A handy guide to Bitcoin world
ATTENTION: This guide applies to Bicoin, aka BTC only. Though the naming is almost identical, Bitcoin Cash, aka BCH is a different cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has it's own blockchain and it's own exchange rate. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)'s exchange rate to USD is significantly lower than Bitcoin (BTC) to USD. Please ALWAYS make sure to pay for your order in Bitcoins (BTC). Do not make any payments in Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Your funds will be lost irrevocable!
WHAT IS BITCOIN?
Bitcoin is a digital currency. The bitcoin network is not backed by any single bank or authority and it’s fully decentralized. It can be used worldwide by anyone with a computer or smartphone and Internet access. Also, bitcoins are the first example of a cryptocurrency, a well-known growing new category of money. There are a plenty of good articles you might want to read before starting with Bitcoin. Bellow you can find a link to an excellent one. Coindesk: What is Bitcoin? It will answer to most of the questions related to bitcoin network and the information is updated on a regular basis.
• It’s anonymous. Any payment can be completed from multiple accounts, a single wallet can have as many as you want receiving address and a different one for sending funds. Account verification/validation might be mandatory for Bitcoin Exchanges, places where you can buy the coins, but you don’t need to do this for your personal wallet or wallets.
• It requires significantly less time for payment confirmation. We might need 1-2 days to process and confirm your Western Union and MoneyGram payments and 10-20 minutes for the Bitcoin ones. Faster your payment will be confirmed, faster we will ship your order and faster it will be delivered!
• Bitcoin is not backed by any single bank or country. It’s decentralized. There is no authority to block a bitcoin transaction. And there are no reasons to do so. You already know it, Western Union and MoneyGram transactions could be blocked sometimes for a reason that might be from a good one to the most stupid one. A blocked transaction will require your time and additional costs to resend us the payment.
• 365 days a year and 24 hours a day – Bitcoin payments are always available. Just make sure that your Internet connection is up and running. It’s like PayPal, credit/debit cards or any other online payment method you are used to, but with a much higher level of anonymity.
• Shop and save 10%. Choose Bitcoin at checkout and that’s it. No promo code required.
Probably you’ve heard that all Bitcoin transactions are public and Tradeblock.com is the best place to “watch” them. Also buying bitcoins from an exchange might involve an account verification/activation (SMS, e-mail or credit card/bank statement). So how can it be anonymous? Assuming you bought some coins from an exchange and confirmed the transaction with your personal phone number. On the other hand, you don’t need to verify your email address, confirm your phone number or identity for creating and using a bitcoin wallet. Next, you can create a new wallet and transfer your funds there. You can transfer the funds in a single transaction, you can do it in multiple transactions and using different receiving addresses. Actually the most private way for Bitcoin payments is to never re-use and address. Maybe you might want to transfer the funds from the exchange to multiple wallets and finally to your personal wallet. The bitcoin fees are extremely low, so it’s really your personal decision how private it should be. Are you concerned that some Bitcoin wallets are keeping activity logs and your IP might me revealed? A VPN solution could help you to keep your IP safe. NOTE: Usually Tor is not recommended for Bitcoin payments especially for not tech savvy users. A malicious Tor exit node intercepts the traffic between your computer and your online wallet and you could lose all your bitcoins irreversible.
Identical to printed money, bitcoins are stored in a wallet. There are a few types of wallets designed for bitcoins, from the online wallets, standalone Bitcoin clients for desktop and mobile to hardware ones, which are one only purpose devices: for storing and managing your Bitcoin funds and transactions. A handy guide how to choose your wallet with full description is available at:
The best way to store your Bitcoins is a wallet on your computer or mobile phone as you’ll get a full control over your Bitcoins. A noticeable example of a standalone (desktop) clients is Electrum. Just remember, there are two types of desktop clients, with full validation and simplified one. Full validation requires to download all the “block chain” on your computer, which is very large database (60 GB and growing every 10 minutes) that contains all the transactions ever made using Bitcoin. Full validation in theory provides an extra layer of security and allow merchants to avoid “double spends”. As a normal user, simplified validation works just fine and there is no reason to maintain a complete copy of all ever maid transactions. You are only interested in a small part of the block chain that contains your transactions and it is about 25-30 MB. Online wallets a very popular nowadays as they are easy and quite fast to set-up, don’t require any free space on your HDD and are just convenient, especially when we are talking about relatively small transactions or occasional ones e.g. when you want to transfer you bitcoins from a Bitcoin Exchange to your personal wallet.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: We strongly recommend using online wallets only if you are totally new to Bitcoin and/or you intend to use bitcoins for occasional, relatively small payments, without keeping to much of your own funds in bitcoins.
GreenAddress.it is an excellent mobile platform wallet for Android (GooglePlay) and iOS (AppStore). In addition you can use it directly from your browser if needed. The two-factor authentication is always required which adds some extra bonuses to your wallet’s security. Type-in in your browser www.greenaddress.it and hit the Create Wallet button.
Step 1 of 4: Write down or print your mnemonic passphrase. This is your login. Don’t worry, you will need it occasionally, there is a fast login option with a PIN number. Be aware: if you lost it you can’t recover it. Keep it safe.
Step 2 of 4: Set-up your two-factor authentication. You have plenty of choices, but we would recommend Google Authenticator for iOS and Android or Microsoft Authenticator for Windows Phone users.
Step 3 of 4: Set-up your PIN number and you will be able to fast login to your wallet.
Step 4 of 4: Click Take me to my wallet! button and you are done. You also can set-up a watch-only, additional account for your wallet. This will let you to check your account from any other computer without any risk to compromise it as transactions from this type of accounts are forbidden as well as any other changes. Don’t forget to verify your mnemonic passphrase, you’ll see a notification in your wallet.
NOTE: Installing a desktop Bitcoin client is similar to any programs you had installed on your computer and it doesn’t require any additional knowledge.
The fastest way to get bitcoins is to find a Bitcoin Exchange or a Bitcoin ATM. Just take a look at the links bellow: BUYBITCOINWORLDWIDE.COM: An extremely convenient website that will help you to locate a reliable bitcoin exchange that supports your favorite payment method. COINATMRADAR.COM: All you need to know about bitcoin ATM. Detailed ATM map. Browse ATM by countries. They have a mobile App too. Android or iOS. DISCLAIMER: Frequently, Bitcoin ATM fees and buying exchange rate are highest on the market! Please always double check the amount of bitcoins you will receive for your fiat money and compare it with an official and actual rate exchange like Preev.com. If the amount of coins is significantly lower than the expected one please do not proceed with payment and try a different method of buying Bitcoin. Exchanges where you can purchase bitcoins via cash deposit: WallofCoins, LocalBitcoins, LibertyX, BitQuick, Mycelium LocalTrader, Breadwallet Exchanges where you can purchase bitcoins via credit/debit card: CoinMama, BitPanda, Bitit, Cex.io, BitStamp Exchanges where you can purchase bitcoins via bank transfer: Gemini, Xapo, BitStamp, Kraken, BitPanda IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you favorite Exchange is offering a wallet, please make sure to stay away from keeping your funds in that wallet or making any payments from that wallet. You should always have a personal 2nd wallet like Breadwallet, Greenaddress, Mycelium (mobile devices) Electrum (desktop). Any funds deposited in the wallet that your Exchange offered should be moved immediately to your second wallet. Below is a video tutorial prepared by LocalBitcoins.com. Other exchanges will provide you a similar experience, meanwhile at LocalBitcoins you can buy bitcoins with cash, bank transfers, PayPal and other various payment methods.