Bitcoin for beginners

First steps on how to get Bitcoin

Choosing a wallet

Now that you've read the previous sections, you should know all the basics to use Bitcoin safely and securely. But the best way to learn is to actually start using it.

(if you skipped ahead and want to buy any significant amount of bitcoins, at the very least please read the Security page before proceeding further. But if you just want to get some free bitcoin and have a play around with it, then feel free to dive in.)

The first step to using Bitcoin is selecting a wallet to use, but you can have more than one type of wallet if you like. Desktop wallets are installed on your computer, or if you want to use Bitcoin on-the-go in your everyday life, you can have a wallet on your smartphone or mobile device. All the wallets listed here give you complete control over your money. You are responsible for protecting your money and making backups.

Other wallets are available, but these usually require trusting a third party to look after your funds, which is less secure, so we haven't listed them here.

Lightweight Desktop Wallets:

For new or casual users, you may want a simple, lightweight client that doesn't require downloading the entire blockchain.

    ♦ Electrum ( Windows - Linux - Mac OS X - Android )

    Electrum's focus is speed and simplicity, with low resource usage. It uses remote servers that handle the most complicated parts of the Bitcoin system, and it allows you to recover your wallet from a secret phrase.

Full Client Desktop Wallets:

If you have a computer that is switched on all the time and is connected to the Internet, you can help the community by running a full Bitcoin client on it and securing the network. Your choice of client is also a choice on how you would ideally want the network to be governed and shaped. The evolution of the network is decided by the code people freely choose to run. Note that this can sometimes result in disagreements that can lead to a fork in the network, where one or more client tries to enforce rules that are not compatible with other clients. If you do find that your chosen client doesn't follow the blockchain you wish to be transacting on, don't worry, you can switch clients later and import your keys to retrieve your funds, assuning you had them on that blockchain before the fork. The full client is more resource intensive and will take at least a complete day, or possibly up to a week or more depending on your connection, to synchronise and download the entire blockchain. After that your computer will contribute to the network by checking and relaying transactions.

Recommended minimum requirements for a full node:

Default Settings:

• 150 gigabytes of free disk space

• 2 gigabytes of memory (RAM)

• A broadband Internet connection with upload speeds of at least 400 kilobits (50 kilobytes) per second

• An unmetered connection, a connection with high upload limits, or a connection you regularly monitor to ensure it doesnít exceed its upload limits. Itís common for full nodes on high-speed connections to use 200 gigabytes upload or more a month. Download usage is around 20 gigabytes a month, plus around an additional 50 gigabytes the first time you start your node

• port 8333 needs to be open.

Custom Settings:

• If Pruning is enabled, 5-10 gigabytes of free disk space will likely be sufficient

• There are ways to Reduce Traffic if bandwidth limitations are a concern with your connection

    ♦ Bitcoin Core ( Windows - Linux - Mac OS X )

    Bitcoin-Qt is a full Bitcoin client and builds the backbone of the network. It proposes a scaling roadmap via segregated witness and off-chain solutions.

    ♦ Armory ( Windows - Linux )

    Armory is an advanced Bitcoin client that expands its features for Bitcoin power users. Armory is designed from the ground up to provide the highest level of security for heavily-invested Bitcoin users, while still maintaining a high degree of usability and convenience.

    ♦ Bitcoin Unlimited ( Windows - Linux )

    The Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) project seeks to provide a voice to all participants in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Every node operator or miner can choose their own blocksize limit by modifying their client.

Mobile Wallets:

Mobile wallets allow you to bring Bitcoin with you in your pocket. You can exchange bitcoins easily and pay in physical stores by scanning a QR code or using NFC "tap to pay".

    ♦ breadwallet ( Mac OS X )

    breadwallet is a standalone bitcoin client, designed to protect you from malware, browser security holes, even physical theft. Because breadwallet is "deterministic", your balance and entire transaction history can be restored from just your recovery phrase.

    ♦ Bitcoin Wallet ( Android - Blackberry OS )

    Bitcoin Wallet for Android is easy to use and reliable, while also being secure and fast. Its vision is de-centralization and zero trust: No central service is needed for Bitcoin-related operations. The app is a good choice for non-technical people. It is also available for BlackBerry OS.

How to get some bitcoins

Accept Bitcoin as payment

The easiest way to get bitcoins is simply to accept them as payment for goods or services that you offer. There are many merchant services that will convert bitcoins directly into your local currency to avoid any volatility in price.

