What’s a Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is stored on a blockchain and secured by cryptography. It is designed to allow people to store, send & receive money between themselves without any intermediaries.

What is Money?

Money is an item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services. It has three functions.

It is a Medium of Exchange in that it is used to intermediate in the exchange of other goods and services. This function solves the barter problem where you have chickens and want a haircut but the barber wants beans. Without a money, you’d need to trade your chickens for beans so that the barber would cut your hair. This is known as “The Barter Problem” or “Coincidence of Wants“.

It is a Unit of Account in that it is a standard measure of value in a marketplace. This function allows money to work in complex or commercial transactions that may need debt. It also facilities easy pricing and comparison within a marketplace.

It is a Store of Value in that it is stable over time. This allows it to be used with the same impact today as well as in the future. Inflation, or the creation of additional money, erodes this function in most fiat currencies.

Nearly all modern money systems are fiat money systems. Fiat money has no actual commodity value but is backed by a government. The government gives fiat money value by declaring it legal tender and requiring that it be accepted as a form of payment.

Money must have 5 properties to successfully fulfill its three functions.

Money must be fungible. Each unit must be exactly equal to every other unit. There can be no “special” units nor can there be any “dirty” units.

Money must be durable over time.

Money must be portable.

Money must be recognizable and its value easily identified.

Money must be stable in its value and not fluctuate over time.

What is a Currency?

A currency is a type of money that is in circulation and being actively used.

What is a Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a form of digital money, used in circulation and secured by cryptography.

What is Cryptography?

Cryptography is the science of encrypting and decrypting information so that it can not be read or understood by anyone without the cryptographic keys.

What is a Cryptographic Key?

A cryptographic key is one of two or more unique alphanumeric “string” (a list of characters) used to encode and decode information that has been secured with a cryptographic algorithm.

Where did Bitcoin Come From?

Bitcoin was “designed/created/invented” by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Satoshi mysteriously disappeared in mid-2010 after turning over administrative control to the code that was being used to develop the only Bitcoin client at that time. Those developers and others continue the work to improve and secure the Bitcoin protocol. Nobody knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is and this is considered a “good thing”. Bitcoin was the first of many digital currencies that effectively solved the “double-spend” problem that prevents counterfeiting digital money and eliminates the need for trusted third parties in any transaction.

Who Controls Bitcoin?

Nobody controls Bitcoin. An open group of software developers controls the privilege of adding and changing the software functionality which creates and distribute Bitcoin. Miners control the hash power which contributes to the overall security of all Bitcoins. They do this by making it extremely difficult and expensive for anyone to attempt to change the blockchain. People who run “nodes” help maintain the integrity of the system by verifying the integrity of the blockchain. Users have the ultimate control via their adoption and usage (or lack thereof) of Bitcoin. Generally speaking, a consensus is required for any change to Bitcoin.

It’s worth noting that there are multiple Bitcoin implementations by different groups of developers and none of them can force anyone to run the code they write.

What’s special about Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has a number of properties or characteristics that make it useful and valuable.

Bitcoin is digital peer to peer cryptocurrency that has global reach and usage.

Bitcoin eliminates the need for a trusted third party or middleman in a digital transaction.

Bitcoin is decentralized across thousands of computers and cannot be subverted.

Bitcoin is protected from counterfeiting and double spending by cryptography.

Bitcoin has a finite supply of 21 million coins.

Bitcoins are divisible to 8 decimal places and the smallest unit is called a satoshi.

What does a Bitcoin Look Like?

A Bitcoin is digital so the only thing you’ll really see is numbers/letters in a ledger.

These numbers/letters in a ledger are transactions.

A transaction consists of an Address, Inputs, and Outputs.

The Address is actually derived from one of two cryptographic keys.

The second cryptographic key is your secret key and is required to process any Outputs.

Inputs add “coins” to the Address and do not require a secret key – anyone can add coins to any Address.

Outputs send “coins” to another address and require your secret key.

Each time “coins” are added or removed (Input or Output) a new transaction on the Address is required and mined into the next block.

New Bitcoins are automatically created as the first transaction each new block as a reward to the winning miner. The miner also collects all of the transaction fees for all of the transactions mined into the most recent block.

Yeah, it’s complex but luckily, a wide variety of software applications makes this very simple and easy.

How Do I Get and Use Bitcoins?

