NOTE: The information provided on this site should not be considered financial advice and is provided for educational purposes only!
Welcome to Turbocharged Bitcoin, a site where hopefully you will learn from my mistakes about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
On this site you will learn what cryptocurrencies are and how they work.
I will be making extensive use of YouTube video playlists that contain, what I believe to be, the best videos available at describing each topic.
For playlists that cover a single topic, please don't feel that you must watch all the videos in the playlist.
Watching the first video is usually sufficient, and the others are there for people who want to dive deeper into a topic.
Some playlists have videos about specific products or sites, like Bitcoin wallets or dealers.
In those cases you may want to jump directly to the video that covers the item you are interested in.
Some of the links on this site are referral links for affiliate programs I participate in.
Clicking on these links will not cost you any additional, should you decide to purchase the product or use the service, but will help me keep this site up-to-date.
And in some cases, these links will even get you a discount!
So, if you decide to buy a product or use a service you learned about here, please consider clicking through using one of my links.
What are Bitcoins?
Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
Here is a video playlist that explains, in increasing levels of detail, what Bitcoins are.
I've added two great documentaries on Bitcoin at the end.
I highly recommend watching these!
What is Blockchain Technology?
The blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in cryptocurrencies are recorded chronologically and publicly.
All cryptocurrencies are built on top of Blockchain Technology:
Why Acquire Bitcoins?
So now that you understand what Bitcoins are, we need to examine why you should want to own some Bitcoin.
I believe, based on information provided in the following video playlist and personal experience, that Bitcoins have the potential to increase in value to unimaginable levels, in a relatively short period of time.
I purchased my first Bitcoin when the value was $1,180 USD.
In just 2 months the value went up to $2,500 USD and continues to climb.
The current value in US Dollars can be seen in the widget at the top of the page.
Of course, there are no guarantees this trend will continue.
And, Bitcoin has seen some dramatic decreases in value in the past, but has always rebounded over time to new highs.
For these reasons I do not invest money I can't afford to lose, no matter how unlikely, and I believe in holding cryptocurrency assets for the long term.
If these videos don't make you want to run out and get at least a small amount of Bitcoin, nothing will (This is one playlist I recommend you watch all the way through, if you have the time):
At this point you might be wondering how do you store your Bitcoin.
In a wallet, of course!
But not a fancy, leather wallet like you carry your cash in, a digital wallet.
Digital wallets are an entire subject unto themselves, beyond the scope of this tutorial.
However, it's important to understand what they are and some of the different wallet options you have.
There are desktop wallets, phone wallets, online wallets, browser wallets, paper wallets and hardware wallets to name a few.
I suggest an online wallet, linked to your phone, with enough Bitcoin in it to handle small transactions.
Keep in mind, you may have to settle for whatever wallet(s) are available for a particular coin.
Not all coins can be stored in any given wallet.
Check the coin's web site for the wallets that are available for that coin.
For the most popular coins, I have had good results with the Blockchain.info wallet.
Setting up the blockchain wallet is described in video #2.
Video #3 is a comparison of the three most popular hardware wallets.
Hardware wallets are the safest way to store large quantities of Bitcoin, because not only do you control the private key, but it is locked inside the hardware and never revealed.
Hardware wallets are considered cold storage.
You can easily send coins to cold storage wallets, but it is slightly more difficult to get the coins out than with an online wallet, for instance.
I personally own a KeepKey (Amazon) and I love it, but video #3 also compares my second favorite, the Ledger Nano S (Amazon) and the Trezor.
One of the newest hardware wallets, CoolWallet is interesting in that it is the size of a credit card!
For more information on CoolWallet watch video #4.
If you like the safety of storing your Bitcoin in a cold storage wallet, but can't afford one of the fancy hardware wallets, there are two low cost alternatives.
A paper wallet and a USB wallet, but they are limited to Bitcoins, only.
Video #5 explains how to safely create a paper wallet and video #6 explains how to create a USB wallet.
