Bitcoin is the world’s leading digital currency and continues to grow as people learn about its breakthrough potential as a peer-to-peer digital payment system.
Here are three steps to help you get started using Bitcoin right now:
Step 1: Download a Bitcoin Wallet
A Bitcoin wallet is an app or program that allows you send and receive bitcoin. Wallets also keep track of your bitcoin balance which is held in one or more bitcoin addresses. Generally, wallets also have a feature that keeps a history of your bitcoin transactions.
There are many different wallets across various platforms. While they all share certain basic functionality, features vary from one wallet to the other so it’s worth learning more about How to Choose a Bitcoin Wallet before downloading the wallet of your choice.
Step 2: Add Bitcoin to Your Wallet
Now that you have a wallet, you probably want to add some bitcoin to your balance. Have your Bitcoin wallet address ready and visit the buy Bitcoin page. Here, you will be able to easily purchase Bitcoin with a credit card. Another option is to choose a Bitcoin Exchange where you can quickly set up an account and buy bitcoins with funds from a bank account or credit card.
Keep your private key(s) private and never share with anyone. It is very important to backup your wallet’s private key and any other credentials for offline storage. Failing to backup could result in the loss of your Bitcoin holdings if you should ever lose the device on which the wallet is installed.
Step 3: Use a Bitcoin Wallet to Send and Receive Bitcoin
Receiving bitcoin is as easy as giving the sender your public address. Sending bitcoin requires a few more steps and since bitcoin
transactions are irreversible, it is important to pay attention when sending. Overall, the process for sending bitcoin is actually quite easy:
- Copy the receiver’s public Bitcoin address (or scan QR code)
- Open your wallet and navigate to its “Send” feature, paste the receiver’s address into the appropriate field
- Specify the amount you want to send (for help converting fiat currency into bitcoin visit our Bitcoin Tools page.)
- Confirm that the address and amount are both correct
Bitcoin is accepted by thousands of individuals, websites, and brick-and-mortar businesses around the world.
Best Practices for New Bitcoin Users
Congratulations! You have bought your first bitcoin and know the basics of receiving and sending—you are now a full-fledged Bitcoiner!
You have the basics but there is always more to learn. Bitcoin is a tool that is only as useful as your ability to hold and spend it properly. Here are some best practices for new Bitcoin users to read and learn:
- How to Choose the Right Bitcoin Wallet
- How to Choose the Right Bitcoin Exchange
- Guide to Avoiding Bitcoin Fraud
- Cold Storage: What is It and How to Set it Up
The above steps are just the basics. Bitcoin and it’s blockchain technology on which it relies are robust solutions to payment obstacles all over the world. Since bitcoin is real money it is important to have a solid understanding of certain aspects related to receiving, storing, and spending.
Crypto Clarified will be providing unbiased coverage of all cryptocurrencies. We are not a coin desk or exchange, nor do we have any vested interest in you purchasing Bitcoin or any other of the virtual currencies. Our goal is to make the complex world of cryptocurrencies understandable to the average Joe- those of us wanna be geeks.