What is the Best way to get Bitcoin in 2024?

Bitcoin ETF is here. Should you buy it?

FINANCIAL SOVEREIGNTY

1/11/20245 min read

2024 is here. Everybody expects great changes. Will they be good? Only time will tell.

Bitcoin ETF was approved. All Americans will be able to "hold" Bitcoin with ease. They won't be afraid of losing it.

But there will be one major catch. People won't hold anything. The only thing they'll have is a PROMISE that the fund issuing the ETF has bitcoin. They cannot transact with it, take it into self-custody, (and actually possess it). If you're somebody new to this, a comparison to gold might be useful.

If you have a gold ETF share, for example, iShares Gold, you only have a document (now usually stored digitally). But what actually happens to the gold (physically in the real world) is up to the ETF issuer. In this case, it is iShares by BlackRock.

If you have the gold physically, meaning you can touch it, it's no longer paper gold. You can put it in a safe, you can sell it to somebody, divide it, buy something with it...

The same applies to Bitcoin. The only thing is that you cannot touch it. So how do you know that it is not just paper bitcoin? It's simple. You own a private key.

I'm not going to explain how it works, but in a simple way, it's the 12/24 words any self-custodial wallet creates for you. If you have the private key, you can transact directly on the Bitcoin blockchain. Only with a private key can you allow your bitcoins to be sent from your wallet. If somebody else has the private keys, they can forbid you to withdraw "your" bitcoins.

Why only "yours" and not YOURS? Because it's on them to decide if it will be sent or not.

Now hold on. If you buy just ETF, there are two layers to this. You buy Bitcoin ETF from BlackRock. But BlackRock doesn't hold the private keys for you. They outsource the risk to another party; in the case of BR, it's a centralized exchange Coinbase.

And from there, it's just on the US government to do as they please. Need to cover national debt and have Bitcoin pumped to $1,000,000 USD? Seize the ETFs and centralized exchanges. Need to pivot the monetary system completely? Do the same.

Do you think this will never happen? Look at Executive Order 6102.

How NOT to get BTC?

Centralised Exchanges

If you need to get bitcoin quickly, you are probably making a mistake (there is another scenario, but CEXes no longer exist in it).

The thing is, even if you withdraw your bitcoin to your wallet and get the 12/24 words, they still have your passport, drivers license, or whatever you gave them to get KYC'd (KYC meaning literally this—scanning your data so you prove you are not a criminal).

What's the problem with having your passport online in some poorly secured database?

  • The government can track you down in case they cannot seize the bitcoin directly at the exchange.

  • DATA LEAKS: Imagine one day, your physical address and full name leaks together, revealing how much money you possibly have. Seems impossible? It ain't. 1, 2, 3. Search for more if you are not convinced. Or read KYC? No, thanks.

And what do I mean by centralized exchanges? For example:

  • Coinbase

  • Kraken

  • Binance

  • Robinhood

Many more are in this category. Just don't upload your passport or other ID anywhere.

ETFs and Funds

You'll probably need to go through KYC hell again just to lose the ability to withdraw your bitcoin completely.

But unfortunately, it may be the only way to buy bitcoin for companies right now.

Shady people on the street

Don't buy BTC from somebody you barely know in non-public places. Bitcoin is meant to be transacted P2P, but I'll explain how right away.

How to get BTC?

Decentralized Exchanges

Decentralized exchanges might be the most convenient way, but it depends on your preferences. Still easier than the last two mentioned ways. You don't need to submit any ID.

The only thing that might tie your identity to the fact that you bought bitcoin is a bank transaction. The way to avoid it is to go for cash payments or use a non-legacy bank like Revolut (Revolut won't flag the TX, but the link might be there).

DEX list + guide

You can compare other DEXes on Athena Alpha. After buying some BTC, you'll need to withdraw it to your wallet. You can educate yourself here.

ATMs

ATMs might be the easiest way for someone who's not that technologically advanced. You'll need the wallet from begging. Then you just go to the ATM and buy with cash or a card. To leave no traces, cash is always better. How much verification you will need depends on your jurisdiction. Some places require a government ID from $100 and above; others can get you BTC for $1000 without SMS verification. You can find your closest ATM at Coin ATM Radar.

From the people

This one can be a little sketchy if you don't know how to start. For a beginner, the best thing to do is going to meetups. You will get education and bitcoin. Start with smaller amounts. You can find Bitcoin meetups on MeetUp, Bitcoin Only, or Vexl (Vexl is a new app for P2P Bitcoin exchanging; you can read more on their Medium).

Home Mining

The rumors about mining are that it's unprofitable and loud. This might be the hardest way to get bitcoin, but on the other hand, you'll get freshly mined coins without any history. And if you have the right setup, it might help you with heating your house. The resources for mining are Home mining for non-KYC Bitcoin and Bitcoin Mining Handbook.

Don't be afraid

That'll be it. Even if the described ways might not be the most convenient, your privacy will thank you. And when you read the headline "KYC data from Bizance leak", you won't be afraid of someone robbing you because they just found out you have $20K in Bitcoin.

This is the first part of our series, FINANCIAL SOVEREIGNTY. But we won't sleep on other content focused on online privacy. If you want to stay educated on these topics and increase your online privacy further, subscribe to my newsletter to get updates or follow me on Twitter.

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