5 Christmas Friday – 22 Dec 2017

There aren’t many things in life better than 5 Share Friday, except of course 5 Christmas Friday!

We’ve only 2 more days to go until an old bearded man wearing a red robe breaks into our homes, eats mince pies, drinks cherry and claims to leave presents that we actually purchased ourselves.

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week:

2. The Cookie Monster is stealing Christmas, or rather internet cookies are. Have you ever searched the Internet for anything and then seen it appear in ads on other websites and Amazon? Here’s an article I read that shows how this is spoiling the surprise for many, doh!

3. We all know the origin of Spiderman, though do you know the origin of Chewbacca? Well you do now… this photo I found shows our family dog Bertie biting Chewies finger before he became everyone’s favourite Wookie (I didn’t realise our Bertie could time travel, awesome!).

4. On a more serious note, this time of year is a good one to consider what giving you’re doing outside of immediate family and friends, both time and money. On the money side we’ve gone with a monthly donation for 2018 to Doctors without borders aka Medicines Sans Frontieres https://www.msf.org.uk/USA site here).

5. And finally, the guy at this website knows the truth about Santa Claus, read it and feel shame if you no longer believe.

So you want some cryptocurrency? Here’s how…

I’ll always be grateful I had access to the early internet while it grew to be a critical part of our modern world.  Anyone remember connecting their telephone to the computer to get online?

Now I’m grateful to be part of what will change the world digitally, again. That’s right, Cryptocurrency.

Many of you who know me, know I’m writing this as a millionaire through Bitcoin. The sad news is that I made a comedy of errors and don’t have access to my millions. I say comedy, it took friendship and the ability to laugh and be grateful for what I have before I came to terms with my loss. So, whilst I got in on Bitcoin many years ago, I’m not able to buy that dream home in Costa Rica and share my wealth with those who would benefit most.

This year I jumped back on the bandwagon with those same friends. We’ve learnt a lot and made some errors along the way. This post is a resource for those new to cryptocurrency and those who already have some and might be interested in seeing if there is anything they don’t already know.

What this isn’t is financial advice of any kind, I am not advising anything other than not to spend money on cryptocurrency if you cannot afford to lose it.

What this is, is a series of links to articles and people that know much more than I do. I’m sharing places and people on the internet that are experts in their field and safe to follow (not scammers, there are plenty of crypto scammers out there).

Let’s begin

Instead of jumping into buying right away, you’ll benefit from understanding the basics, it will help you make better decisions resulting in reduced risk of losing money.

As John McAfee (founder of McAfee antivirus) said on Twitter recently “If you are new to Cryptocurrency then absolutely do not invest without first educating yourself. Nothing will lose you money faster than investing in what you do not understand.”

3 things to do before you continue

  1. It’s all about the blockchain – 22 minute video 
  2. Isn’t it about Bitcoin? – 37 minute video 
  3. Listen or read the transcript from a conversation with Tim Ferriss, Naval Ravikant, Nick Szabo – 150 minute podcast ( so you may wish to read instead)

Now you know the basics. But you just want the money! Don’t forget that making money from cryptocurrency is a by product. The goal is for you to adopt new technology that’s changing the world of finance and reducing our reliance on 3rd parties. Try not to focus on the Lamborghini in your future, focus on your financial freedom and your ability to take control of it.

You could mine for bitcoin, though that’s a different story..

Onwards

Choose a wallet for your bitcoin, I’m only describing the purchase of Bitcoin (BTC) as it’s the most commonly asked question from people.

I started with a wallet on my phone. It’s important to not keep cryptocurrency you are holding for growth anywhere other than a wallet. You know you have a wallet if you have a private key, no private key? Then you don’t have a wallet or full control of your currency

Here’s a good explanation of wallets

The below notable wallets are safe and reputable for your phone:

Bread iOS
Mycelium Android 

If you’re spending and holding more than a few hundred $ then a hardware wallet should be your choice. The most reputable and widely used are Trezor and Ledger (I own a Trezor though the Ledger supports more cryptocurrency types than the Trezor at the time of writing).

Now choose how much BTC (Bitcoin) you want to buy for growth (you’re investment), this is commonly known as ‘hodling’ a mistype from a forum years ago.

If you did the research you’ll know that you don’t have to buy whole amounts of cryptocurrency, see here for a basic explanation

If you want to buy alternative cryptocurrency (altcoins such as ETH and LTC etc.), then decide how much of your BTC will go towards that before moving to the next step.

Now you know how much BTC you want to purchase, you can buy some Bitcoin

Most people advise an exchange such as www.coinbase.com or www.GDAX.com, I personally don’t advise them, I’ve nothing against them though they continue to have various issues with scaling and outages.

Your Bitcoin purchase options vary depending on your location, I would consider www.localbitcoins.com, www.gemini.com or www.bitpanda.com (EU only). All 3 are good as you can also use them for cashing back out to fiat ($ or your local currency etc) if you want your money back or profit. You’ll find costs and fees vary between the purchase options. Also, don’t forget it’s important to secure your account, using two factor authentication on all accounts is good (an app like Google Authenticator is most secure)

While you have your ID details to hand (as you won’t be able to sign up to any of the purchase options without them) you’ll want to sign up to www.binance.com if you’re planning to spend any of your BTC on Alt coins and trading.

