Getting and using bitcoin is a multistep process, but we’ve got all the information you need to start buying, exchanging and using the popular cryptocurrency in the bitcoin guide below.
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that verify transactions using mathematical algorithms called cryptography. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency on the market, and differs from traditional currencies in that it has no central governing authority, no requirement for the transfer of personal information, and has a set supply of 21 million bitcoins that will ever be created, or “mined.”
Learn more about the basics of Bitcoin
While all bitcoin is actually “stored” on the blockchain, a decentralized ledger of transactions, you’ll need a digital wallet to maintain access to your bitcoin. These wallets store your public address—where people can send you bitcoin—and your private key, the string of characters that prove you own your bitcoin. Keeping your private key safe and secure is necessary to make sure no one can steal your bitcoin.
To buy bitcoin, you’ll need a digital wallet, an exchange, and funds to buy it. After you’ve set up your wallet, you’ll need to create an account on an exchange, which acts as the stock market for digital currencies. You exchange traditional currencies (like USD) for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Once you’ve purchased your bitcoin, you’ll want to transfer them to your wallet to keep them secure.
Now that you own your own bitcoin, you’ll want to use and spend it. More and more retailers offer bitcoin as a payment method, as do many charities and non-profits. You can also simply give or sell your bitcoin to friends and family, or try your hand at betting with bitcoin with an online casino or sportsbook.
We hope this bitcoin guide was helpful to get you on the path to start using bitcoin!