Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Resources


I am often asked “where is a good place to learn more about Bitcoin?” Or “what cryptocurrency-related products or services do you recommend?” This page is my attempt to provide links to some of those resources.

CAUTION! As always happens when some new, successful technology is invented, there are literally hundreds of SCAMS, CONS, FRAUDS, CRAZY SCHEMES and just downright REALLY BAD INVESTMENT “OPPORTUNITIES” that have recently popped up in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. I really don’t want to see my friends and family get caught up in these terrible things, but sadly, a few of you already have.

As I write this in June, 2017, I think it’s safe to say that 98% or more of the new cryptocurrencies (“altcoins”), startups and so-called “initial coin offerings” (ICOs) or “token generation events” (TGEs) that have launched since 2016 are doomed to fail. Many (maybe even most?) are outright evil attempts to defraud people. Others might be well-intentioned, but have no hope of succeeding. And of the top 4-5% of really solid projects with fantastic leadership teams and great ideas–including some of the ones I mention below–even many of those will likely fail. For example, I have my doubts about the long-term viability of Ethereum, which is the current darling that some analysts are predicting will overtake the total market capitalization of Bitcoin in 2017. That might actually happen, but I don’t think it will be the case in 5 years.

The state of the technology in this space is much like the Internet in 1994, while the investment hype around it is much like the dot-com boom of 1998 or 1999. The bust is coming, no doubt. And from that, a few big winners will emerge and thrive. I am confident Bitcoin itself will be one of the winners, and I’m putting my own money where my mouth is (as a long-term play–I’m not a short-term trader). But even Bitcoin still has to be considered a high-risk investment. The best of the best alternative crypto/blockchain investments are even higher risk. And everything else is basically a bad lottery ticket, in my humble opinion.

Again, the opinions expressed here are solely my own. I might be a Certified Bitcoin Professional, but I could certainly be wrong about anything. Nothing on this page should be taken as investment advice. Do your own research. Think for yourself!

