My First Bitcoin Wallet

7 minute read Updated

How I overcame my Bitcoin investing fears and just created a goddamn wallet. Inspiration, tools and tips to help you get started with Bitcoin.

10 months ago I took a trip to Bali and spent a couple weeks living in a boutique hotel turned coliving apartment at a place called Roam Ubud. During my stay I met all kinds of interesting people including serial entrepreneurs, digital nomads, lifestyle bloggers, iOS developers and even a feng shui author.

Of all the chance encounters I had during my trip to Bali one individual stood out. His name was Robin. And I’ll never forget Robin because he sold me my first bitcoin.

You see, Robin had recently left his job as a autonomous automobile engineer at a company called Volvo—a company well-known for their five-star automotive safety, at least until recently. Rather than burying his face in his laptop like the rest of us Robin spent most of his time socializing, experiencing the many spoils of the island all the while proselytizing cryptocurrency. And this made me curious.

During the trip, and shortly before or after (I honestly can’t remember which) Robin and I attended a talk given by Graham Hancock I decided to take Robin’s advice, create my first bitcoin wallet using Electrum and buy some cryptos.

For me the decision to learn how buy cryptocurrency was a no-brainer as only months beforehand I’d made the decision to start taking a more active stance on my investments—which had been locked up in an IRA stagnating for years.

They say don’t invest more than you can afford to lose so I decided to start small. I gave Robin 100.000 Rupiah (about $7 USD at the time) in exchange for my first cryptos. Robin showed me how to visualize the transaction and we were done. I was now the proud owner of 0.01571 BTC.

The amount of the investment was so small I honestly forgot about it for several months. Then, just a couple of months ago I decided to take a look to see what happened and discovered my $7 crypto investment quickly sextupled in value.

Searching to understand why the dramatic appreciation occurred I learned about the Initial Coin Offering and decided marketing buzz must’ve somehow caused the spike. Afterall, bitcoin had already been around for years and still hasn’t died—even though many have suggested it would. This must be the slope of enlightenment (in what is known as a “Hype Cycle”), I decided, and started looking for ways to buy more.

After hitting Medium to start training the reading algo about my newfound interest (at that point it actually thought I cared about politics—hah!) I discovered a number of different articles about croptos—but not a single one really helped me until I read a Hacker Noon article by Daniel “Laughing Monkey” Jeffries:

Why Everyone Missed the Most Important Invention in the Last 500 Years.

After reading Jeffries' article I was convinced blockchain was the future, immediately opened a Coinbase bitcoin account, created another blockchain wallet and made a larger investment. I chose Coinbase after downloading and testing out at least a dozen different apps. Out of all the apps I tried Coinbase was the only one besides BitPay which felt solid from a UX perspective—helping build trust.

The app alone isn’t what sold me on using Coinbase, though—it was Coinbase’s open source presence, established VC backing, lucrative referral program and ability to buy bitcoins while scaling 40,000 new users in a day that sold me.

As I write this post I now have positions in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin—all managed right from Coinbase on my iPhone with the ability to Vault them should I decide not to move them into cold storage for safekeeping.

While one of my four crypto holdings (Ethereum) is down a smidge right now, it is balanced out by diversification in other cryptos. Like others I feel confident bitcoin will continue to see bullish growth for some time to come. And that’s a goldrush not to be missed out on in the value economy we’re creating with decentralization.

Thanks for the coins, Robin!


Following are some crypto resources I’ve collected over time, some of which were shared with me when I purchased by first bitcoins. If a link here becomes broken, check or similar for historical page data.






Niche Exchanges

Decentralized Exchanges

Explore these but DYOR before choosing one. Many of them will require converting ethereum-based assets to WETH before trading. I’ve listed some I’ve never personally used just for the sake of argument.

Gnosis has a write-up about some of the problems with both centralized and decentralized exchanges and how they plan to tackle it with a Dutch Exchange.

Ideally these will be built on a protocol like the `0x` protocol or loopring and using a Web3 technology like IPFS for censorship resistance.

Here are a list of projects using the 0x protocol.


Here’s a link for a decentralized AI-driven investment platform. Putting this on separate line since I already lost The Game.





  • John Blocke this guy reasons about cryptos reasonably, and writes about it
  • Laughing Monkey cryptocurrency articles on Medium
  • Dmitry runs the CoinSheet newsletter
  • The Wolf calls shots in the market on Twitter



Ledger Nano X - The secure hardware wallet