What is a wallet? Start with a bitcoin wallet for beginners.
A Bitcoin wallet is a device (like Nano Ledger), program or service which stores the public and/or private keys for a Bitcoin address. It is used to track ownership, receive or spend Bitcoins.
Bitcoins are no files that you download on your computer or mobile phone. They exist only in the Bitcoin Blockchain. The access to these Bitcoins is facilitated through Bitcoin Wallets.
Means accordingly: The Bitcoins itself are not in the wallet. Means they are not like a file stored in a wallet.
In the case of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency is decentrally stored and maintained in a publicly available ledger called the Bitcoin blockchain.
The wallet consists of the keys to access your Bitcoins on the Bitcoin Blockchain.
Set up a Bitcoin Wallet: Where to start?
Beginners should start to register with one or more Cryptocurrency exchanges, available in your country.
These exchanges provide you with a wallet to store your Bitcoin. This is perfectly fine to learn about the technology and experiment around at the beginning.
However, if you acquire higher amounts of Bitcoin, we recommend moving your Bitcoin from the exchange to your own wallet.
Set up your Bitcoin Wallet: Exchanges for Beginners
Let’s start with Coinbase.com. Signing up for a Coinbase account is very easy and simple.
Like with every regulated bank you will need to provide some form of identification, like an ID or Passport.
That may involve sending a proof of residence and potentially also sending a live image of your face using a webcam or mobile phone. All key bank have to respect these know your customer rules. They are based on local legal requirements.
The onboarding experience with Coinbase is self-explaining and should not be an obstacle.
If you would like to check other exchanges to set up a Bitcoin Wallet, we recommend:
For intermediate and advanced users, here you can Learn more about setting up your own wallet.
Advice for Bitcoin beginners: DO THIS!
- Research for licensed Bitcoin exchanges in your country.
This can be Coinbase, Binance, Bitstamp, Kraken, Polinex, and others.
- Open an account at the exchange and go through the KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money Laundering) process. Most exchanges are required by law to lead you through this process.
- You can safely buy your first Bitcoin through money transfer or by credit card.
Advice for Bitcoin beginners: DO NOT DO THIS!
- Do not set up independently a Bitcoin wallet without intensive research. Not all Wallet providers are trustworthy. Beware of scammers.
- Note that Bitcoin.com is the website of Bitcoin Cash (different cryptocurrency to the original Bitcoin). Opening a wallet here and buying Bitcoin Cash is a different investment. Learn more.
- Do not buy your first Bitcoin with cash from unknown sources/people. You have a very high risk, to lose your investment.