2. Create a bitcoin wallet.
The fastest and most simple way to create a bitcoin wallet is by signing up with an online service like Circle or Coinbase. These services create online bitcoin wallets that are protected with your password. From there, you can easily create bitcoin addresses, generate paper wallets, and receive online payments in bitcoin. By linking your bank account to one of these reputable distributors, you can purchase bitcoin at the click of a button.
It should be noted, however, that online wallets are vulnerable to security breaches. Multi-factor authentication is recommended, and few should consider storing large amounts of bitcoin in online wallets for a long period of time.
Creating a bitcoin wallet on a local device gives the user a great deal of autonomy and some increased security. For example, one can improve their anonymity by sending a transaction over Tor, something that can’t be done with an online service like Circle or Coinbase. To begin, head over to the bitcoin wallet page to choose a wallet for your cell phone or desktop computer. Wallets exist for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
For the purposes of this walk-through, we will examine how to setup the Bitcoin Core software, which is available on a majority of operating systems.
To begin, download Bitcoin Core from bitcoin’s official website. Run the installation software, clicking Next, Next, Install. That’s it! You now have Bitcoin Core installed and can proceed to create a new wallet by running the newly installed software.
When you first run Bitcoin Core, you will need to proceed through the Welcome wizard. Choose a data directory to store the blockchain, which serves as a public ledger of transactions, and click “OK.”
If you have a firewall, you may be prompted to make an exception for Bitcoin Core. Do so. You have now successfully created a bitcoin wallet!