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Bitcoin First Steps   —   Your 3 minute introduction to Bitcoin

Think back to the day you setup your first email address.

Let's start by setting up your first Bitcoin address.

Step 1. Open a wallet

You need to choose a wallet software or provider.

Each can offer different features and tradeoffs, but you can start simple and safe.

iPhone and Android apps are great wallets to start. We recommend bread:

bread for iPhone

bread for Android

Follow the setup instructions and write down your Paper Key.

Your Paper Key is a 12 word sentence you can use to access your Bitcoin on any device, anywhere in the world.

With Bitcoin, there is no "forgot password" or "password resets". Just your 12 word Paper Key. Do not let anyone else see it!

Treat your Paper Key like cash — it’s all you have if you lose or break your phone.

Step 2. Explore your new wallet

Open your Bitcoin wallet app. The homepage shows your balance, zero.

If you want to buy something with Bitcoin, you’ll need to receive some first!

Inside your wallet, find the Receive area.

Find your Bitcoin address which looks like:


This could be your first address.

Bitcoin addresses are a long code that starts with a 1 or 3.

Bitcoin addresses are random and disposable. Your wallet app you just installed has lots of them but only shows you one at a time.

When you buy Bitcoin, you provide your Bitcoin address for delivery.

Step 3. Buy your first bits

Visit https://QuickBT.com

You need your Bitcoin address and the amount of Bitcoin you want delivered.

Remember: the amount is in Bitcoin, a digital currency.

1.00 Bitcoin costs over $8,000.00 and fluctuates daily like all world currencies do.

QuickBT only sells fractions of Bitcoin now, as the limit is $200/day.

Try starting with a smaller amount such as "0.001". Click the Quote button.

Adjust amount as needed, even to 8 decimal places (0.00100001).

QuickBT supports two payment methods: online debit or online cash.

Online debit requires a Canadian bank to pay with INTERAC® Online. RBC and many credit unions are fully supported for now.

Online cash requires buying a voucher online or from one of our 3000 locations. Your voucher has a 16 Digit PIN which is as good as cash on QuickBT.com

Once you pay, you bounce back to QuickBT and your Bitcoin is sent to your wallet!

If you look on your phone, you should see your balance update!

If you don’t see your balance, check if there’s a lock icon near the top you need to unlock.

Step 4. Send your first bits!

Select "Pay With Bitcoin" and you'll be shown their Bitcoin address, amount due, and maybe a Bitcoin QR code.

A Bitcoin QR Code is just a quicker way to share a Bitcoin address by scanning it.

In your phone's Bitcoin wallet, go to the Send area. Either copy/paste the Bitcoin address or click the camera icon to 'scan QR code'.

Verify the Bitcoin address and amount. If correct, click Send in your Bitcoin wallet.

The online checkout should turn green confirming you paid them!

If you need more Bitcoin, head to QuickBT.com and top up 24 hours a day.

Step 5. Repeat as needed

Now you have your loaded Bitcoin wallet and you know how to spend it. You can send to any person or business in the world, just like email. Just look for a QR Code or their Bitcoin address.

Paying with Bitcoin is much more secure — you don’t need to reveal your Card Details to each website. You just pay their Bitcoin address.

Enjoy using Bitcoin!

The above introduction text is released into the public domain (CC0).
Last updated: Mar 30, 2018

Advanced Reading:

Compare Security Between Wallets [Bitcoin.org]
Bitcoin Essentials [YouTube]
How Bitcoin Works Under The Hood [YouTube]

This is not investment advice. Always consult a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


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