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 a merchant account at a traditional bank. And, given what has been happening in the banking system, it is probably safer too.
There are a few things to learn: getting and using a software wallet, learning how to send and get money, learning how to buy bitcoin from a person or an exchange.
Before getting started, you will need to get yourself a wallet. You can do this easily enough by signing up with one of the transactions which will host wallet for you. And, although I think you are going to aim for more than one exchange purses eventually, you should start with one on your own computer both to get abitcoin up better feel for bitcoin and because the transactions are still fresh themselves. When we get to that stage of the discussion, I am advising that you get in the habit of moving your money and coins off the transactions or diversifying across transactions to keep your money safe.
What is a wallet?
It is a way to store your bitcoins. Specifically, it is software that has been designed to store bitcoin. It can be run on your computer help, laptop, mobile device (except, established, Apple) and can also be built to store bitcoins on things like thumb drives. If you are concerned about being hacked, then that is a great way. Even the Winklevoss* twins babies, who have millions committed to bitcoin, put their investment on computer drives which then put into a safety deposit box.
*The Winklevoss twins babies are the ones who originally had the idea for a social networking site that became Facebook. They hired Mark Zuckerberg who took their idea as their own and became profoundly rich.
What do you need to know about having a bitcoin wallet on your computer?
Below you can download the original bitcoin wallet, or client, in Windows or Macintosh personal computer format. These are not just purses, but have been the main bitcoin network. They will receive, store, and send your bitcoins. You can create more than one addresses with a click (an address is a number that looks like this: 1LyFcQatbg4BvT9gGTz6VdqqHKpPn5QBuk). You will see a field where you can copy and substance a number like this from a person you want to send money to and off it will go straight into that model’s wallet. You can even create a QR code which will let someone take a picture with an iphone app on their 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 free to give away!
NOTE: This type of wallet acts both as a wallet for you and within the bitcoin system. The reason bitcoin works is that every transaction is broadcast and recorded as a number across the entire system (meaning that every transaction is confirmed and made irreparable by the network itself). Any computer with the right software can participate that system, checking and supporting the network. This wallet serves as your personal wallet and also as a support for that system. Therefore, remember that it should take up 8-9 gigabytes of your pc’s memory. After you install the wallet, it should take as much as a day for the wallet to synchronize with the network. This is normal, does not harm your pc, and makes the machine in general safer, so it might be wise.