Get Started

You’ve heard a friend mention it, you read a news article, maybe you even saw a business accepting it as payment…but you’re not really sure what it is.  It’s cool, the concept is pretty overwhelming at first but you will grow to understand  bitcoin’s usefulness and potential.  This guide is designed to explain the process for someone who has never heard of bitcoin, so hopefully it will be simple enough for anyone to understand.  If there are questions I have not answered here, please feel free to ask in the comments, read the bitcoin subreddit, or email me at carolinabitcoin@gmail.com.

Step 1: Watch the video on the homepage and read the FAQ.  Both should give an overview of what bitcoin is, its purpose, and light technical details.

Step 2: Read some news on bitcoin.  At this time of writing bitcoin is doing very well but you should research anything you spend your money on.  You will read both sides of the fence: people who point out problems with bitcoin and speculators who have out of the park expectations.  Bitcoin is in its infant stages and has hurdles to overcome, but also has the potential to change the way we use money the way the Internet changed information.  Check out the bitcoin subreddit and Google News.

Step 3: Get your hands on some coin.  So you feel like you know enough to get your hands on some.  Or maybe you’re still a skeptic and still need more reasons why you should buy.  It’s your hard earned money and should use it the way you want, but if you’re ready to take the red pill down the rabbit hole and see what kind of a future bitcoin could bring to the world economy, you’re ready to buy.  Click here to check out my buy guide.

Step 4: Set up a wallet on your computer to keep your coin.  Having a wallet is one of the most useful features of bitcoin.  Leaving your coin in an exchange isn’t advised as a site could crash, you might not have internet access when you need your funds, and you’re not using it.  You need to put your bitcoin in a wallet on your computer using an application that allows you to function like your own bank.  Check out my information on wallets to get your own going and my guide on using the wallet application I use on my MacBook, MultiBit.

Step 5: Set up a mobile wallet to spend your coin.  Although bitcoin can be an investment, it is money and needs to be spent just like you would normally spend money…just in a new way that is easier and cheaper for everyone.  If you have a smartphone, paying and receiving payment is as easy as scanning QR codes.  There are also other ways to pay/accept payment without a smartphone.

Step 6: Spend your bitcoin and asked to be paid in it!  Bitcoin’s success depends on the people that use it.  You can check out online businesses here that accept bitcoin and others here.  Get your favorite local businesses to accept it as payment to spread the word and make bitcoin the payment of the future.

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