Step 1 ---> How to get a Bitcoin wallet
Setting up your first Bitcoin wallet is simple with several quality mobile apps available.
A great path would be (1) a mobile wallet like Airbitz (iPhone, Android), Breadwallet (iPhone) or Mycelium (Android), (2) acquire bitcoins from a friend, as payment for a good or service or buy bitcoins from Circle and then (3) if you decide to store large amounts of bitcoins and want to know they are absolutely safe then use Armory.
Best Mobile Bitcoin WalletsiPhone and Android apps are available with popular choices including:
Best Bitcoin Software WalletsBitcoin software wallets are downloaded to your computer, give you more control and do not depend on third-party services. Most software bitcoin wallets require a day or so to download the blockchain before they are ready for use.
- Bitcoin Core - The best option for network security.
- Armory - (Highly Recommended) Armory is the most mature, secure and full featured Bitcoin wallet but it can be technologically intimidating for users. Whether you are an individual storing $1,000 or institution storing $1,000,000,000 this is the most secure option available. Users are in complete control all Bitcoin private keys and can setup a secure offline-signing process in Armory.
Best Bitcoin Web WalletsBitcoin web wallets are the easiest and most convenient to use but are potentially less secure than the above options because the private keys to your bitcoins are usually held by a third-party.
Best Bitcoin Hardware WalletsBitcoin hardware wallets are the most secure because they do not expose your private keys to the network.
Step 2 ---> How to get Bitcoins
How to buy BitcoinsWith the Bitcoin price so volatile many people seem curious about getting some. Buying bitcoins is getting simpler every day. Here are our recommendations:
- Local Bitcoins - This fantastic service allows you to search for people in your community willing to sell bitcoins to you directly. But be careful!
- Circle - An easy to use bitcoin broker to link with your bank account
- Kraken - The largest European exchange with same-day SEPA
How To Earn BitcoinsMany people find that the best way to get bitcoins is to accept them as payment for the products or services they already sell. Just give your customers the option to pay in bitcoin.
To make it easy, you may want to sign up for a bitcoin merchant account which allows you to send invoices and integrate bitcoin payments into your order pages for the most popular online shopping cart systems.
- WeUseCoins Bitcoin Faucet - Get free bitcoins that are provided by sponsors
- BitPay - (Highly Recommended) - Merchant tools and account services
- Jobs 4 Bitcoin - Subreddit where you can find jobs
What Is Bitcoin Mining?Mining bitcoins requires an investment in specialized bitcoin mining hardware designed to process double round sha256 hash verifications at high speed. Getting started with Bitcoin mining can be a daunting endeavor and it has become highly specialized so you may want to leave it to professionals. Nevertheless, there are many excellent bitcoin mining systems available.
It is important to point out that bitcoin mining is highly competitive and risky for would-be participants. Please see our bitcoin mining guide for more detail. If you want to try your luck at bitcoin mining then this Bitcoin miner is probably the best deal.
Step 3 ---> How to use bitcoins?
Starting to use bitcoins can be exciting because it is a new technology. Bitcoins can be used to purchase just about anything you want. Dental services, a brand new car, travel and even luxury real estate.
We recommend searching the Bitcoin merchant directories below to locate the merchants you are interested in. You can buy gift cards with bitcoin and shop easily at most of the stores you already use.
Bitcoin Merchant Directories
- Airbitz - Find bitcoin friendly merchants near you and online
- Coinmap - Find bitcoin friendly merchants near you
- Purse.io - Get discounts greater than 20% on Amazon.com
Buy Gift Cards With BitcoinsAvailable from Gyft and spendable at:
- We Use Coins - Donations greatly appreciated: 1CXiG6hZmMWUsr6sgF3Tx5nfKj1FN8dU1c
- BitGive - a non-profit foundation that is accepting donations from the Bitcoin community and providing charitable gifts to environmental and public health causes worldwide.
Step 4 ---> Keeping up to date with Bitcoin newsMichael Casey and Paul Vigna of the Wall Street Journal authored The Age of Cryptocurrency which has become a best seller on the topic of Bitcoin. This may be a great book for you to start with when forming an intellectual foundation on this new technology.
Here are some good places to keep up with bitcoin news and discussion: