Many people know of Bitcoin but think it a ‘Nerd Only‘ zone- so not true. This is an easy step-by-step guide on how to set up a Bitcoin wallet for non-nerds. Modern technology, especially smartphones, has made Bitcoin really handy. This article will not go into the deep end of the history of Bitcoin and how to mine it. Rather, it’ll focus on how to set up a Bitcoin wallet and how to use it. It’s for people who are non-technical and just need to learn the basics.
What Is BitCoin?
Bitcoin or BTC is a crypto-currency. In other words, this is a type of digital currency that only exists online. It is protected and monitored by a fully automated technology called “BlockChain“- not a Central Bank. That means that it is an independent currency that is without borders and not under any country’s jurisdiction. These coins can be mined by solving very complex mathematical problems in large computer systems, but as I said, we’ll not get into that.
How to Use Bitcoins?
The basic is that you buy some Bitcoins using your own country’s currency (USD, UKP, CND) and save it on your digital wallet. And now you have a borderless currency that you can transfer to anyone who has a digital wallet. It is as simple as getting cash out of your wallet and giving it to someone who will then put it in his/her wallet. All you need is the receiver’s wallet address. The beauty is that you can transfer it to your friend sitting next to you or to a person in the other part of the world without going through a difficult international bank transfer process.
How to Set Up a Bitcoin Wallet? – USA
Although it is an independent currency, you do want the ability to convert it into your own country’s currency so that you can cash it. That’s why different cryptocurrency vendors are now affiliating with local banks allowing users to convert local currency to BTC and vice-versa. In this part, we’ll only discuss USA users. The UK and other country users can follow the same example. Only the coin vendor company will be different.
To begin, you should first find a BTC vendor who is well-affiliated with your country’s local banks. For the USA, the best vendor company is CoinBase. Therefore, we’ll focus on how to set up a CoinBase account. Like all financial services, you would need an ID verification for CoinBase, so before you begin, you should take a picture of a valid government ID to be used later. If you are using a driver’s license, take 2 pictures (Front and Back). If you want to use your passport, take one picture of the page that contains your passport photo, and signature.
Note: UK users can go to https://cex.io/
Steps to set up a CoinBase Account
- Go to https://www.coinbase.com/
- Choose the option “Get Started“.
- Use your full name, email, and password to open your new account.
- CoinBase will send you an email verification. Check your mail and verify it.
- It’ll bring you to a page where you need to input your phone number and verify it. Once you have put your phone number, CoinBase will send you an SMS with a code to verify your phone. Input the code and verify.
- The next step is your ID verification. You will be automatically directed to your ID verification. There will be the option to upload your ID picture/s.
- Once uploaded, it’ll take CoinBase 1-2 hours to verify your ID. You do not have to stay around- simply wait for the email.
- CoinBase will send you an email that your ID has been verified and on that same mail, there will be a button that says “Add Card” to begin transactions. Click that button and add your debit or credit card. (It should be a Master or Visa card and has to be personal. (Corporate cards are not yet allowed.)
- And you are all set. Now you have to ability to send, receive, buy, and sell BTC and other cryptocurrencies supported by CoinBase.
How to Buy Bitcoin?
Now that you have your account fully set up and verified, you can begin transactions using BTC, but first, you have to buy some coins. On the top left of your Coinbase page, you can see the “Buy & Sell” tab. From here, you can buy BTC or any other currencies using your credit or debit card. Once you have bought, you can see that balance on your portfolio page. If you choose to buy using your card, the crediting is instant. If you choose to buy using your bank account, it can take 2 days for the coins to be credited to your wallet.
How to Send and Receive Bitcoin?
As I mentioned before, it’s as simple as taking cash out of your wallet and giving it to someone. To send coins to another, you need his or her wallet address. To receive coins, you need to give your wallet address to the others so that they can send coins to your wallet.
- Go to the “Portfolio” page of your CoinBase account. Scroll down and you can see all your wallets (BTC, Ehterium, Litecoin, etc).
- Click a Wallet such as Bitcoin. You will see the “Send” and “Receive” options. Click “Receive” to see your own wallet address. Your wallet address is two things- one is a QR code and the other is the Physical BlockChain Address. The QR Code looks like this:
If a person is near you and wants to send you money, he/she can just scan your QR code and send the coins to your wallet.
The Physical BlockChain Address looks like this:
If a person is far away from you, you can simply copy this wallet address from your account and send it to the other person via email, messenger, SMS, or any other media. The sender then copies the wallet address and sends coins from his/her wallet to yours.
