Free Ignis Tokens for NXT Holders

Free Tokens!

Yes you’ve read that right. There will be free Ignis tokens for NXT holders!  Ignis recently concluded their ICO in the NXT platform and raised about $15M. It will be the first child chain in the Ardor (ARDR) platform which was built using the NXT technology. The main Ardor platform will go live early next year and it’s first child chain Ignis, will be using these tokens for transactions. So how can you get these free tokens?

How do I get these “Free Tokens”

Technically they are not necessarily “free”. In order to receive an airdrop of the Ignis token, you must first have a NXT token in a wallet or exchange during the Ardor Genesis Snaphot. The snapshot is scheduled to happen on December 28, 2017 but the exact block height on when this will happen hasn’t been disclosed yet.

So where can I get my hands on these NXT tokens? NXT tokens are currently distributed in the following exchanges:

You can purchase them using Bitcoins. Once you have some NXT tokens, the next thing you need to know is where to store them during the snapshot.

Which Wallet Supports the Airdrop

Now that you got your hands on some NXT token, you need to store them in a wallet which will support the Ignis token. By default, the NXT client will support Ignis. Other exchanges such as Bittrex and HitBTC has also announced that they will be supporting the Ignis airdrop. This means that simply holding a NXT token in any of these three wallets will net you an Ignis token.

According to the Ignis airdrop site, all NXT token holders will receive 0.5 Ignis tokens for every 1 NXT token they have at the time of the snapshot. This means that if you have 1000 NXT tokens during the snapshot, you will be credited 500 Ignis tokens later.

Conclusion

The Ardr Genesis Blockchain snapshot event will take place on Dec 28, 2017.  All NXT token holders will be credited an Ignis token early next year if they stored their tokens in the NXT client, Bittrex or HitBTC . 1 NXT token is equivalent to 0.5 Ignis token. Number of NXT tokens will remain the same after the snapshot.

Note: If you’re still new to cryptocurrency and aren’t familiar with exchanges or how to start, you can read my blog post about it here.

How to Start Trading Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is gaining lots of attention recently because of its insane rise in price. If you bought it in the early days and held them through all its ups and downs you’re probably rich now! Right now, folks are still joining the bandwagon and trying to buy Bitcoin. They still think that holding them long term will be a good investment since Bitcoin’s price has always been going up. An alternative approach to increase your Bitcoin holdings is thru trading Cryptocurrencies. In this post, I’ll be explaining how can start trading cryptocurrencies.

WARNING: Trading cryptocurrencies is very risky. if you don’t know what you’re doing chances are you will lose money. Trade at your own risk!

Requirements

  • An understanding of basic Bitcoin concepts
  • A Bitcoin Wallet
  • A place to buy Bitcoins
  • A trading platform
  • An idea on how trading works

Bitcoin Concepts

Let’s start with the basics. Before you start trading, you must be familiar with some basic concepts of Bitcoin. I gave an overview of what Bitcoin is in one of my posts. I also discussed some basic concepts like blocks, miners and the blockchain here. I also blogged about Bitcoin transaction fees and confirmation times here. Another thing you need to be familiar with is sending your Bitcoins to different wallet addresses so that you can fund your trading platform.

A Bitcoin Wallet

There are lots of available Bitcoin wallets right now. It is still important to remember that you must always have the private keys/recovery seed of your Bitcoin wallet so that what ever happens, you can still recover your coins.

For mobile users, I highly recommend Jaxx since it also supports different coins other than Bitcoin. It also has ShapeShift built-in for easier conversion from one coin to another.

For PC users, I highly recommend Electrum. Electrum is a full node Bitcoin wallet. It allows you to sign your transactions, adjust the transaction fees and gives you an option to enable 2FA in the event that your PC gets compromised.

A Place to Buy Bitcoins

With Bitcoin becoming mainstream, there are lots of places now where you can buy Bitcoins. One of the most reputable places to buy is Coinbase. It allows you to link your bank accounts and credit cards so that you can easily buy Bitcoins.

