Bitcoin for Beginners – How to Store and Use them
Bitcoin is a brand new currency, and since it is a digital one, some people are very cautious about it. It is absolutely normal because we’re not used to pay with something that has no physical appearance at all. And even those who already got the idea can have a problem of purchasing bitcoins, because this young currency is only at the beginning of its way of becoming our everyday tool. So here are some tips on how to buy bitcoins and where to store them.
How can I get Bitcoins?
In most cases, the first step is to make a digital wallet. You can think about it as an application that helps you store bitcoins and provides a user interface that facilitates all the processes related to operations with bitcoins. There are a lot of different kinds of wallets, it is better to use trusted ones because you must be sure that the information you have in your wallet will be safe and no one will have the possibility to steal it.
The second step actually involves the purchasing. It is obvious that if you are a newcomer – you don’t have any bitcoins, you must exchange your fiat currency for the digital one, specifically, bitcoin. Of course, you can try to find a person who is willing to exchange his bitcoins, but you must be a hundred percent sure about him. It is not recommended to buy bitcoins from random people because there is a high risk that they can try to fool you.
Bitcoin exchange websites like, for example, CEX.IO provide you with a more reliable option to get your bitcoins. It is not that difficult to make an exchange, they usually have a simple interface that points you how and what to do. Of course, you can not only buy but also sell bitcoins.
Also, there are broker sites that work in a similar way, the only difference is that they provide a platform for all those who want to exchange their bitcoins for money or backward. In this case, there is a better chance to find the most profitable prices.
There is a fourth option of exchanging money into bitcoins. Little by little, you can find more and more ATMs that provide you with such services. Apparently, for most people, that’s the easiest way, due to the fact that it is considered as the safest one. All around the world, there are almost 1000 ATMs, half of which you can find in the US, another half is spread across Canada, South America, European countries, Australia, Japan and even few in Russia. You can probably think that this amount is very small. Well, it is. But that’s ok, considering the fact that bitcoin is a brand new currency and for many people, it is hard to trust something new, especially, when we are talking about digital money. But still, you can see the intensity of its awareness among people, that grows every year.
Where should I keep Bitcoins?
Before starting this section it is important to remind you that bitcoin is not something physical, it is a digital information. Since we all know that information can be stolen through hacking, it is necessary to have a considered and sober-minded approach to this issue.
Of course, there are many different ways of storing bitcoins. All of them have their pros and cons, though what you mostly need to know is an approach on exactly HOW you should store your bitcoins.
- The first was – the easy one is to keep them in an online wallet of a corresponding site. They usually have a user-friendly interface and you do all the operations in one move. The biggest problem of these sites, just like of every centralized system, is that they can be hacked. That’s why, again, before starting using one of these online wallets, make sure that it’s the most reliable one. It is not recommended to store a big sum of money in it. The best way to use them is for storing bitcoins for a daily use: You can make fast and easy transactions, though if someone will try to steal your money, it won’t be a big sum to mourn over. It is important to note that “bitcoin” and “steal through hacking” are not the two ideas that must be associated with your head. Just like robbing of a bank, it is a potential risk that we should mention and you should know and consider.
- The second way is storing your bitcoins in an offline wallet, basically, that’s your computer. It is safer than an outlined above, though, remember, if something happens to your PC your money will be lost.
- Nowadays you can find more and more devices that make it easier to store bitcoins. One of them is a device that looks much like a USB, the only difference is that it represents a hardware wallet, that stores your private and public keys. Also, there is a sort of a printer, that prints cheques with QR codes that contain this information. This approach is safer than using online or offline wallets, though still, you must be sure that you keep this information in a safe place so that no one could get it.
- The last and probably the safest way of keeping your bitcoins is very simple. You can write a public and a private key on a sheet of paper and simply hide it somewhere, for example in the safe, because exactly this information represents your bitcoins. Servers can be hacked, devices can be broken, so still, the “old-fashioned” way remains the safest one.
To use or not to use?
Some can conclude that bitcoins are very uncomfortable in use because it is different from a habitual way of using and storing money. In this case, think about the appearance of the internet. At the beginning, people couldn’t get it at all, because it was something new, unknown and, moreover, it was terribly inconvenient. The result was that only special services used it in the first years of its existence. It was hard to imagine that after some time an average housewife could simply use the internet without any help. The same thing happens with the notion of cryptocurrency and the bitcoin itself. Let’s give it a chance and we’ll see how it actually changes our way of seeing things.
Hitesh Malviya is the Founder of ItsBlockchain. He is one of the most early adopters of blockchain & cryptocurrency enthusiast in India. After being into space for a few years, he started IBC in 2016 to help other early adopters learn about the technology.
Before IBC, Hitesh has founded 4 companies in the cyber security & IT space.