Like any new technology, getting into bitcoin can be intimidating. With the right tools, however, you can set yourself up to start receiving and sending bitcoin within a few minutes!
To start, you need to get a bitcoin wallet. A wallet is a software program that holds the information necessary to access, send, and receive your bitcoins. Most are free, they just cost a few minutes of your time to set up! Many different wallets serve different devices and have different features. There are wallets for mobile phones, desktops, cloud/web based wallets, and physical hardware wallets. Today, I’m going to help you set up a web wallet that can also be used on your mobile phone. It’s a terrific starter wallet that will allow you to receive bitcoin at any time with your phone, and carry some around for daily use.
Before you get your bitcoin wallet, make sure that you are using a secure computer. If you think that you may have downloaded something malicious recently, or have malware on your desktop, make sure to remove it from your PC first with antivirus software. Next, get a pen and paper for you to create a backup for your wallet.
Once you have pen and paper, visit https://hivewallet.com/, to create your first Bitcoin Wallet through Hive. Hive is a great wallet that works on your mobile phone, desktop, or the cloud. Select “Create web wallet” to get started.
On the next page, you’ll see an option to “Generate passphrase.” When you click there, you’ll receive a string of random words, much like the feature image of this post. Make sure to write those words down! They are necessary to gain access to your bitcoins. Put them in a private, secure location after you write down those words. Consider storing this with other valuable physical assets such as your gold or jewelry, but make sure you can easily access it if needed.
After you’ve written the passphrase down and stored it safely and securely, create a 4 digit pin for yourself that you can remember.
And you’re done! You now have a bitcoin wallet that you can send, receive, and store bitcoins with. To receive bitcoin, select the receive tab. That “wallet address” is the string of numbers and letters you give to someone to receive bitcoins. This is your public address, the address that you can share with others to receive bitcoin. The string will look something like this:
To receive bitcoins, make sure to give someone the entire string of numbers and letters for them to be able to send bitcoins to you. Unless you give someone else access to your bitcoin wallet, you are the only one who has control over the public address.
To send bitcoin, you need to get the entire string of numbers and letters from the person you are sending the bitcoins to. Note that when you send bitcoins, you can’t get them back! So make sure that you’re sending them to the right person or organization before sending.
You can also download the Hive app on your phone and enter that same 12-word passphrase so that you can have your bitcoin wallet on the go.
Now you know how to set up your first bitcoin wallet, send, and receive bitcoins. I cannot emphasize enough to make sure that you store your passphrase somewhere safe. Your bitcoin wallet is like your bank account. However you are in complete control over it. If you lose the passphrase or leave it out for someone to take, you could lose those bitcoins forever.
To learn more about various bitcoin wallets, I recommend visiting: https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet. The website does a great job of breaking down various wallets for different devices and needs.