My sister and nephew asked me about how to get hold of Bitcoin the other day, and this was followed by a few of my friends asking the same question so I thought I’d just publish the email I sent her here (spellings and grammar corrected) as others might find it useful. It’s surprising how hard it is to stop writing once you start!
If you want to buy some of this stuff you will need to open an account – but remember this is a really risky investment, it could go to the Moon or crash to the floor ( I obviously think the Moon ☺ ) so do NOT invest more than you are prepared to lose. It’s all highly exciting when it is climbing by 500% in a few months and as scary as hell when it falls 30% over a few days. You need a calm hand and probably best not look at the daily charts.
Now to get started. You will need to have something called a wallet. This doesn’t actually hold your Bitcoin, it’s more like a keyring that lets you prove the bitcoin are yours.
The easiest way is to open a CoinBase* account1. If you use this link then when you buy your first $100 (about £75) we both get a free $10 (about £7) worth of the currency. You can buy 3 types of coin here ( the main ones ) either by Credit Card or by Bank transfer (but that’s in € or $ not £ so it depends on how much your bank charges for that. Anyway, before you can buy you need to be approved and that can take a while. There are charges for by credit card so you have to weigh up that against the cost the bank will charge for transferring from £ to €.
Once you have opened an account you have a wallet and you can start receiving Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and LiteCoin (LTC).
You can start getting some free! Well you have to put up with adverts, but can be a bit of fun. This is not going to make your rich as we are talking pennies, if that, but you will start to gather some – mind you it won’t take long to realise it isn’t worth the time. Look at it this way, the two below pay out when you get to 30,000 satoshi (that’s 0.0003 BTC) about $1.16 (£0.87)1 – and it is a lot of work to build up to that!
Roll the dice at FreeBitcoin* : this is a bit of fun where you click a button and a number is generated which determines how much you win. You can play once an hour. Top prize is $200 worth of BTC, but the odds on that are miniscule.
Or claim some BTC at MoonBitcoin*. Lots and lots of adverts here – don’t click on any of them as most are scams (even Moon used to warn about them) or ICOs (I’ll tell you about them later). It often opens secondary browser window (what, is this the 1990s?).
Actually, bookmark this site BadBitcoin and if you are ever tempted by a site promising the Earth, then that’s a good place to start a sanity check.
Also, you can use some of your computer power to mine some coins. MinerGate* is not the most efficient but is probably the easiest to set up. Alternatively you could pay someone else to mine for you such as Genesis Mining* – enter in the code fl4R29 to get a 3% discount. I’ll send you another email on mining later, it is not the route to untold riches it sounds like and sometimes it is cheaper just to buy!
Anyway, have a play with these will get you some experience with working with your wallet as you will need to enter a wallet address to get started. This is getting a bit long now, so I’ll drop you another email with how to do that once you have set up.
* This is an affiliate link.
1 Conversion rate as at September 21 2017
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© copyright 2017 Russell Weetch