How to Store Bitcoins

How to Store Bitcoins

You probably use a wallet to store your US Dollars.
You probably keep some credit cards in there as well.
And, you may even keep some personal identification in there too.
Wallets make it easy to access and use your US Dollars.
You will use a digital wallet to help you access and use your Bitcoins.
If you are using an exchange, your coins are in their wallet!
Having your own wallet reduces your risk of losing your coins to a hack.

What is a Digital Wallet?

A Digital Wallet is:

– Your personally controlled interface to the Bitcoin network

– equivalent to a bank account or leather wallet

– generates your private keys and public coin addresses.

– stores your private keys and addresses, not your actual coins

– allows you to spend your coins privately

– allows you to provide a public address so you can receive coins

– optionally, keeps track of your spending and depositing

– has a secure backup that can recreate your wallet on almost any other Bitcoin wallet software

Why Do I Need a Digital Wallet?

You need a digital wallet to safely store your Bitcoins.

Here’s why:

– You control your keys and coins – nobody else!
– Must have a wallet to spend (not trade) coins
– Must have an address to receive coins
– Gives you backup recovery in case your wallet is lost.

What Kinds Of Digital Wallets Are There?

Hot/Software Wallet

– Available for Desktop, Web-based, or Mobile Phone
– A Full Node Wallet contains a Bitcoin Node so you can help secure the network
– SPV Wallet runs and synchronizes quickly but does not contain a Bitcoin Node
– Open source wallets are considered more secure than closed source or proprietary wallets because they have been (theoretically) peer-reviewed

Cold/Hardware Wallet

– A hardware wallet is a physical device like a dongle
– Its sole purpose is to secure your keys
– It must be connected to your computer to use
– It generates your Private Key offline to prevent theft
– It has a simple interface included for sending/receiving coins and also interfaces with most desktop wallets and some exchanges
– It also protected from computer-based malware, viruses and phishing attacks
– It is considered most secure because it is not internet connected

Paper Wallet

– Paper wallets are printed out secretly and then loaded with Bitcoin
– They are considered very safe from online theft but at risk due to physical damage in some cases
– Paper wallets are generally for single use long-term storage

Where to Get a Digital Wallet?

There are almost too many digital wallets out there to list. has a long list of digital wallets

These are the digital wallets I use and trust.

Electrum is my desktop wallet. Electrum is an open source wallet and has been peer-reviewed many time. It is also an SPV wallet and does not contribute to Bitcoin network security nor does it validate my own transactions like a Bitcoin Full Node would

I do have a Full Node Wallet to improve Bitcoin Network security but I don’t send and receive many Bitcoins from that wallet.

I use a Ledger Nano S for my hardware wallet.

I encourage you to DYOR and select the digital wallet that best meets your needs.

OK, Now What?

You don’t really need a wallet for small amounts of Bitcoin that you purchase and keep on a reputable exchange.

What is a small amount? I don’t know – that’s up to you. If an exchange were hacked, how much would you be OK losing? Are you willing to pay the fees to move your Bitcoins from the exchange to your digital wallet?

You do need a digital wallet if you want to spend your Bitcoins privately. Spending your Bitcoins directly from an exchange leaves a KYC/AML trail. Spending you Bitcoins directly from your digital wallet does not leave this trail. Your Bitcoins transaction will still be publicly visible on the blockchain but requires a great deal of computational power to backtrack Bitcoin transactions. Even then, relating a Bitcoin address to your location or personal identity is not guaranteed unless you’ve published your wallet address.

You do need a digital wallet when you start to worry about your Bitcoins on an exchange.

You need a hardware wallet when you start to worry about your Bitcoins on your computer.

The Extras

The Rules of Bitcoin

  1. Always talk about Bitcoin.
  2. Never talk about Your Bitcoins.

Buying Bitcoin

Coinbase Referral Link

Digital Wallets

Electrum Wallet
Bitcoin Core Wallet & Others
Ledger Nano S Hardware Wallet


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 Shin – Blockchain 101 with Andreas Antonopoulos: How Bitcoin Makes Each of Us as Powerful as a Bank


Mastering Bitcoin – Andreas Antonopolous
Curated Bitcoin Resources by Jameson Lopp
Subscribe to Boomers, Blockchains, Bitcoins & Cryptocurrencies
BBBC #0 – How I Got Started
BBBC #1 – What’s a Blockchain?
BBBC #2 – What’s a Bitcoin?
BBBC #3 – What Do You Believe?


Feed & Water for Bobwhite Quail in the Surrogator

Bobwhite quail chicks are usually hatched in May through July. This is Summer Time and in Texas, the weather get’s Hot and Dry.

There are 3 environmental factors that you MUST manage to avoid killing the bobwhite quail chicks.

1 – they must be protected from predators. The Surrogator does an excellent job of this. As long as you set it up properly and keep it closed and locked, you should be fine. I’ve used my Surrogator since 2010 and have never had anything enter the Surrogator or harm any chicks.

