Bitcoins of your own is to create a "wallet".
A wallet is an electronic file that can easily be transported physically (printed onto paper) or virtually (emailed, flash drive).
The important point to remember regarding any wallet is to keep it secure. Therefore, during this guide, we will go through the process of creating a secure Bitcoin wallet.
Steps to Create a Wallet
- Visit the website www.bitcoin.org and download the latest Bitcoin client software. At the time of this article the software is version 0.7.1.
Once the process is complete you will see an interface such as the example below. The first item for business is to SECURE your wallet. There are devious individuals online who have created malware programs to steal from unsecured wallets.
Therefore, please click on the settings menu at the top and encrypt your wallet using a passphrase. This phrase is required anytime you send Bitcoins from your wallet and acts as a security measure like a secured credit card PIN number.
In the file menu you can also backup your Bitcoin wallet.dat file onto a separate storage drive. As always, be careful what you do with your money.
- Overview - Shows your current Bitcoin Balance and Recent Transactions
- Send Coins - Allows you to specify the amount of Bitcoins (down to 8 decimal places) to another Bitcoin Address. A Bitcoin Address is an identifier of 34 alphanumeric characters (or less), beginning with the number 1 or 3, that represents a possible destination for a Bitcoin payment. Addresses can be generated at no cost by any user of Bitcoin.
- Receive Coins - Incoming transactions can be sent to your addresses found in the receive coins screen. Additional addresses will be added automatically by the network but will all point to your wallet file.
- Transactions - This is the listing of transactions related to your personal wallet file. Bitcoin transactions will be verified by other individuals in the network and added to your wallet.