From folks in Manila, the most convenient place way to purchase Bitcoins is via Coins.ph. They have multiple cash-in and cash-out options which makes it easy for anyone to purchase and sell Bitcoins. You can reference by previous blog post on how to setup you Coins.ph account.

You can also buy Bitcoins using your credit card at different sites online. What I have used so far are the following:

Once you have your Bitcoins ready, you need a few more steps before you start trading.

A Trading Platform

There are a ton of trading platforms out there and each has their own pros and cons. I use multiple trading platforms depending on the coin I’m trading. Below is a list of trading platforms that you can use:

There are many more platforms available but I mainly use these five exchanges. I like Bitfinex because of different options you can do within the platform. Bittrexx has lots of altcoins which is good for trading. Poloniex has a low withdrawal fee and a good interface for beginners. Binance has some coins that I hold (eg. IOTA) which is not available in the other sites. And lastly, GDAX because of the seamless integration it has with Coinbase.

Choose the platform based on your preference and sign up for an account. You can even sign up in all of them granted there are no restrictions on your location. After creating an account, follow each of the sites verification process so you won’t have any issues depositing and withdrawing from your accounts later. Once verified, go to the wallets section of your chosen platform and generate a new Bitcoin address. Send your Bitcoins to that address and you can now start trading.

An idea on how trading works

Assuming you received your Bitcoins in your trading platform’s wallet you can now start trading. But what is trading? According to Investopedia, trading involves the buying and selling of goods or services between parties. Typically, trading involves Fiat (real money). In our case, instead of using real money, we will be using Bitcoin to buy and sell different altcoins.

The basic premise of trading is simple. You buy something low, and sell it at a higher price. It sounds simple but it’s very hard to do it consistently. In the traditional market, there’s an opening and closing hours for trading. However in Cryptocurrency, trading happens 24×7. If you don’t keep yourself updated with the latest news and don’t regularly check the charts you might lose money in an instant.

So how can you increase your Bitcoins by trading Cryptocurrency? The simple way to buy an altcoin at a low rate, and sell it later at a higher rate. However some folks get confused when they start trading with Crypto. The traditional trader is used to looking at the Fiat value (USD) of a coin instead of looking at its Satoshi value. They sometimes end up being confused as to why their USD value goes up but their Bitcoin amount goes down.

Right now all altcoins revolve around Bitcoin. Sure you can buy some coins with Ether or Litecoin. You even use services such as Shapeshift and Changelly to convert your coins to another coins but those services incur fees. The easiest way right now to buy the coin you like is to have Bitcoins. And since all of them revolves around Bitcoin, their value is also derived from Bitcoin. Let see an example.

Example

Let’s say I have 1 Bitcoin at 18k USD and I wanted to buy Ripple because it’s all the hype right now. I’ll check my platform and look at the BTC-XRP pair (Bitcoin-Ripple pair). As of this moment, XRP is around $0.81 USD and that is equivalent to 0.00004496 Bitcoin each or 4496 Satoshis. Satoshi is the smallest denomination of a Bitcoin. So if I were to use .5 BTC to buy XRP, I will get 11121 units of XRP (that is 0.5 divided by 0.00004496). Now let’s say BTC price goes up to 20k USD. Because you saw the rise in price, you thought to yourself, “I need to get more BTC since its price is increasing” and immediately sold all your XRP back to BTC. After selling your XRP you noticed that you now have less than 1 Bitcoin. So what happened?

First, all trades that you do in trading platforms incur commissions. This is how trading platforms make money. For example, Bittrexx charges all filled orders with 0.25% commission. Second, you probably didn’t check the amount of XRP in Satoshis when you sold. In Crypto, the normal movement of the market is when Bitcoin goes up, some altcoins go down in value. This is because people are selling off their altcoins to buy more Bitcoins which drives the price of Bitcoin up and drives the price of altcoins down (law of supply and demand). However, there are times when some altcoins still increase in value but this is not always the case. So what should you do?