2 – they must have water. Bobwhite quail chicks depend mostly on metabolic water and dew – with an occasional visit to a waterhole or bubbler. In the Surrogator, they depend on You to provide all of their water. You must make sure they have clean water available at all times. They will die quickly in the Summer without access to clean water.

3 – they must have food. Bobwhite quail chicks need 20% – 24% protein in their feed during the first 5-6 weeks of life. Scratch grains and Layer Feed are not sufficient. You must feed Chick Starter (24%) or Check Grower (20%) while they are in the Surrogator. 125 Chicks that are started at 1 day old and held for 5 weeks will eat almost exactly 50# of Chick Starter. Chicks that are 10 days old and held for 6 weeks will eat 75# – 90# of Chick Starter. Don’t run out – always keep a spare bag of Chick Feed.

The feed bin in the brooding end of the Surrogator will easily hold 50# of feed and dispense it to the chicks as needed.

Use Chick Starter or Chick Grower – not Scratch Grains while the chicks are in the Surrogator. I prefer using the same chick feed my quail breeder uses so they don’t suffer from a diet change.

Wildlife Management Technologies, the makers of the Surrogator, recommend an additional green Chick Aid starter jelly. I tried it for a year but didn’t notice any difference. Likewise, I didn’t find the practice of placing feed on paper plates to be helpful either.

After 6 years of use (and cleaning), the lid of my brooding end, where it covers the feed bin, began leaking during hard rains. Wet feed is a disaster and a terrible mess to clean – especially when you still have bobwhite quail chicks in the Surrogator! I jerry-rigged a cheap tarp to keep my feed dry and flowing.

Water is provided to the bobwhite quail chicks via a hose from a 15-gallon holding tank through a small tube into a nipple waterer. I have a spare nipple waterer just in case. 125 1 day quail chicks will drink almost exactly 15 gallons of water during a 5-week cycle. 125 10-day old quail chicks will drink 30 – 45 gallons of water during a 6-week cycle in Central Texas. Check and fill your water every time you visit! The nipple waterer needs to be tested Every Time You Visit. Small air pockets can stop the water flow from the barrel to the waterer and can be released with the stopcock on the end of the nipple waterer.

Unless you have a hose spigot near your surrogator location, you’ll need to be prepared to haul water. And, if you have to haul water, a helper is helpful!

Lastly, related to food & water, make sure the divider flap is well-secured when you raise it after the first week. I recommend using a bungee cord to hold the divider lever in the Up position, just to make sure it is not accidentally tripped and closed by a varmint. This happened to me once and I lost 60% of my quail chicks because the divider flap fell closed (wasn’t secured properly) and those chicks were trapped in the loafing end without access to food or water. I never want that to happen again.

Sourcing Bobwhite Quail & Loading the Surrogator

The Surrogator is designed to get quail from 1-day old to 5-6 weeks old in the wild. . 1-day old quail chicks are generally available in most areas – Google is your friend – or if you’re in Central Texas, contact me and I’ll share my connection. You can expect to pay from $1 to $2.50 per quail chick

I started by using 1-day old birds. Not really, they were 4-days old because my quail breeder hatches every Tuesday during the season.

My experience is that there is more mortality during the first week than any other. My breeder suggested using 10-day old birds and then keeping them for 6 weeks instead of 5 weeks. I have had much better results with this approach but I’m only able to run 2 cycles each Summer. When I ran 5-week cycles, I could get 3 cycles completed each Summer. I’m happy with 2 cycles per Summer and stronger, more healthy birds.

Bobwhite quail chicks come to me in this box. It is divided into 4 section internally to reduce crowding. I meet my breeder in person (it is possible to have bobwhite quail chicks mailed to you) and he brings me this box filled with 125 bobwhite quail chicks. I also purchase a 50# sack of the same chick starter feed that he uses to minimize any problems based on a rapid change of diet.

This is the brooding end of the surrogator showing the nipple waterer, heating unit, and feed bin. The heating unit is missing the ceramic disk in this photo. Notice the insulated sides in this brooding half as compared to the wire mesh sides of the other half – the loafing end. Load the quail chicks into the brooding half and close the middle divider. They need heat rather than breezes during their first week or two.

Bobwhite quail chicks come “packed” in wood shavings.

1-day old bobwhite quail chick – so tiny!

I mount the screen covers first and then load the quail chicks gently by hand from each section of the box. Don’t be fooled – those little rascals can easily jump or fly right out – even now!

I always like to have lots of help. Kids and quail go great together!

Very young quail chicks require external warmth to survive. They will clump and smother each other without the heating unit at the proper temperature.

In the beginning, I placed feed on paper plates and added some green nutritional stuff but neither is really needed and I don’t do that anymore. Cute chicks, though!

The surrogator all loaded and ready to go. Notice this one doesn’t have ant poison either. I seldom need to do that anymore.