Voluntaryism Blog

Using Bitcoin

Have you ever been excited about a new technology? Certainly we all still use snail mail in some form or another when there is no other choice. But email has vastly replaced dropping letters in mailboxes. And I doubt too many of us still use an encyclopedia when we want to learn about a subject these days.

There is a new technology out there that is revolutionizing the way people live. This technology will save people vast amounts of time. Making life an order of magnitude easier for all people, all over the world. I’m going to teach those of you willing to learn how to use this incredibly, wonderfully, creatively destructive technology known as Bitcoin.

Now I’m sure a lot of you have heard about bitcoin but perhaps you don’t really know what it is. I’m not going to go into the technical aspects because you don’t need to know how it works any more than you need to understand Bournouli’s equations to fly on an aircraft. However, if you want to learn more about sha-256 algorithm and cryptography the internet is very useful.

The first thing you’ll want to do is open a bitcoin wallet. This is easily achieved by going online and using your favorite web search or app store to find a wallet that meets your needs. There are no accounts to open, no paperwork to fill out. Simply download the wallet to the device of your choice. I personally use the phone I carry with me everywhere. What good is my money if I don’t have it with me to spend?

I personally like the Bitcoin wallet developed by Bitcoin Wallet Developers for my android devices. Once you install this wallet, you’ll find it already has a new bitcoin address waiting there for you to use.

It’s then as easy as scanning a QR code or using Near Field Communication to send a bitcoin to another address. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, the address is all that is needed to receive bitcoins, similar to an email address.

Airbitz is another wallet that has a great feature that allows you to search for businesses near by that accept bitcoin.

Where to buy bitcoin? You can get bitcoin just as easy as you get any other type of money. You can work for it, exchange any services or goods you are willing to provide in exchange for Bitcoin. There is a website called localbitcoins.com which matches people wanting to sell bitcoins with people looking to buy bitcoins. This can be accomplished in person or online. I preferred the online method myself.

The first time I bought Bitcoin, I found somebody in Turkey that was willing to sell me a quarter of a bitcoin for a reasonable price. They requested that I just send the money via western union and then send them a message with a picture of the receipt. I was a bit anxious about sending the money to another country. But, in no time and with far less cost to the seller, the quarter of a Bitcoin showed up in my wallet. Using the magic of the internet and peer to peer computing. Simply amazing.

Then I decided I should start mining this stuff myself. At first I tried buying some high powered equipment and built my own workstation with a quality graphics card that I was certain would be powerful enough. I was wrong. The time for graphics cards ability to mine effectively was long gone. I needed an ASIC, application specific integrated chip, to make a profit mining. The usb miner I bought off of Amazon was exciting. This thing just plugged into my computer and was making me some decent Bitcoin in no time. It did get a bit warm and I had to leave my entire computer on for long periods of time to be worth it though. Eventually I figured out I could buy a Chinese made miner that would be dedicated to mining. The Bitmain S1 could perform 200 Mega hashes per second. This was going to really get me rolling in the Bitcoin. So, I got the miner and bought an adequate power supply and an uninterruptible power supply as added insurance. If that thumb miner got warm I was sure this would help heat my house.

And it did. It was pulling in a good amount of Bitcoin for a few months. Enough time for me to consider just how much electricity it was costing me to run this amazing machine. So, after making my money back on the great adventure and before my profit margin got too thin. I stopped mining for Bitcoin. This is still an option, but it will take some serious capital investment to be profitable.

The blockchain, the thing that makes bitcoin work and valuable, can also be used for archiving records and providing proof of ownership and all the other records people would want to have kept in a place that shows a time at which something existed.

Bitcoin is a technology revolution. I hope I have passed along at least some useful information for everyone to use.

I’m certain this technology is capable of making the world a more tranquil place.