By Nikolai Tjongarero
Good day fellow, or potential Bitcoiner, My name is Nikolai Tjongarero, but I’m more recognisable by my pseudonym @OKIN_17. So who is OKIN & why am I here speaking to you through text right now?
In short, I’m a Bitcoin Maximalist from Namibia (located in the Southern African coast of our lovely continent, just above South Africa & below Angola) who took it upon myself to read as much as I could about Bitcoin, Austrian Economics & Money once I really dove into the “Rabbit Hole” in 2019. I hold an Honours Degree in International Business Administration & an MBA, but neither have taught me as much as my Certificate in the ‘Bitcoin for Everybody’ Course obtained from The Saylor Academy did & I'm not exaggerating.
My journey into Bitcoin is a long, convoluted mash-up of disbelief, hands on testing & a dash of getting Rekt with Shitcoinery (Yes, we all made mistakes before we knew better) which "started" back in 2012 & finally led to the obsessive research into the greatest culmination of technologies we might ever see in our lives, Bitcoin.
We all seem to get into Bitcoin for our own reasons. It may be because you actually did the work & read the material necessary to start understanding the “how” & “why”; you may be a Day-Trader who saw an opportunity; maybe you heard about it from a friend or family member & decided to jump in because of FOMO (Fear of Loosing Out), or you may even be a Scammer. The truth is that Bitcoin is for ‘Everybody’, but one of the main reasons many of us stay is the magic of 'Self-Custody'.
See the thing with most humans alive today, is that at sometime in their lives, the bank has either charged them, or someone they know, for something they didn't understand or know they consented to.
I only started looking into Bitcoin years after someone introduced me to it, when I got tired of paying the ever rising fees to send money through Western Union. But the thoughts & viability of it really came rushing in when I missed a single Credit Card payment & my bank in Namibia decided to add a charge of 3x the initial payment amount onto my next payment. As an Entrepreneur this hit during a time when I really needed those funds to cover other costs & it furthermore made no sense to me at all.
How could they do that & to that degree without communicating anything to me? But that was when I went even further down the Rabbit Hole to understand the importance Bitcoin & magic of Self-Custody. I am happy to share this brief primer on Bitcoin custody. I hope it helps you on your own Bitcoin journey.
There are a plethora of terms in the Bitcoin ecosystem which make it seem like a
completely new language most will never fully comprehend, but like anything else in life, the only way to learn, is to get to doing the learning. So let’s jump right into the next section & start with describing what exactly Custodial & Non-Custodial Accounts/Services are & explore them in a Bitcoin context.