In the time-honored tradition of goal setting for the new year, Bitcoin Magazine has compiled a short list of seven possible New Year’s Resolutions for Bitcoiners as we head into 2019. Building a strong Bitcoin community begins with individual efforts, some small, others more ambitious and labor intensive.
What might you do to contribute to the Bitcoin ecosystem this year?
Teach five people about bitcoin and help them set up a wallet.
Anyone can become a Bitcoin evangelist. Chances are that there are a number of people in your family-and-friends circle who are BTC-curious but not sure where to start. Seek them out, answer some questions and help them to set up a wallet. There are plenty of easy (non-custodial) options to choose from, no matter where they are in the world.
Make sure that they understand how to secure their wallets and their seeds and that they understand the power and responsibility that comes with having total control over their funds.
Then send them a few satoshis to get them started.
Set up a full node.
Have you set up your own full node? Well, if you haven’t, you should.
Nodes are essential to ensuring the security of Bitcoin. Running your own full node is also the only true way to validate your own bitcoin transactions without having to trust anyone else.
Sure, this might be a bit more of a labor-intensive resolution to actually fulfill, but it’s worth it — not just for you but for the whole network.
According to Bitcoin.org, here’s what you’ll need:
- Desktop or laptop hardware running recent versions of Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux
- 200 gigabytes of free disk space, accessible at a minimum read/write speed of 100 MB/s
- 2 gigabytes of memory (RAM)
- A broadband internet connection with upload speeds of at least 400 kilobits (50 kilobytes) per second
- An unmetered connection, a connection with high upload limits, or a connection you regularly monitor to ensure it doesn’t exceed its upload limits. It’s common for full nodes on high-speed connections to use 200 gigabytes upload or more a month. Download usage is around 20 gigabytes a month, plus around an additional 195 gigabytes the first time you start your node.
- Six hours a day that your full node can be left running. (You can do other things with your computer while running a full node.) More hours would be better, and best of all would be if you can run your node continuously.
For full details, check out bitcoin.org’s page about running a full node or go to YouTube for lots of tutorial options.
Create a “Crypto Will”
As the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.” What plans do you have in place for your BTC after you die? How well-equipped are your heirs when it comes to them accessing your crypto holdings?
Attorney/educator/evangelist/entrepreneur Pamela Morgan has spent a good part of 2018 advocating responsible crypto asset inheritance planning, as she describes in her book, Cryptoasset Inheritance Planning: A Simple Guide for Owners.
“I started asking annoying lawyer questions,” Morgan said in an interview on The Tatiana Show. “Like, ‘If you have a bunch of cryptoassets, can your family access them?’ If you have people who depend on you financially, if you want to have other people in your life, or charities or political causes you like to support, to be able to take advantage of your bitcoin or your other cryptoassets, you have to do something. If you do nothing, [it’s] pretty sure that your assets will not go where you want them to go, if they end up anywhere at all.”
So, consider making 2019 the year you put all your bitcoin affairs in order.
Get control of your private keys.
“Not your keys, not your bitcoin.” Do you have control of all your private keys? Do you even know where they all are?
Resolve to start the year off right by participating in this year’s Proof of Keys celebration, to be held on January 3, 2019. Ideally, you’ll also be running your own full node to validate that you own your keys as well, but even ensuring that none of your bitcoin is stored on a third-party, custodial server is a good start.
Go back to Bitcoin’s roots.
Have you read Satoshi’s white paper? Have you been to a local grassroots meetup lately? Sometimes, it’s good to go back to basics and remember where we all started. The Bitcoin community has always been full of people who want to learn and share ideas (not just price predictions).
Perhaps you began your Bitcoin journey at a local meetup many years ago or maybe you are just starting out now: either way, consider getting together with some other local bitcoiners. If you are an old hand, your experience is invaluable. If you are new to the Bitcoin community, you’ll find others who can answer questions and show you the way. In any case, the Bitcoin community is made stronger when we work together and interact on a human level from time to time.
This year, find or reconnect with your local Bitcoin meetup group — or start one of your own!
Challenge yourself to learn or do something new or outside your comfort zone.
All of us have our areas of expertise — and areas where we are not so adept. What is one thing about Bitcoin that you’ve always shied away from delving into? This doesn’t need to be a “technical” challenge (though that is, perhaps, the most obvious sort of challenge to take up). Perhaps there is a book on economics that you’ve put off reading? Or a conference presentation topic that you’d normally pass over?
Make this the year that you really expand your understanding of Bitcoin: read that book, attend that seminar, subscribe to that podcast or video series, build (or break) that thing.
Resolve to be a positive force.
This time last year, everyone was riding high with bitcoin and other altcoin prices up in the stratosphere. Since then, 2018 has been a long, devastating fall back down.
Except for all the cool stuff that actually happened along the way, and the general growth the network has experienced since last year.
Also, as many of us remember from previous years, the price of bitcoin has had plenty of ups and downs along the way.
So, as we embark on a new year, full of new possibilities and opportunities, resolve to be a positive force in the Bitcoin space: Avoid FUD, welcome newbies, welcome back altcoiners, don’t gloat, keep hodling, keep buidling.
Christie Harkin is the contributions editor at Bitcoin Magazine.