I wrote this guide for my Canadian friends and family who are new to crypto and don’t know where to start or what sites to trust, in order to buy privacy coins with solid fundamentals — such as monero (XMR) and pirate chain (ARRR) — to hodl for the long-term.
- Buy Crypto (choose your exchange, verify your identity, fund your account, buy crypto, exchange for xmr and then arrr)
- Store Crypto (choose a wallet, download and install, record your seed words and private key in a safe place printed out by hand + backed up)
- Spend Crypto (a mobile wallet is good for holding small amounts for spending; think of it as your Chequing account. Think of your cold storage wallet as a Savings account you don’t touch.)
I’ll keep this step-by-step crypto tutorial as simple and straightforward (and as thorough) as necessary and help you get started on your journey to owning your own money and taking control of your finances by utilizing peer-to-peer, voluntary, real money. I try to repeat important information in case you jump to certain headings and miss important details.
Disclaimer: Your own research is required, trade with your own discretion and due diligence.
1.Buy Your Crypto
Buying your crypto usually means buying bitcoin (BTC) with fiat (your government-issued “money”). Once you have your bitcoin, you can exchange or swap your BTC for another coin — preferably the private-by-default XMR.
Options for Canadians: BullBitcoin.com, Coinsquare.com, Bitbuy.ca, Newton.co, Kraken.com, Binance.com, KuCoin.com, ndax.io, Shakepay app (not an exhaustive list. Other exchanges not listed here are fine to use, but avoid Coinbase).
In Canada, most exchanges want to verify your identity and submit this info to regulatory agencies, which is annoying. Crypto is supposed to be anonymous and ‘outside of the system’, right?
Not all coins are created equal. For starters, BTC can be tracked and traced — turns out BTC is a great government surveillance coin. So, if you care about your privacy and want to live in a free society, when you go to spend your BTC, consider exchanging BTC first for a real, cash-like, fungible, proof-of-work privacy coin such as monero (XMR) or pirate chain (ARRR). We shall get to that later.
If you want to buy ARRR from a KYC exchange, KuCoin has now listed pirate chain as of June 22, 2021! Otherwise, read on to buy ARRR without any exchange knowing your identity and privacy coin hodlings.
Shakepay App: I’ve used this app and have had zero problems. I recommend it for beginners because it is easy to use and works well, but I’ve deleted it now that they request more information from each use and report everything to the Canadian government.
- Simply download the free Shakepay app from the Aurora Store (or whatever store you use for apps) and follow the prompts to “get verified”, including taking a short video selfie. (I know.)
- Once verified (it was fast), send some funds to yourself following the directions on Shakepay, via your bank’s interac email method. Usually interac transfers are free.
- Be aware of your bank’s daily / weekly / monthly transfer limits.
- Follow the directions in Shakepay to add your funds. BTC fees are relatively high per transaction, so it is more efficient to buy BTC in one or two large sums instead of buying many small amounts. The main thing to remember is to add your Shakepay username and code to the correct fields in your e-transfer. Pretty straightforward. You’ll need to confirm each time you add funds or withdraw, so don’t forget that step or your funds won’t transfer.
- Shakepay is only for BTC and ETH purchases. You can transfer cash from converted BTC and ETH back to your bank account, too.
- You can also send crypto and cash to your friends on Shakepay for free.
2. Send your BTC to Kraken to Convert to XMR
Once you have some bitcoin on your Shakepay app, send your BTC to Kraken or Binance or Kucoin, or wherever you prefer. If you already have an account with an exchange that has monero or litecoin, just use that. If you are brand new to crypto, let’s go with Kraken.
Open an account with Kraken. Once you have a basic account secured by your email address and 2-factor authentication, you can fund that account with BTC and convert to other coins and withdraw to other wallets and exchanges, without verifying your identity.
Sending your BTC (Kraken used to call bitcoin “XBT” — they have since updated the ticker to reflect the common “BTC” name) to your Kraken BTC deposit address will take some time. BTC is slow and expensive — another reason to use XMR instead.
How To Fund Your Kraken Account with BTC From Shakepay
From within Kraken, click on the FUNDING tab along the top navigation header. This will bring you to your account balances display page.
If BTC is not on the currencies list, type BTC into the Account Balances search box and it will appear. Search is your friend.
Next, click on Deposit beside BTC.
The next page shows your deposit addresses for receiving BTC only. Do not send any other kind of coin to your BTC address or it may be lost forever.
Click on Select to copy the Kraken BTC deposit address if you are able to paste it into the BTC withdrawal address within Shakepay, or email it to your phone.
The easiest way to send yourself bitcoin is to scan the QR code. First, click on the QR Code button within Kraken to generate the code.
