Hey BHW, I'm whirr. As long as this red bit is here, this thread is being worked on To be very honest with everyone here, when I joined, the cryptocurrency section looked kind of sad. I'd like to spice it up a little with this Introduction to Bitcoin! for anyone interested in stepping though to the cryptorealm. I'll try and continually work and improve it. I've thought about adding in views and opinions about the community but decided not to. This will be an unbiased introduction to Bitcoin! Enjoy. What is Bitcoin?!: Bitcoin is a distributed peer-to-peer digital currency that can be transferred instantly and securely between any two people in the world. That's what the Wiki says, the simpler answer to that question is in my own words: Bitcoin is online money. Yup, it exists, it's out there and you can make it rain. The best part? It's completely anonymous and more secure than any other form of money out there in the "real" world. Completely independent of any financial institution or organisation. Why do I need to care about bitcoin? No inflation, taxes, government intervention. It bypasses (endless) corruption and fraud. That's why, we need it. Lighting round?!: It's as private as you want it to be There are no chargebacks ( *cough cough* paypal) People can't steal your payment information from merchants (No more credit cards leaks!) It isn't inflationary It's fast No transaction fees What can I do with Bitcoin?: By now? Anything you can do with real money. Maybe even a little more. You can order pizza to your house, buy videogames, higher a stripper and buy drugs (and tip your drug dealer). And remember folks, it's all anonymous if you want it to be! So it's just out there? Where do I keep it?: In your wallet! Not the leather one in your pocket but one that sits in your computer or browser. I'll get into them a little later. (Links below) Are there an infinite amount of Bitcoins? Very good question! Have a Bitcoin. No there aren't! There are/will be exactly 21 million bitcoins! If they just exist on the internet, how does anyone know how many Bitcoins I own? Another great question! First! When you sign up for a Bitcoin wallet you get assigned an address, it's used to receive and send Bitcoin. You've got to know who you're sending money to right? Now there is this this thing called the Blockchain, it's the foundation which Bitcoin sits upon. The easiest way of describing it is a "spreadsheet in the sky". It keeps track of all Bitcoin transactions so everyone knows how many Bitcoins an address has at any current time. Before any transaction takes place the Blockchain will make sure you actually have that amount of Bitcoin. Alright so... How can I get my own bitcoins? You've got 3 ways of earning Bitcoin: Buy it with another Currency like the USD or the Euro on an exchange. (Links below) Mine for it! (I'll get into this, don't worry) Sell something in exchange for Bitcoin! ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Those are the absolute basics! There are whole worlds behind the Bitcoin infrastructure. The technology behind it, the people or the economy. It's all there and you can learn about all of it and let me tell you it's fascinating! ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ What is bitcoin Mining?: Mining is the process of spending computation power to validate Bitcoin transactions on the network and gaining new Bitcoins in the process. This is sounds fairly complicated when you don't know how Bitcoin works behind the scenes but basically you let a program run on your computer that uses your CPU and/or GPU power to do maths. Once the answer clears, you've got a chance at earning Bitcoin. Nowadays more specialised devices called ASICs are being used, CPUs and GPUs just don't cut it anymore. Should I mine? The general answer you're going to get from the community nowadays is not to. The difficulty, meaning the amount of computation power you have to devote to mining compared to the Bitcoin received in return is not worth it for the average Joe/Janet anymore. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Wallets: All wallets listed here are free to use. Windows Desktop Wallets: Bitcoin Core Multibit Armory Electrum Bither BitGo CoPay ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ I HAVEN'T BEEN A MEMBER LONG ENOUGH TO POST LINKS BUT IVE GOT A TON OF EXCITING STUFF COMING Hope you liked the post so far. It's early so let me know what you want to see. There you go, as long as you can read this red bit. I'm not done, let me know what you'd like to see or if you want anything changed and I'll listen to you! This is my first time writing a guide/introduction.