Getting started with Bitcoin in 10 minutes

1. Getting started with Bitcoin desktop client

We recommend starting with MultiBit – a lightweight cross-platform desktop Bitcoin client.

1.1. Download and install MultiBit

Download MultiBit at https://multibit.org.

Follow the installation instructions for your platform.

After the installation, there is one default wallet labeled "Your wallet description".

1.2. Protect your wallet

Protect the wallet with a password.

1.3. Find out your Bitcoin request address

Switch to the Request tab. You will see your default request Bitcoin address.

For example, you will use this address to withdraw bitcoins from exchange services. You can generate as many addresses as you can. It is a good practice to use each address only for one transaction.

1.4. Explore the block chain

The Transactions tab shows all the transactions for the current (selected on the left) wallet.

A more reliable way to view Bitcoin transactions is to use special sites like https://blockchain.info. Suppose we have to explore the transactions for 17fDvhyNksAgBZcWQocZgztZcx4EDtwZMs. Just search for this address. You will see all the transactions for the entered address.

1.5. MultiBit syncing bug

Sometimes MultiBit shows not all transactions for your wallets. This might look like you have not received expected bitcoins. If you can see the expected transactions on https://blockchain.info, then the local MultiBit cache is corrupted. Reset the cache and let MultiBit to sync everything from scratch.

1.6. Other reading

An excellent longer MultiBit tutorial can be found at http://blog.quickbitcoin.co.uk/setting-up-a-bitcoin-wallet-with-multibit.

2. Buy bitcoins

2.1. How to choose a Bitcoin exchange

  • ID verification. Most exchanges require ID verification. It takes a lot of time. Uploaded scans of your government IDs are verified manually. Some exchanges even require uploading your photo or video. This procedure can take a few days. Avoid such exchanges.
  • Transaction times. When withdrawing your money, many exchanges have a delay of 24 hours or more. Avoid such exchanges. Look only for exchanges that promise instant exchange and withdrawal.
  • Avoid US-based services. US-based Bitcoin exchanges almost always require ID verification and have stricter procedures and regulations. Besides, there are heavy privacy issues. Avoid US-based exchanges. Use European venues.
  • Deposit and withdrawal methods. Pay attention to the supported deposit and withdrawal methods. Make sure you can withdraw your funds with your preferred method.
  • Limits. Pay attention to transaction limits, especially for new users. Avoid useless services with low transaction limits.
  • Testing. Test the whole exchange chain with the minimal possible amount of money as soon as possible (right after the registration). Test the withdrawal and make sure you can get your money. Never exchange a significant amount before completing the test exchange.
  • Exchange rates. You know.

3. Buying Bitcoin at Indacoin

Owners of 3D-Secured credit cards (Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode) can use Indacoin. Indacoin offers a hassle-free and instant Bitcoin exchange without registration.

4. Buying Bitcoin at Localbitcoins

4.1. Create an account

Visit https://localbitcoins.com. Click "Sign up free".

Fill out the Sign up form.

4.2. Find a merchant

Determine the amount of bitcoins you have to buy, your city, payment method, and click "Find offers".

Choose a suitable proposal from the list. Some merchants support non-cash payments only, while others can meet you in your city and sell bitcoins for cash payments.

4.3. Use your Localbitcoins wallet

A wallet is created automatically once you create a Localbitcoins account. You can find it on your Dashboard.

Bitcoins are transferred to your Localbitcoins account once you purchase them. You can make any Bitcoin payment using this wallet. For security reasons, we strongly recommend you transfer bitcoins from your Localbitcoins wallet into your standard desktop Bitcoin wallet and make payments via the latter.