Next, from within the Shakepay mobile app, tap on Send. On this page, there is a QR code image in the top right-hand corner. Touch it to launch your camera. Now aim your camera at the QR code you generated in Kraken on the BTC deposit page, and it will automatically complete the Kraken address in the Shakepay send field.
Double-check that the address is correct.
Send as much BTC as you want to Kraken. Some recommend sending a small amount to verify that you didn’t mess anything up, but I usually just send everything in one go to minimize transaction fees.
Now just wait until you have enough confirmations (6?) before touching your BTC. This can take 20-mins to an hour, but is usually less.
Now that you have your confirmed BTC funds, exchange that BTC in Kraken for some XMR goodness. Click on the Buy Crypto tab. Then on the Convert tab. Choose From Bitcoin and To Monero. Choose the amount, preview the conversion, and you’re good to go.
Wait until you have enough confirmations that the exchange into XMR has been completed. This usually takes far less time than it did to move BTC into Kraken in the first place.
Why Convert BTC into XMR Before Sending or Withdrawing to An Exchange to Get ARRR?
BTC is slow, expensive, and traceable. XMR is fast, cheap to transact, and fungible like cash. The choice is obvious.
Once you have monero, you can either keep it and hold it in a wallet you own (Cake Wallet, Edge, Exodus, etc.), or if you want to get some pirate chain, send some XMR to TradeOgre.com. TradeOgre is a non-KYC exchange (it does not require ID to use) and works well. TradeOgre is also one of the only places with liquidity to buy ARRR. So open up an account there and use 2-factor authorization (andOTP is preferable to anything Google).
The reason you send monero instead of sending your bitcoin, is that bitcoin is traceable; once you buy bitcoin from an exchange that knows who you are, that bitcoin is tagged to your identity. Monero, on the other hand, is like cash — fungible, solid, anonymous, cash. If you choose to buy bitcoin directly from an exchange, I recommend utilizing the privacy-respecting, non-custodial Bitcoin-only exchange and payments service — BullBitcoin.com.
Using bitcoin is like using your personal credit card: all of your transactions are linked to your identity. And worse, all of the transactions of that address are forever linked to your identity.
3. Exchange BTC for ARRR
To buy ARRR, the easiest, cheapest and most private way is to send your XMR to TradeOgre. Convert into bitcoin there by clicking the BTC-XMR pair under the Market tab, and selling your XMR to BTC. Then click on the BTC-ARRR trading pair, and exchange BTC for pirate chain. TradeOgre does not require KYC, so I like it. Make sure you take your coins off the exchange as soon as you buy them.
Reminder again that to get pirate chain, you’ll need your BTC. There is only a BTC-ARRR trading pair at TradeOgre; there is no XMR-ARRR trading pair, thus the need to exchange your XMR to BTC within TradeOgre.
Buying BTC With Other Exchanges in Canada
If you don’t want to use Shakepay, there are many ways to buy bitcoin in Canada.
Bullbitcoin.com works well too; it doesn’t have a wallet (a place to store your coins) so you will need to get your own wallet for bitcoin first. I recommend Cake Wallet for storing BTC and XMR and Litecoin. Cake Wallet holds only those three coin types.
- Bullbitcoin is for purchasing BTC only, but it is fast and the people are nice. Highest recommendation is that you use BullBitcoin and read all their blog articles.
- Bullbitcoin has a great instruction page to show you exactly how to use it.
Binance, Kraken, Ndax.io, Kucoin, etc. are larger exchanges with more coins.
- Benefits: With Ndax.io for example, you can buy LTC or coins other than BTC directly with fiat. (Affiliate link for ndax.io, get $10). Based out of Calgary, Ndax.io had a smooth verification process, although they do want a selfie video (as does Shakepay now). Ndax.io is cheaper than Shakepay for sending amounts over $500.
- Buying with LTC is better because the fees are lower and the confirmation and therefore transaction times are faster than with BTC.
- LTC is still a surveillance coin, so be sure to convert it to XMR and send to your own self-hosted wallet (for which you have the keys and the seed words) at some point
Most people buy BTC first because it is available all over, then they swap it for monero. As you may know, you can purchase XMR with fiat from an exchange like Kraken, but there is very low liquidity and the process is long and annoying. So, I send LTC or BTC to Kraken, and convert it into XMR there. Once I have XMR, I send it to TradeOgre for purchasing ARRR, or to my own wallet.
If you want to hold XMR on your phone, the Cake Wallet works for me.
If you have an assortment of coins and don’t want to keep your XMR in its own wallet, there are many wallets like Exodus or Edge Wallet for multiple types of coins.
