Welcome to the /r/Bitcoin Sticky FAQ
You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what is the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
The following videos are a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
- Video 1: What Is Bitcoin & Why Should You Care?
- Video 2: The real value of bitcoin and crypto currency technology
- Video 3: Bitcoin Is Independent Money
- Video 4: Bitcoin 101 – Balaji Srinivasan
For lots of additional video resources check out the videos wiki page or /r/BitcoinTV. Bitcoin statistics can be found here. Developer resources can be found here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here and here. And of course, the whitepaper that started it all 🙂
Where can I buy bitcoins?
You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, more can be found here.
A listing of local ATMs is here.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Here are a couple useful sites (bitkoin.io, preev.com) that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".
Securing your bitcoins
With bitcoin you can "be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use companies which will hold the bitcoins for you.
If you prefer to "be your own bank" and have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party, there are many software wallet options here. If you prefer easy and secure storage without having to learn computer security best practices, then a hardware wallet such as the Trezor, Ledger, Case Wallet, or KeepKey is recommended.
Note: 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 the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below.
Where can I spend bitcoins?
|Steam, Disco Melee, HumbleBundle, GreenmanGaming, and Coinplay.io||For when you need to get your game on|
|Microsoft||Xbox games, phone apps and software|
|Spendabit, The Bitcoin Shop, Overstock, Rakuten, DuoSearch and BazaarBay||Retail shopping with millions of results|
|Gyft||Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.|
|NewEgg, TigerDirect and Dell||For all your electronic needs|
|Foodler and Takeaway||Takeout delivered to your door!|
|Expedia, Cheapair, Lot, Destinia, BTCTrip, Abitsky and 9flats||For when you need to get away|
|Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA||VPN services|
|Namecheap||For new domain name registration|
|Stampnik||Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage|
|Reddit Gold||Premium membership which can be gifted to others|
Additional retail options can also be found at TheBitcoinPage.com
There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
- 1-3% savings over credit cards or PayPal.
- No chargebacks (final settlement in 10 minutes as opposed to 3+ months).
- Accept business from a global customer base.
- Increased privacy.
- Convert 100% of the sale to the currency of your choice for deposit to your account, or choose to keep a percentage of the sale in bitcoin if you wish to begin accumulating it.
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;
Can I mine bitcoin?
Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, 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 crew at /r/BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker to allow users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins)
The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
|Lightning Network, Amiko Pay, and Strawpay||Payment channels for network scaling|
|Blockstream and Drivechain||Sidechains|
|Open Transactions, Counterparty, Omni, Open Assets, Symbiont and Chain||Financial asset platforms|
|Hivemind and Augur||Prediction markets|
|Tierion and Factom||Records & Titles on the blockchain|
|BitMarkets, DropZone, and Open Bazaar||Decentralized markets|
|Samourai and Dark Wallet – abandoned||Privacy-enhancing wallets|
|JoinMarket||CoinJoin implementation (Increase privacy and/or Earn interest on bitcoin holdings)|
|ShapeShift.io||Trade bitcoins and altcoins without creating an account|
|Coinffeine and Bitsquare||Decentralized bitcoin exchanges|
|Keybase and Bitrated||Identity & Reputation management|
|Bitmesh and Telehash||Mesh networking|
|JoyStream||BitTorrent client with paid seeding|
|MORPHiS||Decentralized, encrypted internet|
|Storj and Sia||Decentralized file storage|
|21, Inc.||Internet of things??|
|Streamium and Faradam||Pay in real time for on-demand services|
|Abra||Global P2P money transmitter network|
|bitSIM||PIN secure hardware token between SIM & Phone|
|Identifi||Decentralized address book w/ ratings system|
|Coinometrics||Institutional-level Bitcoin Data & Research|
|Blocktrail and BitGo||Multisig bitcoin API|
|Insight||Open source blockchain API|
|Leet||Kill your friends and take their money 😉|
|Lawnmower||Convert your spare change into bitcoin|
Use ChangeTip.com (/r/changetip) for tipping people on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, GitHub, Slack and more! (you can even use custom monikers to tailor your tip to the discussion or add a bit of humor). Read more about ChangeTip at their reddit wiki.
One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$ /€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
|millibitcoin||mBTC||1,000 per bitcoin||SI unit for milli i.e. millilitre (mL) or millimetre (mm)|
|microbitcoin||μBTC||1,000,000 per bitcoin||SI unit for micro i.e microlitre (μL) or micrometre (μm)|
|bit||bit||1,000,000 per bitcoin||Colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin|
|satoshi||sat||100,000,000 per bitcoin||Smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor|
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $ 500 for one Bitcoin, a $ 10 meal would equal:
- 0.02 BTC
- 20 mBTC
- 20,000 bits
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. 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. A complete list of bitcoin related subreddits can be found here
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!