Don't take any shortcuts and follow the instructions exactly, to ensure the security of your cold storage is not compromised.
How to purchase Bitcoin:
You should now have your wallet all setup and ready to receive Bitcoin.
Don't forget to take all of the security steps to ensure that your wallet is as secure as possible.
Now for the fun part, loading Bitcoin into your wallet.
You have a number of options.
You can purchase Bitcoin from someone you know, from someone locally, you can use cash, a bank account or a credit card.
Here are my recommendations:
If you want to use a credit card or a bank account, these are good sites:
Coinbase.com: A well established dealer.
You don't have to use the Coinbase wallet, you can use the wallet you've already setup, above.
If you use this Coinbase.com link, you will get $10 worth of Bitcoin on your first purchase over $100.
Watch Video #1.
Coinmama.com: You can buy with cash here as well!
Watch video #2
CEX.io: Easy to use interface and are available internationally!
Watch video #3.
The fastest way to buy Bitcoin is with cash.
Here are some cash sites:
BitQuick.co: I've used them a number of times, and have had excellent results.
Watch video #4.
LocalBitcoins.com: Buying Bitcoin here is safe if you use a dealer that has a lot of trades under their belt and have good feedback.
Watch video #5.
Finally, there are easy ways to convert one cryptocurrency into another.
Changelly: This service supports many cryptocurrencies and is fast and easy to use!
I've used it and highly recommend it. Watch video #6.
ShapeShift: If you own the KeepKey wallet, it has ShapeShift built in.
I use this feature when both coins are supported by the KeepKey wallet.
Watch video #7 for how to use the ShapeShift site or video #8 for using ShapeShift from within the KeepKey wallet.
What are Altcoins?
There are now over 1,300 cryptocurrencies with a total market capitalization of around $600 Billion USD.
All cryptocurrencies, other than Bitcoin, are referred to as altcoins.
You can see the complete list on coinmarketcap.com.
Just as you should diversify your total portfolio into a variety of asset classes (Stocks, Precious Metals, Real Estate, etc.), it's a good idea to diversify your cryptocurrency portfolio.
My personal holding percentages fluctuate quite a bit over time, but in general my allocation looks like this:
25% Altcoin (Large Market Capitalization)
5% Altcoin (Small Market Capitalization)
These are the cryptocurrencies I currently own with portfolio percentage:
Bitcoin (BTC) 70% The first and most popular cryptocurrency
Ripple (XRP) 2% The world's only enterprise blockchain solution for global payments
OmiseGO (OMG) A public Ethereum-based financial technology
Qtum (QTUM) The Blockchain Made Ready for Business
TenX (PAY) Making Digital Currencies Spendable Anytime Anywhere
Brand new coins are first sold to the public in what is called an ICO (Initial Coin Offering).
An ICO is an event in which a new cryptocurrency project sells part of its cryptocurrency tokens to early adopters and enthusiasts in exchange for money today.
ICOs provide a way for cryptocurrency project creators to raise money for their operations.
Most ICOs raise money in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
A good site for information on ICO's is ICO Tracker.
Not all tokens offered for sale in an ICO will go up in value or even survive.
As always, do your research first!
The last video in this playlist goes into a lot of detail on ICO's.
Don't even think about investing in an ICO without watching this video first!
There are opportunities to make money with Bitcoin, but I believe most are not legitimate businesses.
I've been in two businesses, GladiaCoin and Control-Finance, that looked great at first, but eventually fell apart and a lot of people lost a lot of money!
I would steer clear of any program where you deposit some amount of Bitcoin and they pay you back a daily percentage.
Especially if they pay big bonuses for referring new customers (MLM).
I honestly believe they are not sustainable businesses and are very high risk.
So what ways are there to make money with Bitcoin?
Sell Stuff for Bitcoin: There are sites like Glyde where you can sell electronics and computer games for Bitcoin.
I recently sold an old smartphone this way!
Mining: Most cryptocurrencies are mined in one form or another.
