Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sending Bitcoin: Behind the Scenes

There’s a lot more than meets the eye when sending bitcoin. Here we’ll talk about what happens after you hit “send” from your wallet. Sending bitcoin involves digital signatures, broadcasting to a network and other interesting stuff. As a bonus (which you can fast-forward past by going to 14:30ish) I talk about alt-coins, ICO offerings and how they differ from IPOs.

To support the podcast, send to:

For Bitcoin: 1Ee2evX5hKvHZyiKVoszRGUhgR295R3e13
For Ether: 0xb44593DF6D31F388Ca147Ab70871e7BCDD4bBC69
For Venmo: stevechris

How a Crypto Game Teaches Blockchain

Another Hands-on Exercise to Learn Blockchain

In this episode of Block That Chain we talk about the craze behind and why you should join in. It’s a great platform to learn about digital assets, payments in cryptocurrency, smart contracts, wallets, etc. Do it!

The Step-by-Step Instructions

Following are the details of this hands-on exercise as referenced in the podcast. You will notice that you’re changing between your browser and the extension/plugin Metamask. It won’t always be clear below where you do what, so just look at the other (Metamask or your browser) if you don’t see what I describe.

Getting Started

Metamask has plugins/extensions for Chrome and for Firefox. The Firefox extension may still be in beta, but it works just fine.

Go to (not .com, and not kiDDies) and click Start Meow. If you haven’t already installed Metamask (as we did in a previous podcast), a new tab on your browser will open. It will then walk you through the process of installing. After it is complete, you will see a little orange/brown icon of a fox in the top right of your browser.

Go back to the original tab of your browser now and click “I Installed Metamask”.

If you’re not signed into Metamask (and won’t be if you just installed) it will say, “your Metamask is locked”, so click the Firefox looking thing in the top right of your browser and that will open Metamask. You have to click “accept” twice after scrolling to bottom of page. It will give you 12 words to use if you need to restore your account like on another computer. Copy/paste those words somewhere safe.
Load Your New Wallet With Ether
Now load your Metamask wallet w/ money by sending from Coinbase or something (or use the wallet you created in a previous podcast). To know the wallet address where to send, you click the 3 dots that you near the top right of your Metamask tool (not the 3 lines).  Copy address to clipboard, you can paste in a text document or just paste in directly into Coinbase. I suggest $15-25 of Ether to get started.
Back to

Now the page says “one last thing… we need an email address for your account” and then gives you a wallet address. Copy it and keep it safe. And provide your email address.

As soon as you submit your email the Metamask tool will pop-up it will say “confirm transaction” and “Sign Message”. No money is exchanging hands at this point, so don’t worry.

Click “sign”. It will then say “no transaction history” in Metamask if this is your first use of Metamask.

Go back to your browser. No need to close Metamask, just click on your browser to put in front. Now, you see kitties that you can buy! I click “see more kitties” because I don’t like the 3 they offer me. All the kitties show a price in ether. Toward the top right you can filter/sort the kitties based on price. Do that.

Once I find one I like I click “buy now”. It then gives you another page that looks the same and it basically says you’re gonna be transferring some ether. Now click “OK, buy this kitty”. (In a pink box above that button it tells you how to deal with metamask if you get a warning message.)

Back to Metamask to Finalize

It should now pop-up Metamask again. If not, click on the fox icon at the top right of your browser to open. You will either see a list of a) possible transactions or b) the transaction detail page. If a), then click on the transaction to get to b). If you’re already on b), you’re golden.

On this detail page you will see the specifics of the transaction: kitty price, gas limit, gas price, total of both, and a grand total for the transaction. LOOK CAREFULLY. As I said in the podcast, a couple times my transaction cost was $135 and $0 for the digital asset (the kitty).

If you use the defaults, you have a better chance of getting the kitty you chose. If you want to save money, lower the gas limit and price, but know it may put your transaction in jeopardy. But who cares? Play around.

Now submit your transaction. NOTE: if you don’t have enough ether in your wallet you won’t have a submit button.

Checking to See if You Won that Kitty

Going back to the browser now, it should automatically show you a line that indicates your transaction is in process. This is just waiting for the blockchain and miners to do their thing.

Eventually, you will either have a successful or failed transaction. Click on the link on the right side (“failed” or “Success”) and this will take you to . There you can behold the beauty of the actual blockchain transaction, whether or not it was successful.

Some Notes

Don’t fret if you don’t get your kitty the first time or two. It took me a few tries. A lot of people may try to buy your same kitty.

Listen to the podcast to appreciate all that you just did. This is the blockchain, cryptocurrency and smart contracts in action!

Bitcoin and Gold Compared.

In this episode we explore the similarities and the differences between Bitcoin and gold. Bitcoin is up 2000% (at the moment, anyway) so let’s explore whether that increase is justified. Bitcoin’s current price may be justified in the future. I think it may well be. But is that justified today? Comparing Bitcoin to gold may shed some light on the subject.

A Little History. Decentralization is Nothing New.

