Getting Started with Bitcoin

Published on February 04, 2017 04:03 PM

So, you've heard of Bitcoin, right? It's the future!  Whether you want to freelance on DREAM, or hire freelancers on DREAM, using Bitcoin is really easy.

Here's a Quick Introduction

What is Bitcoin?

  • Bitcoin is global internet money. It's digital and can be sent anywhere in the world in minutes.
  • You can save it, spend it, or exchange it to your local currency.

Why use Bitcoin?

  • Cut out the expensive middleman, skip international exchange fees with borderless transactions.
  • Bitcoin uses its own network, so you don't pay bank fees; you are the bank.

Is Bitcoin Valuable?

  • Millions of people spend Bitcoin every day, and can be spent on leading sites, including Microsoft, Dell, Virgin and Expedia.
  • $200m of Bitcoin is transferred every day.

Is Bitcoin Secure?

  • Every Bitcoin transaction is secured by the world's most powerful supercomputer; the Bitcoin network.
  • The software is designed by the world's top security experts, scrutinised by the best academics and by governments.

Further Reading

Using Bitcoin

Your Wallet

When you register on DREAM, we'll ask you for your Bitcoin wallet address (you can't get earnings or refunds without setting it). Your wallet address is like your bank account number, except once the Bitcoin is in your wallet, nobody can take it from you. Your wallet is a bank in your pocket:

  • Wallet Address – Where Bitcoin is sent to
  • Private Key – Allows you to send Bitcoin (this is like a password)

If you lose your private key (password) you've lost your Bitcoin, and you're never getting it back, as explained in this Telegraph article. So, keep it safe (print a copy of your private key, and store it somewhere safe).

Type of Wallets

There are different options when selecting a wallet (and you can have multiple wallets):

  • Use an online service like Coinbase and trust someone else with your private key
  • Download wallet software to your computer or phone
  • Use an online service like blockchain.info that stores your keys, but uses client side encryption

If you use a wallet on your computer or phone, you must back it up to ensure your private key is not lost. The Choose your Wallet article by Bitcoin.org provides many options.

It's generally good practice to not store your Bitcoin on exchanges. Blockchain.info is a good place to get started, and they do a lot of great work for the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Buying and Selling Bitcoin

The Bitcoin price can be volatile and fluctuate, however long term the price does trend up.

There are hundreds of places (see Best Bitcoin Exchange) to buy and sell Bitcoin. Some exchanges like Coinbase (who have exchanged over $3.5 billion worth of bitcoin and works in 32 countries) will require you to provide a lot of identification, but allow you to trade very large amounts of BTC between USD, EUR and GBP.

Probably the most diverse platform is PaxFul where you can buy and sell Bitcoin for anything from PayPal to Starbucks gift cards! Alternatively, if you're feeling social and want to meet someone in a coffee shop, try LocalBitcoins.

Keep Yourself Secure

Whether you use Bitcoin or not, you should keep yourself secure online. Use a password management tool like LastPass (free) to generate unique passwords for every site and securely store them. If you use the same password across sites, and one of them gets hacked, the attacker has access to your other online accounts.

Be careful what you install on your computer (including browser plugins), keep your antivirus up to date, and use a firewall like Little Snitch to track outgoing connections. If some nasty software or malware gets installed on your computer and your antivirus didn't detect it, a firewall should alert you that a new and unknown application is trying to connect to the internet. Just don't get in the habit of accepting all outbound connections, unless you know what they are.

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