Since our original goal in trading is to accumulate more Bitcoins, we should always look at the Satoshi value of a coin. This means that whenever we buy a coin, we take note of its Satoshi value and make sure that we sell it at a higher Satoshi value later. So in our example above, if we wanted to increase our Bitcoin holdings, we should have sold XRP if its Satoshi value was greater that 4496.

Wrap up

What I wrote above is just a very basic example of how trading cryptocurrency works. It may sound simple but it’s very hard to pull off. It takes a great deal of experience to become a good trader. In my succeeding blog posts, I’ll share some tips on how I usually perform my trade.

SharePoint Designer Workflow Issues

SharePoint Designer

SharePoint Designer is one of the best tools you can have when working with SharePoint. It allows you to do pretty much anything you can in a typical SharePoint interface. For me one of the best aspect of SharePoint Designer is giving Power Users the ability to create customized workflows. This helps them automate business processes while allowing users work on normal SharePoint lists and Document Libraries. However there are also many know SharePoint Designer Workflow issues like the one below.

Workflow Issues

Unfortunately there are times that after publishing some changes, it doesn’t reflect properly. In my experience, what happened was I changed some e-mail content and updating of columns but after publishing it nothing happened.

It’s very hard to figure out most of the time why this happens. There was even a time before where I even had to delete all actions and conditions just to check what’s wrong. The worst part was when I had to recreate a workflow just to make it work!

The Solution

After searching online and asking around, I found out that this was because of the caching mechanism in SharePoint Designer. If you encounter this issue, most of the time it’s because of this reason. In order to solve the issue you need to do the following:

SharePoint 2010

 

  1. Close your SharePoint Designer
  2. Navigate to this directory %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebsiteCache
  3. Copy all files in this folder and save them somewhere (for backup purposes).
  4. Delete all the files in the said directory.
  5. Navigate to this directory %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Web Server Extensions\Cache
  6. Copy all the files in this folder and save them somewhere (for backup purposes).
  7. Delete all the files in the said directory.
  8. Open your SharePoint Designer and try to publish your workflow again.

SharePoint 2013

  1. Go to Files > Options > General > Application Options
  2. In the General tab, under the General header, check if the “Cache site data across SharePoint Designer sessions” is ticked. If it is, remove it.
  3. Open your SharePoint Designer and try to publish your workflow again.

This should do the trick. If you encounter this issue and have problems after following my instructions please let me know in the comments.

Bitcoin: (High) Transaction Fees (Long) Confirmation Times

Why is my transaction fee so high?! Why is my transaction not yet confirmed?!

In my previous blog post, we touched on some basic concepts of Bitcoin. We will now use those concepts to discuss transaction fees and confirmation times. These are important concepts to understand because these affects how you will be using your Bitcoins later on.

Transaction Fees

For new Bitcoin users, the concept of transaction fees are not immediately noticeable. However, if you look closely, whenever you do any transaction you are required to pay a transaction fee. So what are transaction fees and what are they used for?

To answer that, we need to back track a bit and go back to our previous discussion about blocks and transactions. As we already know, blocks store all transactions made in the Bitcoin network permanently. We also learned that miners’ solves for hashes in blocks in order for a block to be added into the blockchain. So where does transactions fees come in? We must first understand the building blocks of transaction before proceeding.

Inputs and Outputs

I mentioned in my previous post that a transaction contains an input and an output. A single transaction can contain multiple inputs and multiple outputs.  To keep it simple,  an input tells you where your Bitcoins came from. While on the other hand, an output tells you where your Bitcoins will be sent. Let’s have an example to have a better idea of how inputs and outputs work in a transaction.

Let’s say you have 10 Bitcoins and you wanted to purchase a car worth 9 Bitcoins. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just say that your 10 Bitcoins came from a single transaction. Now you bought the car and sent your 10 Bitcoins to the car dealer. You will then get your 1 Bitcoin back and 9 Bitcoins will now be sent to the car dealer. In this example, your transaction of sending your 10 Bitcoin to the dealer will contain 1 input (which is your 10 Bitcoins) and 2 outputs (1 output is the 1 Bitcoin returned to you as your change and the other output is the 9 Bitcoins you sent to the car dealer).