- Now try clicking the “Send” option on your BTC Wallet. You will see a box to input the receiver’s wallet address and amount to be sent. If you are sending money to others, simply get their wallet address and paste it here.
Note: It is important to remember that BTC can only be transferred to another BTC wallet and vice versa. If someone gives you a BTC wallet address and you send Ehterium or Litecoin, the coins can be lost, so BTC to BTC and Eth to Eth. If you only have BTC and someone asks for Eth, you should convert your BTC to Eth first and then send it from your Eth wallet. The same applies to all other currencies.
How to Download the App?
Yes, you can download the CoinBase wallet app on your phone and link it to your CoinBase account for easier transactions. With the app, you will also have the ability to scan other’s QR code and send money easily. Others can also easily scan your QR code on your phone and send you money. You can download the app from the links below:
It’s important to remember that the App is a separate thing with a separate password. You need to link the app to your CoinBase account so that the app can access your wallets on CoinBase. You can find the link option easily on the app once you have downloaded and installed it. You can then use the email and the password of your CoinBase account to link the app.
Linking a Bank Account and a PayPal Account
Log in to your CoinBase account and on the top right, find the profile button “Picture logo” and choose “Settings“. On your profile settings, you will see many options and one of them would be “Linked Accounts“. On this page, you can link a bank account and a PayPal account so that you can withdraw your money. PayPal withdrawal is instant while bank accounts take 2 business days.
Always remember to convert your BTC, Eth, or Litecoin to USD first before making a withdrawal request.
Ease of Use
You might be thinking “Why go through all these troubles?“, and the answer is once you get used to it, it’s so worth it to do your transactions in BTC and other cryptocurrencies. At first, these things might seem complicated, but once you are familiar, you will find it very easy to use. So, open an account, download the app an play around a little. Click different options to familiarize yourself, and you’ll know your way around in no time.
You can use Bitcoin to purchase things online and offline. Many stores accept BTC so all you have to do is scan with your phone and pay without ever having to expose your credit card. You can receive money from your friends and family from far away. You can send money to anyone who has a wallet even if he/she is in Africa. It takes the same time and no effort at all.
If you have a local business, you can also start accepting payments via BTC. Just print out your wallet QR code and put it near the cashier so that others can scan it. You can receive money from your online business without having a credit card merchant.
How to Make Money Using Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies?
We said we wouldn’t go into much of the details, but you have already got the wallet so you might as well learn how to make some money out of it. Making money from Cryptocurrencies is like investing in the stock market. The value of cryptocurrencies goes up and down quite frequently. Your CoinBase account will allow you to track them (“Price” page). You can track multiple currencies at the same time with graph analysis.
The idea is simple. When a coin price goes down, you buy it. When it’s up, you sell it. And since your wallet supports multiple currencies (BTC, ETH, Litecoin, etc), you can simply convert them from one wallet to another.
Let’s say, the price of BTC is up while Eth is down, you can convert your BTC into Eth and get a big amount of Eth for a low price. Then Eth starts to go up and Litecoin goes down. You can convert the Eth to Litecoin and get an even bigger amount of Litecoin. Finally, when the Litecoin goes up as well, you can convert Litecoin into USD and transfer it to your bank account. You will end up with a pretty large profit. Start with a small amount like $200.00 and see if you can do it. If you understand the graphs well, you can do pretty good and can invest more money later.
You can analyze the graphs for a day, week, month, or a year. The options are available on your CoinBase account. All you have to do is understand from the graphs how different coins behave and you’ll get it.
There are also ways to “Go Big” where you start to mine Bitcoins with machines or invest heavily in people who know how to mine cryptocurrencies. However, that truly is the “Nerd Only” zone. You cannot do it unless you are technically efficient.
Why Do Online Pharmacies Prefer Bitcoin (BTC)?
Almost all online pharmacies, including Blue Cross Online Pharmacy, prefer Bitcoin or BTC pay because it is safe and secure for the customers and for the pharmacy. With Credit Cards, PayPal, and other regular methods, the banks or Paypal always know what you have ordered and where you have purchased things, and it shows up on your credit card statements. That can be troublesome for people who order medications online without prescriptions.
For BTC, that is not at all the case. You can use your card to buy BTC. After that, where you send the coins is no longer the bank’s business. You also do not expose your credit card number to the pharmacy. There are plenty of fraudulent pharmacies online that will get your credit card info and use it for who knows what. You are 100% safe when you choose to pay for your orders with BTC, and at Blue Cross Online Pharmacy, we offer a 15% discount when you process your payment via Bitcoin.