Buying Bitcoin – Step One

The best way to learn about bitcoin, is to jump within and get a few in your “pocket” to get a feel for how they work.

Regardless of the hype about how difficult and dangerous it can be, getting bitcoins is a lot easier plus safer than you might think. In a great deal of ways, it is probably easier compared to opening an account at a traditional financial institution. And, given what has been taking place in the banking system, it is most likely safer too.

There are a few things to learn: getting and using a software wallet, learning how to send and receive money, learning how to purchase bitcoin from a person or an exchange.

Preparation

Before getting started, you will need to get yourself a wallet. You can do this easily enough by registering with one of the exchanges which will host wallet for you. And, although I think you are going to want to have a number of exchange wallets eventually, you should start with one on your own computer both to get a better feel for bitcoin also because the exchanges are still experimental by themselves. When we get to that stage from the discussion, I will be advising that you get within the habit of moving your money plus coins off the exchanges or diversifying across exchanges to keep your money safe.

What is a wallet?

It is a way to shop your bitcoins. Specifically, it is software program 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 upon things like thumb drives. If you are concerned about being hacked, then that is a good option. Even the Winklevoss* twins, who have hundreds of thousands invested in bitcoin, put their investment decision on hard drives which they then put into a safety deposit box.

*The Winklevoss twins are the ones that originally had the idea for a social network site that became Facebook. They hired Mark Zuckerberg who got their idea as his own plus became immensely rich.

What do you need to 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.
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These are not simply wallets, but are in fact part of the bitcoin network. They will receive, store, and send your bitcoins. You can create one or more addresses with a click (an address is a number that seems like this: 1LyFcQatbg4BvT9gGTz6VdqqHKpPn5QBuk). You will see a field where one can copy and paste a number like this from a person you want to send money to and off it will move directly into that person’s wallet. You may also create a QR code which will let someone take a picture with an application on their phone and send you some bitcoin. It is perfectly safe to provide these out – the address and QR code are both intended 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 works is that every transaction is broadcast and recorded as a number throughout the entire system (meaning that every deal is confirmed and made permanent by the network itself). Any pc with the right software can be component of that system, checking and assisting the network. This wallet serves as your personal wallet and also as an assistance for that system. Therefore , be aware that it will require up 8-9 gigabytes of your computer’s memory. After you install the finances, it will take as much as a day for the finances to sync with the network. This really is normal, does not harm your computer, and makes the system as a whole more secure, therefore it is a good idea.

Bitcoin Qt

The original pocket.
This is a full-featured wallet: create several addresses to receive bitcoins, send bitcoins easily, track transactions, and online backup your wallet.
Outside of the time it will take to sync, this is a very easy to use option.
Search for Bitcoin Qt wallet download to find their site.
Ermine

Runs on top of Bitcoi Qt, so it has all of the same syncing needs.
Armory allows you to back up, encrypt, and the ability to store your bitcoins away from line.
Search for Bitcoin Armory Wallet to find their site.
If you don’t want to have that much memory used or have a tendency want to wait for your wallet in order to sync, there are good wallets that do not make you sync the entire good bitcocin:

Multibit

A lightweight wallet that syncs quickly. This is very great for new users.
Search for Bitcoin Multibit Wallet to find their site.
Electum

In addition to being quick and light, this particular wallet allows you to recover lost information using a passcode.
Search for Bitcoin Electum Wallet to find their site.
Once you get the wallet set up, take a couple of minutes clicking around. Things to look for:

u There will be a page that shows you how a lot of 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 this. (Interesting note, 0. 00000001 is one Satoshi, named after the pseudonymous inventor of bitcoin).

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