Most coins are mined through what's called Proof Of Work (PoW), which requires a lot of computer processing power.
I've looked into mining various coins and have come to the conclusion that it's just not cost effective.
This is mainly due to the fact that it costs more to power your mining rig that the value of the coins mined.
However, there is one coin, Burst, that is mined through Proof Of Capacity (PoC).
PoC allows you to mine with available Hard Drive space.
For about 5 months I mined Burst with 6.7TB of hard drive space on an old Windows PC that was sitting in my garage.
The Burst video, above, explains how to get started.
I was mining with pool.burstcoin.ro, and for a while I was mining over 35 coins a day.
I recently stopped mining Burst when the network dificulty rose and the price dropped, resuilting in a return of about 9 cents per day.
Staking: There is another form of mining called Proof Of Stake (PoS).
There are a handful of coins that can be PoS mined, or staked.
Unlike traditional mining, where you need specialized hardware, called ASIC's, or one or more powerful Graphics Cards (GPU's), with staking you only need to own coins to be paid a staking reward.
I currently own six coins that I am staking, NEO, EmberCoin, BuzzCoin, ANTS, XGOX and HOLD.
NEO is a bit different in that you get paid the staking reward in a different coin, GAS.
Each coin has different rules, but in general you just need to own coins, keep them in a desktop wallet, let them mature and usually you need to keep your wallet open on your computer.
The time needed for each coin to mature before staking begins varies from one coin to another.
It's been a few months since I started staking coins and I'd like to share some important results.
First of all, most high yield staking coins seem to suffer from the same basic problem, massive inflation.
Since these staking coins are being added to the circulating supply at a phenomenal rate, the law of Supply And Demand dictates that the value of each coin will decrease.
If the amount of coins you hold and the rate at which you earn rewards can keep ahead of the curve, you may do OK.
However, I've found that I would have done much better by just keeping and holding Bitcoin, instead of exchanging for these coins and staking.
If you do decide to try staking, make sure it's because you believe in the coin and it has a good long-term future.
Trading: Like trading stocks, you make money by buying a coin at a low price and selling it at a higher price.
I may try this with a small portion of my holdings, but I won't be getting into it seriously.
One trick I did learn is to sell by converting your coin into USD Teather (USDT).
USDT is always 1% to 2% higher in value than the US Dollar.
So Moving your funds into USDT is like selling your coin.
When you want to buy another coin, just convert a portion of your USDT into that other coin.
As I mentioned above, a good site to use for converting one coin into another is Changelly.
I would suggest doing a lot of research before trading cryptocurrencies as a business.
Buy and hold: In my opinion, this is the safest strategy for the bulk of your holdings.
Research the list of coins I've provided in the previous section, and put a little money into them.
Then just hang onto them.
Cryptocurrencies are free market driven.
It all comes down to supply and demand.
That is why Bitcoin is going up in price so rapidly.
The supply is somewhat fixed and the demand is high, as we saw in the videos, above.
So if a coin has a reason why people will want to own and use it, it will most likely perform well over the long term.
Online Businesses: As I already mentioned, most Bitcoin businesses are high risk.
If you find a Bitcoin business that looks interesting do some due diligence using the following checklist:
Who is the domain name registered to? Avoid businesses with private registration.
Does the business have a verifiable business address?
Can you find out who the owners are? Any legitimate business will publish who owns the company.
How long have they been in business for? If they have been in business for a number of years, you are probably safe.
Can you independently verify their claims. If they say they are mining Bitcoin or doing Forex trading with your money, find out if that's true from an independent source.
Look for reviews. Not the "This is great, join my team" reviews, but reviews from a source that is trustworthy.
I personally believe the safest way to make money with cryptocurrencies is to buy and hold coins in the percentages outlined in the What are Altcoins? section.
If you decide to get started in cryptocurrencies, it's important to keep up-to-date.
The following is a list of videos that may help to round out your education.
This list will get updated from time-to-time as I find important new videos or existing videos become stale.
These links will cause a video to immediately play in a separate window.