other guides that will provide you with technical answers. This guide is designed for the Bitcoin novice that wishes to have a secure, easy to use wallet. It will show you how to:
- Create a Bitcoin Account
- Get Bitcoins
- Spend Bitcoins
1. Create a Bitcoin Account. Go to StrongCoin.com and click "Sign Up." Ensure you choose a strong password containing lower-case and upper-case letters, numbers, and other characters. Write your password down and keep it in a safe place.
Click "New Account" on the right-hand side. Enter a name for your account in the "Label" field ("savings" or "chequing," for example). Click "Launch Generator" on the right-hand side. Enter another strong password, but one that is different from the one you used earlier. Write this one down as well. Click "Generate Keys." Click "Save."
You now have a Bitcoin account which is the jumble of letters and numbers next to where it says "Public Key." This is the account number you will give to others when they want to send you Bitcoins. It is exactly the same as when you give your employer your bank account number so they can deposit your pay cheque into your account. No harm can come from giving out your Bitcoin account number; mine is on display on this blog at all times.
2. Get Bitcoins. The way to do this will depend on the country in which you live. Typically, you will buy Bitcoins through an exchange by sending money to the exchange and then buying Bitcoins once they've received your money. There are different ways to send money to an exchange, and each exchange will tell you how to send them your money. I recommend the following exchanges:
- Americans: Mt.Gox
- Canadians: Canadian Virtual Exchange
- Other: Click here for a list of options.
You might also be able to find someone in your town that is willing to sell you Bitcoins.
To get you started, you can visit the Bitcoin Faucet and/or Daily Bitcoins to receive some free Bitcoins.
Once you've purchased or obtained some Bitcoins, send them to the Public Key that you created in step 1.
3. Spend Bitcoins. When you want to send your Bitcoins to someone, click on your StrongCoin account name (savings or chequing, or whatever you called it). Click "Send Payment" on the right-hand side. Enter the second password you created. Now, copy the Bitcoin address that belongs to the person to whom you are sending Bitcoins, and paste it into the field where it says "or type an address." Enter the amount you wish to send and click "Send Payment." You will pay a transaction fee of 1%, up to no more than 1 Bitcoin.
Congratulations! You are now a Bitcoin user. Welcome to the first currency system that is not controlled by a central authority, can be spent anywhere around the world, and has extremely low fees.