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Bitcoin Information & Resources

Bitcoin is a revolutionary system that is quite complex and has a steep learning curve. The goal of this site is to provide an index of curated high quality educational resources and information about Bitcoin to make it easier to educate yourself. Make sure you have a decent grasp of the system before you store a significant amount of value in it. Credits by Jameson Lopp

Getting Started

Why is Bitcoin a unique monetary system? How does it work? Why should you care?

Online & Offline Classes

Check these out if you learn well from structured lectures and challenges. The online courses are free or low cost while the offline ones are faster paced with more feedback.

Setting up a Wallet

There are dozens of wallets to choose from when it comes to securing your private keys. Hardware, software, metal, paper, each with their own trade-offs. Remember: if you aren’t holding your own private keys, you don’t actually own bitcoin – you only own an IOU for BTC!

Wallet Basics

Choose your wallet here

  • Do not use wallets that don’t give you recovery data; these wallets are likely controlling your keys.
  • Do not use paper wallets unless you’re an advanced user who understands all the risks.
  • Do not store large amounts of value in single signature wallets.
  • Make sure your heirs know how to recover your wallets without you!

Note that it is NOT recommended that novices use the Bitcoin Core wallet. If you want to use a wallet backed by a fully validating node you run, read Securing Your Financial Sovereignty.

Recommended Wallets

Running a Node

Holding your own keys ensures you can’t lose money due to mistakes made by other people. Running a full node ensures no one can trick you into accepting invalid bitcoin payments. Running and using your own node gives you the strongest security model Bitcoin has to offer.

The History of Bitcoin

Bitcoin didn’t appear out of thin air – it is the result of decades of work. Many digital currency projects failed before Bitcoin succeeeded. Understanding how we got here will help you understand where we’re going.

News Sites

It is hard to find trustworthy reporting in the crypto space. Many “news” sites are pay-to-play or have incentives to favor certain projects. My recommended sites feature quality content and don’t publish press releases as news.

Discussion Forums

Bitcoin is an open collaborative project. As such, public discussion of current events and improvement proposals is crucial to its healthy evolution.

Network Statistics

Blockchain Statistics:

Node Statistics:

Miscellaneous Metrics:

Transaction Fee Estimates

Miners maximize their profits by confirming transactions with the highest processing fees. Since the demand for transactions fluctuates it can be hard to know the appropriate fee. A variety of fee estimation services are available to help users navigate the fee market.

Block Explorers

Bitcoin’s blockchain is a public ledger of every transaction that has ever happened. Explorers provide us with a view of this history, enabling us to follow the flow of money. You can also drill down into specific addresses and transactions.

Block Explorers

Open Source Block Explorers

Search Engines

Exchange Rate Data

Bitcoin trades 24/7/365 on hundreds of markets around the world. Due to volatility it can be important to have reliable realtime data if you’re engaging in trade with BTC.

Visualizations

Visual representations of the data on the blockchain can simplify analysis of trends. Plus, some of them are entertaining to watch!

Realtime Transactions

Other Visualizations

Mining

Mining is an important aspect of Bitcoin’s security. Miners timestamp batches of transactions and make it expensive to roll back history. The time, skills, and investment required to mine profitably place it out of reach for most hobbyists. Stay away from cloud mining – it’s often a scam, or more expensive than directly buying BTC!

Tax Accounting

Volatility, regulatory complexities, and poor software can make bitcoin tax accounting a nightmare. These services can ingest transaction and trade data to calculate capital gains.

Careers

The investment of capital into the Bitcoin ecosystem grows each year. This results in more full time employment opportunities. You don’t have to be a developer to contribute to this industry!

Data Anchoring

Bitcoin’s blockchain is useful for more than simple transfers of BTC between peers. It can also create immutable timestamped records of small amounts of data. This enables other protocols and applications to make use of Bitcoin’s security properties.

Charities

Censorship resistant currency enables us to send money directly to those who need it. We no longer need worry about corrupt governments or fickle middlemen intercepting funds.

Legal

The regulatory landscape is in flux due to the rapid pace of technological development. Several firms and individuals focus on this sector and share their interpretation of recent events.

Economics

Permissionless protocols enable anyone to program their own economic rules. We can now experiment with economic theories at an unprecedented pace.

Governance

Bitcoin’s governance is often misunderstood because it’s informal. It’s further confusing to newcomers because it’s inverted in comparison to traditional governance. No one can define Bitcoin’s governance, but we can describe it from observation.

Forks

Because no one controls Bitcoin, no one can stop people from creating modified versions of it. But it’s hard to overcome Bitcoin’s network effect and convince users to switch to a new protocol.

All Bitcoin Forks:

Security

Managing private keys to “be your own bank” is no small task. It can involve complex processes if you want thorough protection against many threats. There’s also a balance against making it so complex that you lose access to your own keys – keep it as simple as possible!

Privacy

Bitcoin is not an anonymous cryptocurrency. There are many ways you might leak information that can be used to identify your activity on the network. Understanding the risks can help you mitigate them with software and best practices.

Other Resources

This site attempts to list every quality educational resource. Even so, you may find other resources compiled by the maintainers of these other lists.