How to Buy Bitcoin – Step One

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

Despite the hype about how difficult and dangerous it could be, getting bitcoins is a lot easier and safer than you may think. In a lot of ways, it really is probably easier than opening a merchant account at a traditional bank. And, given what has been happening in the banking system, it is probably safer too.

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

Preparation

Before getting started, you will have to get yourself a wallet. You can do this easily enough by registering with one of many exchanges which will host wallet for you. And, although I think you will definitely want to have one or more exchange wallets eventually, you should start with one by yourself computer both to obtain a better feel for bitcoin and as the exchanges remain experimental themselves. When we reach that stage of the discussion, I am advising that you get in the habit of moving your money and coins off the exchanges or diversifying across exchanges to keep your money safe.

What is a wallet?

It is a solution to store your bitcoins. Specifically, mining is software that has been designed to store bitcoin. It is usually run on your pc, laptop, mobile device (except, up to now, Apple) and can also be produced to store bitcoins on things such as thumb drives. When you are worried about being hacked, then that is clearly a great option. Even the Winklevoss* twins, who have millions committed to bitcoin, put their investment on hard drives which they then placed into a safety deposit box.

*The Winklevoss twins are the ones who originally had the idea for a social networking site that became Facebook. They 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 initial bitcoin wallet, or client, in Windows or Mac format. They are not just wallets, but are actually portion of the bitcoin network. They’ll receive, store, and send your bitcoins. It is possible to create one or more addresses with a click (an address is a number that looks like this: 1LyFcQatbg4BvT9gGTz6VdqqHKpPn5QBuk). You will see a field where you could copy and paste a number like this from the person you intend to send money to and off it’ll go straight into that person’s wallet. You may also create a QR code that may let someone have a picture with an app on their phone and send you some bitcoin. It is perfectly safe to provide these out – the address and QR code are both for my donations page. Feel absolve to donate!

NOTE: This type of wallet acts both as a wallet for you and as part of the bitcoin system. The reason why bitcoin works is that each transaction is broadcast and recorded as a number over the entire system (and therefore every transaction is confirmed and made irreversible by the network itself). Any computer with the right software can be section of that system, checking and supporting the network. This wallet serves as your personal wallet and also as a support for that system. Therefore, be aware that it will take up 8-9 gigabytes of your computer’s memory. After you install the wallet, it will require as much as a day for the wallet to sync with the network. This is normal, does not harm your personal computer, and makes the system as a whole more secure, so it’s a good idea.

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