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Bitcoin has seen a monumental rise in popularity over the last couple of years. You might have heard of it. You might have used it. You might even have purchased cannabis seeds from us before using Bitcoin.

 

  1. What is Bitcoin?
  2. Setting up a wallet
  3. Getting Bitcoin
  4. Using Bitcoin
  5. Buying cannabis seeds with Bitcoin

 

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital and global money system (currency). It allows for the pseudo-anonymous (not linked to a real name) trading of money across the internet. It's a complex, but relatively simple system that shares a lot of parallels with physical money.

Bitcoin can be difficult to explain in full, there's a very simple guide here, or refer to the videos below.

Where do Bitcoins come from?

There is a process called mining which we won't go into detail about, simply explained: some users put their computers to work verifying transactions in the peer-to-peer network mentioned above. These users are rewarded with new Bitcoins proportional to the amount of computing power they donate to the network.

Who controls Bitcoin?

As previously mentioned, no one body maintains control of Bitcoin, it's a collective effort of devices connected to the Bitcoin network. Various programmers donate their time developing the open source Bitcoin software and can make changes subject to the approval of lead developer Gavin Andresen. The individual miners then choose whether to install the new version of the software or stick to the old one, essentially “voting” with their processing power. It is in the miners’ best interest to only accept changes that are good for the Bitcoin currency in the long run. These checks and balances make it difficult for anyone to manipulate Bitcoin.

Setting up a wallet

Think of a Bitcoin as a the equivalent as having a bank account. It allows you to receive Bitcoins, save them, and hold them for when you want to spend or sent them.

There are two main types of wallets. A software wallet is one that you install on your own computer or mobile device. You are in complete control over the security of your coins, but they can sometimes be tricky to install and maintain.

A web wallet or hosted wallet is one that is hosted by a third party. They are often much easier to use, but you have to trust the provider to maintain high levels of security to protect your coins. We recommend this way for beginners, to learn how to set up a wallet with Coinbase, continue reading.


Sending coins with Coinbase

Coinbase is a web wallet with a simple design and a number of very useful features that make it excellent for beginners. You can send and receive Bitcoins via email and buy and sell Bitcoins directly from Coinbase. Full-featured Android and iPhone apps enables access to all account functions on the go.

Coinbase’s founders have a proven startup track record and have raised money from very prominent venture capitalists. This gives Coinbase a level of legitimacy unparalleled in the Bitcoin space. They are also one of the only large Bitcoin companies to never suffer a major hack. Click here to sign up.

Bitcoin Wallet for Android and iPhone

For those looking for mobility and security, we recommend the Coinbase mobile app. There is a version for both Android and iPhone. It is a software wallet, so you retain complete control over your Bitcoins. It also works well with QR codes and NFC, making transferring coins to someone else’s phone easier than writing a check. Be sure to backup your wallet or you risk losing all your coins the next time you get too close to a pool.

Getting Bitcoin

Coinbase

If you don’t mind waiting a couple of days, the easiest and cheapest way to get your hands on some Bitcoins is to sign up with Coinbase and link your bank account. Coinbase charges a low 1% fee and you receive your Bitcoins as soon as the transfer from your bank account clears. Coinbase doubles as a web wallet with a mobile Android app. This allows you to easily purchase and sell Bitcoins from your office, on the go, or from the comfort of your own home.

Update: You can now purchase Bitcoins using a credit/debit card with Coinbase.

LocalBitcoins.com

Another great way to get Bitcoins today is LocalBitcoins.com. It operates like a Gumtree for Bitcoins allowing buyers and sellers in the same geographical areas to find each other and trade Bitcoins for cash. While this can be very simple and quick, we recommend taking the same precautions you should take whenever meeting a stranger from the internet.

LocalBitcoins.com has a rating system that should help you find a trustworthy buyer or seller, but maybe don’t meet them in a dark alley or under a bridge.

Online Bitcoin Exchanges

Bitcoin exchanges enable you to store both dollars and Bitcoins in your account and then buy and sell Bitcoins instantly at the market rate. This enables you to trade Bitcoins the way you might trade a stock. The main downside of exchanges is that it can be difficult to fund your account with dollars in the first place or transfer your dollars out after selling coins.

 

Using Bitcoin

Sending Bitcoins

Sending Bitcoins is as easy. It's the same way you would perform a BACS transfer. You can simply copy and past the recipient wallets address, choosing an amount, and clicking send. 

This may seem backwards to people used to supplying debit card information to purchase things online, but this method allows the sender to be in complete control of the payment process. Transactions are also irreversible. Essentially, sending a Bitcoin is a lot like sending an email. You put in someone else’s address and there’s no going back after you hit send.

It normally takes a minute or two to confirm the payment, so don't worry if it hasn't cleared instantly.

Depending on the network and on the wallet applications the two parties are using, it can take up to ten minutes for the first confirmation of the transaction. Some services require six confirmations (which can take about an hour) before they recognise the transaction.

Receiving Bitcoins

To receive Bitcoins, choose a receiving address from your wallet, provide it to the other party and wait for them to send payment. As mentioned above, it can take around ten minutes for the transaction to be confirmed by the Bitcoin network, and it is standard to consider transactions that have been confirmed six times to be fully confirmed.

Buying cannabis seeds with Bitcoin

When you've selected the seeds you need, simply enter your shipping address (or login if you've shopped with us before), when you go through to the payment screen you'll want to select the top option, simply labelled "Bitcoin".

 

When you have selected Bitcoin, you'll click continue below which will redirect you to Coinbase. Once you are redirected to Coinbase, you will sell details of your transaction, the grand total in both your native currency and Bitcoin. 

It will give you the option to pay straight from your Coinbase wallet if you have one (if you haven't you might want to set one up and purchase Bitcoin through them) or alternatively, scan the QR code with your wallet app from your phone or just send the exact amount to the Bitcoin address stated. 

This transaction should take the same amount of time (if not less), as a standard card payment. Once the payment has been authorised, it will take you back to the website with confirmation as usual. 

Congratulations, you've just completed your first Bitcoin transaction with us!