Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that can be used to buy things electronically. It’s also known as the “future of money.” Bitcoin was created by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoins are not printed like dollars and euros; they’re produced by computer code called mining.
Mining involves solving complex math problems with powerful computers to release bitcoins to create more currency in transactions. The value of bitcoin has fluctuated wildly in its short life, but it’s worth around USD 8000 right now. There are many reasons you might want to start buying bitcoin instead of traditional currencies; here are few tips on how to get started that you should know about and know how to buy bitcoin.
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Decide if you want to mine or buy bitcoins.
To get bitcoin, there are three ways: mining (by solving complex math problems with a computer), buying them from an exchange like Coinbase and Circle, or trading goods and services for them with people who have them.
Mining – Mining is the process of verifying crypto transactions which involves complex mathematical calculations that use up a lot of computing power to solve cryptographic puzzles. Miners serve as the backbone of cryptocurrency networks because they contribute their processing power to help maintain these decentralized digital currency systems. The benefit of mining is that it allows individuals to enter the crypto market without having any central authority or third party to depend on.
Unfortunately, the difficulty of these cryptographic puzzles has increased substantially over time which means it can take a long time for miners to earn any bitcoin (called mining). Today, it’s virtually impossible to mine bitcoins without joining a pool like Slush’s Pool or Antpool because the initial investment in equipment is costly.
The good news is that anyone can get started with just their home computer and join pools such as Slushs’ Pool or ViaBTC. There are no heavy hardware costs involved making them accessible even for hobbyists who want to try cryptocurrency mining at home.
Find a trustworthy exchange to buy bitcoins from.
You can also purchase bitcoin online through exchanges. Still, you’ll need to provide your ID for verification before buying or selling, which means if privacy is important to you, then mining might be the better option. However, there are ways around this where people trade bitcoin using fake names (called tumbling).
Additionally, some scammers will try to take advantage of new users by offering them too-good-to-be-true deals; those who fall victim end up losing their money because they never receive any cryptocurrency after making payment and given excuses such as: “new features,” “overloaded servers,” “technical difficulties.” And even if you know how to use bitcoin, it may be best to wait until the network transaction fees lower so that your purchase isn’t exorbitantly expensive.
Spend your bitcoin on goods and services.
Another option is to use them for online transactions by paying with the cryptocurrency at checkout counters of companies like Overstock, Microsoft, Newegg, etc. or spend it directly using a mobile wallet app like Mobi that lets you pay via NFC at brick-and-mortar stores (with zero fees) where Visa contactless payments are accepted; this way you can make fast payment without any confirmation waiting time, unlike traditional credit cards which take days before funds become available in recipient account after the purchase has been made.
Store your coins in a wallet you control.
To store bitcoins, use either a digital or a hardware wallet like the ones described on bitcoin.org, where there are plenty of options to choose from, such as Coinbase and Circle that offer safe storage for a small amount of BTCs while Trezor and Ledger Nano S provide offline storage for more significant amounts; these wallets connect to the internet which means they’re vulnerable to theft by hackers or malware, so it’s best practice is not keep too many bitcoins stored online at once (which makes them more susceptible).
Safety tip: Always encrypt your wallets with a strong password using tools like KeePassXC and change all passwords regularly.
However, not many businesses accept cryptocurrencies because they’re new and relatively unknown compared to other more established currencies. In addition, transaction confirmations sometimes take hours before bitcoins become available, meaning some vendors may refuse to accept it as a payment method.