There are 2 primary challenges to getting and using Bitcoins. The first challenge is purchasing Bitcoins with US Dollars or other fiat currency. The second challenge is learning to control Bitcoins without getting scammed, making a mistake with an Address or losing your secret keys.

Numerous exchanges provide the ability to purchase Bitcoins with US Dollars. You should be aware that the US Govt requires exchanges that sell Bitcoins for US Dollars comply with KYC/AML (Know Your Customer/Anti Money Laundering) regulations. Be prepared to share your Drivers License and some other relevant information so that the exchange can verify you and comply with the laws. This is typically done very easily while you are online by snapping a picture of your driver license and submitting it as part of your account creation. I recommend setting up your account on a mobile device where this step is very easy.

Spending Bitcoins is equally easy. All you need is the Address of where you want to send Bitcoins and your secret key to release them from your Address and send them onward. All of this is accomplished with a Wallet. If you keep your coins on an exchange, they will keep them in their wallet for you and allow you to spend them directly from that wallet. You can also keep your coins in your own wallet on your mobile device, desktop computer or specific hardware device. Keeping your coins in your own wallet is always safer than keeping your coins in an exchange’s wallet for you.

My next newsletter will have a lot more details about how and where to get Bitcoins and how to keep and spend them safely.

If you’re in a rush and want your’s now, please reply to this email and I can walk you through it over the phone.

My Personal Take on Bitcoins

I’m a big fan of Bitcoins. The first thing that caught my attention was the finite supply of 21,000,000 coins – I like that a lot. I started buying Bitcoins in 2012 and it was a challenge to get them at that time. Since then, the on-ramps where you can convert fiat to crypto like Coinbase have made it much easier. I have a very long-term perspective on Bitcoins and am using them to hedge my US Dollars for retirement beyond 2030. I really enjoy watching how Bitcoin matures. The price volatility doesn’t bother me and following the process and thought leaders in the Bitcoin community is very entertaining and educational.

Thinking Questions

What else do you need to know to decide if Bitcoin would be something valuable to you?

Why wouldn’t or haven’t you gotten Bitcoins prior to now?

If you did decide to get some Bitcoins, why would you do that?


Why Bitcoin Works by Jimmy Song
A Guide To Bitcoin’s Technical Brilliance (For Non-Programmers)
Shelling Out | The Origin of Money by Nick Szabo


Unchained | Laura ShinBlockchain 101 with Andreas Antonopoulos: How Bitcoin Makes Each of Us as Powerful as a Bank


Curated Bitcoin Resources by Jameson Lopp – https://lopp.net/bitcoin.html
BBBC Subscribe! – Subscribe to Boomers, Blockchains, Bitcoins & Cryptocurrencies
BBBC #1 – How I Got Started
BBBC #2 – What’s a Blockchain?

2012 5 State Hunt Story

Tues, 9/25/2012
Duck Truck wouldn’t start. Dead battery.  Learned to get Lexus out of the other garage door!
Jen took girls. I took battery charger and ext cord.
7 AM Depart.   Very foggy.
Tom Tom says 12 hrs to Lincoln, NE so expect 8 PM Arrival.
Leaves are changing in KS and NE.
Cutting corn in NE.
Every little town in NE has speed reporting radar boxes just outside town. Somebody made a fortune!
Lots of starlings!  Waves of them!
Wed 9/26/2012
Tomtom takes me thru Iowa  and the 2 Siouxs.
Jill is tired of being cooped up but I slept well last night.
Up at 7, email done and on the road by 8 with 3 McD coffees.
Will stop this PM in Sioux Falls and do work to catch up.
The upright seat seems to prevent shoulder pain.
Thur 9/27
AM Hunt
Hard to resist honker dekes at daylight
4 of 6 big honkers in early am hunt
A quick trip to try & jump some ditch parrots
Easy walking here
3 of 4 pheasants in late am hunt
Pheasant Hunting
Lots of cover! Deep stuff!
Jill doing the hard work
Jill brought me a juvie!
1 of 2 pheasants in pm hunt
Fri 9/28/2012
AM Hunt
More honker dekes and a sunrise – never get’s old
7 of 9 big honkers
1 coyote running at 50 yrs – Lost my cool pic???
2 of 2 pheasants

Wow, such trees!

Pm hunt

More easy walking here – wasn’t easy in the cattails though!

