I have become fascinated and excited by decentralised blockchain-solutions these past few years - after gaining a more solid understanding what it is!
My understanding has resulted from digging into information from various sources, until I felt sure about taking part in some of the solutions that resonate with me the most.
To help others who may not have started their blockchain learning curve yet (or have come shorter on their own than I have on mine), I share some links and content in this article - in case it resonates with the inner guidance and inspiration in you: as it has in me.
FYI: a few of the links I share will generate a "bonus" for me, a kind of thank you from the developer for sharing information about their solutions; some of these also have an intro-bonus for you, if you chose to make use of them
The article is divided into the follow sections:
- About blockchain
- Solutions I have checked out
- Wallets I prefer
This is in no way to be considered financial advice - but friendly help and tips on your way, if you are a curious newbie about blockchain!
What is "blockchain"?
I did not really understand what blockchain is until after having acquired some Bitcoin and testet a few wallets (for keeping crypto currencies) ... But to stand on more solid ground before deciding to make use of blockchain-solutions, I recommend getting a grasp of what blockchain is before leaping with both legs (or maybe just dip a toe?)
This video is the best I have stumbled upon for explaining what blockchain is:
This is a quite comprehendible (compared to a lot of other sources out there) guide to what decentralised blockchain and crypto currencies entails/is:
The guide may seem like a lot to digest, but if you have a look at the video below - and some of the other videos they share - it is, in my opinion, an informative and helpful intro to the blockchain-/crypto world!
Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Here is a bitcoin-enthusiast who speaks a lot about blockchain, decentralisation and bitcoin; in a way that I find brings greater understanding to the value of these phenomena/concepts:
This woman speaks about blockchain on a more spiritual level; and addresses what it can entail for the way we live our lives and "make a living".
Here is the first video in a series that she has named "Crypto Currencies Consciousness":
Solutions I have checked out
Brave browser & Presearch
I use only (/mainly) the Brave browser nowadays: which is the one I have found that protects the privacy of their users the most! - with various choices in the settings regarding e.g. the degree of security. Also, you can earn BAT (basic attention token, Brave's crypto currency) if you allow certain features - like the presence of ads in the browser's homepage.
In addition, I have installed the presearch extension in my Brave browser, to earn bonuses (PRE-tokens) every time a search using presearch (which I have set as my default search engine).
Kind of cool, right? Earning bonuses on your own activity, attention and time spent while searching the web/using your browser! (Not great quantities, but with time it may amount to something - and your privacy is better secured too!)
If you have seen videos I have shared, with info about resources I offer, you may have noticed that these are uploaded to odysee.com?
This platform is a kind of "decentralised youtube", though odysee seems to have a hint more centralisation as compared to the original "lbry.tv"; now only available as the desktop-versjon: with odysee.com separated out as the inheritor of the browser-based concept... (as far as I have understood).
What I like about Odysee/LBRY:
- decentralised (- though there are some guidelines for what is "allowed" to upload, content is not censored like we see on youtube/facebook/instagram/twitter/etc.)
- content creators can receive tips and donations for content they share, and/or publish content that can only be accessed after a donation has been given
- the LBC-coin, LBRY's crypto currency (which is also used on Odysee-com), can be exchanged with other currencies, and thereby also be used outside of Odysee/LBRY (as with all - or most? - crypto currencies)
Desentralised and privately owned domains! I suspect more will happen on in this area in the future, but as of now it is possible to buy domains (and own them as your property), and use some apps (whereof some decentralised) to publish content unto these domains... I have not gotten far with this myself yet, but am in the process of learning how it works!
You can have a look here if you wish to acquire a domain on the decentralised internet
KYC versus DeFi
With KYC, "know your customer", the provider is obliged to collect personal data about their users: and you are not anonymous. This is okay by some, at least for some purposes; and looks more like our conventional and centralised solutions ...
I consider the decentralised solutions to resonate more with my values and wishes for the value exchanges and collaborations of the future, in our communities; ref. several of the intro-videos and articles mentioned in the first section ("about blockchain").
When you choose to use a decentralised solution, e.g. a wallet, you are responsible for the safe-keeping of your private keys.
So, if you do not find your keys - which are usually a combination of 12-24 words that must be given in the correct order - there is no "customer service" to help you, and you loose access to whatever funds/value you have kept in the wallet that you cannot find/recover the keys for.
The upside is that you alone can access your funds/values/property (and any loved ones you delegate the key to) - and no centralised entity. Full responsibility for your own property, which in turn can be freely used to exchange/interact with others - on anonymous platforms, or with identities revealed (your choice!)
I prefer Exodus, which is decentralised: with both a desktop and mobile app, which can be synchronised (I think you need to download it to your desktop first, and then synchronise with your phone; but you can double check in Exodus' instructions!)
I have also chosen to use Coinomi on my phone (there is also a desktop app), as it is a wallet that supports the LBRY-coins (so that I can send LBC from my user/wallet on odysee.com, and exchange/use them in the Coinomi-wallet).
This is an extension for browsers, and I installed it when registering and buying domains on Ustoppable Domains; and have used it for a few other things too.
(Recently I imported my Metamask-wallet to my Brave-wallet, as it seemed to make some features that I use easier to carry out)
Nimiq is pretty cool!
This is a coin inspired by Bitcoin, but easier in its applications; and with the possibility to implement the wallet - and buy/sell both NIM and BTC directly in your browser, with no need for a separate wallet (so the threshold to check out this coin/wallet is lower than for several other crypto-applications/coins!)
I use this on my website too, as a simpler way to accept crypto-donations - in this case NIM.
A couple of KYC-wallets
This is a platform that demands quite extensive KYC, and (in my opinion a bit too much) security measures for logging in: to-factor authentication, in addition to password and e-mail notifications...
But, I have chosen to use Binance for e.g. acquiring a VISA-card: so that when I buy things with my Binance-card, my crypto-funds are exchanged into EUR just-in-time, and goods I buy are indirectly paid in crypto.
In addition, this platform offers quite extensive trading-possibilities, as far as I have grasped (I have not made use of this feature myself).
This is a mobile-app only, and I use it for my second visa-card! This platform also offers much the same features as Binance, with buying/selling crypto, topping up your card; but, with less hassle than the Binance app - in my opinion (others may disagree).
You might have seen the commercial featuring Matt Damon? Well, this is the app! (If you decide to click the link, and order a Ruby visa-card or "higher", we both receive $25)