  • Starting points to learn about Bitcoin:
  • Bitcoin news sources:
  • Local Bitcoin resources in and around Kentucky:
  • Bitcoin discussion forums:
    • Bitcoin subReddit – This is the original, but it’s heavily censored to remove any mention of Bitcoin scaling solutions that are not in alignment with the owner’s personal views. This makes me sad.
    • BTC subReddit – This is the uncensored one, but because of the censorship on the Bitcoin subReddit, this subReddit is largely dominated by discussion of Bitcoin Cash and other “big block” scaling proposals.
    • BitcoinTalk – Another active forum for bitcoin discussions, but censored by the same owners of the Bitcoin subReddit.
    • Frankly, all these discussion forums have become so toxic and filled with personal attacks related to the Bitcoin scaling debate, that I don’t spend much time on them any more.
  • Bitcoin podcasts:
  • Options for acquiring bitcoins:
    • Coinbase – I use Coinbase to convert USD to bitcoin every time I get paid. Use this referral link to sign up, and once you buy $100 or more of bitcoin, we both receive an additional $10 of bitcoin. Please recognize that Coinbase has to operate under the dreadful financial surveillance laws of the U.S., so assume that any transaction you make from your Coinbase account is monitored by Big Brother (transfer first to a “real” bitcoin wallet before spending, if you value your financial privacy and don’t want your account to be shut down).
    • LocalBitcoins – This is potentially a nice option for buying bitcoins in your home town. I dropped in and met these guys last time I was in Helsinki–they’re pretty cool!
    • Mycelium Local Trader – Another good option for local bitcoin trades using the Mycelium wallet
    • Bitsquare – The first fully decentralized, private service that allows you to buy and sell bitcoin for fiat currencies or other cryptocurrencies
    • Exchanges:
      • Bitstamp – I no longer actively trade bitcoin, but when I did, this was my exchange of choice
      • Kraken – One of the largest now, and the one I tend to use the most for what little trading I do. Based in the U.S.
      • Bittrex – Another U.S.-based exchange that seems to be up and coming, but only deals in crypto (i.e., you can’t fund an account with, or withdraw, fiat currencies)
    • Coin ATM Radar – Find a nearby bitcoin ATM
    • Paxful – More than 300 ways to buy bitcoins
  • Bitcoin books
  • Bitcoin video documentaries
  • Interesting alternative cryptocurrencies, a.k.a. “altcoins” (see my CAUTION at the top of this page!):
  • Interesting related projects (see my CAUTION at the top of this page!):
    • Lightning Network – In my opinion, this is how Bitcoin will ultimately scale at the second layer (or if we don’t get past the current scaling debate, this is how some other cryptocurrency will overtake Bitcoin)
    • RSK (formerly Rootstock) – A Turing-complete smart contract layer on top of Bitcoin
    • Factom – I really like what these guys are doing, and thoroughly enjoyed visiting them in Austin recently
    • OpenBazaar – A full decentralized, completely free, peer-to-peer online marketplace
    • OpenTimestamps – An attempt by Peter Todd to establish a standard for a blockchain-based timestamping service (a.k.a. notary or proof of existence)
    • SAFE Network – Secure Access For Everyone, the grass-roots Internet overlay where Privacy, Security and Freedom are built in as the defaults
    • Plasma – An interesting blockchain scaling technology
    • Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) – The “blockchainless” architecture of the future?
  • Bitcoin wallets:
    • Wallet comparison – Nice resource from the Bitcoin Foundation
    • Open Bitcoin Privacy Project – Detailed ranking of wallets based on privacy features
    • Android:
      • Mycelium – Still my personal favorite, although I’m not sure about its future
      • Xapo – Integrates with their bitcoin debit card
      • BitPay – Great option for multi-signature transactions, with debit card integration
      • AirBitz – Popular among beginners and more seasoned users
      • Bitcoin Wallet – The original Android wallet by Andreas Schildbach; still a good choice
      • Samourai – Still in alpha, this is an interesting wallet that includes several privacy features not available anywhere else today
      • Coinomi – A straightforward wallet that supports Bitcoin and dozens of other popular cryptocurrencies and tokens
    • iOS:
    • Chrome:
    •  Windows/Mac/Linux:
    • Hardware wallets:
      • Trezor
      • Ledger
      • Opendime – Really in a category by itself–Opendime is great for gifting or otherwise physically transferring bitcoin
    • Web:
      • Blockchain.info – Because they’ve had some security issues, and haven’t kept up with the market, I don’t really recommend any web-based wallets, but I do still use Blockchain.info for some small amounts
    • How to Make a Paper Wallet – For best security, I always recommend using a BIP38-encrypted paper wallet for the majority of your bitcoin holdings; this is a great tutorial on how to do it securely
  • Bitcoin point-of-sale (POS) and e-commerce solutions for merchants:
  • Miscellaneous resources:
    • Purse – A fantastic site where you can easily save 20-25% or more on every item on Amazon! Use this referral link to sign up and receive 0.01 bitcoin after transacting $50 or more.
    • Jameson Lopp’s Bitcoin Resources – Frankly, a far better collection of resources than this one
    • BitPay Debit Card – There are other bitcoin debit cards, but I personally use this one to buy products from merchants who don’t accept bitcoin directly
    • Coin Center – The leading advocacy voice for cryptocurrencies and open blockchains in Washington, DC
    • Initial IRS tax guidance for U.S. taxpayers (PDF) – Let’s hope this changes some day to treat bitcoin just like other currencies, or there is at least some safe harbor language added to create a de minimis transaction amount that does not generate a tax gain/loss.
    • Stash Crypto – Makers of the new Stash Node Pro
    • Ledger Journal – A peer-reviewed scholarly journal that publishes full-length original research articles on the subjects of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, as well as any relevant intersections with mathematics, computer science, engineering, law, and economics
    • ShapeShift – A great place to convert quickly between cryptocurrencies without having to create an exchange account
    • Andreas Antonopoulos – One of my favorite speakers and authors on bitcoin topics
    • Smith + Crown – Popular cryptocurrency and ICO research firm
  • Last but certainly not least, please consider donating some bitcoin to a good cause (and for U.S. taxpayers, get some nice tax benefits!):