Randy B gave me a case of old 20g shells – they shot fine most of the time.
0 of 3 pheasants
Sat 9/29/2012


Am hunt

We saw turkeys but no geese or ducks
Tougher walking
 3 of 5 pheasants
PM Hunt
2 of 3 pheasants
Sun 9/30
No geese
Flying Ear Retrieve
2 of 3 pheasant
Got a giant bag of pheasant and goose jerky and pepper sticks
Owners wife even cleaned all the bugs off my windshield before I left
Head south on 281 from hecla to rapid city
Eta 730pm
Very quickly out of farming and into grassland
SD changes quickly from grassland to canyons in Pierre
Stopped to check out Wall Drug. What a giant tourist trap!
Big storm dropped temp 20 degrees in just a mile or so outside Wall
met 2 other hunters headed to MT to public hunt.  They say it’s good
They were funny. Retired game warden and retired judge with a truck full of dogs. Almost like the aloofs or the major.
The daily toll must be paid.
Mon 10/1/2012
The climb out of rapid city towards Rushmore is surprising
Rapid city is pretty much a tourist trap also
Mt Rushmore town is a giant tourist trap
Rushmore and Crazy Horse were very cool
Big change coming of the black hills onto the high plains
Oof!  SE WY is very big, very sparse and very dry
Surprising little lakes holding ducks in the middle of very large high plains
Successful prong horn hunter taking a rest at a ranch gate
Several more trucks parked at gates appear to be antelope hunters. Must be opening day.
11:30and most hunters are walking back to their trucks.
4 pronghorns right beside the road
Haying cattle already. Must be extraordinarily dry
Near Douglas WY can see a mountain range to the west
Looks much like eastern CO
More prongs near the road
Speed goats?
Tues 10/2/2012
Rest & work in hotel
Wed 10/3/2012
Hunted Blue Grouse in the mountains
Forest grouse live up high.
Jill adapting well
Guide says, “We’re going over there”
The crazy things you see when you look down. Prob part of the quartz/gold seams in these WY hills.
Ups = Downs
Jill’s first taste of Blue Grouse!
Mine, too!
Storm moving in fast.
Obligatory scenic pic
2nd Blue Grouse
All time fav & phone background
2 of 3 blue grouse
I’m always curious to see what they eat – tell’s you where to find them…..
Tired dog
Thur 10/4/12
Hunted Huns & Chukars
First close look at Wyoming Chukar Country – Looks easy I thought…..
LOL – that was only the top – This is WY Chukar Country!
This was my first Hun – so very beautiful!
1/4 Huns
Dog is exhausted, me too a bit
Fri 10/5/12
Hun hunting again
Cold and snowy
Switched from 20 ga 6s to 12 ga 6 pigeon loads
Much better hits
And a Happy Hun Hunter!
And a proud, noble dog, too!
Chalk up another for the Team!
4/5 Huns
Hit a coyote at 50 yes w pigeon load. Rolled him.

This dog fetches in the water, too! My guide’s dogs wouldn’t get wet!

1/1 preserve pheasant
2/1 chukars. Dog found a cripple
Excellent hunt!
Sat 10/6
Need better boots or socks I think.
Several inches snow overnite
Off by 7 after battery charge
Very snowy and slick driving out of Casper
Roads cleared by Douglas
lots of antelope in alfalfa. Even a coyote
My legs are still sore!
Jill needs whoa training
I remember hearing the sound of my pulse after a tough climb
Heavier snow outside Cheyenne
Much heavier snow nearer Cheyenne
Switched to 4 wd hi and 55
Even heavier snow like NM 2011 trip. Just keep heading south.
Snow stopped immediately in CO. Roads are clear
Out of 4wd north of ft Collins. Funny smell. Need 60k and 4wd maint
Geese flying high over ft Collins
Green corn still standing in ft coll
Cranes flying out of colo spgs
Antelope out of Raton
State trooper in NM drive the hi way with headlights flashing. How courteous.
NE NM is very big with lots of canyons, mesas and lava rock but very short grass.
You can tell by the fences when you get into sheep country.
Mesas and canyons end at Clayton NM
Almost the first thing you see in TX is a Church of Christ
Now you see pivots and crops.
Big canyons start in Channing.
Much more grass here too
Canadian river is dry
Sun 10/7
Overnight w Kathy and Grant in AMA

