Bitcoin is the world’s leading digital currency and continues to grow as people learn about its breakthrough potential as a peer-to-peer digital payment system. For a refresher on what Bitcoin is and other things you need to know
about Bitcoin, check out the Getting Started page—a collection of essential Bitcoin information, guides, and reviews.
Here are three steps to help you get started using Bitcoin right now:
Step 1: Download a Bitcoin Wallet
A Bitcoin wallet is an app or program that allows you send and receive bitcoin. Wallets also keep track of your bitcoin balance which is held in one or more bitcoin addresses. Generally, wallets also have a feature that keeps a history of your bitcoin transactions.
There are many different wallets across various platforms. While they all share certain basic functionality, features vary from one wallet to the other so it’s worth learning more about How to Choose a Bitcoin Wallet before downloading the wallet of your choice.
Step 2: Add Bitcoin to Your Wallet
Now that you have a wallet, you probably want to add some bitcoin to your balance. Have your Bitcoin wallet address ready and visit the buy Bitcoin page. Here, you will be able to easily purchase Bitcoin with a credit card. Another option is to choose a Bitcoin Exchange where you can quickly set up an account and buy bitcoins with funds from a bank account or credit card.
Keep your private key(s) private and never share with anyone. It is very important to backup your wallet’s private key and any other credentials for offline storage. Failing to backup could result in the loss of your Bitcoin holdings if you should ever lose the device on which the wallet is installed.
Step 3: Use a Bitcoin Wallet to Send and Receive Bitcoin
Receiving bitcoin is as easy as giving the sender your public address. Sending bitcoin requires a few more steps and since bitcoin
transactions are irreversible, it is important to pay attention when sending. Overall, the process for sending bitcoin is actually quite easy:
- Copy the receiver’s public Bitcoin address (or scan QR code)
- Open your wallet and navigate to its “Send” feature, paste the receiver’s address into the appropriate field
- Specify the amount you want to send (for help converting fiat currency into bitcoin visit our Bitcoin Tools page.)
- Confirm that the address and amount are both correct