A Beginner’s Guide To Cutting Through The Information Overload And Learning How To Get Bitcoins
Following my previous article on what is a bitcoin where I went through 5 essential bitcoin facts, I thought I would write a post on how to get bitcoins. This is another post of the ‘What is a Bitcoin’ series. Don’t forget to check out, How to Get Bitcoins Using Coinbase. That was written for the absolute bitcoin beginner. I walk them through how to get set up with the Coinbase app on their phone.
If you haven’t got the time to take my 5 day free beginner’s guide to bitcoins email course I’ve written this post just for you. It’s meant to be a guide for any beginner who is thinking or researching about how to get bitcoins.
The whole point of the free email course is to cut through the information overload I see on the internet. Any beginner who wants to get started will find it hard to read something in plain, easy to understand English.
The feedback on the course is that it’s well laid out and easy to understand. The goal of this guide is also to give you a clear picture of how to get bitcoins.
My name is Tim Thomas I’ve been following the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market since 2010. While my interest is primarily as a private investor I’ve spent a long time researching the market. I’ve invested in everything from stocks, bonds, real estate, foreign exchange and commodities. However, what’s happening in the bitcoin market is like nothing I’ve seen before.
So we’ll start with a brief overview of some facts that as a beginner you should be aware of. I won’t go into too much detail, that’s not the point of this post. We’ll then step through the process of how to get bitcoins.
The Key Things A Beginner Needs To Know
- Money has ‘evolved’ from hard coins through to paper money through to digits on a computer screen. Bitcoins can be seen a natural evolution of money. They are a digital currency.
- To send money to someone electronically has traditionally meant using two banks, yours and the person you want to send money to. Bitcoins might eliminate the need for banks. Bitcoins should be seen as ‘peer to peer’.
- The idea of Bitcoins was first written about in 2008 around the time of the credit crisis. This was when public opinion of the banks was at it lowest. Without trust in your bank what can you do? Bitcoins might the answer. They weren’t created because of the credit crisis but there’s no doubt the crisis has been behind the need and desire to find an alternative to banks.
- Bitcoins are impossible to counterfeit. Each bitcoin has a ‘ledger’ which is kept on its blockchain. Don’t worry too much about these terms at the moment, the point is that the history of each bitcoin is available to all.
- There are two ways to get bitcoins. One is to buy them and the other is to ‘mine’ them. I walk you through how to buy them in the section below. If you prefer to mine then you already need to have a LOT of money. Why? Bitcoins are created or mined by computers solving very, very complex codes. To carry out these calculations your computer needs to have at least 150 to 200 Gigabytes of RAM. Keep in mind the average home computer has about 4 or 5 Gb! In addition, the ongoing electricity cost to keep the computer running is enough to make sure you or I have no option but to buy our bitcoins.
How To Get Bitcoins
So, if you’re wondering how to get bitcoins and mining isn’t an option then you need to buy them. I’ve broken this process down into five simple steps:
Set Yourself Up With a Virtual Bitcoin Wallet
This wallet is where all your bitcoins will be kept. I will assume that you will do all of this process through your cellphone. For Android user search in the Google Play store for ‘bitcoin wallet’. For iPhone people you obviously need to do the same search in the Apple store.
There are quite a few wallets available I won’t recommend any in this post. I do reveal which one I personally use in the free email course. However, I will say the biggest one out there is probably Blockchain.info.
Secure Your Account
The key thing to do next is make sure your wallet (whichever one you’ve downloaded) has steps and protocols to keep your bitcoins safe. As an example, Blockchain.info has quite a few security measures.
At the same time you’ll need to find out the identity of your wallet, its ID. Again using Blockchain.info as an example, the wallet ID can be found in Settings. There is also a security centre within the app where you can verify your email address as well as set up a two factor authentication. Once you’ve done all of this you’re in a position to buy.
Find An Exchange (Also Known As A Broker)
So by now you have your wallet set up. You’re ready to add bitcoins to it. Whichever is your native currency whether it is US Dollar, Australian dollar, Japanese Yen, Euro or Chilean peso you need an exchange.
They are the organization that take your real money. This can be done by sending them cash or credit card. For a beginner who wants to use Blockchain.info for their wallet, they might want to use Coinify. They integrate together.
Buy Your Bitcoin!
Ok, by this point you’ve got your wallet set up and you’ve found an exchange. Using your credit card or cash transfer you need to include your bitcoin address. It is crucial the correct number is give. It is the unique number which identifies your digital wallet. It’ll probably look something like this – 2DkAlkU4QqZPBB8QSXdMaPT7Cbuug9Viy1. It will be 34 digits long.
This ID is also kept on the blockchain itself. Once you’ve created the wallet, the ID gets recorded on the blockchain and is there permanently. This ID represents your account to the world, it’s a different to the login details you use to access your wallet.
Each exchange, whether it is Coinify or one of the others, will ask you for your bitcoin address. The ID is what you give to them.
Sell Your Bitcoin, Spent It or Just Keep It
I don’t know what your motivation is for buying bitcoins. If you’re an investor like me you’re probably not going to sell it straight away. For course subscribers I talk about bitcoins from the investing perspective.
Whatever your goal is, whether make purchases or perhaps to sell them, it’s easy to exchange them back into cash. This is again done through your wallet.
If you decide to sell the bitcoins for traditional money (US Dollars or Euros or whichever is your currency) then the exchange will give you their digital address to send the bitcoins. You do all of this from your wallet. Once that transfer has been confirmed, you should receive your funds.
So there you go. We went through the basics of bitcoins – the key facts a beginner should know if they want to learn how to get bitcoins. I go into more detail in the course but it’s delivered in five lessons over five days.
Although it’s free, you do need to commit to reading each and everyone of the lessons to get the most of it. I appreciate things get in the way and time is always short so that was the point of writing this post.