Following the success of our first Bitcoin video and demand for a second, we have created this guide on the next steps to understanding and using Bitcoin. This episode explains how to create a web wallet, where to buy Bitcoins and how to find the local exchange rates.
Hi there and welcome to another episode of MyCurrencyTransferTV. We’ve talked a little bit previously about Bitcoin, what it is and a little bit about how it works. I thought today why not cover 3 questions as to the next steps.
So once you know what Bitcoin is, how do you;
- Create a wallet. It’s not a physical wallet, so where do you get it? How do you set it up?
- Where to buy Bitcoins. How do you get hold of this virtual currency?
- What are the market rates? How do I keep up to date with Bitcoin rates going up and down?
How do you create a wallet?
So to create a wallet there are two ways. The most popular way is the one I’d advise, one that I use myself. It’s a website called blockchain.info. There you put in your username, password, e-mail address, set-up. You are presented with a Bitcoin address once you are logged in which you don’t need to keep private. It is public and you can share it with anyone so that people can send you money to that Bitcoin address. I would recommend to save your private key, in order to keep your money safe. If you search ‘how do you save your private key’ or ‘export private key’ on blockchain, you will find answers to that. Quite simply, there’s an import and export tab once you log in, and you can save that. The reason why you want to do that is because if Blockchain was to go down, your money will be safe. If you didn’t export your private key, nobody else has a copy of it, and it’s not backed up, then its lost. Most web wallets are treated as a bit unsafe as if for instance a hacker was to break in to a web wallet they can take all the private keys etc. With Blockchain.info, at least if the site crashes, your money is still yours.
Another option for creating a wallet is to use an application that’s not web based but from your computer so you must rely on yourself to back it up etc. A couple of options here are Bitcoin-qt which is the original Bitcoin application for wallets and is very popular. A few others, Multibit, Armory. These are all cross-platform, Mac, Lennox, Windows, Android so you can access your money in different formats.
Where do you buy them?
There are a couple of ways you can buy these Bitcoins, namely from people as they will have got them somehow. They are not bought from a machine that generates them, they do get generated and mined but they’re mined by groups of people so you have to buy them from a person so they are generally traded. There are a couple of online exchange platforms that do this, one of which is localbitcoins.com amongst a couple of others. I prefer to use bittylicious.com. Here you will be required to enter your Bitcoin address at the top, how many Bitcoins you want, you place the order, are presented with the bank details of the person you need to send the Pound equivalent amount to and once you do that, a few minutes later they will send the Bitcoin amount to your Bitcoin address. Very simple, very quick, great.
Localbitcoins.com on the other hand gives you a number of different options of paying, so not just bank-to-bank. You can buy the Bitcoins in cash, you meet up with the person, give them the cash and they then transfer Bitcoins. That works as well.
If you’re in the USA, coinbase.com is an option that‘s a lot like Paypal. It’s quite big, it’s got a well-built out website. The only down-side of coinbase.com is that it takes about 4 days for the Bitcoins to arrive once you’ve placed the order whereas with bittylicious.com it tends to be within the next 2 hours. It’s only dependent on when the recipient receives your money so that they can send you the Bitcoins. So that relies on the banking system but I’ve found it to take half an hour generally.
What are the rates?
Everyone wants to know, are the rates going up or down? When is the best time to buy? Of course no one knows when the best time to buy is. Of course no one knows when the best time to buy is, it’s all speculative. So to get in on this speculative action, check out the website, bitcoinity.org/markets. If you want a specific UK chart with British Pound and Bitcoin exchange rate data then visit bitcoinity.org/markets/localbitcoins/GBP. Otherwise, bitcoinity.org/markets will give you information on the markets of Bitcoins to help you buy and sell them in future.
Need extra tips on Bitcoin?
I hope you have found these next steps on Bitcoin useful.
If you have any questions, please do not hesistate to reach out to me on Twitter @stevanl or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Stevan Litobac on Google+