Note: Inputs and Outputs are much more complicated than this. What I did was to simplify it as much as possible.

Transaction Size

Now that we know about inputs and outputs, we also need to understand what a transaction size is. These concepts plus other factors are needed to understand how transaction fees are calculated.
A transaction can be composed of a single or multiple input and a single or multiple output. Each input and output has its own size in bytes. We can calculate for the transaction size by adding up all the sizes of inputs and outputs plus other information included in the transaction.
This transaction which was used in an example in a Stack Exchange question contains 40 inputs and 16 outputs. With other information in place, the resulting size of that transaction is 7761 bytes or 7.58 kilobytes. The other information included in a transaction other than the inputs and outputs are constant in all transactions. This means that the number of inputs and outputs greatly affects your transaction size.

Bitcoin Blocksize and the Mempool

Before finally going back to transaction fees, we must first understand Bitcoin’s blocksize and how it affects everything. In our example above, a single transaction with 40 inputs and 16 outputs totaled to about 7.58 kilobytes. Bitcoin’s blocksize, disregarding SegWit’s “advantage”, is just 1 megabyte. Since we already know that a block is comprised of multiple transactions, this means that only a handful of transactions can be included in a block whenever it is mined. Basing from my previous blog post again, we have an idea that a block is mined roughly every 10 minutes. So if we have a lot of transactions amounting to more than 1 megabyte, where do these transactions end up while they are waiting to be included in the next block?

That’s where the Mempool comes in. You can think of the mempool as the “waiting lounge” of transactions that have yet to be included in a block. Each mining node has their own set of mempools which miners use to store transactions that they will process in the next block. Whenever a transaction is included in a block, it is removed from the mempool. There are times when activity in the Bitcoin network gets so high that the mempool gets clogged up. This results to thousands of transactions being “stuck” in the mempool for hours. This is because only a handful of transactions can be included in a block every 10 minutes. There are even times when a transaction gets cancelled because it was left in the mempool for far too long (more than 14 days).

Back to Transaction Fees

So where does the transaction fee fit in to all these? As mentioned above, Bitcoin’s blocksize is only 1 megabyte. This greatly limits the number of transactions that can be included within a block. Technically, transactions should be on a first come first serve basis or what we call FIFO (First in, First Out). However due to the limited block size and high number of transactions on busy days, most transactions end up waiting in the mempool.

A fee market was later on introduced to Bitcoin. This allows users to set a higher fee than normal so that miners will prioritize their transactions over other transactions. This also incentivizes miners to prioritize transactions with higher fees. Transaction fees are measured by sats (satoshis*) per byte. This means the larger your transaction size is, the more expensive your transaction fee would be. Take note this is based on transaction size (inputs + outputs + other info) and not transaction amount. Because of this fee market setup, the growing demand for the usage of Bitcoin and the limited block size, network fees sky rocketed and confirmation times became longer.

Confirmation and Confirmation Times

We already know that a block contains transactions. Once a block is added to the blockchain, all transactions in it will be irreversible and will be forever part of the blockchain. To secure a transaction against double spending, all transactions require a minimum number of confirmations before being considered as “Confirmed”. So what are confirmations?

Once a transaction gets included in a block, it automatically gets one confirmation. This means that your transaction is 1 level deep in the blockchain. When a new block gets added, your confirmation number increases by 1. For majority of small transactions, 6 confirmations are required before considering a transaction as confirmed. This means that once your transaction is included in a block, you must wait for 5 more blocks to be mined before your transaction gets confirmed. On average, a small transaction should not take more than 1 hour to be confirmed.

Unfortunately, due to the fee market, transactions with higher fees gets prioritized by the miners. This leaves transactions with lower fees stuck in the mempool while waiting to be included in the next block. This means that there are times when your transaction may take hours or even days before it gets confirmed in the network. This does not mean your funds are lost forever, they are just stuck in limbo waiting to be processed by miners.

