Getting into the world of bitcoin is very simple and possible for as little as €10!
The first step into the world of bitcoin is creating a so-called bitcoin wallet. A bitcoin wallet allows you to send and receive bitcoins. After creating a bitcoin wallet the first step would be to create a bitcoin receive address. You could compare a bitcoin receive address to your bank account number. It is a unique code connected to your wallet and allows you to receive bitcoins. There are different types of bitcoin wallets available, each one with its own specifics and characteristics. There are online wallets, paper wallets, hardware wallets and mobile wallets. This last one you use on your mobile phone. The most simple wallet, is an online wallet. They are safe and very easy to use. Creating a new online wallet takes only a few seconds. Once you have created a wallet, you can send and receive bitcoins immediately.
Create your own bitcoin wallet
You can create a bitcoin wallet in three simple steps:
- Visit blockchain.info and go to ‘Wallet’ in the title bar menu.
- Select ‘create a free bitcoin wallet’.
- Enter your email address and choose a password.
Please make sure to choose a strong password that includes uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols.
Congratulations! You have just created your own bitcoin wallet.
Blockchain.info automatically sends you a confirmation by email once you have successfully created a bitcoin wallet. This email contains a link to the login page of your bitcoin wallet. You can use this link when you log in to your account from a different computer. You can access your wallet from your pc, laptop, tablet or mobile phone at any given time. To do so, visit the website blockchain.info
Receiving and sending bitcoins
When you enter your login details in the next screen, you will gain access to the management page of your bitcoin wallet. From this page it is possible to receive and send bitcoins. In order to receive bitcoins, you will need your bitcoin receiving address. This address is unique to your bitcoin wallet and will always be valid. You can find your bitcoin receiving address under the ‘Start receiving bitcoins’ button or under the ‘Receive’ button in the middle of screen. A bitcoin address always starts with the number 1 or 3 and looks similar to this: 1P5KTzprZMSGix5wWv8f5diQ57cUgodCZc. Your bitcoin receiving address changes automatically once there has been a payment received. Do not worry, the old receiving addresses will always be valid. By this we mean that if in any case you would receive bitcoins on one of the previous wallet addresses provided by your blockchain wallet, the bitcoins received will be automatically credited to your bitcoin wallet.
When buying bitcoins, it is convenient to copy and paste the bitcoin address to prevent any typos. Your bitcoins will be available in your bitcoin wallet immediately after being purchased.
Bitcoin wallet backup, very important!
Make sure that you are always able to access your bitcoins and create a paper backup of the following data:
- Your wallet-id (The id looks similar to: 894b466c-0889-49b3-9ebc-bf92ad94a3dc).
- Your password (always store your password and wallet-id securely).
- Your ‘Wallet recovery phrase’ (This is a long sentence that serves as an emergency solution in case you have lost your wallet-id or password. With this sentence you will have access to your bitcoins at all times).
You could find the ‘wallet-id’ under the tab “settings > wallet information > wallet-id”. Your wallet-id looks like 894b466c-0889-49b3-9ebc-bf92ad94a3dc. Write down your wallet-id and store it in a secure way.
You could find the ‘wallet recovery phrase’ under the tab “settings > security > wallet recovery phrase”. Before you will be able to see the recovery phrase you will be asked to enter your password again. Enter your password and write down your wallet recovery phrase. Store the wallet recovery phrase in a secure way.
We strongly recommend to always apply an additional security layer directly after creating your online bitcoin wallet. It may sound a bit technical but is fairly easy to do. You will find more information about implementing the additional security layer below.
Additional Security Layer (two-factor authentication or 2-FA)
By using 2-FA, you add an additional layer of security to your bitcoin wallet. BTC Direct recommends to always enable 2-FA when using an online bitcoin wallet because it increases the safety of your bitcoin storage significantly. After activating 2-FA you will always need to enter an extra security code to be able to log in to your wallet and to be able to send bitcoin payments. There are two different ways to generate/receive the 2-FA code. The most common way is to receive the 2-FA codes per SMS on your mobile phone. The other option would be by using the Google Authenticator app. Both methods will be explained below. If a malicious person ever gets a hold on your password, he or she will not be able to access your bitcoins. After all, he or she also needs to have this second security code, for which he/she must have your phone in addition to your password.
Security (2-FA) by SMS
The most common and easy way to enable 2-FA would be by using the blockchain SMS service. To activate 2-FA per SMS you will have to connect your mobile phone number to your blockchain bitcoin wallet account first. To connect your mobile phone number to your account go to “settings > preferences > mobile number > change”. Enter and safe your mobile number. Then enter the verification code and press the green “verify” button to connect your mobile phone number to your wallet. Almost done! To activate 2-FA by SMS go to “settings > security > 2-step verification > enable > use your mobile phone”. Click with your mouse cursor on the telephone logo to activate 2-FA by SMS. You have just added an additional security layer to your bitcoin wallet, well done!
Security (2FA) by Google Authenticator
Please note that to use the Google Authenticator 2-FA you will first need to download and install the Google Authenticator app on your smartphone! To activate 2-FA by Google Authenticator you select “settings > security > 2-step verification > enable > use Google Authenticator or Yubikey”. Click with your mouse on the “lock” symbol. Blockchain.info will now display a QR-code which you need to scan using the Google Authenticator mobile phone app you have just installed. After scanning the QR code with your smartphone the app starts generating a new 6-digit authentication code every minute. This 6-digit code is unique and linked to your bitcoin wallet. Before activating 2-FA by Google Authenticator make sure to print the QR-code which is displayed in the activation screen. Store the printed QR code safely, so you can scan/enter the QR code again on another device in case your device is lost or stolen. Once printed and safely stored you are ready to activate 2-FA. To activate 2-FA by Google Authenticator you will have to enter the code which is generated and displayed in the Google Authenticator app in the pop-up in your browser screen. You have now activated 2-FA by Google Authenticator and significantly increased security on your wallet, well done!
Additional security options
Blockchain.info offers a number of other ways to further secure your online bitcoin wallet. You could find the different options in the menu section “settings > security > advanced settings”. Please take the time to look at these options and to secure your account further if you deem this appropriate. Remember that these additional measures also influence the ease of use. For example, an IP lock allows you to login only from the IP specified by you. If you ever want to make a transaction abroad, this is not possible after an IP lock. So think the consequences of the different layers of security through in advance. If you ever have any questions regarding bitcoin wallet security our live support is here to help! Feel free to contact us through the live chat widget on our website, by email, by phone or through our contact form on our website.
Latest update: September 7, 2016. Did anything change? Please inform us through our contact form.