The First- What is a Bitcoin (BTC)?
Unlike the physical and fiat currency that we use in our daily lives, Bitcoin is a crypto currency that exists only in virtual space. It is a decentralised electronic form of cash, which supports peer-to-peer coin transfer without having to deal with a centralised authority like a bank.
We know that our traditional currency is printed or mined by the government. The Bitcoins are also mined, but through computers, and with the involvement of network participants. The miners run some very complex mathematical calculations through computers, and 1 in a 6 trillion times find the right answer. The mining mechanism is a story for another day, but a successful miner generates bitcoins.
With each year, the currency is becoming scarce. The year 2020 is predicted to have 21 million bitcoins, and it is as far as it will go. Each bitcoin can be further divided into 0.00000001 BTC.
Like a bank ledger, all the bitcoin transactions are tracked on a public ledger known as the blockchain. Each transaction in the Bitcoin network is verified by the miners and updated in the blockchain. This makes Bitcoin a very secure and transparent network of Cryptocurrency.
BTC are increasingly becoming popular in making payments. Companies like Expedia and Microsoft have begun accepting some payments in bitcoins. Even some vendors let you pay for events, pizzas and tickets in BTC.
The Second – How to buy BTC?
You can purchase bitcoins using traditional sources of money.
- You can pay for BTC in the form of cash. There are various platforms in the market where you can exchange your cash with bitcoins. These are transferred to your wallet within a couple of hours after you have made the payment.
- You can also buy BTC online on various bitcoin exchanges using your debit or credit card. These exchanges work in a similar way as any stock exchange. They charge you a small fee for accessing the network on your behalf. Bank transfers and PayPal payments are allowed as a medium to purchase BTC. You may however have to undergo an identity verification process at these exchanges.
- Like regular currency, you can also access BTC via ATMs. Based on your geographical area, you might be able to access a bitcoin ATM, where you can directly buy BTC with cash without involving a third person.
For times when you fall short of money and you have urgent business dealing in BTC, you can always apply for a short-term loan from British Lenders in the UK to borrow 1000 pounds or 2000 pounds. Alternatively, you can also approach direct online lenders for availing any purpose loans. You can apply for these loans in a hassle-free online procedure and the amount is credited in your bank account on the same day.
The Third- Where to store BTC?
Don’t you have a wallet to keep your money in? And isn’t bitcoin the new money? Thus, the need for a wallet for keeping BTC in.
The first step towards buying a BTC is setting up a Bitcoin Wallet. Just like the currency itself, this is also a virtual wallet with a twist of lock to it.
Every Wallet has two keys associated with it – a private and a public key. Private Key is your access code to your BTC in your wallet. Sharing or printing your private key is as good as losing your BTC. The security of your bitcoins is solely your responsibility and you should follow strict security practices to make sure your money isn’t lost.
Let us discuss the types of Bitcoin wallets available for you to choose from.
- Online Wallets- You can choose from online platforms offering you to purchase wallets to store your BTC online. They are offered in the form of cloud services that are easily accessible anywhere you go. However, this practice is not very secure due to exposure to hackers and the need of extra layers of security. It is not generally advisable to store big amounts of BTC in an online wallet.
- Mobile/Desktop Wallets- These are applications that can be downloaded in your mobile phone or desktop, and accessed at your convenience. They are considered more secure than cloud or online wallets. Although, your BTC might be exposed in case of a theft or hack of your device.
- Hardware Wallet- These are also known as offline wallets. These wallets usually use devices like USB drives to store the keys of the user. You can only access your wallet once the device is plugged into a computer, which makes it a much safer option. These hardware wallets are configured to be compatible with various web interfaces. However, the security of these wallets makes them an expensive option.
A Word of Precaution
Storing and dealing BTC needs high level of security. Firstly, you should purchase your Bitcoin wallet from an experienced and secure platform. Read the reviews carefully and do a thorough research before choosing a wallet.
Secondly, the popularity of Bitcoin has led to the emergence of a huge market selling and dealing in BTC. Various exchanges are available online offering you to purchase BTC. But, not everyone is reliable out there.
People have lost BTC due to unsecure storage or handling. An unsecure wallet or purchase can leave you vulnerable to a theft or hack. Always try going for a trusted and established source, instead of convenient and cheap ones.
Author Bio: Hi, I am Stacey Walsh working as a loan provider in British Lenders a top most loan company in the UK.