Summary

Due to the fee market and the limited block size of Bitcoin, users experience high transaction fees and long confirmation times. So the next time you want to send your coins from your personal wallet to an exchange, don’t be surprised if the fee is too high or if it takes hours or days before your confirmation gets confirmed.  It will eventually get there, you just need to be patient.

Other Notes

If you want to check the average transaction fee (sats per byte), you can check this site.
If you want to check how many transactions are in limbo, you can check it here.
The higher the number in these sites, the higher the transaction fee and the longer confirmation time will be needed for your transaction to get confirmed.

Bitcoin: Concepts and Terms

Bitcoin ATH

Reaching a record high of 11200USD+ yesterday after just reaching 10000USD the other day, Bitcoin is gaining more and more attention. Most cryptotraders, miners and enthusiasts alike will notice that more and more people are talking about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Whenever Bitcoin reaches a new all-time-high, a bunch of new users are pulled in by the hype and try to put in as much money as they can into Bitcoin. This sometimes results to people asking why their transactions fees in Bitcoin are way too high and why it’s taking a long time for their transaction to push through.

I gave a very brief background of what bitcoin is in one of my posts. If you haven’t read the bitcoin white paper, I highly suggest that you do. If you don’t have the time, I’ll try to simplify some of the concepts about it which we will later on need in order for us to understand why transaction fees and confirmation times are sometimes long and expensive. However, before that, we must familiarize ourselves with some basic concepts in Bitcoin and the blockchain technology.

Transactions

Let’s start with a very basic concept of transaction.  The wiki defines a transaction as “a transfer of Bitcoin value that is broadcast to the network and collected into blocks”. To put it simply, a buy or a sell is a transaction. Whenever you buy bitcoins from Coinbase , or sell your Bitcoins in Bittrex, those activities are all considered as transactions. You gain or lose Bitcoin and that gain or loss is then recorded in a block. A transaction also contains inputs and outputs but more on that later.

Blocks

As mentioned earlier, transactions are all collected into blocks. So what is a block? A block basically is a container of transactions. This is where all transactions are permanently recorded. You can think of a block as a ledger where you note down whom you paid and who paid you. Whenever you make a transactio, it will eventually be saved in a block and later on, stored in the blockchain.

Blockchain

You might be hearing the term blockchain recently because of the success of Bitcoin. We already know what a transaction and what a block is. Now it’s time for us to discuss what a blockchain is. A blockchain literally is just a chain of blocks. What makes the blockchain technology great is the fact that since all transactions are recorded in a block and a block is later on added to the blockchain, all historical transactions starting from the genesis block (the very first block mined) up until the latest transaction are visible to everyone.

There are more technical aspects behind the blockchain but we won’t discuss it for now. You just need to understand that a blockchain is a collection of blocks where ALL transactions in the Bitcoin network is stored. From the first transaction of Satoshi Nakamoto to Hal Finney, the 10,000 BTC worth of pizza bought way back, up until the recent Bitcoin purchased/sold, all of them are stored in the blockchain.

Miners

I mentioned above that a blockchain is a collection of linked blocks where all our transaction are saved. However, have you thought how blocks are created and who maintains the blockchain? Nodes, most specifically minding nodes or what we commonly call Miners are responsible for all of these. All miners have a copy of the entire blockchain in their nodes. So as not to complicate things, you can think of a node as just a computer used by a miner. It’s the responsibility of the miners to secure the Bitcoin network.

They do this by constantly validating blocks added in the network and make sure that those blocks are valid. They are also responsible for creating blocks that will be added in the blockchain. Whenever there are set of transactions done in the Bitcoin network, miners compete with each other to find what is known as a hash. Currently a miner who successfully solves a block is rewarded 12.5 Bitcoins. This cycle of finding a block and adding them to the blockchain usually takes on average 10 minutes. This means there are roughly 6 blocks added to the blockchain every hour.

These terms and concepts have much more depth in them and I barely scratched the surface with what I’ve explained. It’s important to understand these concepts before proceeding to our next topic which we will discuss in my next post.

