Where to Get Started with CryptoBefore getting started with your first Bitcoin wallet or cryptocurrency exchange account, it makes sense to learn about crypto from the ground up. This is a completely different way to view online payments and money itself, so it’s important to understand the key differences between cryptocurrency and something like PayPal or your traditional bank account before you start playing around with real money. The guides outlined on this page will help you understand every facet of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry, and you’ll be ready to hold some Bitcoin or spend it at an online store in no time. You’ll also learn about some of the more futuristic use cases for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, such as decentralized applications and smart contracts.
Why Getting a Wallet is a Good First StepAnyone who is getting started in the Bitcoin space for the first time will want to read a guide to cryptocurrency before they get started. This is a completely new and complex technological innovation, and we’re still not at the point where it’s easy for everyone and their grandfather to use digital currencies as easily as email or Facebook.
To get started with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you’ll first want to understand the concept of a wallet. This wallet stores the private keys that are associated with your cryptocurrency holdings. You can think of it as the password for your cryptocurrency account. However, a key difference in the way cryptocurrency works is that you must take full responsibility over the security and access to your cryptocurrency private keys. If you lose your private keys, then you lose access to your money. Another way to think of it is as cash. If you lose your wallet and it had $100 in it, then it’s not like you can call up your bank or credit card provider to get your money back.
Of course, you’ll need to interact with someone else who has some cryptocurrency to send to you before you can have any in your wallet. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies work like any other form of money, which means you can simply exchange them for goods or services if you’d like. However, these are still early days, which means most people simply connect their bank account to a centralized exchange in order to purchase their first crypto asset.
There is a ton of mystery around Satoshi Nakamoto, who was the inventor of Bitcoin, but it’s important to remember that the real world identity of this person or group of people doesn’t actually matter. Bitcoin is a completely open-source, permissionless, and decentralized system. Nobody has to trust Satoshi in order for the system to operate properly and provide value to millions or billions of people around the world.
History of CryptocurrencyAlthough many people view the beginning of cryptocurrency as the launch of the Bitcoin network in January 2009, the reality is that the underlying technology behind this completely new financial system was decades in the making. There were various proposals for electronic cash systems in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, and Bitcoin has simply turned into the most successful iteration of a digital cash system up to this point. Many of the digital currency systems created before Bitcoin failed due to their reliance on centralized services. Bitcoin creator, an anonymous individual or group of individuals called Satoshi Nakamoto, solved this issue by enabling a network of pseudo-anonymous miners to handle the transactions. Satoshi’s ability to solve the double-spending problem in a decentralized manner allowed Bitcoin to resist the many pitfalls of centralization in digital cash systems, namely being influenced or completely shut down by regulators.
Once Bitcoin had been operating for a few years, it began to gain value among internet users. Perhaps it was nothing more than a collectible at first. Eventually, people started trading Bitcoin for goods and services, such as the infamous pizza order involving an amount of Bitcoin that would be worth tens of millions of dollars at today’s Bitcoin valuation.
Here are some of the important things you should know about the history of crypto: