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Sovereignty: Cold Storage & Your First Lightning Node

Bitcoin Education

2022 is here, and I want to give a quick thought piece. I am grateful that from the earliest moments of my Bitcoin journey, had friends who were teaching me about cold storage, seed recovery, and being my own custodian.

My favorite part of being down the Bitcoin rabbit hole was when I learned what truly makes Bitcoin unique in the sea of vaporware tokens that are out there. There is no shortage of flashy use cases for blockchain projects, which are mostly all centralized and lack censorship resistance. In the West, we do not put a large focus on censorship resistance because we have luxurious freedoms unlike many people in the world.

Counter party risk, my experience

The toughest counterparty risk case I have personally experienced is a Visa credit card chargeback. If you have never heard of a chargeback, it simply means payment is returned to the prior debit or credit card after payment is completed. Visa does this habitually more than any credit card company. This cost my last organization hundreds of thousands of dollars. What is great about Bitcoin is that the payment settles, and is final.

Bitcoin was built on the principles of decentralization, censorship resistance, transparency, security, self custody, and interoperability while creating economic empowerment for every participant.

The common Bitcoin Journey

There are common steps in one’s Bitcoin Journey.

Simplified, many of my friends follow this order:

  1. Start DCA Bitcoin
  2. Get cold storage, hold your own keys.
  3. Set up your own node, validate the blockchain, and broadcast your own payments.

Cold Storage

Understanding the recovery process of funds with your seed phrase is pivotal to your relationship with Bitcoin. If exchanges get hacked and your funds are stolen, you have no real way to recover. If you set up a hardware wallet and protect your seed phrase, you can recover your Bitcoin if you lose the hardware wallet. I went through this in my first couple of years. I was scared to death. I misplaced my hardware wallet and freaked out. My good friend Brian helped me recover with my seed my first time, and it was one of the coolest moments I have personally experienced. The fact that a hand full of words can ensure you recover your wealth when you think it is lost is weird the first time you experience it. At that moment I realized how much freedom we have through Bitcoin and the power of one’s own private keys.

Running my own node – my story

When I started running my own lightning node at home, I was using Umbrel. I had a desire to be a quality routing node. I quickly learned how bad and spotty my home internet was. I use Comcast internet, and my node was intermittent, constantly going in and out. My friends who are quality nodes always gave me a hard time because my node was unreliable thanks to an unstable internet connection. If I was just making payments, reliability is not as important. If you want to route payments, you will need a reliably connected node.

I did not know about Voltage when I first set up my Umbrel. My intermittent internet was discouraging because I thought I could never be a routing node and that I would simply use my node to make payments. Once I joined the Voltage team, my mind was blown.

Not only could I now make payments from my node, but I could route payments with a node that has incredible uptime. Next, I plan to make my node accessible everywhere globally to myself when on the go with Zeus.

What’s next?

The more I get to know cypherpunks and engineers that are building this world-changing technology, it pushes me to want to learn more on the technical side and break out of my box of the simple DCA stacking, self custody, and running a node.

The Bitcoin community is growing and most everyone is willing to lend a hand. I would encourage you to set up your own lightning node. If you have crappy internet like mine and want to route payments and add a reliable node to the network, look no further than Voltage. You will be blown away by our service and the product our team is building.

Try a free 7-day node trial below.

If you have any questions or comments either email us at support@voltage.cloud, use our live on-site chat, or join us on Discord. ⚡️