The simplest way to learn about bitcoin, is to jump within and get a few in your “pocket” to obtain a feel for how they work.
Inspite of the hype about how difficult and harmful it can be, getting bitcoins is a lot easier and safer than you might think. In a lot of ways, it is probably easier than opening an account at a traditional financial institution. And, given what has been occurring in the banking system, it is most likely safer too.
There are a few things to learn: getting and using a software wallet, learning to send and receive money, learning how to buy bitcoin from a person or an exchange.
Before getting started, you will have to get yourself a wallet. You can do this easily sufficient by registering with one of the trades which will host wallet for you. Plus, although I think you are going to want to have one or more exchange wallets eventually, you should begin with one on your own computer both to get a better feel for bitcoin and because the exchanges are still experimental on their own. When we get to that stage from the discussion, I will be advising that you get within the habit of moving your money and coins off the exchanges or diversifying across exchanges to keep your money secure.
What is a wallet?
It is a way to store your bitcoins. Specifically, it is software that has been designed to store bitcoin. It could be run on your desktop computer, laptop, mobile device (except, as yet, Apple) and may also be made to store bitcoins on things like thumb drives. If you are worried about being hacked, then that is a good option. Even the Winklevoss* twins, who have hundreds of thousands invested in bitcoin, put their investment on hard drives which they then placed into a safety deposit box.
*The Winklevoss twins are the ones that originally had the idea for a social media site that became Facebook. They will hired Mark Zuckerberg who took their idea as his own and became immensely rich.
What do you should know about having a bitcoin wallet on your computer?
Below you can download the original bitcoin wallet, or client, in Home windows or Mac format. These are not just wallets, but are in fact part of the bitcoin network. They will receive, store, and send your bitcoins. You can produce one or more addresses with a click (an address is a number that seems like this: 1LyFcQatbg4BvT9gGTz6VdqqHKpPn5QBuk). You will see a field where you can copy and paste a number like this from a person you want to send cash to and off it will go directly into that person’s wallet. You can even create a QR code which will allow someone take a picture with an application on their phone and send you several bitcoin. It is perfectly safe to provide these out – the address and QR code are both for my donations page. Feel free to contribute!
NOTE: This type of wallet acts both as a wallet for you and as area of the bitcoin system. The reason bitcoin functions is that every transaction is transmitted and recorded as a number over the entire system (meaning that every deal is confirmed and made permanent by the network itself). Any pc with the right software can be part of that system, checking and helping the network. This wallet is your personal wallet and also as an assistance for that system. Therefore , be aware that it will take up 8-9 gigabytes of your computer’s memory.
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After you install the finances, it will take as much as a day for the wallet to sync with the network. This really is normal, does not harm your computer, plus makes the system as a whole more secure, therefore it is a good idea.
The original pocket.
This is a full-featured wallet: create several addresses to receive bitcoins, send bitcoins easily, track transactions, and support your wallet.
Outside of the time it requires to sync, this is a very easy to use option.
Search for Bitcoin Qt finances download to find their site.
Runs on top of Bitcoi Qt, so it has all of the same syncing specifications.
Armory allows you to back up, encrypt, as well as the ability to store your bitcoins away line.
Search for Bitcoin Armory Finances to find their site.
If you don’t want to have that much memory used or may want to wait for your wallet to sync, there are good wallets that not make you sync the entire good bitcocin:
A lightweight pocket that syncs quickly. This is very great for new users.
Search for Bitcoin Multibit Wallet to find their site.
In addition to being quick and light, this particular wallet allows you to recover lost data using a passcode.
Search for Bitcoin Electum Wallet to find their site.
After you get the wallet set up, take a couple of minutes clicking around. Things to look for:
um There will be a page that shows you how several bitcoins are currently in your wallet. Remember that bitcoins can be broken up into smaller sized pieces, so you may see a decimal with a lot of zeros after it. (Interesting note, 0. 00000001 any Satoshi, named after the pseudonymous inventor of bitcoin).
o There will be the showing what your recent dealings are.
o There will be an area where one can create an address and a QR code (like the one I have above). You don’t need the QR code if you do not want it, but if you run a company and you want to accept bitcoin, then all you’ll need to do to accept payment is to show someone the QR code, let them take a picture of it, and they will be able to send you some money. Additionally, you will be able to create as many addresses as you like, so if you want to track in which the money is coming from, you could have a separately labeled address from each of your payees.