Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

CREATING A PAPER WALLET

The first website we visit is MyEtherWallet.com. 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 MyEtherWallet.com. 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.
RECEIVING A DIGITAL ASSET. GETTING ETHER.

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 BlockThatChain@gmail.com 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.

SEEING THE RESULTS OF YOUR FIRST BLOCKCHAIN TRANSACTION

Now, go to EtherScan.io 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 Overstock.com’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.


Our First Episode. Ever.



Thank you for your patience as we’ve learned the mechanics of recording, optimizing and posting our first podcast. This episode with give you a little history and some basic concepts related to blockchain, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

We look forward to your feedback!