Setting up a Bitcoin Wallet on your PC or Laptop to Accept Bitcoins

Posted on April 4, 2014.

To take advantage of using bitcoins you MUST have a bitcoin wallet set up on your computer as this will enable you to send and receive bitcoins! Remember this is where you store your bitcoins.

Don’t worry if you’re a bit in the dark right now, here are eight quick and easy step-by-step instructions on how to set up a bitcoin wallet on your computer:

  1. First off you should decide which computer is best to store your bitcoin’s. We advise not to add a wallet to your work computer, if someone at work accesses your hard drive they can access all your bitcoins. You can password protect your wallet but it is not recommended to store you bitcoin’s on a shared computer or a computer which is not owned by you.
  2. If you’re using a mac, windows or even your android phone (iPhone’s currently do not allow bitcoin apps) decide what wallet you want to use and download your wallet from here:
  3. Once you have downloaded and installed the wallet you need to wait as your wallet needs to synchronise with the blockchain. This is the ledger for bitcoins – blockchain are responsible for recording all the transactions that go through bitcoin. The bitcoin ledger is currently around 7GB so it may take anything up to a week, depending on the speed of your internet. You can leave your machine running alone or it will synchronise in the background if you are currently using your computer. It is completely safe for your machine to do this.
  4. Once you have downloaded the blockchain completely to your wallet, you will see the synchronisation is complete and will therefore no longer be running in your wallet.
  5. It is highly advisable to put a password on your wallet. Look into the settings section of your wallet when you have the app/program open. Depending on the type of wallet you have chosen this may vary. Do not lose your password or make your password easy to hack! Write down your password somewhere very safe.  Do not lose your password or you WILL lose your bitcoins.
  6. If your hard drive is broken you may not be able to recover your bitcoins, therefore it is strongly urged that you backup your wallet regularly. To do this, again look in the settings of your wallet. You should backup the wallet to a thumb drive or an external drive that is not connected to the internet so that it remains offline.  Backing up a bitcoin wallet is a very straightforward process.
  7. Remember whenever you do a transaction in bitcoin your wallet changes, therefore each time you send or receive bitcoins or create a new address you need to do another backup. A thumb drive on your keychain is a good idea!
  8. Go to the receive section in your wallet and create a new address. The address will be a long unique hash code something like this 1LjF4ftVoiVrDU6SEy5ANnBm6BHcg4UwVV

You should now be set to go. Don’t worry, if you get stuck at any point feel free to drop us an email with your questions. Best of luck in setting up a bitcoin wallet!

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Best of luck