You must have heard that sending and receiving bitcoins is as simple as sending or receiving an email. The following are the two processes explained in detail:
Of course, in order to send, you must have some coins stored in a digital wallet. This is an app on your phone, desktop or the cloud containing not only your bitcoin public address but also a private key that will enable you to authorize any expenditure.
Through a careful research, you can choose one of many online wallet services. The most notable include Coinbase and Blockchain
Your recipient must also have a bitcoin wallet. He or she must share with you the public address to which you will send the bitcoins. And the address looks something like this:1JEiV9CiJmhfYhE7MzeSdmH82xRYrbYrtb. It can also be represented in a QR code.
To get started, login to your wallet and go the menu, whose look will vary depending on the wallet service you are using.
Nevertheless, select the send option, and you will be prompted to enter the recipient’s public address in a ‘’To’’ field. Ideally, there are four ways to do it:
- Selecting an address from your address book
- Copying and pasting an address from your clipboard
- typing in a bitcoin address manually (which is not easy given its length)
- Scanning its QR representation using a device’s camera
Once you have successfully entered an address, double check it to make sure it matches your intended address. After hitting ‘send’ the receiver will get a payment notification in minutes. After about 20 minutes, your transaction will have been confirmed several times on the bitcoin network and, therefore, successful.
Receiving bitcoins is similarly an easy process. As mentioned above, you need to have a bitcoin wallet. In it, you can have multiple bitcoin public addresses which you can share with those who intend to send you money.
It is recommended to use a different Bitcoin address for different transactions. But since all your bitcoin addresses are associated with your bitcoin wallet, you do not need to worry about keeping track of them.
In order to receive bitcoins, you have to share the public address with a sender. There are two ways you can do this:
- Copy your address onto a clipboard and send to the person sending you bitcoins.
- Alternatively, you can convert your bitcoin address into a QR code that can easily be scanned by the sender.
While the Bitcoin technology may sound intimidating, sending and receiving money around the world through it is easier. You will only need to practice a few times to feel comfortable using it!