The best way to understand about bitcoin, is to jump in and get a few in your “pocket” to have a feel for how they work.
Despite the hype about how difficult and dangerous it might be, getting bitcoins is a lot easier and safer than you may think. In plenty of ways, it is probably easier than opening a merchant account at a traditional bank. And, given what has been happening in the banking system, it is probably safer too.
There are a few things to learn: getting and using a software wallet, learning how exactly to send and receive money, learning how exactly to buy bitcoin from a 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 which will host wallet for you personally. And, although I think you will want to have a number of exchange wallets eventually, you need to start with one on your own computer both to acquire a better feel for bitcoin and as the exchanges are still experimental themselves. When we get to that stage of the discussion, I am advising that you 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, Bitcoin Cash Protocol is software that has been designed to store bitcoin. It could 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. In case you are concerned about being hacked, then that is clearly a great option. Even the Winklevoss* twins, who have millions invested in bitcoin, put their investment on hard disks which they then put into a safety deposit box.
*The Winklevoss twins will be the ones who originally had the idea for a social media 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 initial bitcoin wallet, or client, in Windows or Mac format. They are not just wallets, but are actually section of the bitcoin network. They will receive, store, and send your bitcoins. You can create one or more addresses with a click (an address is really a number that looks like this: 1LyFcQatbg4BvT9gGTz6VdqqHKpPn5QBuk). You will notice a field where one can 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 even create a QR code that may let someone have a picture with an app on their 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 free to donate!
NOTE: This kind of wallet acts both as a wallet for you and as section of the bitcoin system. The reason bitcoin works is that each transaction is broadcast and recorded as lots over the entire system (meaning that every transaction is confirmed and made irreversible by the network itself). Any computer with the right software can be section of that system, checking and supporting the network. This wallet serves as your personal wallet and also 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 each 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 advisable.