Step 1: Quick! Get Mom to the App Store!
Flipping through mom’s iPhone, immediately noticeable are applications (apps) she’s already found: Pinterest, Netflix, Groupon. Clearly she knows her way around the App Store. Ask her to click the A icon (fig. 1).
In the Search Bar, thumb the phrase “bitcoin wallet.” That should list multiple wallets, handily rated to grab her attention, and just a click away from download. For mom’s purposes, suggest three popular choices: Airbitz, Bread, or Bitcoin.com. Each has an intuitive interface, and each is beyond easy to use.
Airbitz, now called Edge (in beta), is just lovely. It offers discounted gift cards, and merchants who accept bitcoin, along with the usual wallet features (fig. 2). Bread is great in its own way as well, and might be less cluttered. It has simple Send and Receive functions as its only options. Both are wonderful choices.
We’re going to walk-through Bitcoin.com’s wallet. It is streamlined and incredibly useful for newbies. It’s also closing-in on a million downloads. Mom will dig it.
Step 2: Download a Wallet
Before any next step, get mom a piece of paper and a pen.
Mom then should click Bitcoin.com’s wallet for iOS (near the Apple logo), the operating system undergirding iPhone. The wallet was actually updated just days ago, and version 4.0.4 includes bitcoin and its most-popular ”fork”, bitcoin cash, capabilities.
Right after she presses download, “get,” “install,” a corresponding icon will appear on the phone’s home screen. It should also show a progress bar as it loads. This shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes depending on mom’s internet connection.
Ask her to click the icon (fig. 3). From there, she’ll be prompted through the very basic setup procedures. A snazzy aspect of the Bitcoin.com wallet includes, at every new juncture, a principle or hint as to why what is prompted is being prompted. Mom is receiving an education as she installs.
Click “get started.” Three ‘pages’ of simple instructions follow. Click “create bitcoin wallet.” It should then confirm her wallet has been created. It should ask for an email notification. Enter her favorite email address. Click “continue.” Click “confirm.”
Now is perhaps the most important part. Remember that paper and pen you gave her? She should see “No backup, no bitcoin.” Click on “backup wallet.” She’ll be warned about what she is about to do. Click “got it.” No screenshots, click “I understand.”
It will then give mom a 12 word seed, a randomly generated set of words, to use as a recovery phrase. Have mom write down these words in order. Click “I’ve written them down.” She’ll then be re-prompted to confirm her recovery phrase in the exact order given.
She’s now setup to send and receive bitcoin. Be a good lad, yeah?, and send her a few Satoshis to get her excited.
Step 3: Getting Bitcoin
The best way mentally to grasp cryptocurrency is to use it. The holidays give bitcoiners the perfect chance to spread crypto literacy and offer something probably no one else will even consider when it comes to mom.
Sitting there, transferring money from your phone to hers will delight her to no end. And doing it more than one time will allow her to see how addresses are refreshed and regenerated to facilitate pseudo-anonymity. Cool stuff.
If she gets the bug and wants to dive right in, an easy to use site that doesn’t ask for too many personal details is Localbitcoins. And, unlike exchanges of the formal variety, she keeps her key/seed to herself. But, tag along with her the first time she meets up with a bitcoiner on a café to exchange some old fiat to shiny new crypto.
Well, you’ve done it now. Mom can brag to her friends she is riding the wave of financial freedom, becoming her own bank. Soon, she’ll be wearing crypto-gear around the house, using lingo such as “Hodl,” and will probably run circles around you pretty quickly.
What do you think about all this? Is it a good idea to help the elderly get into bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.