Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin

This will be an introductory post for a series of posts that I’ll be writing about cryptocurrency and bitcoin. Today, I’ll be discussing about what bitcoin is and how to get started using bitcoin.

Before discussing what Bitcoin is, I suggest you to read this post by /u/hodlgentlemen in reddit where he lists a somewhat historical progression of how Bitcoin came about.

What is Bitcoin

So what is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is the first decenteralized digital currency. You can use it to instantly transfer money (well used to, but more on that later) to anyone in the world. Unlike the currency we have now which is mostly controlled by the banks or the government, Bitcoin is an open network managed by its users. The video below by weusecoins perfectly summarizes what bitcoin is and how it works.

The Genesis block, which kicked off the Bitcoin network started last January 3, 2009.  Six days later, Satoshi Nakamoto, the developer of the Bitcoin protocol, made the source code available to the public. On October 5, 2009, just a few months after its creation, Bitcoin was sold at 1,309 BTC per US$1.00. After almost 8 years, Bitcoin reached its All Time High amounting to ~US$4,600.00. As of writing, Bitcoin is currently being traded at 1 BTC = ~US$4000.00.

As Bitcoin price rises, more and more folks are starting to take notice of it and other cryptocurrency. There are lots of things to know and understand about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency. I’ll try to help you ease in to Bitcoin by helping you get started on setting up your first wallet and buying your first Bitcoin.

Getting Started

So how do I start using Bitcoin? Before you can start purchasing Bitcoins, it is important to first have a Bitcoin wallet address. Your Bitcoin wallet address is like your bank account number which people can use to send you Bitcoins. There are multiple wallets available depending on what platform you want to use. If you will be using your personal computer or laptop to store your wallet, I recommend installing Electrum and/or Exodus. For mobile, I personally use Jaxx and Bread Wallet. There are also Bitcoin wallets online which you can use like Blockchain.info and Coins.ph. Feel free to check the posts below on how to setup these different wallets.

  • Electrum(requirement: Laptop/PC)
  • Jaxx (requirement: Smartphone)
  • Blockchain.info (requirement: Browser) –soon
  • Coins.ph (requirement: Smartphone or Browser) –soon

Yay! I now have a Bitcoin Wallet. Now what?

After successfully setting up your very first Bitcoin wallet by following one of the posts above, you can now start purchasing Bitcoins.My friends and some people I know tend to think that it’s too late to buy Bitcoins because of its high price. Many people also think that they need to purchase one whole Bitcoin in order to participate in the cryptocurrency market.

One of Bitcoin’s many and useful characteristic is that it is easily divisible. The smallest unit of Bitcoin is called a Satoshi or Sat  in honor of its creator Satoshi Nakamoto. 1 Satoshi is equivalent to 0.00000001 BTC or one hundred millionth of a Bitcoin! Some folks also use mBTC (0.001 BTC) or millibitcoin which is one thousand of a Bitcoin. Because of this characteristic of Bitcoin, you don’t have to buy an entire Bitcoin. You can own 0.1 BTC or even 0.00001 BTC!

So how do you buy Bitcoins? There are many options in buying Bitcoins depending on where you are in the world and what payment method you want to use. You can purchase Bitcoins via wire transfer/cash, credit card and other altcoins. Feel free to check the posts below on how to purchase Bitcoins using different methods.

  • Coinbase (payment method: Credit Card/Wire Transfer) –soon
  • Coins.ph (payment method: Over the counter/Wire Transfer/Cash)
  • Coinmama/CEX.IO (payment method: Credit Card) –soon
  • Bittrex (payment method: Altcoins) — soon

What’s next?

Now that you have setup your wallet and have purchased your own bitcoins, what’s next? There are other cryptocurrency that is already competing with Bitcoin. One popular alternative is Ethereum which I’ll be writing about in the next few weeks. For now, you can start reading up about the blockchain technology and other cryptocurrencies. In my next posts I’ll be talking about how you can earn money by investing in Cryptocurrency thru different methods. I’ll be discussing mining, trading and holding. Their pros and cons and how to get started on each of those methods.