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How to Get Started with Bitcoin

By February 11, 2015 21 Comments
This is awesome, but you don't need to mine for Bitcoin to get some.

This is awesome, but you don’t need to mine for Bitcoin to get some.

Bitcoin has never been this popular. Sure, there’s still plenty of controversy surrounding the cryptocurrency, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of businesses all over the world from accepting Bitcoin at checkout — including Newegg.

It also hasn’t stopped millions of people in emerging markets from using it to replace their national currency.

At the time of this writing, 1 Bitcoin is valued at $222.93 USD. While this price is drastically lower than the $1,000+ USD it was trading at about one year ago, the possibility of its value rising again is real. And because it’s so cheap, it’s also a perfect time to buy it.

As much as I would love having a Bitcoin mining system digging for gold all day long, there’s a much easier way to get your hands on some coin before it’s too late.

But before we get started, there are some things you need to know:

What You Need to Know

It’s important to educate yourself about Bitcoin before you start using it. Otherwise you may be in for some surprises. But once you have a clear understanding of the risk involved, you’ll feel a lot safer when you start using Bitcoin.

Here’s the fastest way to get started with Bitcoin:

Step 1: Create a Bitcoin Wallet


A Bitcoin wallet allows you to start buying Bitcoin right away. But before you open an account with the first website you find in a search result, there are some things you should know before embarking into the world of cryptocurrency.

There are many different types of wallets available for mobile, desktop, hardware, and the web. These wallets offer different features so it’s crucial you research your options to find the one that’s best for you. But once your mind is made up, setting up a wallet should only take a couple of minutes.

Popular Bitcoin Wallets

Step 2: Put Some Bitcoin in Your Wallet


With your wallet set up, it’s now time to buy some Bitcoin. There are many ways to do this just like there are many ways to create a wallet.

Different Ways to Obtain Bitcoin

  • Accept Bitcoin as a payment for goods or services
  • Receive Bitcoin from a friend or someone near you
  • Buy Bitcoin directly from an exchange

The most secure way to buy Bitcoin is through an exchange but you need to make sure the site you’re buying from is secure. It’s also recommended you obtain the real-world identity of the operator transferring your funds in case you need to take some legal action in the future. You can never be too careful when dealing with money.

You should stick to buying Bitcoin straight from a legitimate exchange and never from a third party. Also keep in mind that Bitcoin services are not highly regulated and it’s possible to operate as an exchange despite not being secure. It’s risky, but completely safe if you do your homework and know who you’re dealing with.

Popular Bitcoin Exchanges

Step 3: Start Using Bitcoin


It’s not recommended to think of Bitcoin as an investment unless you have the time and resources to treat it like the stock market. There is no guarantee you will ever make a profit from it and it’s important to be cautious with your money.

With that being said, many people do get rich from Bitcoin — it’s just not as easy as you think.

Most people who deal with Bitcoin do so because it’s an excellent digital payment option. But with so many merchants now accepting Bitcoin, it may seem “safe” to spend money with anyone who accepts it. There are no laws on how merchants accept Bitcoin and you should only buy from a store that is using a trusted payment gateway.

The most secure payment option available today is BitPay. Not only does Newegg rely on it to process every Bitcoin transaction, but so do over 50,000 businesses and organizations around the world. If BitPay is good enough for WordPress, Microsoft, and countless other companies we do business with; it’s good enough for us.

Any store that uses BitPay to process Bitcoin transaction is guaranteed to be safe and secure. But BitPay isn’t the only payment gateway that’s available, so you need to make sure the one you’re using is legit. If you’re not sure where your money is going, it’s a good idea to do a background check on the company that’s handling the transaction.

Popular Bitcoin Payment Gateways

Spend it Wisely

You should have no problems using Bitcoin if you follow the guidelines listed above. The important takeaway is to carefully evaluate every company you deal with in the process to minimize the risk. But once you do that, using Bitcoin is actually fun.

One of the most popular and creative ways people are spending their Bitcoin is through ChangeTip. It’s an easy way to tip people for their service and allows you to transfer funds to anyone you want no matter where they are. And the best part about it is that it’s completely free to use.

Bitcoin is still in its infancy stage and people are trying to figure out what to do with it. But if you’re as tech-savvy as I think you are, you probably already know how you’ll be spending it. I just hope this quick guide helps you get started!

What will you be buying with Bitcoin?

Ivan Barajas

Author Ivan Barajas

More posts by Ivan Barajas

Join the discussion 21 Comments

  • TulipCoins says:

    You should be ashamed of yourselves. Pumping a Ponzi scheme to your customers. I’ll not be shopping at Newegg again.

  • anon4cec says:

    Since the Bitcoins are dumped into USD, what is stopping newegg and other companies from accepting other coins?

  • John says:

    I used to love newegg and policies such as never settling with patent trolls but the massive support they have put behind this failing ponzi scheme has completely driven me away and I now shop exclusively at other stores. For the average user bitcoin is no where near as safe as traditional payment methods, shifts all risk and liability to the buyer and not the seller, while offering no real reward for the risk. The fact it’s primary use is for darknet purchases and gambling is also another huge turn off.

    Newegg should be better than this.

  • Mr. Pickles says:

    The currency is bitcoin, the protocol is Bitcoin. Just sayin. And also, Circle is a very safe and secure place to buy. And they allow instant buys so you don’t have to wait 4 days for a bank transfer. Also, the best wallet for iOS is breadwallet. Worth noting in your article.

    • Ivan B. says:

      @Mr. Pickles: Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll be sure to add those links in my next Bitcoin post. About the bitcoin vs Bitcoin thing…I made an editorial decision to always capitalize it to avoid confusion. Thanks!

  • Unfortunately your advice is bad: You can NEVER safely use a “web wallet” service to store your Bitcoins safely. Although I wrote this sarcastically, there is a major truth:

    Bitcoin is way too easy to steal. And web wallet type services are way too easy to steal from.

    • Ivan B. says:

      @Nicholas Weaver: Thanks for the link; it was a good read. I agree that a Bitcoin wallet can never be completely safe — but neither can a bank. How do you feel about countries like Argentina adopting Bitcoin in favor of their national currency?

  • melt7777 says:

    What about the most important part of the transaction network: Mining! You left out a huge part of cryptocurrency that is very important. There is software such as http://getPiMP.org available that makes mining your own coins extremely easy. Especially important to you as your customers are buying the hardware needed from you.

  • Silver Surfer says:

    I’m completely new and know nothing about Bitcoin other than it exists. I’ve never owned, used, or accepted it. This seems like a good primer story. Any suggestions on where to learn more about this subject in depth? Argentina replaced their national currency with this? Really?

  • James says:

    Thanks for the great info!
    Bitcoin is one of the key solutions to eliminating the government corruption we’ve been dealing with for so long.

  • shari says:

    Honestly, if you don’t research and learn about bitcoin I don’t think anyone has the right to say anything. My son does very well with bitcoin, but then again he researched everything carefully before doing it. There are always people down on things. I expect this to take off in years to come. It is just like the stock market……….its a gamble……. you never know……….could be a chance to get ahead to..

  • Yup I also agree that if you want to try on bitcoin you need a place to know everything about bitcoin and make some investment little by little then when you master and have enough experience you can also find ways to investment on other channel to diversity you bitcoin account not just focusing on one account or site.

  • Very interesting. I am trying to learn as much as possible before jumping in.

  • George T says:

    This article is a few years old. Most of it still applies but many things have changed. I suggest anyone looking to get started with Bitcoin to start here: https://cryptosrus.com/everything-bitcoin/

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