In this episode, we cover decentralization from a different perspective. Here we’ll talk about decentralization in a historical context. Decentralization of religion resulted in the greatest scientific, artistic and philosophical revolution the world has ever experienced. Decentralization resulted in the Enlightenment.

But we end this episode in more technical terms. We get hands-on again by talking about a tool that can run on your browser to send money through the blockchain. No mega-exchange membership needed. Rather, just a simple plugin to your Internet browser.

After hearing the podcast, follow these instructions:

Installing Metamask to Your Chrome or Firefox Browser

The first thing to do is find Metamask, a simple tool for accessing the wallet you created in the last podcast episode. Do this by clicking the three dots in the upper right side of your Chrome browser (or the three lines in your Firefox browser). Then click mouse-over More Tools and click Extensions (or in Firefox just click the Add Ons icon).

Scroll to the bottom of that page and click Get More Extensions (In Firefox click the Extensions tab on the left side of page). Now do a search for “Metamask” and click Add to Chrome (or Install in Firefox).

Using Metamask to Connect to Your Paper Wallet (or any wallet)

On your browser in the upper right side (next to the three dots in Chrome or three lines in Firefox) you will see the Metmask icon, which is a little fox. He kind of looks like the firefox fox. But he’s not. Click that icon.

The window that opens has a couple features that are not super intuitive until you try them once or twice. Our first step is to connect to your wallet. First accept the terms and conditions of Metamask. Note that Metamask isn’t asking for an email address or name or bank information or anything. Nice, no?

You will now be asked to create a DEN. That’s basically a way the Metamask encrypts the info that you provide. That info will reside on your computer/browser and is not accessible to someone who does not know that security info.

Now, you need to connect to your wallet by using the Import feature. Metamask is a small app that is about the size of a calculator utility that you would run on your desktop. In the top right corner, you click on the icon of the little man with a circle around him. Here’s what you’re looking for:

Next, click the Import Account. You will input both your wallet’s address and private key.

Now Send Ether

You can now use the Send functionality on the home page of Metamask. Then after clicking that button, you specify how much you want to send and what address to send to. If you like, you can send to my address at 0xb44593DF6D31F388Ca147Ab70871e7BCDD4bBC69 . Try .0015 Ether for starters. The next page will show a few fields which you can manipulate: Gas Price and Gas Limit. Change those to a low amount. That will diminish your transaction cost (but will likely slow the speed of the transaction too–but who cares?). Now, send that Ether!

Your Hands-on, First Experience with the Blockchain

In this episode I walk you through a simple interaction on the Ethereum blockchain. The best way to learn is hands-on. If you have already bought cryptocurrencies through exchanges like Coinbase of Coin Mama, then you’ve already interacted with the blockchain. But not in a fundamental way. Such interaction is like you do with a bank website or any other centralized financial institution. But not here. We’ll interact with the blockchain in a more fundamental, organic way.


The first website we visit is There you will go through these simple steps:

  1. Input a “password” (in quotes because this password won’t be used for login credentials in the future). Your password will create a randomized private key, which you’ll see on the next pages of Click “create new wallet”
  2. Download the non-executable file Keystone File. You don’t really need this file for this exercise, but you can’t go on to next page until you do. If you want, delete this file immediately. Remember, this website is open source, safe and endorsed by Ethereum. Search around the internet to validate yourself.
  3. Staying on the same page, now you can click “I understand, Continue.”
  4. Now you’ll see your private key on this 3rd and last page. Ignore it. Because the next step will give you that key again. Click “Print Paper Wallet” and you’ll see the paper wallet that you can print. I recommend copy/pasting both the address and the private key and storing on a text file on your computer. That’s bad practice if this weren’t a test exercise, but you can risk a hack right? Like there’s no money or credit card info in that wallet.

Now you email me or another techno friend who has Ether that they can send you. It’s simple. All you do is email that address you got in the last step above. Don’t email your private key though.

If you want me to send you some Ether, you can email me at and put “Send me some ether” in the subject. Or, send me a direct message on Twitter by tweeting this, w/ no spaces or anything else before the @ sign: @stevechris Hey, man, send me some luv. Or ether. Or whatever. My ether wallet is [using your own ether address] 0xB2d0g9801F02c384e5Bf41403AA0f485D783373a

I will then tweet or email you that the dark web transaction is now complete.


Now, go to after you receive confirmation that I sent Ether. Copy/paste that address of your Ether wallet in the search bar at the top right of the page. There you will see that Ether has been sent to your wallet.

You’re done! Congrats!!

Buying Bitcoin with Cash

In this episode I talk about my first experience buying cryptocurrency. I was a bit annoyed that Coinbase asked me for social security information (and maybe later a blood sample, for all I know), so I decide to do it the hard way. I buy my first crypto with cash at an ATM on’s corporate campus. Hear about the full adventure here.

What’s Money Anyway?

In this episode of the podcast we talk about money in general. Including Rai Stones of the Pacific, mulberry paper money of the Khan empire, and the US Dollar. And we compare all to Bitcoin. Of course, we sing the accolades of blockchain and cryptocurrencies too, quoting Silicon Valley greats like Marc Andreessen.