Welcome to our online course for budding cryptocurrency believers. Or for those who just want to appear cool and informed on parties when the topic shifts to bitcoin.
We all know this about The Future. Money is the religion of the past and the root of all evil. Bitcoins will buy you gratitude with your fellow bringers of the light. But how do you get taken seriously by those other fanatics? It can all seem a bit daunting at first. Here’s some easy help to get you started.
First you got to get some nice terminology in your vocabulary (fancy words that you should know about). You don’t have to get them exactly right, bitcoin is almost as mysterious as quantum mechanics.
Blockchain: The technology behind bitcoin. Essentially just a growing chain of data (blocks). Any transaction logged on the chain will be remembered forever and ever. Unless we destroy the internet.
Cryptocurrency: A general name for all this digital money. It uses the word crypto, because there is a lot of cryptography involved (digital security with math and codes).
Bitcoins: The first and main cryptocurrency that is stored on a blockchain. Remember that blockchain is the real deal here, bitcoin is just a nice feature on it. Like an app on your smartphone.
Satoshi Nakamoto: Mysterious creator of Bitcoin. Real identity unknown. This the saint of the digital age. He who blessed us with his holy white paper.
Miners: People that create and verify the blocks for the chain. They do that by finding complicated cryptographic codes called hashes. When they find a new block, they get bitcoins as a reward. Good for them and us!
Wallet: You store bitcoin adresses somewhere (note: the real bitcoins are on the blockchain). This can be in an online wallet, or a wallet on your smartphone, or on a usb stick. You can spend bitcoins via private keys, which you can also store in the wallet or remember in your mind. These methods can still be cracked with a gun to your head.
Decentralization: Big word for the fact that there is no central authority (like a bank, or a government) needed for bitcoin. Huray!
Fiat money: The old form of money. Not backed by gold, but only by central authorities. This is the thing you’re going to get rid off.
ICO: Initial Coin Offering. Alternative cryptocurrency (altcoins or tokens) are being created all the time these days. They start with fundraising (generally in the form of bitcoins) from early backers to get going fast. These early backers will get big heaps of the new tokens.
To first get started tell everyone who wants to hear it, at parties or near the watercooler or in the bus, that you were an early miner of bitcoin back in 2010. But you gave them all away in exchange for hugs. This is the true Satoshi spirit, who allegedly deleted all his bitcoin private keys (now worth 18 billion dollar) for idealistic reasons. Also mention this last fact.
After you’ve established yourself as an expert, be ready to answer a lot of questions from lesser believers. We’ve added a curated list of answers in the appendix of this document.
Make sure you rant everywhere, on FB, on Medium, on Instagram, on Twitter, that all bankers and financial institutions are crooks stealing your money and we need a decentralised alternative for the good people of this planet. You do not even have to lie about anything to pull this off. And by doing so you will be granted many kudos and followers interested in bitcoin.
One of the best games among bitcoin owners is to guess who Satoshi really is. Elon Musk is already taken.
Now that you have a little network, it’s time to show off. Sell your house, all belongings, your company, your stocks, empty your children’s savings accounts. Just take everything you have. And invest it all in bitcoin! Then share all of this with the internet. You will be admired by even the truest fanatics. (Also memorize all keys, and just tell any potential criminals you meet that your e-wallet froze.)
Relocate to a country where bitcoin is forbidden, and tell the local government you are the real Satoshi. Guaranteed bitcoin publicity for you. You may even end up a bitcoin martyr. In that case, eternal glory awaits you.
Never, ever sell your bitcoins. Whenever the pricing takes a nosedive, inform all your followers it’s just the latest growth hickup, caused by the establisment that wants to take us all down. They will not succeed! Selling is for the faint of heart, the materialists, the greedy, the uncommitted.
Actually do not invest everything in bitcoin alone. Invest in a new token that recently had it’s ICO. One that promises to be more environmently friendly, incorporates AI, has nice cryptokitties and promises 10.000 fold returns in just a few months. Captain Hindsight will tell you which one you should have taken.
Once you’ve done all of the above you are ready for true transcendence. To be a true blockchain fanatic, you invent your own token. Mention that you will work towards uploading people’s mind into the blockchain for eternal life. Ofcourse, you’ll go first.
Don’t know how to do this? Write an inspiring whitepaper and send it into the world via your newly acquired network of other bitcoin fanatics. Blockchain developers will flock towards your calling.
Just use your imagination, the world is ready for your personal disruption.
Once you start signaling on parties that you are a semi-expert of bitcoin you’ll be bombarded with questions of lesser believers. Here’s some help answering those.
People are tired of fiat money and its backers. This is the 99% exacting revenge on the 1%. Also some people just got very greedy.
What is the value of money? It’s just a shared belief among people. Electrical spikes in your brain. Now its true virtual nature is embraced and the middleman is removed.
No, it is divisible. The smallest unit is one Satoshi.
Use your terminology from the beginning of this article to talk your way out of this swamp.
In the bigger picture it is irrelevant. Blockchain technology is here to stay. If you were in it for greed, you’ll have lost some fiat money temporarily. If you are a true believer, nothing is lost, just a small network glitch.
Hell yeah! See the section Go All-in. Also see the previous question.
Matthijs Cox is a high-tech professional from The Netherlands. During his PhD (2010–2014) he had the opportunity to use an idle university network for bitcoin mining. He thought this was foolishness, real science is more important. Some esteemed colleagues thought otherwise. Turns out the joke is entirely on dr. Cox.