Category Archives: Education

The Bitcoin Miners – Bankers of the Bitcoin System

Miners are the Bankers of Bitcoin and make the system work. However, unlike Federal Reserve which is a centralized system, the mining system of Bitcoin is a decentrelized system.

Source World Bitcoin Network

The job of the miners are to create new bitcoins which are rewarded to them when they maintain the Bitcoin Blockchain by adding transactions. But for now, every day that goes by it becomes harder to solve the equation, so you need more and more computing power!

The Bitcoin Network system might be the worlds largest computer network systems.

Understanding why Satoshi needed mining is fundamental to understanding decentralization and bitcoin. The mining of Bitcoin’s is limited to 21 million Bitcoins as scarcity is key with any Monetary system.

Geir Solem
Cryptor Trust Inc.

3 Elements that influence Bitcoin Value

Where does bitcoin value come from? Lets take a look at 3 elements that are intrinsic to bitcoin’s nature.

network
Image Source – InoHow.co.uk

Bitcoin as a New Disruptive Technology – VALUE ELEMENT #1

Bitcoin as a currency, as a payment system and as a stock cannot be separated from its nature as a new revolutionary technology.

Leaving technical concepts apart, the bitcoin system provides the base for:

– Transferring money with low or none cost to any place in the world. Global acceptance and distribution!

– Empower people to become their own bank, removing the dependance on financial institutions. Freedom!

– Empower people currently out of the banking system. Democratic!

– Avoid the deflationary effects of traditional currency. Buying power!

– Pay for goods and services while protecting your personal data. Security!

Continue reading 3 Elements that influence Bitcoin Value

Buy Bitcoin in 3 Simple Ways

Cryptocurrency is a new thing for almost everybody. It is a revolutionary way of thinking money as well as using it. In this quick guide we review three options to buy bitcoin all over the world.

> 1st Option – Buy Bitcoin Face to Face from a Seller

bitcoin_payment
Illustration by Harry Campbell

Nowadays there are firm possibilities of finding other bitcoin enthusiasts in your city town that would like to make a face to face deal with you. This could be a great first experience since it allows you to research who the seller is before taking your chances, and spend some time exchanging ideas and personal experiences if you arrange the meeting.

For this purpose you can find people in many places. From eBay to Facebook and Linkedin groups, Twitter and local Meetups.

There are also companies in the bitcoin ecosystem that have seen this need and created a marketplace to connect bitcoin buyers and sellers. Two of them are LocalBitcoins and TradeBitcoin.

> 2nd Option – Buy Bitcoin Using Exchanges

Bitcoin exchanges have popped up everywhere. You can use global exchanges widely accepted in many regions, or choose a local dedicated bitcoin exchange at your country. Both options have positive and negative connotations, so you should try to make the most informed decision.

Take this three suggestions to help your decision:

A- Local exchanges are incorporated as local companies, meaning that while bitcoin might not be recognized by the local government, companies are still regulated under the jurisdiction. They pay taxes, adjust to the local legal frame and have responsibility towards customers.

B- Regional or global exchanges do not provide the advantage above, but might have enough social/user proof on their records to justify your choice. Have in mind that some of them have received large sums of money in VC funding to support their operations and take it to the next level, what doesn’t provide 100% assurance but is an element that others might not have.

C- Finally, always read the terms of use AND find where people is talking about this exchanges, whether they say good or bad things about them, testimonials are the best reference point to consider.

[Would you add other suggestions to this list? Please let me know in the comments section!]

> 3rd Option – Buy Bitcoin as an Exchange for Goods or Services

This is probably a zero risk way to build your bitcoin first capital. I’m sure you might be an specialist in something that somebody else could need and would accept as a payment for his bitcoin. In the same way, if you have goods not currently in use, you can exchange them for bitcoin. The benefits of bitcoin for small business owners are encouraging!

Maximiliano Garcia
Cryptor Trust Inc.

Bitcoin Paper Wallet is the Key Tool for Investors

A paper wallet is one of bitcoiner’s best security practices. In this article we will provide a brief overview about its main advantages and important points to care about before starting to invest in the crypto currency.

> What is a Paper Wallet? The Basics

bitcoin_paper_wallet_image
Bitcoin paper wallet generated at bitaddress.org

Also referred as Cold Storage, a paper wallet is a way to store bitcoins as a physical offline document that can be handled as any other real-world materialized currency or value. The main purpose of the paper wallet it to take your private key out of any online record by printing it onto paper.

Once done, bitcoins on a live wallet (web based or software client) can be sent to the public address printed on your paper wallet document for safekeeping.

> Paper Wallet Advantages

As of its advantages, bitcoin paper wallets offer:

(1) A high level of protection against software that might be compromising your computer, like malwares and keyloggers, and of course, against hackers!

(2) The security of possessing your bitcoins on paper, as we are used to deal with cash, although it means that mobility might be an issue at certain point and you need to take other kind of previsions to keep the document in shape.

(3) No dependence on a third party wallet service provider.

(4) Risk reduced by not having to rely only on the security standards applied by a website.

