Bitcoins - need some advice

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by zero_Phil, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. zero_Phil

    zero_Phil Registered Member

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    I'm interested in buying some Bitcoins and although the 'local bitcoin' option would be preferable, I don't have a laptop/tablet/smartphone to be able to meet someone locally to purchase any. Can I buy them via my home PC? And how would I go about it? Being a Bitcoin virgin, naturally I don't want to get hosed on my first transaction. Thx.
     
  2. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Moved Thread To This Forum For More Exposure.
     
  3. zero_Phil

    zero_Phil Registered Member

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    Thanks, JR.
     
  4. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    zero_Phil, you're welcome! Take care.
     
  5. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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  6. zero_Phil

    zero_Phil Registered Member

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  7. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I find that to be a very reasonable plan, especially for a starter or small amount buyer. Then either quickly spend the coins on an object of interest, or move the coins to a secure wallet as defined below:



    zero_Phil,

    The storage of bitcoins is equally if not MORE of a concern than acquisition. There are some incredibly "resourceful" bitcoin hacker/thieves out there. I would recommend learning about how to use "offline" cold storage methods. Bitcoins are quite frankly an advanced mathematical formula in the form of a blockchain. Math doesn't lie, and you can use it to your advantage to secure your coins. When you create your storage wallet (offline) you will create two long encryption keys just like pgp uses (metaphorically speaking). One is public and anyone can see it making it possible to have a "watching wallet for online use". Then you can keep a private key to sign any bitcoins leaving the wallet. No person can steal your coins without the private key, which is why super freaks like yours truly prefer only to have my signing key on an air gap machine. One that never sees the internet. Repeating: its is purely and positively mathematically impossible to remove ANY coins from a wallet unless that transaction is signed by the private key first. Online website wallets are convenient and "cute" for novice entertainment and small amounts (you define that yourself). There is NO reversing a coin transaction. If your coins leave they are gone, unless the receiver agrees to send them back. Hackers at this level will not reasonably be found and a wallet address is numbers not names. In seconds coins can be laundered into oblivion. Learn the math if you are going to do anything beyond "cute/novice" playing with these. Bitcoins are VERY safe if you do as I am suggesting. Not trying to scare you or anyone, just telling you the best of the best hackers cruise bitcoin stuff.
     
  8. zero_Phil

    zero_Phil Registered Member

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    Wow! Thanks, Palancar. Valuable advice for a novice like myself. If I buy 0.5 Bitcoins but spend only 0.4 Bitcoins, does the remaining 0.1 remain in my wallet?
     
  9. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Basically yes, minus a small transaction fee. Above it was suggested to use localbitcoins which is a website based wallet. If you conduct a transaction at such a place, when you purchase something via a bitcoin transfer there will be a fee. It is quite small.

    With 0.1 BTC remaining you are only protecting about 20 bucks worth of coin (example: 1 BTC = ~ 200 bucks). In this model you are trusting the website's security and not your own. For a small amount this may be an acceptable risk for you. At the very least if you go this route enable 2FA (two factor authentication) making it somewhat tougher to compromise your web wallet.
     
  10. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    As a matter of interest when you have a bitcoin can you sell it rather than buying stuff?

    Just fancy buying a coin and selling it if it gets high enough.
     
  11. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Yes, you absolutely can sell your coins for CASH as desired. Put simply it is the reverse of buying bitcoins. If you don't want to stand face to face with a buyer you can escrow your coins through a service (as mentioned above in the thread), which for a very small transaction fee will broker the coins for cash. You simply go pick up your cash from the vendor being used. Others prefer to do it all face to face without any fees, but then you have to assess the risk model of this approach.
     
  12. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    Hmm i would need a broker not sure there are physical brokers in the UK.
     
  13. zero_Phil

    zero_Phil Registered Member

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    Many thanks again, Palancar, much appreciated. I'll install a wallet on my PC and use that. My plan is to buy one Bitcoin just to get the feel of how it all works. I've emailed a guy who sells Bitcoins and accepts payment via Moneygram, which is what Mirimir advised.
     
  14. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    By broker I mean an agent like a Moneygram vendor, bank, etc... Take a look at the site the OP is using and you might be surprised how many sources you have around you. Just and idea.

    zero_phil,

    I you use a place like localbitcoins the seller's bitcoins are LOCKED in escrow during the transaction. Once he acknowledges the sale on his site account, the coins will be transferred into your wallet instantly. If you select a seller with enormous feedback and many trades you should be pretty safe. Just like ebay, if a seller has conducted 1000 trades with 100 percent feedback, then your 1001 trade should go well too. Have fun!!

    In the unlikely event that something goes wrong the escrow dispute process might become invaluable to you. It went wrong only once with me and it saved me. The coins showed up in my wallet 2 days after I won the dispute. I was in a hurry and selected a "weak" trading partner. Live and learn.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  15. zero_Phil

    zero_Phil Registered Member

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    Thanks, Palancar. I think I'll use a localbitcoin wallet initially just to be on the safe side and when I feel a little more confident I'll try transferring coin into my PC MultiBit wallet.
     
  16. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Hope you are having fun with this! Unless you are worried about anonymity, make sure to employ 2FA on the website wallet.
     
  17. zero_Phil

    zero_Phil Registered Member

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    Fun! It's giving me a migraine! Thanks, I've done the 2FA thing. :)
     
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