Hey everyone, it’s Finance Fridays again. I wasn’t planning to do another Crypto post, but I wanted to do a follow-up to my previous posts “No Bitcoin for Hawaii” and “How to Buy Bitcoin in Hawaii“. Today we’re going to talk briefly about “Bitcoin (and Crypto) for Hawaii?”
— Sorry for the late post (explanation at the end)
So… Hawaii can haz Bitcoin?
In my prior posts I talked about how it was very difficult for people in Hawaii to get into the Crypto game because of the difficulty in obtaining Bitcoin (and Ethereum). I added that some people have tried to side step this by using alternate methods which I outlined in this post. However, none of them are really great options.
As far as I know, the major way to get started, Coinbase.com, still is not allowing accounts with Hawaii addresses to buy. However, I recently was told that another relatively well-known site called Bitstamp.net is accepting Hawaii addresses. Unfortunately, because of the recent “crypto rush”, the current wait to get verified is more than 2 weeks.
Additionally, the major exchanges of Bittrex and Binance have been inundated with the creation of new accounts as well. They have been suspending account creation on and off in order to keep up with the deluge of new accounts. From what I know, you’re probably looking at another 2 week turn-around there as well.
Ugh… so I’m still out of the game?
In short… probably yes.
However, if you’re in Hawaii and want to eventually get into crypto, you may want to you try to sign up with Bitstamp.net, Bittrex, and Binance.
From my research, this is probably the best way to get started in crypto if you live in Hawaii. If you don’t live in Hawaii, then using Coinbase is probably your best bet.
Anything I should know about Bitstamp?
Back in 2015 Bitstamp was hacked.
From that article:
Bitstamp lost 18,866 BTC from its hot wallet, worth approximately $5,263,614 at a time when the price of bitcoin averaged $279.
Yet the damage went beyond the bitcoins in the hot wallet, the report explained, noting:
- “Bitstamp has lost customers, including major clients engaged in providing merchant services in bitcoin, and has suffered significant damage to its reputation, which we are unable to quantify exactly at this point, but which we believe exceeds $2 million.”
Despite this pretty severe setback, they rebuilt their platform from the ground up and their security has improved.
Wait what? HACKED?
Unfortunately, getting hacked is not uncommon in the cryptocurrency world.
For example, an exchange, Bitfinex was hacked in 2016 and also back in 2015. It did generate “IOUs” in order to cover what was lost and has since paid them back though.
This is the reason I wouldn’t leave any money on an exchange for too long, and it is prudent to transfer a small amount to verify the address before transferring any large amount.
Wait, what are Bittrex and Binance for?
Well, sites like Bitstamp.net and Coinbase.com are mainly just to get your $ into the crypto market, converting to the “major” currencies of Bitcoin and Ethereum. You can then send the Bitcoin or Ethereum you bought with $ to your exchange account, such as Bittrex or Binance.
My colleague used to like Bittrex the most… however, Binance has recently emerged as being better about transactions as well as having a better availability of altcoins. Additionally, he likes Binance’s interface better as well.
I don’t personally have any experience with either exchange yet, so I can’t provide my opinion. However, I tend to agree with this particular colleague on just about everything.
Ok, I’m in the system now.
Great, so, you’ve moved Bitcoin/Ethereum over to your exchange. You’ve bought some other coins you like and they’re sitting on the exchange.
Your next step is get them off the exchange.
There are a few different options, but the preferred way is a hardware wallet.
The one that people tend to favor recently is the Ledger Nano S.
Ledger Nano S Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet
Unfortunately, it is currently on backorder on Amazon. However, I would recommend buying one when its available.
From my understanding, it’s even sold out directly from the source until at least March.
However, I must warn everyone.
This is one thing you can not buy “used” on Ebay or anywhere. The way this wallet is set up is it holds your private keys to your coins for you.
There is a cautionary tale about a guy who lost $34k worth of coins because he bought a Ledger Nano S on Ebay:
Man’s Life Savings Stolen from Hardware Wallet Supplied by a Reseller
Here’s the story on Reddit
The TL;DR is that this guy bought on Ebay from a supposedly reputable seller. It was even sealed! However, the problem is a new Ledger Nano S device will provide you 24 separate keywords for you to write down upon first using it. This version presented a “scratch off” card that showed the 24 keywords. This is a red flag. It means the 24 keywords are already known by someone else. Unfortunately, if this was the first time you saw it without knowing, you might assume that this is the normal method to get the keywords.
So anyways, he put his coins on the Ledger Nano S and later found it that the way he set up the wallet was not the normal way. When he checked later his coins were gone, as you would expect.
Please don’t let this happen to you.
I would buy directly from the source or direct through amazon. However, if you really want one ASAP, then you can look at this list:
Retailers List (from their site)
For those interested, I recently answered some questions on Quora you might want to check out:
Which cryptocurrency should I invest in, in 2018? Why? (12/22/2017)
What cryptocurrency is the smartest to invest in right now, and is it too late to buy XRP to make a decent profit? (1/2/2018)
If you wanted to make $500k by the end of 2018 with only $10k to buy cryptocurrencies, what would you invest in now? (1/11/2018)
If you’re in Hawaii and want to try to do things “the right way”, your best option is probably Bitstamp.net.
Then get on Bittrex or Binance or both and start exchanging your Bitcoin or Ethereum for other coins.
Then get a NEW Ledger Nano S — NOT A USED ONE (read above).
Please remember — Crypto is like gambling in the wild, wild west. Only invest what you can afford to lose.
I am currently waiting for my Bitstamp.net and Bittrex to be verified. I have not actually used them yet. My Binance account was just verified.
For this reason, I can’t give a good rundown on how well they work. However, I have friends who have successfully used Bitstamp.net, Bittrex, and Binance recently.
Binance has a referral program, so if you sign up with my referral link, I get a small commission.
Why was this post late?
My computer gave me an error today: Unaccessible Boot Device
Apparently, it’s a common error that occurs with Windows 10 which requires a little bit of troubleshooting. It took me awhile to fix, but I finally managed. This video really helped out:
I didn’t lose any data, so I was lucky. However, after getting everything back up and running I went ahead and did another backup to an external hard drive and an online backup, just in case.
In case you guys were wondering, for my particular fix you have to go pretty deep into the video, requiring use of the Command Prompt and renaming some registry files. This is not something you would ever really want to do.
After thinking about it, I have the feeling it was a problem with an interaction between my Anti-Virus Program and Windows 10 not liking each other. Either way, make sure to backup frequently. I was a little worried for a bit.
Once again, apologies for the late post.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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