- Starting simply and improving is better than not starting at all
- It’s more engaging to use tools before reading a detailed explanation
- Always keep full control of your bitcoin (use non-custodial tools)
- Stay focused and avoid scams (use bitcoin-only tools & services)
Step 0. See the big picture
Aim: Understand why bitcoin is for you in <10 mins
- Watch Bitcoin is for everyone by Hello Bitcoin.
Step 1. Get a Wallet
Aim: Make and backup a bitcoin wallet
- Download Samourai Wallet for Android or Blue Wallet for iOS.
- Make a new wallet and write down the words presented to you using pen and paper. These words act as a key to access your bitcoin.
- Make another copy of these words (again, using pen and paper) and put them both somewhere hidden/safe in your house.
- In the wallet, click receive and copy the address shown on screen, this can be done by clicking on the QR code.
Step 2. Buy some bitcoin
Aim: Get a small amount of bitcoin
- Only buy a small amount of bitcoin to start (in a later step we will improve your backup redundancy).
- These recommendations let you buy bitcoin quickly at the cost of reduced privacy, buying privately is detailed in a later step.
- Once you have bought, find the ‘Withdraw Bitcoin’ button and paste your first bitcoin address from Step 1.
- After requesting a withdrawal you must wait for the funds to appear in your wallet (Samourai or Blue Wallet) which should take < 24 hrs.
Congrats you now officially hold some BTC. As long as you keep your wallet backup safe nobody can steal the funds from the wallet you have created. Without these words (known as your seed words or your private key) nobody can access your bitcoin wallet.
Step 3. Why use bitcoin?
Aim: Learn why bitcoin is useful
- Watch Hard Money Film (30m)
- Read ‘Why Bitcoin’ by Wiz
- Read ‘The Bullish Case for Bitcoin’ by Vijay Boyapati
- Watch ‘Why Bitcoin Matters’ by Aleks Svetski (1h)
Step 4. What is bitcoin?
Aim: Learn what bitcoin is
- Read ‘What Is Bitcoin’ by Greg Walker
- Watch ‘Bitcoin - The Genesis’ by RT (30 mins)
- Watch ‘Understanding Bitcoin’ by BJ Dweck (1h 30m)
Step 5. Further Learning
Aim: Further develop your understanding of bitcoin
- The Little Bitcoin Book
- What Has Government Done to Our Money? (PDF / Audiobook)
- Sovereignty through mathematics
- The Bitcoin Standard (Listen to the prologue)
Step 6. Better Backup
Aim: Improve your backup so you are ready in-case bitcoin goes up in price or you decide to buy more.
- Check the derivation path used by your wallet on walletsrecovery.org and add this to your backups
- Make an extra backup by stamping it into metal
- Read the full bitcoin-intro backup guide
Step 7. Running a Node
Aim: Understand how and why bitcoiners run their own full nodes.
Note: Running a node only benefits you if you use your node to send and receive transactions.
- Watch Benefits of a Full Node (5m)
- If you only need a desktop wallet, simply install bitcoin core on a regular computer.
- If you use a mobile phone wallet (Samourai / Blue Wallet) you should make or buy an always-on node box.
- See more at node.guide.
Bitcoin-Core on a regular computer (Desktop Wallet Only)
- Download Bitcoin Core.
- Verify the download (see the section labelled ‘Verify your download’ at the above link) and install.
- [Optional] Download, verify and install Specter Desktop for a better user interface with easy hardware wallet integration.
Build a node box
- Samourai Users: Ronin Dojo - hardware & setup
- Blue Wallet Users: Umbrel
- See more options on bitcoin-only.com
Buy a node box
- Samourai Wallet Users: Nodl (Samourai Edition)
- Blue Wallet Users: MyNode
- See more options on bitcoin-only.com
Step 8. Joining In
Aim: Discover how to get involved in discussions about bitcoin.
- Attend a local meetup
- Subscribe to bitcoin op-tech
- Join Twitter and follow bitcoiners you come across.
Step 9. Bitcoin privacy
Aim: Understand how and why to use bitcoin in a private way
Step 10. Bitcoin MicroPayments
Aim: Understand what the lightning network is and how you can use it.
- Download a non-custodial bitcoin lightning wallet
- Transfer some bitcoin to it (a small amount)
- Send bitcoin over lightning
- Watch The Importance of Layer Two (15m)
- Read LNP/BP as compared to TCP/IP (extract from Q/A About Bitcoin).
Step 11. Technical Details
Aim: Better understand how bitcoin works & the terminology
Step 12. Buying Privately
The services in Step 2 are not private (except for Azteco, which is). It is worth considering more private options for further buying.
- Download & Install BISQ
- Set local currency
- Look for local sellers (Select BUY BTC button on top ribbon )
- Buy from local seller (Select Create new offer to buy BTC with … )
- Withdraw bitcoin to bitcoin address from Step 1.
Note: As stated when installing BISQ, the user is responsible for using the software in compliance with local laws.