Where to Store Your Crypto
You will store your crypto in your own wallet. You are your own bank, now. So, choose a wallet — there are many. You have many options for storing your crypto:
- Keep it at the exchange where you bought it. Many beginners (or traders about to make a trade) do this. While Kraken or Ndax or Kucoin are legit and reasonably secure, if you leave your crypto in their digital vaults, then the exchange will technically have control of your crypto. Also, if the exchange is hacked, you might lose everything.
- Move your crypto to a hot wallet, — a digital wallet on the internet, a wallet installed on a computer, or an app on a smartphone.
- Move it to a cold wallet. This is what you will want to do when you are HODLing for the longterm. A cold wallet is any type of storage not connected to the internet — engraved copper plates, a USB stick with your GhostShipOS installed securing your ARRR, or a hardware wallet like a Trezor or Ledger.
Both hot and cold wallets store your private keys, which are what give you access to your crypto on the blockchain. If someone else obtains your private keys, they can steal your crypto. If someone steals your phone or physical device on which you store your crypto, as long as they do not have your private keys, they do not actually have your crypto. That is because your keys allow you to access your crypto where it is stored on the blockchain itself.
So to summarize, what to do with your crypto once you’ve bought it:
- If you have a phone you don’t use for daily use, you can load a wallet on there and then leave the phone in airplane mode until you want to send or receive crypto, for example. This is a form of cold storage (a wallet that is not connected to the internet).
- If you buy your BTC from bullbitcoin, you will need to have a wallet first — they do not store your bitcoin for you. This is a good thing. “Not your keys, not your coin”, as it were. You want full custody of your money.
- Other places where you exchange fiat for bitcoin, using Shakepay app for example, will have a custodial (they control your money) wallet. Your bitcoin is relatively safe in there for the short-term, but ideally you want your own wallet and to be in total control of your own money. Just don’t lose your seed words and private key.
Things to Remember When You Create a Wallet: RECORD YOUR SEED PHRASE and keep it in a safe place. If your phone with your wallet dies, or you lose your phone, you can access your money on the blockchain (your wallet) by regenerating your wallet with your seed phrase (and password, if applicable to the wallet). Do not copy and paste the seed phrase and save it in a file. Print it out by hand. Or use a cold wallet, like the ledger nano X for monero, or use GhostShipOS (for pirate chain, on a USB stick).
“No KYC” Exchanges
Be careful of some exchanges that are free to deposit and require no “KYC” (identify verification), but then when you go to withdraw your coins, they may deny your request until you verify your identity (Coinsbit.io!). TradeOgre is a good exchange and will not hold your coins ransom. Still, remove your coins from any exchange unless you are about to make a trade.
Avoid Coinbase, they report directly to the CRA. I’m sure others do, too. If you have used Coinbase, that isn’t the end of the world. By converting your bitcoin and other surveillance coins into monero and other fungible coins (pirate chain, perhaps wownero, but mainly monero), your digital money behaves the way money was intended: untraceable, fungible, freeing — like money is supposed to be. No indelible paper trail.
Recommended Wallets for Holding Your XMR and ARRR
There are tons of wallets out there that can hold XMR, but only a few wallets made by pirate chain developers themselves can hold ARRR.
For Monero, check out getmonero.org/downloads and choose one of their recommended wallets. They are a little technical.
Mobile: For Android and iOS, I like Cake Wallet; you can convert BTC to XMR and vice versa (for a price) within the Cake wallet if you need to. Cake holds Monero and BTC only.
Edge wallet holds many other coins in addition to BTC and XMR, if you like to carry an assortment of coins on your phone.
For pirate chain, go to pirate.black/wallets and choose one of their recommended wallets.
Remember that the pirate wallet holds ONLY ARRR, so don’t send bitcoin or any other coin to your pirate chain wallet.
Remember to back-up your seed words! And private key (if applicable)! Without your seed words, you cannot regenerate a lost or deleted wallet. There are many methods of storing your seed words and keys, but begin with printing them out on paper. Have back-ups and keep those back-ups SAFE — you are your own bank and nobody else can retrieve / access your funds without those seed words.
How to Spend Monero and Pirate Chain
Pirate chain has its own marketplace at ARRRmada.
ARRRmada is a community of merchants that accept ARRR. It is supported by First Mate Seko. All merchants that accept ARRR are promoted via the official channels of Pirate Chain.
For a list of all the merchants accepting ARRR or to apply to be listed, visit https://arrrmada.com
Monero: GetMonero.org maintains a page of merchants and services that accept monero, but it is by no means exhaustive.
Ask your local merchants if you can pay with crypto — and pay your local farmers and services with crypto! Peer-to-peer is the way to go.