The Simple Guide To The Best Ways To Get And Use Bitcoins
Simple Bitcoin Guide
Bitcoin is a virtual and online currency that was created in 2009 as a response the financial crisis and mistrust of national currencies. Once in the background as something that only concerned computer hackers, people making illicit purchases, or the truly paranoid, these coins have begun to get attention with mainstream news outlets and some fairly mainstream investors.
Some baby boomers are beginning to catch on the idea as a way to invest for retirement, save, and even make money. This is no longer the domain of high-tech hackers, kids, or the underground. A site called BlockChain.org provides a Bitcoin wallet service, and they also provide the public with a lot of information about global exchanges. Consider some of the following statistics from real-time charts on this website.
- In December of 2013, exchanges peaked at over 100,000 exchanges per day.
- In that same month, there were $15,000,000 worth of Bitcoin in existence.
- In USD (U.S. Dollars), the ask price of a single Bitcoin was $820 as of this writing.
However, the whole process of getting Bitcoins may seem very complex, and it can be that way. But there are several ways of getting bitcoins that are so simple that anybody with basic computer skills and an Internet-enabled device can join in.
Getting Started With Bitcoins
This is the simple guide. If you are already a high-tech hacker, you probably already know this stuff and ten times more. You can always pitch in by commenting on this guide with your own suggestions.
Using Bitcoin In Three Simple Steps
- Create a Bitcoin wallet.
- Get Bitcoin by mining, getting paid, or earning them.
- Spend Bitcoin (or save them).
Simple Ways To Create A Bitcoin Wallet
A Bitcoin wallet is a virtual computer application. It is not a physical one like the one you might keep in your pocket or handbag. There are two ways to create a wallet.
- Download software that you store on your own device.
- Use a web wallet.
There are advantages and disadvantages of both strategies. If you download software to your own device, you can be in control of your private and personal information. You should always be certain to back that information up to a flash drive or secure storage device. However, if you use a web wallet, you run the risk of entrusting your stash to a third-party, but you can also let that third-party worry about storage, computer crashes, and security.
Download Wallet Applications
This page can help you choose your Bitcoin Wallet to download. Your choices are downloads for personal computers, Mac devices, and Android devices. You can find wallet apps that run on computers, smart phones, and tablets. Again, be sure you follow the suggestions for securely protecting your wallet and backing it up in case your device is every lost or destroyed. You don’t want one computer crash to wipe out your entire stash of virtual currency.
The page mentioned above also has some web wallet choices. These are simply accounts that you set up on a third-party wallet systems. They might be much easier to manage than having to worry about downloading, installing, and protecting a wallet on your own computer. However, you should always research any third-parties before you trust them with your virtual roll of Bitcoin.
Some popular web wallets are:
- Blockchain: That site was already mentioned above.
- Coinbase: This web wallet service strives to be simple to use for newbies.
- Coinkite: This is another online Bitcoin wallet service that is fairly easy to use, and it has payment services included.
Now that you have your wallet set up, you might notice that it is empty. You will want to proceed with the next step, and that is finding simple ways to begin getting Bitcoins!
Simple Ways To Begin Getting Bitcoins
There are three basic ways to start getting Bitcoins. You can mine for them, get paid in Bitcoin, or simply buy Bitcoin on an exchange or from another collector. Consider these methods to select the one that you would like to start with.
Mining for Bitcoin
Most newbies should probably join a Bitcoin mining pool. The thing is that it is very hard to mine for Bitcoin on your own, and you will probably be better off by joining a pool of other miners. You contribute some of the computer processing power that is needed to earn the prize, and you get paid back according to your contribution.
Here is an example of a Bitcoin mining pool that you can join. You will certainly want to research different pools and do your own due diligence. That suggestion is an example, and it should not be construed as a positive or negative vote for this service.
You will also need some software before you can start contributing to the mining pool. Some examples of simple software that are easy to install are:
- GUMINER: For Personal Computers
- Astroid: For Macs
Get Paid In Bitcoins
If you run your own business, you can offer your customers a choice of paying you in Bitcoin. This is mostly done with online businesses. However, mobile Bitcoin applications have made it possible for offline businesses to begin accepting virtual currency. This is still fairly rare, but you can find everything from computer repair shops to bars to chiropractors that accept these type of virtual money in NYC, for example.
You may also find some online sites that offer to pay in Bitcoin for services rendered. Again, you are always advised to do your own research, but these sites might provide a simple way to earn some Bitcoin – or more likely fractions of a virtual coin.
Buy Bitcoins On An Exchange
The simplest way of getting Bitcoins is to simply buy them in whatever physical currency you have. This site, How to Buy Bitcoins, lets you put in your country. In return, they supply you with links to several exchanges that you can use with your home currency. Do we have to warn you again to use your common sense and do research before trusting third-parties with your money? No, but the site also repeats that warning.
Different sites will give you different options to pay for Bitcoin:
- If you use Coinbase as your wallet (mentioned above), you can connect it to your bank account.
- Some services allow you to purchase a Visa or Mastercard gift card.
- Bank transfers, cash, checks, or debit cards.
How To Spend Bitcoin
Of course, you can always sell them back to an exchange. Of course, you might want to find ways to spend your virtual money directly with online and offline merchants. Some online merchants accept them, and Overstock.com is probably the largest. The word is that eBay considered it, but this has not happened yet.
It is easy enough to turn to your favorite search engine to find directories of Internet and local companies that accept Bitcoins in payment. Most of the companies will be online, but one recent news article reported on dozens of companies in NYC that are open to virtual payments. You may be able to make the transfer with a smart phone app, or the business will probably have a computer available.
Will This Simple Guide To Getting Bitcoins Help?
Hopefully, this guide will provide you with plenty of research material to start your own Bitcoin adventure. It may become an investment, hobby, business, or even the basis of your retirement plan.