This is not an explanation of what Bitcoin is or how crypto works. Instead, this is a step by step set of instructions for the lay person to get started buying, using, selling and earning cryptocurrencies. But DO click the links as I've sourced some good materials for ya. ;)
You will need a wallet to store your crypto. There is only ONE wallet I recommend for those who are starting out which is JAXX. It’s very easy to install, and use. It’s best to keep your wallet on your phone so it’s handy, but you can put your wallet on laptop or even have a “hardware” wallet stored on a thumb drive. But for starting out just download the JAXX wallet onto your phone. It’s available in both the iOS and Android stores. There’s a lot you need to know so I recommend you watch this video to learn more about your JAXX wallet. Be sure to write down your private key which will come in the form of 12 words. The private key IS your wallet and allows you to restore your wallet to a new phone if it becomes lost. This is all covered in the video.
Get a Coinbase account. (Signing up using this link earns me a small referral fee). Right now, this is the only U.S. regulated and highly trusted company that allows an American to buy cryptocurrency with U.S. dollars, or to sell them for U.S. dollars. To completely verify your Coinbase account you will need to upload a digital photo of your ID or driver’s license plus you will need to allow Coinbase to use a webcam to take a picture of you. You will also need a bank account, of course. If all of this is too much for you there are other ways to buy and sell crypto but they come with risks. For instance, you could use craigslist or a similar service geared more for crypto called localbitcoins.com. But Coinbase is secure, fast, and trusted and is what the majority of crypto holders use in the U.S.
Another VERY good reason to join Coinbase is that currently they are GIVING AWAY free crypto just for watching some videos. I’ve made nearly $150 worth of cryptocurrency from Coinbase this way. Once you sign up and verify your account just go to Coinbase.com/earn.
You may also decide to just keep your crypto; the price of cryptocurrency is currently on the rise. Or you may want to use your cryptocurrency to buy things. Right now, you can buy stuff from Amazon indirectly through a 3rd party website called purse.io which allows people to exchange crypto with people who will buy the item you want using their Amazon gift cards. In other words, you get what you want for your crypto and they get crypto in trade for the item they buy for you with their gift card, or vice-versa. Here are more places to spend crypto.
(Please use this referral link to download Brave and we will both receive $5 worth of BAT!)
This is the best part. I’ve been making pretty good money doing some of these things, and some of it is even a passive income. The VERY FIRST thing you should do is download and use the Brave Browser. It’s a whole new level of technology and a whole new way to think about marketing on the Internet. Viewing ads is optional, but if you opt in, every ad that pops up (very non-intrusively) pays you a little crypto just for viewing it! It’s not a lot for each ad, but for average use it adds up to about $15 a month in passive crypto. Even more exciting is that you can then take this crypto (called Basic Attention Token or BAT) and then use it to tip your favorite content creators. For example, if you visit my website Artopium.com while using the Brave Browser, you can send 1, 5 or 10 BAT as a tip with just two clicks, which would be most appreciated! Besides the money you make, Brave is also THE MOST secure browser I have ever used. It automatically comes with script prevention, HTTPS Everywhere, and its own internal ad blocker with is VERY effective. Even blocks YouTube ads.
Please use this referral link to download Brave and we will both receive $5 worth of BAT! You will get your free token offer of $5 worth of BAT several days after downloading and using the browser. As I said before, you will most likely notice that your Internet is faster due to the fact that the browser blocks all kinds of nasty scripts that are generally used for tracking your behavior, thus making you more anonymous, more secure, and delivering a faster experience. AND it pays you money to watch the ads it displays. Phenomenal.
(But See Warning Below)
Welcome to Minds, a social media site very similar to Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr, but just like the Brave Browser, Minds is on a whole new level of technology. It is hosted, not on a central server, but on a decentralized P2P network of computers that make up the Ethereum blockchain (Watch this video for an in depth explanation of Ethereum). This means that just like Bitcoin, there is no way to shut Minds down, censor it, or hack it.
Minds rewards its users with Minds Tokens, which can be traded for Ethereum. The Ethereum can be moved to your wallet or sold for U.S. dollars on Coinbase. Almost every action rewards the content creator with tokens such as upvoting (liking), reminding (reposting), commenting, replying, subscribing (following) and many more. I’ve been doing rather well on Minds, having earned about 50 tokens in 2 weeks. Right now, a token is worth $0.16 (it’s going up though) so that’s $8. However, my account is still new and I don’t have very many subscribers so the potential to earn quite a bit more is definitely there. Besides, it’s just like Facebook (perhaps even better since the user interface is easier to understand) and how much is Facebook paying you? You can also use the tokens you earn to “boost” your posts. Right now, 1 token = 1000 views, but this price is set to increase soon since the demand has been quite large.
More importantly, your newsfeed of those you subscribe to on Minds is unaltered and comes in the exact chronological order the posts were created, unlike Facebook which uses an A.I. driven algorithm to determine what it thinks you like, suppressing many posts that you will not see. This means content creators have a much higher potential to reach a wide and broad audience than on traditional social media platforms.
Minds.com is not for the faint of heart or easily offended. The fact that Minds is uncensored has attracted a lot of people that have been de-platformed by other social media sites. Because there is a massive wave of censorship and media bias against conservatives and Trump supporters you may indeed come across their blogs. A lot of these voices are legitimate such as Rachael Blevins, Paul Joseph Watson, and even Alex Jones. But a lot of the alt-right and even extremist hate groups have flocked to Minds as well. DO NOT LET THIS STOP YOU. Minds has a block function and I highly recommend using it. If you find content that is offensive or threatening you can block and you can also report it. There are content policies on Minds and not EVERYTHING is allowed, such as direct intimidation or threats or harassment.
One of the coolest things about Minds is the process it uses to handle these reports. Because a reporting system like this can be abused by those who use it to just report things they disagree with (as opposed to something that legitimately breaks the content policy), Minds has a jury system, just like U.S. courts. All Minds users can potentially be randomly selected as 1 of 12 Jurors who then review and judge potentially harmful content, NOT some centralized authority figure with an agenda. But do keep in mind that those who use Minds must be self regulators and capable of handling the occasional offensive post. I have only had to block 3 accounts out of the nearly 1000 people I’ve interacted with so far. MOST of the people on Minds aren’t even political and are instead artists and photographers trying to make some crypto from their creations. That’s who I spend most my time with on Minds, and I’ve found some very stimulating conversations, incredible art and music, and some new friends.