If you don't want to rely on a centralised payment processor, as with almost all things in Bitcoin, there are open source solutions that allow you to do it yourself without relying on third parties. BTCPay Server is a free and open source server for merchants wanting to utilise Bitcoin for their business. The software will generate a unique payment address for each customer which provides greater privacy, not only for your customers, but for you and your business as well.

But if you don't have a business that sells products or services, you can get bitcoins in other ways.

Buy bitcoins

There are several ways to buy and sell bitcoins, but we generally recommend trading person to person.

    ♦ Option 1: (recommended)

    Bitcoin was designed as a peer-to-peer network, so the easiest and safest way to buy it is directly from other people. Don't worry if you don't know anyone who sells them. allows you to find people selling bitcoin in your region:

    Be sure to use someone with lots of trades and a good reputation. Note that you won't be able to use card payments or paypal, as these methods can be reversed and are therefore not trusted by sellers.

    ♦ Option 2:

    If you prefer to visit a physical location to buy bitcoins instead of buying them online, it may be worth checking if there is a Bitcoin ATM near your location. Visit Bitcoin ATM Map to find the ATM nearest to you. However, fees for using the ATMs may be higher than buying peer to peer.

    ♦ Option 3:

    Although it's not without risk, you can use a Bitcoin exchange to buy bitcoins, but be cautious. Exchanges control the private keys to the addresses used to store your funds. If you don't have control over the private keys, you don't have control over the bitcoins contained in that address. Some exchanges also require sending in photo ID and other documentation before you can activate your account with them. Exchanges also charge fees. Peer to peer is always a much safer and easier option.

Get some free bitcoins

If you don't want to invest any money just yet, the following links will take you to websites called Faucets, which give you small amounts of free bitcoin and other digital currencies to get you started. Not only will this allow you to earn some cryptocurrency and try it out, but it will also help support this website through referral schemes. Because there are limits to how small a payment you can send over the network, you may have to build up a certain balance before you can withdraw it from the website to your own wallet.

Please note: These websites are safe to use and do give out free bitcoin, but remember these tips:

• Please do your own due dilligence before purchasing any products or services advertised externally.
• Never deposit any of your bitcoin to a website just because they claim that you'll make a profit.
• If you have to register to use a website, don't re-use passwords that you use for anything important.

    This is one of the easiest faucets to use and we share half of our referral commission with you if you register using our link. You can also gamble your winnings with a HI-LO game.

    Other faucets:

    Moon Bitcoin

    Dance Faucet

    Bonus Bitcoin


If you're having trouble remembering the difference between bits (sometimes displayed as uBTC or microbits) and bitcoins (BTC), there's a handy conversion tool to calculate it for you.

Mining bitcoins

You can also earn bitcoins through mining. This is not recommended for new users, as mining is a fiercely competitive business and only those with the most powerful hardware will profit. When Bitcoin first started, you could mine with a desktop PC, but nowadays you need to buy dedicated mining hardware in order to make money. If you put a standard desktop PC to work, it would cost you more in electricity than you would make from mining.

Is that everything?

Not even close. While these first four pages should be sufficient for most users to start using Bitcoin, it only covers the basics. If you want to get a more rounded understanding of Bitcoin and to explore the wider community, we've included one last page to squeeze in some large amounts of information and further reading:

Next section ➜ More Information

Try it out

If none of this makes any sense yet, don't worry. Sometimes reading all the technical details isn't helpful and it's easier to dive in and see how it works.

Once you've chosen a wallet to use, copy the wallet address and visit some of the following websites. They offer small amounts of free bitcoin to get you started and try it out.

Because there are limits to how small a payment you can send over the network, you may have to build up a certain balance before you can withdraw the funds, or wait until a set payout date.

Some of these faucets pay directly to your address after reaching the payout threshold, while others may send the funds to a holding site like Faucetbox until you accumulate a certain amount.

There are occasions where faucets run "dry" and you need to wait for whoever runs that faucet to refill it. If this occurs, just try again another time.

This is one of the easiest faucets to use and you get a weekly boost to your earnings if you register using our link.

Other Faucets:

Moon Bitcoin
Bonus Bitcoin
Dance Faucet

Bitcoin Price

The average price of a bitcoin in US Dollars ($) is currently:

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