Crypto Keys App

You may have noticed some neat symbols for various cryptocurrencies on Reddit.com and other social media pages. Perhaps you want to use some of these such as: ₿, Ξ, Ɖ, Ł.

Crypto Keys is a simple keyboard app. Crypto Keys makes it easy to insert popular cryptocurrency symbols, fiat currency symbols, numbers and punctuation. Crypto Keys allows you to insert symbols into web pages, text messages, emails, apps, etc. Share and make aware!

Crypto Keys now features a news feed. It offers interesting news and tutorials on different cryptocurrency related topics.

Check it out: Crypto Keys

Earn Tokens, Pay No $

I have been a Coinbase user for a couple of years now and just learned of a cool program Coinbase offers: Coinbase Earn. Coinbase Earn says you can: “Earn Crypto While Learning About Crypto”. Since launching in December 2018 and has taken me so long to discover this program, I want to share the knowledge by posting about it to spread the word the best I can!

The Coinbase Earn product allows users to learn about select cryptocurrencies and the needs they address. As of this writing, there are earn and learn courses for are 3 cryptocurrencies: BAT, ZEX, and ZRX. Also, as of this writing, a waiting list exists for enrolling in the program for each cryptocurrency. I put myself on the waiting list for all 3. I will update this post after I have finished each of the courses. Also, this post will update if any new courses become available.

On the waiting list to earn cryptocurrency

To find this product, go to Coinbase and scroll to the bottom of the page. Press on the link for ‘Earn’ and you will be taken to the Coinbase Earn product. You are then presented with a choice of cryptocurrencies to learn about. Even though this author was unable to immediately take any of the courses all is not lost. The cool thing is that short videos are available to preview on each of the cryptocurrencies.

The preview videos highlight the need that each particular cryptocurrency addresses. For instance: one of the videos notes that the Brave browser id faster, more secure, more private. One of the videos notes that 70% of the revenue generated by ads goes the user that views the ad! I am a huge fan of Brave. You can read more about Brave here. I highly recommend downloading the Brave browser.

One more note: the videos are short and entertaining.

Screen shot from Coinbase Earn Product video on BAT

Getting Started with the Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet

Current price: $99.00

The Ledger Nano S can be ordered here (affiliate link).

Go to start.ledgerwallet.com and follow the instructions there to prepare the hardware wallet.

Initializing the Ledger Nano S:

I am not going to give detailed instructions on how to get the device up and running as they are available at start.ledgerwallet.com and may change with future updates. The current instructions are easy to follow and included installing the Ledger Live app, initializing your Ledger Nano S by creating a pin and saving your recovery seed (very important!). After that, you need to install apps to the Ledger Nano S and then add accounts to your device before adding your crypto accounts.

Operating the Ledger Nano S:

The Ledger Nano S has only two buttons, and it has menus to navigate. This is accomplished by using the left button as a ‘up’ or ‘left’ button, the right button as an ‘down’ or ‘right’ button and both buttons simultaneously as an ‘enter’ or ‘continue’ command. 

Sending crypto to your Ledger Nano S:

Using the Ledger Live app that you have installed to your computer, you can select one of your accounts on the lower left corner of the app. Once the account is selected, ‘Send’ and ‘Receive’ buttons are visible. Selecting the ‘Receive’ button will give you the address at which the Ledger Nano S can receive funds for that account. The address shown can be copied and pasted into the app you are sending crypto from (or given to a friend so that they can send crypto to you). 

Of course, one of the cool things that blockchain allows you to do is to view the immutable ledger that records all transactions. Here is my first transaction on the Ledger Nano S:

https://etherscan.io/tx/0x8e820f84780ef55ea27c438bc51d87b7761e8654d5cc7a623661d29865518297

Why use a hardware wallet?

“Don’t store your coins on an exchange!”

Like many cryptocurrency enthusiasts, I have seen this posted on Reddit and other internet hangouts many times.  There are a few reasons to have your coins on an exchange:

  • Ease of acquiring
  • Ease of trading
  • Less effort to setup and maintain a wallet

However, storing coins on an exchange is in conflict with one of the great advantages of cryptocurrencies:

  • Counter party risk
    • Bitcoin has not been hacked, but exchanges seem to be routinely hacked. Storing coins on an exchange exposes the owner of the coins to the same risks of the traditional banking system (i.e. getting locked out of your account, having your funds frozen ,etc.).  Where as properly protected coins can be protected from these things.Bad players – storing coins on an exchange equals trusting that the exchanges owners and employees will not steal your coins.

After considering this, as a newbie to crypto, I downloaded the Jaxx wallet and the Bread (now BRD) wallet and stored my crypto on my phone.  Maybe many people do this, it certainly is convenient. 

Storing crypto on a phone has some advantages:

  • Purchasing goods and services at local vendors is convenient with a phone wallet, it is always with you.
  • The phone wallets are very easy to use and all the ones that I have used are available free of charge.

BUT….phones are connected to the internet nearly 24/7 and are therefore able to be attacked 24/7. This is a significant disadvantage and risk as you start to acquire more crypto.

This risk associated with phone wallets creates an opportunity for manufacturers of secure hardware devices that are not connected to the internet. This is why I checked out the Ledger Nano S.

Additional information of interest:
Ledger Nano S Github

The Ledger Nano S can be ordered here (affiliate link).