2013 3 State Hunt Story

9/23/13, Monday
7 am depart to Blanco Ranch to check Leroy’s dozer work building the 12 test ponds.
He’s doing fine.
10 am depart ranch
6 pm arrive Amarillo at Kathy’s
9/24/13, Tuesday
730 am depart Amarillo.
Snow on the mountains outside of Raton, NM. That’s always exciting to see.
Lots of pronghorns outside Raton.
Lunch w DKD in Colo Spgs.
Arr Casper WY 7 pm
9/25/13, Wednesday
Sign of sage grouse
Found a cripple early
Killed a mid-size male
Missed a large male. No bullets in gun! Too excited!
Andy Caught brook trout over lunch. I’ve never seen one before.
Andy Killed a doe antelope.
Wyoming Trifecta – Antelope, Brookies & Sage Grouse
Got checked by a game warden and didn’t have my license on me – left back in the hotel – got a warning!
Still, an outstanding day!!!
9/26/13, Thursday
Up north in the same place as last year.
Jumped a covey of 6 old bachelor sage grouse.
Shot one approx 60 yds w 20ga #5. Nice! Love a Full Choke!
Jesse shot one and I dropped it for him – longer choke!
Cool, moist and overcast all day.
Outstanding day!!
Snow showers and rainbows on the way back. Never saw that before.
9/27/13, Friday
Tried to hunt the Hun lease. Creek was too high to get in.
Cold wet dog looking magnificent nonetheless!
Hunted alfalfa pheasants back at the lodge. Some still had blinders because FNG Yancy.
There are 3 dogs on point down there – all backing the lead – pretty!
Shot 4. Beautiful dog work!
Tried to walk back into the Hun lease. Brutal muddy gully climbing trip. No birds.
Jill exhausted.
9/28/13, Saturday
3 hrs business work in hotel.
Depart Casper,WY 11 am to Hardin, MT.
Toured Little Big Horn. Fascinating.
Arrive Hardin at 5pm.
9/29/13, Sunday
7 am pickup Wayne Egbert. Nice guy.
First loop nothing
Second loop saw Huns and Pheasants.
Missed a Chukar.
Switched from 28ga to 20 ga. Good thing I did!
Shot a Hun.
Big scary owl guarding sharptail spot
Third loop jumped 3 coveys of sharp tails
Shot 2 sharptails.
Good thing I switched to 20ga!  They are bigger than I thought!
Jill got attacked by guides male Brit. Scared her a lot but didn’t break any skin.
Excellent day!
9/30/13, Monday
7 am
pickup Wayne Egbert.
One big loop near the same area from yesterday afternoon.
Shot a double right over the top of a hill w great dog work
Shot a single.
Shot another single.
Both singles were with 20ga #5 and went a long way before dropping.
Good thing I used 20ga.
Limited out by 1030.
Ate lunch and worked afternoon from the hotel.
Scouted ND and made hotel reservations.
6 hr drive to Bismarck. Going to depart early to allow for pm scouting time
10/1, Tuesday
Depart Hardin MT 6am
Arrive Bismarck ND 1pm
Bought license at game and fish
Met a guy in parking lot who invited me to hunt his place
20 minutes N of Steele
Scouted. Very windy
Met 3 WI guys hunting that mans place.
Dry field hunting cut wheat.
Said most are local ducks and spooky.
Found a walk in spot w/ wind sheltered cove.
Jumped ducks.
No waders or coat.
Sat in shadows and shot a hen mallard.
A crazy number of ponds up here!!
Jill likes hunting leopard frogs!!
Shot a spoonie
Lost my watch today. Bad bracelet link. Sad.
Forgot my ghillie suit so couldn’t hunt w those guys. Seems like ghillie suit is what you need here for pond hunting.
Not seeing much moving. No migratory birds yet I guess. Locals are smart w lots of voices.
Local ducks are smart w lots of voices.
Sure are lots of raptors.
10/2/13, Wednesday
50. Low wind.
Same cove as yesterday.
No cover due to wind direction
Teal early
Low bird traffic
Waders have a leak
Need longer gad mojo poles
Jump shot 2 teal. Over by 9
Drive thru Lone Tree WMA. Stunning habitat mgmt!
Saw many small cemeteries. Most adults born 1870s and died by 40-50. Must have been a hard living out here.
Shit. Now I lost my keys. Glad I had spares.
Scouting until 5 pm
Went back to duck lake to see if anything interesting shows up.
Seem to be gads or teal. Plenty of shots available.
Didn’t take any.
Now I understand why guide scouting is hard.
Scouting until 5 pm
Went back to duck lake to see if anything interesting shows up.
Seem to be gads or teal. Plenty of shots available.
Didn’t take any
Now I understand why guide scouting is hard.