How can I get Bitcoins?
So, you’ve read through the “What is Bitcoin” guide and decided you want to own some of these beauties yourself? Look no further; the following will explain the different ways you can get your very own bitcoins.
First Step: Get a wallet!
In order to store and make transactions using bitcoins you are going to need a wallet. No, not that leather one you have in your pocket, but a virtual or program based wallet. You can think of this wallet as a bank of sorts since it stores your bitcoins, but it doesn’t have the same protection as real banks, so you’re going to have to be careful.
How do you get one?
- Make one on the web. Websites like blockchain.info have the option of making a free wallet online. But, you must be cautious when choosing which website to host your bitcoins, since you don’t want them to get stolen or lost.
- Make one on a software stored in the hard drive of your computer. This gives you full control over your bitcoins and wallet. However, you have to take the responsibility for protecting the coins yourself. Therefore, we advise you backup your wallet. More info to follow.
- Take it with you on your phone. You can download apps on your mobile phone and this will allow you to bring your bitcoins where ever you go. This makes it easier for you to exchange coins and pay for things in person. Just scan the QR code to pay for services. **Be careful: make sure the app you use is reliable**
Use Bitcoin as Payment for Goods or Services
An easy way to get bitcoins is to sell products online or in person, and ask for bitcoins as the payment method. It’s basically like asking for dollars, but instead you ask for the digital money. For example: You can sell your brand new PS4 for bitcoins…but you have to find a willing buyer. In addition to this, you can offer services in exchange for bitcoins. For example: washing someone’s car, doing a favor for someone, etc. This may seem mundane, but hey it works! Remember, bitcoins can be divided into smaller coins with less value. So, something that is worth $30 is around 0.037BTC.
Exchange Bitcoins with Someone: One-on-One
If you know someone who sells bitcoins you can schedule a meeting with them and exchange cash for the bitcoin. However, this will be hard to do since most of the people you know probably don’t have bitcoins. Luckily there is a solution for this! A website called Local Bitcoin is where you should look to trade bitcoins, and negotiate the cost before conducting the transaction in person.
Of course, this might seem risky since you don’t know who the seller is. But, there are precautionary steps you can take:
- Make sure you meet in a public setting and not a private one. Café, coffee shops, restaurants, and other places such as these will work well.
- Put your money in an envelope or something a bit secure…just so that you’re not whopping out a few hundred-dollar bills from your pocket. People will probably wonder what is going on…not that there is anything wrong with that. But, since you are exchanging cash in person, you don’t want to get robbed do you?
- Be very careful that you aren’t getting scammed. Exchange emails with the person you are going to do the transaction with. Get in touch and try to evaluate the best you can whether the person is willing to do a legit deal or not.
- Take someone else with you. Having someone with you might be a good thing to do if you don’t think you can protect yourself if something goes wrong. (Hopefully nothing does!)
**Remember you will need internet connection and an electronic device to do the transaction. This can be your cell phone, laptop, tablet, or other similar gadgets **
** Bitcoin transfer takes 6 confirmations to show up for the person you’re sending to or receiving from which means it’ll take about 10 minutes to finalize**
Exchange Bitcoins via groups
If you don’t think you’ll be able to meet someone one-on-one you can always see if your location has a bitcoin meetup group in which you can trade for BTC. Check out meetup.com and see if your area has such meetups.
Again, even though this is in a group, you should be as cautious as you would when handling large amounts of money.
Also you should make verify whether or not such trades are allowed in your area. You don’t want the police to suspect you are trading drugs or other things of the same nature.
Get Bitcoins Through an ATM
This is a pretty new concept that is just beginning to spread to different parts of the world. It’s popular because it’s easy to use. This is like a face-to-face exchange but instead you are facing a machine. Here are the steps:
1) Insert your cash
2) Receive a paper receipt with the code to load the BTC to your wallet
3) Type the code into your wallet to get your BTC
Pretty simple and convenient right? More info on this is soon to follow!
Purchase BTC at Bitcoin Exchanges
After you’ve set up an account, you’ll most likely need to link your bank account to exchange funds. Sending bitcoins overseas entails higher fees and delays especially if you wish to convert the bitcoins to the currency there. In addition, in some exchanges, if a bank is required to be linked to the transaction, only a bank in the country may be accepted for the deal. Make sure to check!
**Also make sure your bank is bitcoin-friendly and will not refuse your wire transfers** Click here to see which banks fall under this category.
In addition, exchanging for bitcoins locally could involve extra fees in accordance to the area you are living in.
Mining for Bitcoins
Initially you used to be able to utilize a powerful graphics card to mine for coins, but with the popularity of bitcoins, the mining equipment has amped up significantly, and so has the cost for them. Thus, it is becoming harder to mine for the coins individually since the amount of bitcoins one can mine are diminishing by each passing day. In fact, you have a better chance at making profit if you join a mining pool in which you mine as a group. It’ll be much faster and easier this way since everyone is pooling their resources and you end up getting bitcoins quicker.
If you’d like more information on mining, check out guide on ‘What is Bitcoin Mining?‘
At The End of The Day…
Review your options before deciding to get bitcoins carefully. Do your research and be aware of the risks for every transaction you do. With regular money you want to be careful so you don’t get robbed or scammed right?
Remember to get a wallet so you can store your bitcoins. Getting bitcoins is not tough; you just have to find the right resources to do so. Look into our other articles for more information.