> Points to Care About with Paper Wallets

– Make sure you create a strong and complex enough passphrase when creating your brain wallet on websites like bitaddress.org

– Be aware that the paper contains all the data needed to check your bitcoin balance and import it or spend it, so choose the right place to store it. Also protect it from humidity and other things that could damage it. Losing a single character of any of your 2 keys could become a big issue to recover your assets.

– Before transferring your bitcoins to your paper wallet, make sure you verify it by checking it on alternative sites to bitaddress.org. If the same info comes up, it means everything is ok. Check it on at least 3 more sites.

Hope you found this helpful. On the next article about wallets we will go deeper into how to generate safe paper wallets.

Maximiliano Garcia
Cryptor Trust Inc.

Learn How Bitcoin Transactions Work

Bitcoin transfers are one of the main concerns for those taking their first steps at the crypto-currency ecosystem.

For sure you already know how the usual electronic transfer operates. There are two parties and a middle man. The two parties want to electronically move money from one side to the other. To do so they need a middle man that provides the service, call it bank, Paypal, Western Union, etc. who will almost always take a pretty relevant percentage of the money being sent.

> So, What is Different with Bitcoin Transfers?

money-transfer-stock-board

In the first place, the middle man is now out of the equation. Transfers are made from peer to peer (P2P) using bitcoin wallets. This is digitally signed for security reasons.

> The Transaction Structure Involves 3 Pieces of Information

Those are: Input > Amount > Output

Supposing that John wants to send bitcoins to Mark, the first piece of information is the “Input”, which specifies the address from where John received bitcoins in the first place (from Peter’s address). The second piece of information is the “Amount” that John want to send to Mark, and the third is the “Output”, which will be Mark’s wallet address.

The transfer is distributed through the network and registered in a vast general ledger (public record) called block chain that validates all transactions. This means that everyone can know about transactions being made and trace its history to the point of its inception.

> Sending Bitcoins is Fairly Simple

To send bitcoin, both the address (public key) and the private key assigned to your bitcoin wallet are needed.

At the time John (from the example above) wants to send bitcoins to Mark, the private key is what he will use to sign the message that includes the input, amount and output (Mark’s address).

After the bitcoin is sent from John’s wallet into the BTC network, miners will verify the transaction, put it on a transaction block and solve it. This verification process made by miners usually take up to 10 minutes or less. The bitcoin protocol is set on that time frame to mine each block. You should wait until the process is fully confirmed, but usually some merchants will trust on you assuming that you will not try to spend the same bitcoins before the process is completed.

> Bitcoin Transactions May Involve Fees

Bitcoiners will not always have to pay transaction fees, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Wallets usually let you manually set the transaction fees. Miners usually process transactions for free as they are rewarded by the block (with bitcoin), but we might see miners starting to raise some low fees in the future, as the block reward decrease.

Sometimes there are portions of transactions that the recipient doesn’t pick up or is considered as change. This is usually considered a fee or a tip for the miner’s good job!

If you have any doubts about how bitcoin transactions work, please let us know by leaving us a comment in the comments section below.

Maximiliano Garcia
Cryptor Trust Inc.

Get Familiar with Bitcoin Wallets

Bitcoin wallets are the key tool to start using the digital currency. Read this straight forward overview about (1) types of wallets, (2) best wallet services and (3) basic tips to better manage your wallet.

Bitcoin_wallet
Equipment for money transfer. Caricature by O. Schmerling in 1906.

> First of all, What is a Bitcoin Wallet?

A bitcoin wallet it’s like your physical wallet or your bank account (without all the paper work) but for the BTC network. It allows you to store, manage and control your transactions. Once created, the wallet generates two keys, one public, and one private. The public key or “address” is used to receive payments (or donations), and send payments. The private key (composed of fifty-one alphanumeric characters, starting with “5”)  guarantees that you have the right to use the bitcoins in that wallet. Important: never reveal this piece of data!

> Types of Bitcoin Wallets

There are two types: software and web wallets. Software wallets can be installed on your own computer or mobile device, providing you with a certain level of autonomy since you are the only responsible of keeping it safe. On the other hand, web wallets are hosted by a third party company. In this case you need to trust that they are doing their homework at keeping high security standards to protect users’ assets.

You can check Coinbase, Blockchain, Armory, Bitcoin-Qt and Electrum as good options in the market.

The tools mentioned above are supposed to provide a high level of security, which is recommended for investors adopting the usage of the digital currency. Learn how bitcoin transactions work (internal link) here!

> Recommendations for New Bitcoiners

Creating your first wallet is fairly easy and fast. Here are some key points that you should consider upfront:

1- Choose a password that contains letters, numbers, and symbols (#, %, $, @) to make it as strong as possible.

2- Don’t keep your private key and password data saved on any document on your computer, email client or web based third party apps you may use.

3- Web wallets are more vulnerable to attacks. We recommend a software wallet.

4- Create more than one address to manage your transactions and have specific purposes for each, say “Investments”, “Shopping”, “Savings”.

5- Learn more about how to generate a paper wallet to better protect your assets.

Maximiliano Garcia
Cryptor Trust Inc.