This article describes how to get up and running with a basic Bitcoinwallet, and use Bitcoin normally.
If you are interested in Mining Bitcoin, please check out my slightly dated, but still valid http://www.cpubbq.com/2013/05/mining-bitcoins.html Bitcoin mining article
FYI - You DON'T need to mine Bitcoin to use Bitcoin.
Heres a great explanation of Bitcoin..
Here are the things you will need to get up and running,
and a simple procedure to do so.
Be aware of the risks;
Despite what you may have heard about Bitcoin, by far the greatest risks to your Bitcoin wallet (your money) are not with the Bitcoin system itself, but with the system you keep your wallet on (Your PC)
The Bitcoin files on your computer ARE your money
The value in each Bitcoin is based on its unique secret number (also called a private key) that is never publicly revealed. It only lives on your hard drive (or in a backup). The numbers are too long to remember.. and too complex to recalculate (at least as far as anyone knows). If you lose the file
Control of those files means control of the money in them
The Wallet.dat file is unencrypted, and not password locked (at least on bitcoin-qt) anyone with access to that file can take all the money out of it instantly, and transfer it away, so you can never get it back. There is no centralised control system to get it back.
However we will be looking at the program "Armory" which addresses many security concerns with the Bitcoin client.
Here are the risks in order of likelyhood
Hard Disk Failure
Physical theft of PC
Some quick tips
Don't install your Bitcoin wallet on a friends computer, or at least not on a machine you cannot completely trust.
Don't install it on a machine that could have or regularly gets viruses.
Don't install it on a machine that is having or is likely to have hardware problems.
To use Bitcoin you will need as minimum.
- PC or Mac (with atleast 15GB free space for the block chain)
- Bitcoin-qt http://bitcoin.org/en/download (its free)
- Broadband connection with 15GB bandwidth/quota to download the block chain
- A Bitcoin Wallet - you can create it with Bitcoin-qt once it has synced.
- A couple of USB keys to make (encrypted) backups of the wallet files
- A reliable/predictable backup system (if the wallet file is lost, so are its contents)
- A more secure Bitcoin Client (such as Armory https://bitcoinarmory.com/ - its free)
- An account at a reputable Bitcoin Exchange (I use MtGox)
- Disk/File Encryption software such a truecrypt (www.truecrypt.org - its free)
- A predictable system for storing/retrieving passwords (keepass for example, oreven a notebook)
- Up to date AntiVirus Software (I use Microsoft Security Essentials - its free, and performs well)
Step One - Install Bitcoin-qt
Step Two - Create a wallet
Step Three -
Once you have Bitcoin-qt running, the files of that install (in particular a file"wallet.dat") represent all the wealth