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10 Steps to Self-Sovereignty with Bitcoin

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Bitcoin Magazine’s “10 Steps to Self-Sovereignty” series in partnership with Ledger is officially concluded. Over the last few months we have gone through many different topics, ranging from specific guides on how to manage and interact with your bitcoin securely and in a self-sovereign fashion, to explanations of fundamental properties that make Bitcoin a valuable and functioning asset and network.

Now that the series has concluded, let’s look back at each article and the topic it covered.

Step 1 | Understanding Your Bitcoin Keys: Bip39 Seed Words

This first article takes a look at how to actually manage your seed phrase used to generate your private keys, how they work under the hood, and how to safely generate them. It is absolutely critical that users understand how to manage them properly.

This article gives readers all the basics they need to know.

Step 2 | Bitcoin Has No Top Because Fiat Has No Bottom: Understanding Monetary Debasement

The second article discusses the dynamics of monetary debasement with fiat currencies, and the history of that across different societies. Understanding the abuse of the money printer by central banks and past fiat authorities is an important step to understanding why Bitcoin’s immutable monetary policy makes it so valuable in the world today.

Step 3 | The Do’s and Don’ts of Bitcoin Self-Custody

The next article walks through important milestones and things to ensure you do correctly when managing your funds in Bitcoin. Self custody goes beyond simply generating a seed phrase and putting it in a drawer. When you manage your own bitcoin, the responsibility is entirely yours and no one else’s.

This article walks readers through important things that must be done in managing your own keys, and how to do them correctly.

Step 4 | The Infosec Basics: How To Keep Your Bitcoin Seed Phrase Secure

Generating your seed phrase is step one of self custody, but over time you have to guarantee that it is kept safe from loss and secure from prying eyes and thieves. The fourth article walks readers through how to store their seed phrase backups safely.

Where to store them, where not to store them, the types of materials to store them with, this article covers them all.

Step 5 | Fully Noded: The Basics And Benefits Of Running A Bitcoin Node

The fifth article discusses one of the most important aspects of using Bitcoin aside from managing your own private keys: running a node. It explains why this is important, the network after all only exists because of all the disparate users and businesses who run nodes.

It also explains the direct benefits to you the user gained from running a node and verifying the blockchain yourself.

Step 6 | Quality Money: Bitcoin To Become Scarcer Than Gold Post-Halving

The sixth article compares Bitcoin to it’s analog predecessor: gold. This last halving marked Bitcoin’s inflation rate dropping below that of the king of analog store of value. Gold has always been used a comparison to explain Bitcoin’s properties as money, this article explains why Bitcoin is inherently designed to exceed gold’s value proposition monetarily.

Step 7 | Bitcoin Is Borderless: How Decentralisation and Permissionlessness Grant Autonomy Across Political Jurisdictions

Article seven dissects why Bitcoin is usable all across the world. The network is not concentrated in any single jurisdiction, meaning that it is accessible anywhere in the world. This provides Bitcoin with a unique value proposition in terms of bringing your wealth with you anywhere in the world.

Step 8 | Bitcoin Is Built To Last: How The Network Defends Against Attacks

The eighth article reinforces why Bitcoin is so robust and resilient against failure and attacks. It dissects numerous possible ways the network could be disrupted or attacked, and walks through each scenario to demonstrate why in each of them the likely outcome is that Bitcoin survives and continues to function.

It would take a truly cataclysmic event to bring the Bitcoin network to a halt.

Step 9 | Going Bankless: Bitcoin Offers The Ultimate Financial Freedom

The ninth article looks at one of Bitcoin’s chief value propositions: the ability to spend your money self custodially, without permission from anyone. It looks at both the benefits of Bitcoin that cannot be provided by traditional banks and financial services, as well as the challenges still on the horizon that must be conquered in order to scale these valuable uses to the world.

Step 10 | Running The Self-Sovereign Business

The final article in the series looks at the use of Bitcoin in commerce. Money is meant to be transacted with, and this inherently means that businesses and service providers must accept it in exchange for goods and services. This article looks at the issues that a business must consider when accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment and using it as money in the course of business operations.

Wrapping Up

This series of articles can be a valuable resource for new Bitcoiners looking to enter the space and take full advantage of the sovereignty that Bitcoin has to offer for those willing to take on the responsibility.

 Each article is focused on a single topic to either guide readers through the act of custodying their own coins, and ensuring they are equipped to do so safely, or ensure that a well rounded understanding of the value proposition of Bitcoin in a certain area is well understood.

Both of these types of content are valuable and vital in ensuring that Bitcoiners have a sound footing under them when navigating this space. Hopefully all of you have gained some valuable insight from reading them.

For more information on Ledger and self-custody, visit: https://www.ledger.com/

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