Source: Adobe/Alex White

If you have been a Bitcoiner for a while, it’s easy to forget how confusing Bitcoin (BTC) can be when you first set up a wallet and take the plunge into the rabbit hole. 

To gain a better understanding of the challenges “newcoiners” face and to play a small role in spreading bitcoin to the people, I “orange pilled” a dozen “nocoiners” in a week, setting them up with a wallet and sending them their first sats. 

Here are the questions they asked me. 

So, how can I buy bitcoin?

Yes! 

That’s a good question. That’s what we Bitcoiners like to hear. 

Everyone who I helped set up a bitcoin wallet asked me how they can buy more bitcoin in the future. 

Since not all wallets come with in-app purchase options and many of those that do often don’t work with all bank cards, buying bitcoin (in most places) often isn’t that easy. 

My response was to test the in-app purchase feature with a bank card that’s not from their primary bank account (because we know what some banks can be like). Alternatively, I recommended peer-to-peer marketplaces, despite the fact that they can be quite challenging to navigate for first-time uses. Also, this guide might help those looking to buy their first BTC too.

Errr…what’s a blockchain? 

In my opinion, explaining blockchain is far more challenging than explaining Bitcoin to newcomers. 

While newcoiners should absolutely understand the basic principles of how a blockchain works and the role it plays in crypto networks, I find the discussion around blockchain tends to confuse newcoiners more than it helps them to get comfortable with buying and holding bitcoin. 

So…Shiba Inu, what do you think of that?

Urgh. 

I shook my head when I heard that. But I get it. 

Newcoiners are often excited at the prospect of gambling on a new coin that could potentially 10X+ within a matter of weeks. I don’t blame them. If they have the capital and can afford to lose it, why not put it all on red and let the wheel spin? 

But that’s not what I recommend to newcoiners. I tell them to buy bitcoin regularly every month to accumulate savings in bitcoin over time. 

When I cash out bitcoin, where does the money come from?

I loved this question because it showed me how far removed I am from someone who’s learning about Bitcoin for the first time. 

The question also taught me to keep in mind how early we truly are with Bitcoin, and that in my work with Bitcoin startups I need to ensure that even the most basic user questions, queries, and concerns are being addressed. 

To be honest, I struggled to answer this question initially and explained to her how new coins are created via mining. To make it as simple as possible, I explained that she is effectively just converting value from one currency to another and the market determines how much bitcoin (and essentially any other currency) is worth. 

So, is this illegal or not? 

Honestly, I did not expect to hear that in 2021. But that’s on us! 

If there are still people out there who think it’s illegal to hold and use bitcoin (outside of the handful of countries where it actually is), it’s on us – the Bitcoin community – to educate the public further. 

Can someone steal my Bitcoin? 

Good question! 

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. But only if you let them. 

I set everyone up with non-custodial bitcoin wallets and explained to them the importance of securely backing up their wallets. 

“Not your keys, not your cheese,” as Bitcoin & Black America author, Isaiah Jackson, says.

While you could end up with crypto-stealing malware on your device, most wallet hacks come from social engineering attacks, such as phishing emails or fake wallet websites. So I greatly emphasize the need to keep seed phrases secret and securely stored.  

OK, so what do I do with it now? 

Hands down, the question I was asked the most when giving people their first bitcoin is, “OK, so what do I do with it now?” 

Having to then explain that they should “HODL” and regularly buy more doesn’t sound as exciting as depositing crypto in some yielding DeFi protocol or buying a coin that could 10X. (However, there’s something for them too: The Growing Defi Market on Bitcoin: What’s Yielding Already?)

I think that’s where Bitcoiners need to put in the work. To educate newcomers on the importance of saving in sound money, and how that differs from speculating (i.e., gambling) in crypto. And yes, you can spend your BTC in multiple places too. If you start using the Lightning Network, it will be much cheaper and faster also.

For me, the main takeaway from orange pilling newcoiners has been how disconnected I (and many of us in the Bitcoin community) are from the challenges, fears, and concerns of newcoiners. 

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