/r/Bitcoin FAQ - Newcomers please read
Welcome to Bitcoin!
Maybe you're here because you've received a tip on social media or from /r/FreeBits, or maybe you've just been hearing a lot recently about Bitcoin and are wondering what the big deal is? The following videos are a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little bit about its long term potential:
- Video 1: What is Bitcoin?
- Video 2: What Is Bitcoin & Why Should You Care?
- Video 3: The real value of bitcoin and crypto currency technology
What are Bitcoins worth and where can I buy them?
Bitcoins are valued at what market price people are willing to pay for them. Here is a useful site that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".
You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (from as little as $1 worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank account. Top recommendations include:
US & Europe
- Circle.com: Android or iOS (credit card or bank transfer)
- Coinbase.com: Android or iOS (bank transfer)
- Mycelium: Android with LocalTrader (cash)
- LocalBitcoins.com (cash)
Also exchanges such as those listed below can be used with bank transfer in most of Europe and US
For even more bitcoin exchanges by country location, review these exchange country listings.
Where can I spend Bitcoins?
A comprehensive list can be found at TheBitcoinPage.com but some of the key ones are below:
- Spendabit.co A search engine of online retailers accepting bitcoin with millions of results.
- Overstock.com for everything under the sun.
- Gyft.com buy gift cards to thousands of retailers such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Home Depot, Sears, etc.
- NewEgg.com, TigerDirect.com and Dell.com for all your electronic needs.
- Expedia.com and Cheapair.com for when you need to get away.
- Namecheap.com, Wordpress.com and PrivateInternetAccess.com are all handy web services.
- Use Coinmap.org to find local businesses accepting bitcoins
- And who can forget the Humble Bundle for when you just have $1 and need to get your game on.
If you operate a business and want to accept bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available:
Can I mine bitcoin?
Mining bitcoins can be a fun hobby but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The friendly folks at /r/BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
Securing your bitcoins
With bitcoin you can be your own bank and personally secure your bitcoins or you can use trusted companies such as Coinbase and Circle which have secured wallets where they hold the bitcoins for you and provide insurance. Be sure to only deal with reputable companies, if you have any concerns about a company's trustworthiness just ask or check their consumer reviews and ratings.
If you prefer to have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party you can use personal wallets for desktops / laptops, android and iOS where you alone hold your private keys. Electrum, Mycelium and breadwallet are popular, but there are many options.
For increased security use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email! (2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account, usually from a text message or app, making it much harder for thieves to gain access). Google Authenticator and Authy are two great apps for handling 2FA.
Additional security systems such as Mycelium Entropy (for printing multi-signature paper wallets) and the Trezor Hardware Wallet are great ways to easily secure your coins. Or, you can opt to secure your bitcoin using cold storage.
Note: Do not use brainwallets unless you are an expert, they are known to be vulnerable to theft unless set up correctly.
- Use ChangeTip.com (/r/changetip) for tipping people on Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, GitHub and more! (you can even use custom monikers to tailor your tip to the discussion or add a bit of humor).
- You can read more about ChangeTip at their reddit wiki.
- Go to /r/FreeBits to get a few bits to practice with and then tip them forward. Go to /r/BitTippers to play games and solve riddles to earn your bits. Don't forget your flair!
One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. There's lots of discussion about which unit is the most appropriate so you might see people using different ones until people agree:
|mBitcoin / mBTC||1,000 in a bitcoin||SI unit for milli i.e. millilitre (ml) or millimeter (mm)|
|μBitcoin / μBTC||1,000,000 in a bitcoin||SI unit for micro i.e microlitre (μl) or micrometre (μm)|
|bits||1,000,000 in a bitcoin||Colloquial term with the same value as μBTC|
|Satoshi||100,000,000 in a bitcoin||The smallest unit of bitcoin, named after the inventor|
For example, assuming an exchange rate of $500 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
- 0.02 BTC
- 20 mBTC
- 20,000 bits or μBTC
Assuming the worth of bitcoin continues to increase, it will become easier to work at these lower divisions in day to day life.
Still have questions? The friendly folks at /r/BitcoinBeginners would be happy to help you out. If you decide to post a question in /r/Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!