List Template and List Creation using List Template via PowerShell

Recently I was tasked to create multiple SharePoint lists based list templates. Initially I did them manually because it was less than 10 lists. Basically what I have are STP files and I create new lists based from those STP files. Eventually the requests became too many that I decided to do them using powershell. Below is the code block I used:

$web = Get-SPWeb <site url>
$site = Get-SPSite <site url>

//uploads the STP file from local to template gallery
$listTmplGal  = $web.GetFolder("List Template Gallery")
$listTmplFiles = $listTmplGal.Files
$tmplFile = Get-ChildItem "<full path of stp>"
$listTmplFiles.Add("_catalogs/lt/<template.stp>", $tmplFile .OpenRead(), $true)
 
//creates the list using the template uploaded
$listTemplates = $site.GetCustomListTemplates($web)
$web.Lists.Add("<name of list>", "<description of list>", $listTemplates["<template name>"])

The code block above can be turned into a function such that you can just pass the url of your site, the path of the stp file and other variables to help you automate your process. I hope this helps!

Working with Certificates in SharePoint Applications

I recently worked on a task which asked me to integrate an existing SharePoint app to one of our service providers. It’s a straight forward task where in I just need to consume a service from them and work with the output provided by that service. We were required by the service provider to give them a public key which was signed using our own private key.

I initially created a console application to perform a simple checking to test if all is well and good. It’s just like creating your first HelloWorld while consuming a service. Everything went well and I was able to call the service and get the response needed so I decided to integrate it in our application.

I thought to myself, “Wow this was really an easy task!”. Unfortunately I immediately hit a road block and kept getting an error whenever I try to read my private key. Below is the code block responsible for reading the certificate from the cert store:

       ...

        X509Certificate2 privateCert = null;
        X509Store store = new X509Store(StoreName.My, StoreLocation.LocalMachine);
        store.Open(OpenFlags.MaxAllowed);

        var certs = store.Certificates.Find(X509FindType.FindByThumbprint, "<thumbprinthere>", true);

        if (certs.Count > 0)
        {
            privateCert = certs[0];
        }

        RSACryptoServiceProvider key = new RSACryptoServiceProvider();
        key.FromXmlString(privateCert.PrivateKey.ToXmlString(true));

        byte[] sig = key.SignData(Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(data), CryptoConfig.MapNameToOID("SHA256"));
        string signature = Convert.ToBase64String(sig);

        ...    

I kept getting an error whenever I try to call the line which reads the private key from the certificate. I tried lots of stuff based from the different suggestions online but none seemed to work. I even went as far as posting this problem in Stackoverflow.

Apparently I just missed wrapping my entire code block above inside the SPSecurity.RunWithElevatedPrivileges. For those who are not familiar, SPSecurity.RunWithElevatedPrivileges allows you to execute a block of code under the application pool account. Since the application pool account of my SharePoint site has full control, it allowed me to read the private key from the certificate with no issues

Buying Bitcoins thru Coins.ph

How to Start Using Coins.ph

This is linked to my first post Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. In this post, I’ll be showing you how easy it is to setup an account with Coins.ph to purchase bitcoins.

Sign Up

First thing you need to do is to go to coins.ph and create an account. You have the option to signup with either an e-mail address or a phone number. For this post, we will be signing up using an e-maill adress. Click “Create Account” after providing an e-maill address and password.

Coins.ph will be asking to confirm your e-mail address by sending a verification code to your e-mail. You have the option to confirm your e-mail address by clicking the “Confirm my email address” button from your e-mail or manually entering the verification code in the e-mail verification screen. Once you have verified your e-mail address you will be redirected to coins’ home page.

Verification

By default, Coins.ph allows you to cash in up to PHP2000.00 (~US$40.00) a day without verification. Coins.ph has a simple verification process as seen in the image below.

The benefit of having a verified account is higher cash in and withdrawal limits. If you are planning on testing and seeing how Bitcoin works, you can skip the verification process. If you are planning to put in more than PHP2000.00 a day in Bitcoin, you need to submit some requirements and pass their verification process.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that we will be using Coins.ph to try out Bitcoin first and as such, we won’t be doing any other verification process for our account. Now let’s start buying Bitcoins!

