This tutorial will guide you to successfully create your first blockchain bitcoin wallet.
This is the first critical step in your bitcoin investment journey and it could be the deciding factor whether you will be losing your money or securing and watching it grow.
So after hearing so many stories about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies generally, you have decided to test the waters yourself by buying your first bitcoin.
But wait, where are you going to keep or store your bitcoin? – Yes, in a bitcoin wallet.
What is a Bitcoin Wallet?
A bitcoin wallet is similar to your bank account or your physical pocket wallet or purse (if you’re a lady).
This is where you store your bitcoin and can easily move funds in and out of the wallet for everyday transactions. Similar to how you spend money from your bank account and physical wallets.
However, technically-speaking, your bitcoin is not stored anywhere really. Bitcoin wallets only provide an interface for you to be able to make transactions with it easily.
Without a bitcoin wallet, you cannot receive or spend bitcoin, just as you cannot connect to the internet without an ISP.
Create Your First Blockchain Bitcoin Wallet
For the record, there are different types of bitcoin wallets. But for this tutorial, we will be using the best, first and most reliable bitcoin wallet service provider –blockchain wallet.
So without wasting time, let’s get you a bitcoin wallet already –shall we?
Step 1: Go to the Blockchain Website:
You will land on their home page which looks just like the above image (desktop view).
Step 2: Click Get a Free Wallet
You will be taken to the Sign-Up page where you will have to enter your email address and your preferred password.
NOTE: You should NEVER forget your password; otherwise your bitcoin will be lost FOREVER.
This is not like your regular bank where you can just walk in and complain that you forgot your signature or ATM card PIN and they’ll just help you change or reset it.
Nah! If you forget the password to your blockchain bitcoin wallet, then your coins are lost for good except you have your private key secured and intact –we will get to that soon.
Cross-check that you have entered your email address correctly and hit the Continue button.
Step 3: Verify Your Email Address
Before anything else, log in to the email you used above and click on the verification link that was sent to you. It’s a necessary step to securing your account.
Click Yes, This Is My Email button to verify your email.
You will get the confirmation message below, and you’re good to go.
Step 4: Congratulations
Your blockchain bitcoin wallet is successfully created and ready to start receiving, storing, spending or exchanging bitcoin.
This is the wallet we just created and as you can see, we $0.00 in there and did you notice there are five (5) different cryptocurrencies on display here?
Yes. The blockchain bitcoin wallet can store bitcoin along with other supported cryptocurrencies such as USD (stable coin), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Stellar (yeah! it’s a coin, not the name of a girl).
Most likely other cryptocurrencies will be supported by the wallet in the future. When they do, you will see them appear automatically in your wallet, and you can store all of them right in this single wallet.
How to Secure Your Bitcoin Wallet
Your wallet is ready to start receiving and sending bitcoin, so what’s next? –We need to secure it and then go ahead to learn how to receive and send bitcoin to and from the wallet.
NOTE: You can still use your wallet without going through the following steps but it is highly advised you secure your account in other to avoid being a teller of the popular stories of people forgetting their wallet password and p[ermanenely losing their bitcoins.
I believe you don’t like telling such stories; do you? –of course NO!
Step 1: Click on Security Center
Step 2: Enable 2FA
2FA refers to two-factor authentication. You can use SMS verification or a mobile app such as Google Authenticator.
Once set up, every time you or anyone tries to log in to your wallet, verification will be sent to the verified phone number or generated by the connected authenticator app.
Without this code, you wouldn’t be able to login to your wallet.
Haven said that –go ahead and click Enable as above to setup Two-Step Verification. You will see the below page.
So click Authenticator App
Scan the QR code with the Google Authenticator and enter the code generated by the App and then click Verify Code.
Great, 2FA is now activated for your wallet and your money is more secure than before.
Step 3: Backup Phrase (Your Private Key)
You must have heard the sayings that “not your keys, not your coin” and I remember mentioning somewhere above that your private key is the only access to your bitcoins if you ever forget your blockchain wallet password.
In this final step, we will be backing and safely storing the private key or 12-word phrase to your wallet.
Click Backup Funds.
You can choose to just print the words directly by clicking Print Backup Sheet or simply click Backup Funds as in the above screenshot to reveal the words which you will then have to write them down in a secure place.
For this tutorial, we will be revealing the 12 words for simplicity.
So click Backup Funds
The first four words will be revealed. Copy them down, and click Next 4 Words until the third set of the 4 words are revealed.
Now you have 12 words securely written down. Good job. The next thing you have to do to finish this step is to click Finish and Verify.
To be sure you have successfully backed up the phrase, you’re required to confirm 4 random words from among the 12 words. Supply the appropriate words based on their position from 1 to 12 and hit the Confirm button.
Congratulations. Your blockchain bitcoin wallet is fully backed up and secured your wallet.
PS: Whoever has those 12 words owns the coins. Those 12 words are your bitcoin. Remember earlier I said your bitcoin is never stored anywhere. In reality, your private key is your coin and can be used to spend any funds in your wallet with or without your password.
So if I were you, my private key will be my biggest secret. Known only by me and stored in a place that it can’t be lost, forgotten or accessible by another person; because whoever has it owns the coin.
How to Receive and Send Bitcoin with Your Wallet
Step 1: To receive Bitcoin
Click Request from your home screen.
Your wallet address will be displayed as below.
Copy the wallet address and forward it to whoever is sending the bitcoin to you.
Step 2: To Send Bitcoin
Click Send from your home screen.
Copy and paste the wallet address of the recipient in the To field highlighted above, then enter the dollar value of the bitcoin you want to send.
The exact bitcoin amount will be displayed after you enter the dollar amount you wish to send.
Some people will make the mistake of sending 100 Bitcoin instead of $100.
Don’t be that person because once sent, bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed.
There’s no bank manager to call. You are the bank and you can’t reverse it once a transaction has been authorized.
So always double-check to be sure you are sending the right amounts before you click continue.
Congratulations if you have followed all the steps up to this point.
You are now a proud owner of a fully secured blockchain bitcoin wallet and you can begin accumulating and transacting with bitcoin as you wish.
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