Bitcoincryptocurrency for beginnersask the stupid questions youre embaressed to ask
Leslie and I met up for lunch the other day and we couldn't finish a single conversation thread without getting interrupted by phone calls from friends who needed to know how to start a wallet, which exchanges to go to, how to buy Bitcoin over the counter, what are the specs for the mining rigs, etc.
Leslie is a crypto educator and I'm the content director of CryptoCentral, so we thought the best way to get all these questions answered is to cut a series of videos for beginners and organise regular classes for people who need the hand holding.
As Bitcoin and crypto gain popularity, we foresee many people needing a platform to discuss and ask "silly" questions without feeling embarrassed. We heard your call, and we are answering it. Check out this space for new videos and information on our next meet up. Beginners Guide to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency series is meant for the very new guys about to get into the scene. The questions we pose in this series are questions we get on a daily basis.
Following up on the discussion of Bitcoin and Blockchain in the previous episode, we now take a look at bitcoin mining. What is it all about, how does it work, and can you do it on your own? The number one question we get all the time - How does Bitcoin get its value? If you read the papers, some experts apparently think that bitcoin is a fraud, it's worthless, it's a bubble.
Bitcoin as an innovation possess the qualities that are found in money: I think Bitcoin has more value than the traditional fiat currency. What do you think?
Leave us your thoughts in the comments below. There's more to crypto life than just Bitcoins. You may also have heard of Ethereum. How is Ethereum different from Bitcoin and what does it do? How did those come about? So now you think you are ready to put in some money to play the crypto game. First, get yourself a wallet. One of the popular ones that people go for is Coinbase.
Use my link https: The other fan favourite is gemini. It's owned by the Winklevoss brothers. Once you get your wallet set up, you are ready to get your Bitcoin. You can buy it with your credit card, xfers, or directly from someone who has it. You transfer the Bitcoin the to the wallet address and now you are part of the game. If you want to trade for altcoins, you will need to transfer your Bitcoin over to the exchanges and trade from there. How often do people post relative to other forums?
Is it an active community? So part is core analysis of protocol, and part is quantitative metrics surrounding the use of the protocol. Keep in mind, my last day at Coinbase was eight weeks ago. I have this stupid headset that I wear all the time. How did you find out about them? So I wrote my undergraduate thesis about Bitcoin and the larger implications of open source finance in So you cold emailed these guys a document that was like 60 pages long? Yeah, like 90 pages long.
But yeah, I did. I emailed an annoyingly long and annoyingly academic document. The pace of things. We got on Skype and talked for 20 minutes. I want you to have two finished presentations, 15 minutes each. The first should explain something complicated you know very well. The second should outline your vision for Coinbase. So I got to work. But I do know cryptography pretty well and, in particular, I know game theory well, which is really important in cryptocurrency.
So the first one was on the pharmacological induction of lucid dreams. You can control your dream by waking up in the middle of the night and taking an over-the-counter supplement called galantamine, which increases levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the synapse. The second presentation was on Coinbase and my high level strategy for the company. Coinbase had a lot of problems at that time. When I was applying, there were really bad bugs.
I lost all this money. Bad customer experiences will eventually be forgotten but a security incident will not be forgotten. But Coinbase, especially in its early days, had a lot of hard tradeoffs between moving really quickly like a traditional startup and operating as a financial institution.
And of course there were security incidents. Fraud was a big problem. People trying to buy bitcoin with stolen identities. We wanted to give good customers high limits and we we wanted to give scammers low or no limits. There are a lot of hard tradeoffs. I basically took the perspective that we need to be a security juggernaut and any bad customer experiences will long-term be forgotten.
The main thing is avoid the catastrophic events. We did many things right. But that is honestly the number one thing. This is just to Fred. Fred and I probably talked for 45 minutes—a long time. So I knew I had at least on some level passed the first part.
So there are lockers in a row. A kid goes by. He opens every single locker. A second kid goes by. Now he closes every other locker, every second locker. Third kid comes by, every third locker. If it closed, he opens it. Then the fourth kid goes by. Every fourth locker, he changes the state. And now kids go by. What is the state of the lockers after kids go by? If Brian comes down and the first thing you have is the answer to this problem, this is gonna seal the deal.
In retrospect, that was getting ahead of things a bit much. And when Brian came back, we started talking through it and I just figured it out way faster than I reasonably should have. The answer is perfect squares are open. And the only numbers that have an odd number of factors are perfect squares like 16, 25, It was probably three minutes.
But that was a time in my life when I had an uncanny flash of insight that I would never pretend I could recreate. But anyway, then Brian grilled me for another hour. I talked to him. I think he could do the job. Now we need to figure out do we want to actually work with him.
And we had a very intense conversation about what it meant to want to do things, what it meant to be a human trying to go about the world. I definitely had to think about each question but I tend to have a pretty crystallized ideology about the way I think about the world.
It changes, but at any given moment, I know what it is. I heard back, I wanna say, four days later. I worked really hard because I knew this was the final test. You have a formal job offer. Like I said, I came in and was willing to do anything. I did customer support by myself until we had , users. It was a marathon. It was like hour days of fast replying.
And, to be clear, we did not have good support during that time. You would get an email. But we were replying. So then did you become involved in hiring future people? So basically what happened was we were trying to hire more customer support people, because it was not scaling with just me.
We did four work trials for our customer support people to join me in San Francisco. We rejected all of them. Meanwhile the problem is getting worse and worse and worse, right? The delay in replies and the quality of replies is just going down in a bad way. I think at the peak, the average time to reply was five days. And this is a financial institution. What this was was a test, a Bitcoin aptitude test so to speak.
If you have no idea what that is then get out of here. And we got like people to take this test. Skip ahead maybe four months. I have 43 people reporting to me in a distributed team. This team covers merchant integrations, API support, anti-fraud investigations, compliance investigations, and did customer support. We now have all of these teams at Coinbase. They mostly came from this one Bitcoin SAT. It was so successful that I posted it a second time at some point and got a new round of candidates.
It was a globally distributed team. The first person I hired was in New Caledonia. Skip ahead two years, he works at Coinbase in San Francisco and is the director of customer support.
This is the best job I could hope for and I love Bitcoin. And that was when I realized that the remote structure was actually going to work really well. There were hard things about it, but I now feel very confident running remote teams.
This was when we were using HipChat—before Slack. Then Slack came out and that helped a lot. And then we had Google Hangouts. Basically the tooling was good enough. Like Google Docs where we can all edit something.
The tooling really was good enough, just at that moment. So you were managing support but then you eventually ran risk, right? How does that happen? So I was kind of managing what was really like the whole operational part of the company and it was really burning me out. This was a year and half of hour days without any vacations. I took Sundays off. So as Head of Risk the main things I focused on were account security and fraud prevention. Basically with security there are two angles: We can get your coins stolen or you can get your coins stolen.
While I was running support I had a huge part in handling all that stuff. And when fraud had gotten bad in early , I designed the Risk Queue that would review people that we thought were stolen identities.