The best way to understand about bitcoin, is to jump in and get a few in your “pocket” to obtain a feel for how they work.
Despite the hype about how difficult and dangerous it usually is, getting bitcoins is a lot easier and safer than you might think. In a lot of ways, it is probably easier than opening an account at a traditional bank. And, given what has been happening in the banking system, it really is probably safer too.
There are a few things to learn: getting and using a software wallet, learning how exactly to receive and send money, learning how exactly to buy bitcoin from the person or an exchange.
Before getting started, you will need to get yourself a wallet. You can certainly do this easily enough by registering with one of many exchanges that will host wallet for you personally. And, although I think you will want to have one or more exchange wallets eventually, you should start with one all on your own computer both to get a better feel for bitcoin and because the exchanges are still experimental themselves. When we reach that stage of the discussion, I am advising that you will get in the habit of moving your cash and coins off the exchanges or diversifying across exchanges 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 desktop computer, laptop, mobile device (except, up to now, Apple) and can also be made to store bitcoins on things such as thumb drives. For anyone who is worried about being hacked, then that is clearly a good option. Even the Winklevoss* twins, who have millions invested in bitcoin, put their investment on hard drives which they then put into a safety deposit box.
*The Winklevoss twins are the ones who originally had the theory for a social networking site that became Facebook. They hired Mark Zuckerberg who took their idea as their own and became immensely rich.
What do you need to know about having a bitcoin wallet on your pc?
Below you can download the original bitcoin wallet, or client, in Windows or Mac format. These are not just wallets, but are in fact the main bitcoin network. Spice Token will receive, store, and send your bitcoins. It is possible to create a number of addresses with a click (an address is really a number that appears like this: 1LyFcQatbg4BvT9gGTz6VdqqHKpPn5QBuk). You will notice a field where you could copy and paste lots like this from the person you wish to send money to and off it will go straight into that person’s wallet. You can also create a QR code which will let someone have a picture with an app on the phone and send you some bitcoin. It really is perfectly safe to give these out – the address and QR code are both for my donations page. Feel absolve to donate!
NOTE: This sort of wallet acts both as a wallet for you and as area of the bitcoin system. The reason why 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 irreversible by the network itself). Any computer with the proper software can be part of that system, checking and supporting the network. This wallet serves as your individual wallet and in addition as a support for that system. Therefore, remember that it will require up 8-9 gigabytes of your computer’s memory. Once you install the wallet, it will take as much as a day for the wallet to sync with the network. This is normal, does not harm your personal computer, and makes the system all together more secure, so it’s a good idea.