The best way to understand about bitcoin, is to jump in and get several in your “pocket” to get a feel for how they work.
Despite the hype about how difficult and dangerous it can be, getting bitcoins is a lot easier and safer than you may think. In a lot of ways, it is probably easier than opening an account at a traditional bank. And, given what has been happening in the bank operating system, it really is probably safer too.
There are a few things to learn: getting and using a software wallet, learning how exactly to send and receive money, learning how to buy bitcoin from the person or an exchange.
Before getting started, you will need to get yourself a wallet. You are able to do this easily enough by registering with one of the exchanges that may host wallet for you personally. And, although I think you are going to want to have a number of exchange wallets eventually, you should start with one all on your own computer both to obtain a better feel for bitcoin and because the exchanges remain experimental themselves. When we get to that stage of the discussion, I am advising that you will get in the habit of moving your cash and coins off the exchanges or diversifying across exchanges to help keep your money safe.
What is a wallet?
It is a way to store your bitcoins. Specifically, digital currency is software that has been made to store bitcoin. It can be run on your desktop computer, laptop, mobile device (except, up to now, Apple) and can also be made to store bitcoins on things such as thumb drives. Should you be concerned about being hacked, then that is a great option. Even the Winklevoss* twins, who’ve millions committed to bitcoin, put their investment on hard disks which they then put into a safety deposit box.
*The Winklevoss twins are the ones who originally had the theory for a social media site that became Facebook. They hired Mark Zuckerberg who took their idea as their own and became immensely rich.
What do you have to know about having a bitcoin wallet on your pc?
Below you can download the initial bitcoin wallet, or client, in Windows or Mac format. These are not just wallets, but are actually part 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 really a number that appears like this: 1LyFcQatbg4BvT9gGTz6VdqqHKpPn5QBuk). You will notice a field where one can copy and paste lots like this from a person you wish to send money to and off it will go straight into that person’s wallet. You can even create a QR code which will let someone have a picture with an app on the phone and send you some bitcoin. It is perfectly safe to give these out – the address and QR code are both for my donations page. Feel absolve to donate!
NOTE: This sort of wallet acts both as a wallet for you and as portion of the bitcoin system. The reason why bitcoin works is that each transaction is broadcast and recorded as a number across the entire system (meaning that every transaction is confirmed and made irreversible by the network itself). Any computer with the proper 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 require up 8-9 gigabytes of your computer’s memory. Once you install the wallet, it will require as much as a day for the wallet to sync with the network. That is normal, does not harm your personal computer, and makes the system all together more secure, so it’s advisable.