casually some bitcoin and being able to use it. That already starts to fade away it’s almost impossible to compete nowadays with the huge miners out there.
Now think of an unlikely scenario of a hyper inflation. Who will sell their bitcoin if everyone only wants to use it? And nobody wants to sell for a high inflating currency?
This is a constant fear I’m living in for almost a decade now since my first Bitcoin. I’m scared of selling. I’m scared that I wake up one day and it will be impossible to get Bitcoins because the demand sky rocketed overnight.
Once you have a larger amount of fiat you realize how easy it is to make fiat with fiat but how hard it is to make bitcoin with bitcoin. The difference between soft & hard money.
We are still very early. I don’t know how long it takes it might be decades but you have already seen what a little hype can do to BTC value in USD in 2020-2021. Inflation doesn’t go away. Things don’t get cheaper - only more expensive. That’s how fiat works.
r/Bitcoin • u/FortniteFiona • 3h ago
"What is money?" - Andreas Antonopoulos
r/Bitcoin • u/sha-256btc • 4h ago
where can I work in the blockchain field?
Hi everyone, I'm a 17-year-old boy with experience in the theoretical field of the blockchain, from how it works to how it can be used (including the various crypto, defi, smart contracts and defi fields). I'm passionate about this new technology and I approached it about a year ago and I'm training myself as a self-taught with all the information I can deliver. I wanted to ask myself a simple question that I have had for several months now, can this passion of mine be transformed into a real job in the near future in the workplace? as a blockchain consultant, as a developer I can't understand the job opportunities... since I don't have skills in the development field, in your opinion it is better to train in them or you can aim for other areas for example working as a consultant for companies or start-ups up? p.s in Italy most people do not know this new technology and there are many job opportunities.
r/Bitcoin • u/proph3tsix • 7h ago
Matthew Kratter about gave my wife a heart attack
r/Bitcoin • u/timothymoontower • 7h ago
In the final death throes of the current established order, they’ll come for your Bitcoin
It’s almost just as important to stack sats as it is to detangle yourself from the current financial order.
Auto loans, mortgages, credit card debt… when the hyper inflation kicks in and margin calls start happening we are all going to be jobless and unable to meet monthly installment obligations.
That’s when they’ll come for your Bitcoin. In the final moments before full implosion they’ll send their goons to come get your sats.
Become as independent from the current financial system as you possibly can.
r/Bitcoin • u/VoskCoin • 16h ago
Bitcoin Supra is being live-streamed at the track by GRIDLIFE today!
You can watch it live here! https://twitch.tv/gridlifeofficial
r/Bitcoin • u/Justaguyonearthh • 1d ago