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Bitcoin for Absolute Beginners (like me!)

I dug around the internet looking for the best introductory cryptocurrency content so you don't have to.

You know that guy?

You know that guy that suddenly converts into a new diet/sport/philosophy of life/investment opportunity and can't shut up about it? I used to hate that guy, but guess what? I'm now that dude. After scouring the internet for information about Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies), the famous blockchain and reading, researching, and listening to hours of podcasts, I was finally convinced it was time to take that leap of faith, and now I can't shut up about it.

Don't worry, I read the naysayers as well, in fact, right up until six months ago, all I read was the naysayers. Caveat emptor, or as the old saying goes: buyer beware! And I do recommend you read the naysayers and make up your own mind. Heck, I'll even begin my list of recommendations with this article from The Economist about how Bitcoin is also a kind of fiat currency. Follow it up with this USA Today article for a general overview of what exactly is Bitcoin, the pros and cons associated with it, a lively discussion on its potential, and how to make sure you pass it on to your family in case you die.

But after sifting through both the skeptics and the cheerleaders, I was convinced; and not by the dollar-will-collapse-doomsday-preppers, and certainly not by anecdotal tales of crypto billionaires that invested in 2009 and now living in their own islands, but by experts that are putting out excellent analysis and well-researched content. I gathered some of the best pieces I've found so far this year in this blog post. These posts feature great introductory information on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Forbes' Unchained Podcast

Forbes' Unchained podcast does exactly what a podcast ought to do: pack a lot of information into a short amount of time while locking in your attention. The insights are well-researched, well-discussed, and always informative. Unchained is hosted by Forbes Senior Editor Laura Shin; she gets straight to the point with her guests and has mastered the ability to explain very complex issues in very accessible terms. I recommend starting with episode 31: "How To Explain Cryptocurrencies And Blockchains To The Average Person." If you are looking for a good cryptocurrency podcast, this episode will have you hooked.

Foundation for Economic Education

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) has great experts who write masterfully about economics in very practical terms. The writers at FEE excel at introducing big ideas about economics to laypeople like myself, learning about the actual ideas behind Bitcoin will make you a savvier and more informed investor. I have picked some of their best articles about the concepts of blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and what do they mean not just for the economy, but society as whole:
From Bitcoin to Ether: Today's Blockchain Basics

So... What's a Blockchain?

Prof. Malavika Nair's The Economics of Bitcoin

Malavika Nair is an assistant professor of economics in the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University, Alabama. If you are looking for one concise explanations that gives you easily digestible, in-depth summary of the economics of Bitcoin, this is it:

Ready to take the plunge?

As an absolute beginner in the world of cryptocurrencies, I wrote this blogpost to help out other folks like myself who are curious about the basics of this "new" and exciting world. I have treaded very lightly and invested very timidly in cryptocurrencies, and I continue to strive to educate myself in this field. If you have any suggestions for articles, videos, or podcasts (and, yes, I've read all about the tulip craze), please send them my way – let's help each other learn.

If you're ready to take the plunge and start to invest in cryptocurrencies, I can recommend coinbase. Their user interface is beautifully rendered, very intuitive and easy to use, and the site is considered one of the safest exchanges out there. Plus if you use this link to register for coinbase whenever you buy or sell $100 worth of bitcoin, you and I will get $10 worth of bitcoin each.

The other recommendation I can make is a short list of Twitter accounts you should follow (other than the folks mentioned above), and I don't mean just me, I only tweet about Bitcoin from time-to-time, most of my tweets are about design, illustration, Brazil, and shaking my fist angrily at the world. So, I totally get it if you don't want to follow me, but definitely check out these folks:

Bitcoin – Bitcoin News, Information and Price
Coindesk – The latest news, prices, charts, guides about bitcoin and blockchain tech.

Bitcoin Magazine – It's a magazine about Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, very informative

Thanks for reading my article, if you like it, please share it with your friends. If you have any suggestions, please contact me. This is my first (and so far, only) Bitcoin blogpost; if you are interested in illustration and graphic design, please check out my other blog posts.

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