Bitcoin is the pioneer of digital currencies. Created in 2009 using peer-to-peer technology to facilitate transparent transactions. Bitcoin has a total coin supply of 21 million. In the creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s original white paper he describes Bitcoin as:
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online
payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a
Interested in learning more about Bitcoin? Visit https://bitcoin.org for more details.
Before being able to use Bitcoin, you will need your own Bitcoin wallet. There are many ways you can obtain one. This blog will introduce a simple method that does not require downloading of any software or to register new accounts in exchange services.
Step 1. Visit BitAddress.org
Move you cursor across the screen to generate a random value. This value is used to seed the creation of your wallet.
Step 2. For security reasons disconnect from your network.
In some cases your network security may have been comprised by hackers. It is for this reason that you are strongly recommend to disconnect from your network before moving forward.
Step 3. Click and generate a new address
By clicking ‘Generate New Address’ the algorithm will be execute and calculate your public address and private key. It is unique and impossible for any current computer to guess it. It’s ability to withstand such attacks is due to it’s 256 bit encryption which make the odds of being cracked unimaginable.
Congratulations you now own your very own Bitcoin wallet.
In the screenshot above there is a ‘Red Secret part’, the string “KyVcqehF6A7WeNse8KN5LRogHxzQFiUsK3ba7NedX16faN2tvSMh“ is the Bitcoin private key, and you should not expose it to any one. Anyone who has this can spend your Bitcoins. You can think of the private key as the pin for your bank card. It is important to note that if you lose it, it is impossible to recover. Keep your private key in a safe place.
The green share Part in the left, it is your public Bitcoin Address. You can give this to others freely. This address is needed for others to send the Bitcoins to your wallet. There are many web tools to explore and check the balance of your wallet. For example, visit live.blockcypher.com/BTC, and enter the address to check the balance.
Tips: For safety reasons, you should print the private key and store it somewhere out of reach from others. Further more, you could split your wallet into different pieces and store them at different locations. Saving on a computer or online is not recommended, if you have to do so, at least remember to use a strong password.
That’s it, you have successfully secured your Bitcoin wallet!
Step 4. Get some Bitcoin
There are a number of different approaches to get some Bitcoin, you can try asking your friends to send some of their Bitcoin to your Bitcoin address, alternatively simply buy from any exchange that supports Bitcoin. In Australia, you can buy Bitcoin from Btcmarket, Independance reserve, CoinSpot and a few others.
Bitcoin is often referred to as BTC. You don’t need 1 whole BTC for a transaction, the smallest precise amount available is 0.00000001 BTC. Remember you are able to send fractions of a BTC to any address.
Step 5. Use wallet software to spend your Bitcoin.
Once you have a positive balance in your wallet, you can spend it! How do I that? This is where your private key comes in handy.
You will need secure software that helps you import your private key. There are many phone apps and software wallets out there. Before downloading and using one, it is important that you do some research to make sure they are legitimate applications and not just another fishing or hacking attempt.
Visit https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet to download a trusted wallet.
Below is an example of an Electrum Wallet importing a private key. Once complete your Bitcoin balance will appear in your Electrum wallet, and you are ready to be spend.
Feel free to remove the private key and add it back again, this will not change your wallet balance.
A Bitcoin Wallet is nothing more than a Private key. Who ever owns this owns your Bitcoins. So keep it secure!