Compared to other Bitcoin markets available in the Philippines, Coins.ph gives users multiple options to cash in and withdraw. Users can buy bitcoins thru 7-Eleven stores, online bank transfers, over the counter deposit at banks and you can even buy bitcoins in payment centers of some department stores. In this article, we will simulate buying Bitcoins thru 7-Eleven.

Buying Bitcoins

From your coins.ph wallet page, click the “Cash In” link above and choose 7-Eleven Instant Cash In. In the “Cash In” screen, you have the option to choose between Peso Wallet and Bitcoin Wallet. Since we didn’t undergo another set of verification process, the maximum amount we can deposit is only PHP2000.00. The page will be updated on the fees for your selected payment options as well as show you how much Bitcoin you will receive based on the amount you will be depositing. Click the “Next Step” button once you have finalized everything.

After clicking the Next step button, you will be redirected to the payment page where a reference number and a bar code will be provided to you.  With the reference number or bar code in hand, proceed to the nearest 7-Eleven store and inform the cashier that you will be paying for coinsXpress. Provide them the reference number or bar code and they will process your payment.

Once the payment has been successfully processed and verified, you will receive a notification via e-mail or SMS thru your mobile that you have successfully cashed in on your Coins.ph account. Go back and login to the coins.ph site and you should see the Bitcoins you purchased under your BTC wallet.

Sending Bitcoins

Congratulations! You have successfully purchased Bitcoins! Do take note that coins.ph has their own Bitcoin wallet and that all Bitcoins purchased from them will be sent to that wallet address. This wallet is different from the other wallets you have. Remember the wallet address you created based from my previous posts? You can easily send your purchased Bitcoin to that wallet address by simply pressing the Send button from your BTC wallet page in Coins.ph. Upon click the button you should see a screen like the one below.

Enter your BTC address in the To field and supply the amount of BTC you wish to send. Enter a description of your transaction in the ‘What’s it for?’ textbox and click Continue. Depending on the current state of the mempool the fee for your transaction may vary. Once your transactions are confirmed in the Bitcoin network, your Bitcoins should now appear in the wallet where you sent them.

Now that you have Bitcoins, you start using them as payment for goods and services or send them to your friends as a means of payment. You can also start sending your Bitcoins to Exchanges to convert them to other Cryptocurrencies. I’ll soon be writing an article on what you can do with Bitcoin.

 

Getting started with Jaxx: A Mobile Wallet

Jaxx Mobile Wallet

This is linked to my first post Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. In this post, I’ll be showing you how to setup Jaxx in your smartphone so you can have  your very first mobile wallet for different cryptocurrencies.

Similar to most wallets, Jaxx is compatible with different platforms like iOS, Android, OSX, Windows and Linux. It even has a Chrome extension which you can use so you can access your wallet via Chrome. In this post, I’ll be showing you how easy it is to setup Jaxx in your smartphone.

Installation

In this article, I’ll be using my Asus ZenFone to take screenshots for the application. You can follow the same steps for iOS by downloading Jaxx from the App Store. First, we need to download Jaxx from the Play Store.

After downloading and installing the application, you should see the Jaxx startup screen similar to the one below.

Similar to other wallets, Jaxx gives you the option to restore a wallet or create a new one. For this post we will be creating a new wallet so leave the default selection and tap Continue.

In the next screen choose “Express”  and tap Continue. You will now be asked what wallets to activate. One great feature of Jaxx is that it supports different cryptocurrencies. In this example, I’ll be selecting Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. After selecting these three tap Take me to my wallet.

Jaxx will now configure and setup the wallets you selected in the previous screen. Once everything is ready you will be redirected to your Bitcoin wallet. Congratulations! You have successfully setup Jaxx in your smartphone!

You should be able to see your bitcoin wallet address shown in the screenshot above. This is your wallet address which you can share with anyone so they can use to send you bitcoins. This will also be the wallet address that you will be using when you buy bitcoins later on.

Now that you have a bitcoin wallet. You can now start buying bitcoins!

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.