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My First Steps as a Bitcoin Newbie

28 May 2022
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My First Steps as a Bitcoin Newbie
My First Steps as a Bitcoin Newbie / How did I start in an industry I didn't know anything about? / My First Day / My First Time with Lightning / Final thoughts / 

As a marketing professional with experience across a wide range of industries from beauty, to health, and to fitness, I have found Bitcoin to be one of the most fascinating—and stimulating—topics to explore from a marketing perspective.

My First Steps as a Bitcoin Newbie

My name's Josefine and I’m the Growth Manager at NOAH. As a marketing professional with experience across a wide range of industries from beauty, to health, and to fitness, I have found Bitcoin to be one of the most fascinating—and stimulating—topics to explore from a marketing perspective.

Why? Because it's still so new. There's so much to learn. And there's so much to build.

It all started when our CEO Shah reached out to me and said the best way to learn about Bitcoin is to dive right in. So that's exactly what I did. I said yes, even though my parents and friends thought I was crazy. But I was eager to explore this new world and ultimately had their support.

Bitcoin is still a huge unknown for the majority of people, so I figured if I could learn about it as a newbie, I'd be a great person to help market Bitcoin to more people across the world. In the end, what did I have to lose, right?

So, here I am today in the middle of an incredibly vivid industry and company, and I wanted to share my story with you—what it's been like as a Bitcoin newbie.

How did I start in an industry I didn't know anything about?

I started with the basics. While working at my old job, I had limited time to dedicate to Bitcoin, so I started asking my soon-to-be coworkers for podcast recommendations. Reading articles is tiresome, and I needed something with a little more personality to keep me engaged.

At the start, it was difficult because I was jumping head-first into high-level concepts without any foundation. Overwhelmed from the top, I looked for some other podcasts and found no shortage of basic, easy-to-understand Bitcoin content. There's tons of stuff out there for beginners, which I recommend you seek out if you're feeling a little lost like I was.

Day after day, I listened to podcasts like Bankless, Unchained, and Blockchain.com, and slowly started to understand Bitcoin's potential as an emerging asset class and how it could shape our future economy. Terms like Bitcoin, blockchain, and NFTs began to make sense. As those basics started to click, the more intermediate terms followed suit. In no time, I learned about public keys, private keys, consensus mechanisms, stablecoins, layer 2s, and more. I also got a lot of Elon Musk and why this guy Michael Saylor is so important to the space.

What helped me the most was typing terms into streaming services and finding old episodes to listen to. The content is fresh and easy to find, and I could go at my own pace. From 5-minute podcasts to hours-long episodes, I could find content that fit into my schedule, whether it was on my commute or in the small downtime I had.

During my journey, I came to realize that in order to understand how Bitcoin would make a difference for billions around the world, I'd have to understand a fundamental question—"What is money?" What really did it for me was listening to Breedlove's podcast with Michael Saylor. For a deeper understanding, I took to The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous, which was a bit more of a commitment but worth it. Through his writing, I learned about Bitcoin's role in sound money and how it could be a store of value for the world. At first, I didn't know why I needed to learn about how people traded huge rocks as money thousands of years ago, but as I stuck with it, it all made sense. Bitcoin is everything we need money to be.

In my break between jobs, I joined a few meetings and was introduced to ZEBEDEE. Play to earn? I'm a huge fan of online games and spend way too much time playing them on my phone. That's where it all clicked. I was orange-pilled. Getting paid for playing games online was a total game-changer (no pun intended). I downloaded the ZEBEDEE app and got my first Lightning Address (josefine@zbd.gg was still available—imagine having a yourname@gmail.com address). Pretty cool. After that, I downloaded a couple of games and started stacking sats.

Speaking of, that was the first time I'd heard of sats or satoshi, named after Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. That led me to an insight moment—finding out you can earn or buy bitcoin in pieces, very tiny pieces, up to one-hundred-millionth of a bitcoin to be exact. So every time I played Amazeballs on my phone, I was stacking sats. At first, I thought I was the only one who didn't know that, but it seems like a lot of people don't know you can buy fractions that small.

My First Day

Immediately upon starting, everyone was talking about Lightning. I'd heard about it at that point through my podcasts and other research, but I hadn't realized how naturally integrated it is into the protocol. Lightning NetworkLightning AddressLNURL—they're all over the place in Bitcoin. It's designed to make Bitcoin more user-friendly and accessible, and it's so exciting to be a part of. Lucky for you, we've unpacked those topics in a very easy way, and I suggest you take a quick read. I think what it can and will do is pretty mind-blowing.

I found out how Lightning works on a very basic level (and this is how I explain it to my friends and family).

Think of Lightning as a layer that sits on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. By taking the load off the Bitcoin base layer, Lightning allows a business, a person—anyone really—to send bitcoin within seconds and with almost no fees. When you use the Bitcoin base layer, you have to wait around 10 minutes for a transaction to be confirmed, in addition to a comparatively larger fee.

My First Time with Lightning

In one of my first meetings, I was told to give it a try. So I sent bitcoin to one of my colleagues in New York via Lightning. Until then, I'd only stacked sats, so it was time to put them to use. The process was so easy. All I had to do was ask my colleague to give me their Lightning Address, choose how much I wanted to send, and within seconds my colleague received my payment with no fees.

Think about that for a second—I was able to send a very real currency across the globe with basically no fees. Mind-blowing.

Imagine someone with a job in Germany with family in Africa. Using the legacy systems, when you send Euros to Africa, the fee is at least 6% and it can take up to a week for the money to arrive. With Lightning, it's near-instant. And nearly-free. It's really hard to overstate how impactful that is.

I was hooked.

A couple of days later, I purchased my first bitcoin in the NOAH App, which was incredibly easy. After connecting to Moonpay, I clicked "Buy Bitcoin," entered my credit card details—and 20 minutes later I had bitcoin in my NOAH wallet.

The 20 minutes felt like an eternity. To be honest, I got a little nervous. Would the money ever come? Does this actually work? Is this even legal? Obviously, the answer to all those questions is a resounding yes, but I was still afraid. My colleagues assured me and let me know that all these anxieties are quite common with Bitcoin beginners, so I didn't need to worry.

But what if I didn't have colleagues in Bitcoin? That's where I come in and that's what I seek to do in my work here. All of us here at NOAH want to make Bitcoin more approachable and understandable. We want to show people that Bitcoin is easy, even if it might seem daunting at first.

It took a couple of weeks, but I now understand the very basics of this industry. I made my first Lightning payments, I'm regularly stacking sats, and I even bought my first bitcoin.

I wanted to share my story, through all the ups and downs, to show anyone who's new to Bitcoin that it's not as scary as it might seem. Bitcoin is for everyone, and we're here to help.

Final thoughts

While I don't know everything about Bitcoin (and I might never), I want to share 3 things I'm confident about:

  1. Even though it might be tough to understand, I'm convinced that Bitcoin is worth it and I encourage everyone to at least give it a shot. With NOAH, we're going to make sure that you don't have to struggle. We're going to make sure to guide you along the way.
  2. Bitcoin is an incredible invention and it has the potential to change the world for the better. At NOAH, we're Bitcoiners because we believe in that future—Bitcoin is here to stay.
  3. Lastly, I've never met so many incredibly intelligent people, so humble and so nice, who give me the confidence that Bitcoin will indeed change the world. The Bitcoin community is one of a kind and I'm proud to be a part of it.

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