You’ve probably heard about the fast rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies this year.
We’ve seen a rise in bitcoin from $954.71 on December 28, 2016 to a new high of $4,455.97 on August 15 of this year, according to coin market cap.
Some have been calling it a bubble. While that is possible, today we’re seeing major countries and corporations around the world devoting resources to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. You don’t want to take the attitude of those who dismissed major trends like the internet or social media.
So how do you get started with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies?
A great place with a simple, easy-to-understand starting approach is bitcoin.com. That website shows you step-by-step what to do.
Here are my modified and enhanced recommendations based on my real-world experience.
Step #1 — Study and learn
Before you do anything in this field, you want to get a good overview of it. Of course, I recommend that you read articles I have written here for The Business Journals about blockchain.
Step # 2 — Get a bitcoin wallet
A digital wallet is an app. This app holds your digital coins. Usually these wallets are free, and there are many available.
I’m not making any recommendations here, but some that are used most are Airbitz, Mycelium and Jaxx. There are pros and cons to each, and it is not the purpose of this article to recommend one.
When you get your bitcoin wallet, make sure that you have paper and pen standing by. This time when I say “paper and pen,” I literally mean that. You will want to write down a series of words that will be given to you. Depending on the wallet you get, this list of 12 to 24 words is vital for you to retain your coins in the event of loss or theft. You want this written on paper so that it does not get on the internet and seen by a hacker. Yes, even in our highly advanced, technical world, there is still a place for pen and paper.