Now you’re ready! Let’s check…

1. Wallet?
2. Bitcoin purchase account? (Local bitcoins etc.)
3. Cryptocurrency exchange account? (Binance etc.)

You can now buy some Bitcoin, here’s a video from local bitcoins that walks you through it: https://localbitcoins.com/guides/how-to-buy-bitcoins

Now put the Bitcoin you’re hodling into your wallet and any BTC you’re planning on trading onto an exchange such as the binance one. If you’re unsure how to move your bitcoin then this explains the system well.

So that’s it, the basics. Hopefully you’re the proud owner of some bitcoin?

There’s always more…

If you’re interested in a good way to keep track of your purchases, I use https://www.blockfolio.com/, the benefit of this is that you don’t have to keep going into your exchange or wallet to stay up to date.

Owning cryptocurrency is your chance to increase your knowledge and help those around you as it transitions to mainstream adoption, so consider spreading the word and helping others who are interested.

Some fairly critical links to read are below, if you’re serious about having cryptocurrency.

Critical reading for owners of cryptocurrency

Great beginners guide to owning crypto assets: https://medium.com/@linda.xie/beginners-guide-series-on-cryptoassets-d897535d887

Keep your coins safe: https://cryptohustle.com/12-steps-to-keep-your-bitcoins-safe

If you’re not planning on holding until cryptocurrency becomes the currency of choice across the world then have an exit strategy https://moneyweek.com/bitcoin-exit-strategy/

Don’t believe the bad press about damage to the environment: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-12-07/bitcoin-is-greener-than-its-critics-think

If trading, follow Datadash and make informed decisions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCatR7nWbYrkVXdxXb4cGXw

Trading? Learn the basics of candle sticks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rwVV_8uUxc&index=3&list=PLY9Vvl2kECUfDHYdz_F7G3KZd7l8bI8er

Learn how the economic machine works https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHe0bXAIuk0&index=1&list=PLY9Vvl2kECUfDHYdz_F7G3KZd7l8bI8er

5 Share Friday – 15 Dec 2017

After today it’s only one more 5 share to Christmas. I’ve been doing these in a couple of different formats for well over a year now and I appreciate you coming with me on the ride. Readership is growing and so the content must be ok!

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” – Pema Chodron

2. I went back to this 5 minute read on books several times this week. I like the idea of being a constant work in progress. Books really help with that, though my wish list keeps on getting longer: Why you should stop feeling bad about all those books you buy dont read

3. A colleague shared this hilarious write up on how a guy made his shed the #1 restaurant in London on Trip Advisor. He was interviewed on TV and has since been made semi-famous from his antics. Read it and never trust an online review again I made my shed the top rated restaurant on tripadvisor

4. In my quest for music at work and to increase productivity, I’ve discovered this 5 hour compilation of video game music and it’s pretty good. I’m still trying it out and so far the results are positive.

5. I’m shopping for a turntable for next year, this one is currently my favourite choice  if anyone has any advice or input to help me get a great player for under £300 let me know!

5 books that have the ability to change your life

2017 has been quite the year for me. I left a fabulous team in Xbox at Microsoft, I became a father for the second time, I started a new role at Unity where I’m surrounded by smart people looking at solving hard problems, and I re-entered the world of Cryptocurrency after coming to terms with my earlier bitcoin losses.

At the same time I read a lot. 5 books this year changed me forever, I think they have the ability to do the same for anyone else that reads them. Here they are in no particular order:

Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss: A book I find hard to describe without tears of gratitude forming in the corner of my eyes. The wisdom, methods and inspiration for being more effective across all areas of life is incredible.
This hasn’t only changed my life, I’ve seen people around me who’ve read it change also. Bit by bit Tim Ferriss is helping us change our lives and make the world a better place.

Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health – Jo Robinson: This book is incredible. Jo describes that over the course of four hundred generations, the human race has eliminated nutrients and replaced our once-wild fruits and vegetables with better-tasting, easy-to-harvest varieties, full of starch and sugar, and lacking the vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols of the original wild version.

What I love is not just being educated to think more about this, it also contains how best to spot nutrient rich fruit and veg in the shops while at home how to retain those nutrients.

Principles – Ray Dalio: After watching his excellent TED talk on how to build a company where the best ideas win, I was excited to learn about this book. I pre ordered and when it arrived got stuck in right away. It’s hard not to admire Dalio, he’s not just an investment manager, he’s a deep thinker whose philosophy extends beyond just his own life.

His principles are designed for creating a good life and he has hundreds of them written down for that purpose. What I’ve found useful is his recommendation that people note their own so they can make better choices, I’m doing just that and can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Becoming Wise: An inquiry into the Mystery and Art of living – Krista Tippett: A book I wish I’d had years ago. Reading it gave me a more hopeful vision of humanity along with my own personal growth to match.

Krista focuses on the exhilaration of engagement with life for its own sake, not as a means to an end. After reflecting on this I realised I had greater strength and ability to meet the world where it really is, and help work at making it better.

The Artists way – Julia Cameron: This book takes dedication and I’m not done with it yet. I first got wind of this from Brian Koppelman who recommended it to Tim Ferriss. Like many others I feel the tone and some of the content is not me, yet the idea of a morning brain dump (writing 3 pages each morning, aka morning pages) has stuck with me.

I feel more creative again! For the last decade I’ve been stuck in a low creative mode and it’s not who I am, The artists way has helped me be me again, it can do the same for you.