Accepting Cryptocurrency

February 10, 2021 at 10:41 pm | Posted in Backup, Economoney, Software | Leave a comment
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I’ve had some requests to accept digital currency on my other WordPress site. When I last looked, this was a rather challenging proposition. But I discovered it’s now much more straightforward.

Cryptocurrency is a huge topic. It’s like combining the stock market with international currency exchange and international trade. Uniquely though, it’s decentralized, distributed, very secure, and transactions are all public (but not identities).

I’m just a beginner but I thought it worth sharing what I’ve learned for others in a similar place. There’s lots of conflicting opinions out there.

First, you need a “digital wallet” to hold your funds.

The most secure is a hardware device you plug in via USB.
Devices by Ledger and Trezor are recommended.

But this is premature for getting started. It’s simpler to start with a software digital wallet.

Careful with online trading accounts as you may not control your private key and can be totally dependent on them for your funds and security. No bank insurance.

For a desktop computer, simplest may be an app that handles a single currency, like the recommended Electrum for BitCoin. However, if you’re going to accept several currencies, it’s more straightforward to use one app that handles all your currencies in one wallet and allows easy transferring between them.

I settled on Atomic Wallet. During setup, you’ll be asked to make note of your seed phrase. This is a way to recover your private key and restore funds in the event of a computer problem. Don’t skip this.

Sending and receiving digital funds is free. Exchanging and purchasing coin can be more costly within the app but is also more straightforward and avoids third-party risks. In the upper right is a button to a settings screen that allows you to turn off the currencies you’re not interested in now.

Another recommended option is the similar Exodus. They have a partnership with Trezor, making migrating to hardware later more straightforward. They also have a mobile wallet. The software has fewer features than Atomic and their support pages were lacking.

For iPhone and Android, Trust Wallet or Exodus (above) are recommended, though I’ve not tried them. Evidently Atomic will soon have a mobile app too.

Advantages of a cell app include having the wallet with you and using QR code scans to get wallet addresses rather than copy-paste. The big disadvantage is increased vulnerability, so take care with security settings.

With a digital wallet up and running, you can now exchange digital currency!

The key with any wallet is recognizing your data has monetary value. You need:

1) A password manager. Your wallet needs a strong password that’s hard to remember. You don’t want to lose your funds. And there is no central authority that can restore your password.

This is also a good place to store your Seed Phrase (private key) securely so you can recover your wallet.

2) A backup. While your wallet data is encrypted and stored decentrally online, your access to that is in your wallet. Again, you don’t want to lose that.

After you’ve chosen and installed a wallet, your second step is to offer it to the world. That needs a WordPress plugin. The Cryptocurrency Donation Box was just the ticket.

After installing and activating the plugin, you add your wallets public addresses for each coin you want to offer.

In Atomic, click the currency and click Receive and it will show the public “address” of your wallet for that currency. Click Copy, then paste that into the plugin for that currency.

A few popular ones should do it. Save. On Settings, you may want to tweak the Description.

Finally, just paste the Shortcode into the Page where you want it to show up. I used the tabular one, as shown at the top of the plugins description page.

Now you can accept digital currency on your WordPress site. The user copies your address, pastes it into their wallet, adds an amount, and clicks Send. In a few minutes, it shows up in yours. Easier than PayPal.

Like to know more? A very simple introduction to Bitcoin:

On YouTube

An overview of the implications:

On YouTube

David

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