As a new user, you can get started with Bitcoin without understanding the technical details. There are 4 ways for an individual or business to acquire bitcoin, these are earn it, buy it, trade for it, and create it yourself. In this section we will walk you through the basics of getting started with Bitcoin. Creating your own bitcoin is covered in another section and is not recommended for beginners. If you feel overwhelmed and require a more hands on approach then our zero-knowledge concierge set-up may be right for you. With our zero-knowledge concierge service we will work directly with you and walk you through the entire Bitcoin on-boarding process, at the end you will have a deep understanding of Bitcoin and a truly secure storage solution, Contact us.
Get paid in bitcoin
- Offer a service – hair cuts, car wash, taxi
- Sell a product – plate lunch, Kona coffee, swap meet
- Wages – ask your employer to pay part of your wages in bitcoin
- For your charity – accept donations in bitcoin
Exchange for $USD
- From an exchange – a company offering a service for buying and selling bitcoin
- From a bitcoin ATM – a vending machine selling bitcoin for $USD
- From another person directly
Trade for bitcoin
- Trade your old belongings – on Craigs list, Autotrader, etc.
- Out to eat with friends? Take the bill and ask to be paid back in bitcoin
No matter how you want to go about acquiring your first bitcoin or fraction thereof you will first need a wallet to “store” it in. The best way to think about a bitcoin wallet is as a public deposit box, take a look at the image below. At it’s core a bitcoin wallet is simply a way to store your private key (PIN code) and displaying your address. Bitcoin wallets exist in many forms from a piece of paper to your own memory, but the most basic and common is an application on your phone. A mobile wallet is great for small amounts that you use in your daily activities, but for securing large amounts it is best to have a customized solution that works for your situation. Contact us for zero-knowledge security consulting.
Download your first bitcoin wallet
2 of the wallets that BSH staff use on a daily basis and recommend for first time users are the Blockstream Green and BlueWallet, see below for more information. Both are free, do not require you to enter any personal information, available for iPhone and Android, are open source, and showcase 2 different apps built on top of Bitcoin. Additionally, Samsung users may already have the most secure bitcoin wallet, the Samsung Blockchain Wallet, available on the Galaxy Store, check for device compatibility.
- Easy setup
- Full-node compatible
- Bitcoin-Lightning app support
- Multi-wallet support
- Dummy wallets
- Multi-currency support
- Transaction batching
- Easy setup
- Two-factor muli-sig support
- Liquid sidechain app support
- Testnet support
- Watch-only support
Bitcoin Exchange Basics
Awesome, you now have a Bitcoin wallet that can send and receive bitcoin, but in order to send bitcoin you first need some. While the best way to acquire bitcoin is through earning it, the second best way is by using a bitcoin exchange. A bitcoin exchange is a company offering a service for buying and selling bitcoin. Unlike a wallet that does not require any information from you, an exchange does. This is because unlike a wallet where you and you alone are in full control of your bitcoin, with an exchange you have an account. An exchange account works just like a traditional brokerage account such as TD Ameritrade or E*Trade, where they control the funds on their platform and charge a fee for trades. You can link a bank account or deposit $USD by wire transfer and you can use your funds to buy and sell bitcoin and other digital currencies. Exchanges provide varying degrees of security for funds held on them, so it is best to move funds from exchanges to your wallet asap. In general US based exchanges are much better on this front than foreign based exchanges and are subject to US laws. The top three exchanges for US residents are Kraken, Coinbase, and Gemini. All 3 have different sign up processes and will guide you through it, at the moment only Kraken serves Hawaii residents.
Bitcoin ATM Basics
A bitcoin ATM is works just like a vending machine. A bitcoin ATM allows you to receive BTC in exchange for $USD, and many allow you to input BTC and receive $USD. Bitcoin ATM’s are found all over the world in every major city and can be a great way to acquire local currency, as many traditional ATM’s are vulnerable to card information theft by card skimming. Outside of the USA the majority of bitcoin ATM’s do not require any personal information, while in the US most bitcoin ATM’s require you to input some basic personal information. The information required is based on the total value you wish to convert, and is based on state and federal laws.