Before buying any serious amount of BTC user must ensure:
1. Software that he uses actually encrypts wallets (BitcoinQT by default does not!).
2. His wallet is backed up in 3 places.
3. Backups actually work and he tried them.
4. His computer is not infested with malware.
5. He has multiple wallets and money is spread across all of them.
So that if he one days makes a payment, enters a password and virus steals his coins, he will not lose everything.
Blockchain.info is a great service, but only when you enable 2-factor authentication (otherwise your encrypted wallet can be bruteforced offline) and make sure you get backups by email.
Finally, everyone should remember:
THERE IS NO "FORGET MY PASSWORD" BUTTON.
If you own your coins, be it in BitcoinQT, Electrum or Blockchain.info, you must own your password. You lose it - you are done. People are not used to it. They should be.
you mean you etched your keys, right? Nice idea.
1. Go to bitaddress.org and save the page to hard drive.
2. Take computer offline and generate keypairs.
3. Send coins to generated address(es) and print out private keys.
4. Etch keys onto metal (I used a Dremel though other methods may be better). Two copies stored in separate places might be wise.
5. Burn paper copy of keys.
6. Wait 10 years, buy Aruba.
2-factor auth does not and cannot protect against offline bruteforcing, quite the contrary, it's only relevant for online authentication with a service provider.
In your example it would be for authenticating with blockchain.info so they could perform an action on your behalf. Assuming they use your actual password as a master key to unlock a wallet they store on your behalf, the 2-factor piece is just extra security they are providing for actions performed through their site. 2-factor auth does nothing to prevent someone from trying to brute force the private key or pass phrase for your wallet.
I'm all for using 2-factor auth (I personally have it enabled on every site/service that supports it) but it's only for securing online access to an external service.
I would rather see a site solving some of the critical concerns raised by average-user's ignorance.
Are you sure about that? Can you point to a discussion where it says BitcoinQT doesn't encrypt by default. Googling found me nothing.
"Of course our startup is user-unfriendly! We hate users! People should just get used to it."
And your goal (after precautions!) of "not losing everything" - wondrous! Every day I wake up and I haven't lost everything is a good day.
This revolutionary approach will certainly succeed.
Today you can launch the wallet, send money to it right away and then immediately forget your password or have a disk crash. This sucks and people will be hurt.
I mean, seriously, I tried, but all my attempts were futile.
Why can't I just use a credit card or similar and buy bitcoints?
Back when they were $100, I really wanted to buy a bitcoin, spent half a day on it, but didn't manage to. I gave up everytime I needed to do something strange involving permissions with my bank.
Is there an easier way to get them? I live in Europe by the way.
Bitcoin is the only money you can really own. Other currencies are fragile and ephemeral.
If you want to buy bitcoins and you are in the US go to Coinbase.com you can crate an account link it to your bank account and buy some coins very quickly. If you use an exchange like Mtgox or similar it could take weeks to get all the identity verification stuff approved. If you decide you want to day trade later get an account on CampBX, bitstamp.net or similar and use that but to start out Coinbase is the way to go.
Chargebacks are the reason. If you buy a bitcoin with a credit card and I send you a bitcoin, you can get your money back from the credit card company and keep my bitcoin.
Yes, Bitcoin is a threat, for the whole financial system for that matter, but it's much more of a threat for those who don't adopt it than for those who do. At least if Paypal adopted it, they could remain relevant in the future, and people would still use them.
And of course Paypal suffers from same problem as credit cards of chargeback and fraud
In Canada, http://cavirtex.com or https://vaultofsatoshi.com/
If you are in Europe, http://bitcoin.de , http://bitcoin-central.net , https://www.bitstamp.net/
If you are anywhere, check out your local Bitcoin meetup group.
Took me about 30 mins total from wanting to buy to having my order placed.
(If you use NAB it will be even faster, I had to make a cash deposit at an NAB)
There are lot of services that allow you to buy Bitcoin and people have already listed a few, but here's another option:
Start charging for Bitcoin. It's funny how few people think about this.
"How to get USD?" You do some work that another person is willing to give you USD for.
Register in Bitstamp or Kraken (my favourite exchanges).
Validate your account. You have to provide some sort of proof of identity and address. This is asked by governments and if they don't comply with them they can be closed without any previous notice, like it happened with the exchange bitcoin24. It can take up to 1 week.
Deposit cash. Companies like Visa/Mastercard/PayPal don't want to deal directly with BTC, that's why a bank transfer is more convenient. Being European you probably have cash in a SEPA bank, which is an advantadge because most exchanges accept SEPA deposits at a very low fee (much cheaper than a Wire Transfer) and they are usually very fast (1-2 working days).
But on the other hand I also understand that these services have to be very careful so they don't get abused themselves.
BTC exchanges are operating in EVE like territory, the only reason to trust them is because they have not run away with the money YET. Ironically, this benefits MtGox the most, who despite/because of the ridiculous withdrawal limits have managed to stay in the business the longest.
The only exception that I would be willing to trust is Coinbase and that is only because of YC connection, and that is no guarantee either but the best for now.
BTC will only take off for the masses, when there is a reputable company offering banking/trading services with BTC.
Localbitcoins have to do for now, but is not something that scales very well.
Prerequisites: A bitcoin wallet to receive the coins, and some cash.
1: Click Buy, browse through the offers and pick one that has a reasonable price and uses a geographically convenient bank.
2: Submit your bitcoin address and your desired amount, write down the bank account info that appears, go to the bank, and deposit the specified amount of cash into the seller's account.
3: Take a picture of the deposit receipt and email it to BitQuick.
4: Bitcoins will be sent from escrow to the address you specified earlier. Done!
Let me know if you want a referral.
Also it's more liquid than buying actual BTC and then selling them I think. Just be careful about using leverage.
I left finance in 2009. I never thought I'd get back into trading...
It does seem like a very interesting strategy though, that can probably make one even more money than investing directly in Bitcoin, but for that to work I think you need a sizable ($10,000?) amount, and only invest a few hundred dollars at most in that position. That way you can still make a lot of money if Bitcoin keeps increasing, but if it does happen to drop quite a lot, at least there's a much smaller chance of losing all the money.
Put in $300 and they give you $300. I opened it yesterday got a position on BTC same day (would be fun to get real BTC though). You can buy .01 lot with $300.
"The nature of Bitcoin means that, compared to credit cards or other financial tools, your identity is safer from theft. Your level of privacy is up to you, and in the online world privacy and protection are an asset."
This is hilarious. Right now basically every week we have news of millions of dollars worth of bitcoins being stolen from sites. In contrast, with a credit card every client has full protection including fraud, charge-backs, returns, etc.
However, they have extremely robust mechanisms in place for shuffling around the consequences of all the rampant fraud that results from their complete failure to offer even the barest minimum of fraud protection. So as a consumer I get to feel protected all the same.
Rule 1: If you store your bitcoins with someone else, they'll most likely get stolen. People need to learn how to store their own bitcoins or they'll end up not having any.
Interestingly, 10 years is a different story! http://www.economist.com/content/big-mac-index
The only reasonable explanation is that they have given up on decreasing their churn rate and instead they are focusing on acquiring newbies into their platform. Actually this is kind of sad...
My understanding is that any serious company with issues of this magnitude would solely focus on sorting that out first and doing nothing else than that.
This argument is similar to those people asking things like 'why does india care about protecting animals when they cant even feed their humans'.
Solving one problem does not mean the other problem isnt still trying to be solved.
Dear MtGox Customers,
Thank you for your patience during an incredible year for Bitcoin and MtGox. We’ve not been able to communicate as we may have wanted, but we’ve been working tirelessly in the background and we’re looking forward to even more progress in the coming weeks, which we’ll be announcing soon.
We have four developments that we are proud to announce today:
Introduction of the MtGox OTP Card
Increased limit for SEPA withdrawals from Poland
A modified trading interface
Trade with no fees from Bitcoin Black Friday through Cyber Monday
To increase the speed of Bitcoin transactions, we will now require all Bitcoin transfers to pay the standard 0.001 BTC network fee. The fee will be charged separately from your balance.
Because you want to support bitcoin. If you don't want to pay with bitcoin, don't. If you do want to support bitcoin but don't want to erode your savings, then do this.
10,000 BTC today = $10.5 million USD.
Does that valuation mean anything? What about liquidity? If I had 10 k BTC today, could I trade that for $ 10.5 M on the spot?
I wonder how long until we need a crypto-currency lobby for congress.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the header wasn't fixed. I can't wait until that fad dies out.
Isn't it more convenient than scrolling back to the top of the page to access important links?
The only possible issue I can think of is if screen space is limited.
They claim the rankings come from Bitcoin Charts, yet on there BTC China has 60% more volume than MtGox.
Remember it was mtgox who caused the last crash and have since continued to screw users while getting into all sorts of trouble in US for dodgy going ons
,,We’ve recently released the launch version of bitcoins.com, an information site for all things Bitcoin. The site is not centered on MtGox specifically and we've tried to keep it as neutral as possible in order to promote Bitcoin."
for merchant services MTgox is also first despite being barely used when compared to bitpay or coinbase
Good idea. An entirely decentralised, pseudonymous, secure way of exchanging money is not something hackers are interested in.