Bitcoin is transforming the way people use money. The network gives security, speed and safety to those who know how to use it correctly. So we created the definitive guide on how to use Bitcoin on your PC.
If you have lots of bitcoins, it may be a better idea to keep them in a cold storage (Read our guide Here). If you transact using QR codes, a smartphone bitcoin wallet may be a much better solution for you (Read our guide Here).
However, if you want the best of the both worlds there’s nothing better than a desktop wallet. It balances convenience and security into one lightweight, easy-to-use package.
We highly recommend desktop wallets for people who plan to transfer Bitcoins daily and want a reliable solution for maintaining their account.
Download MultiBit HD
The first step is to download the MultiBit HD wallet for the operating system that you’re running on your computer. The wallet supports all major platforms– Mac, Windows and Linux.
Creating a Wallet
Once you have installed the program, the next step is to create your first wallet. Choose the create a wallet option, this will allow you to send and receive bitcoins. It’s like opening a bank account, the difference is that you don’t need to submit any personal information to create a new wallet address.
You can create a wallet by running the MultiBit HD application on your computer and selecting “I want to create a new wallet”.
Click on “Next”, and the wallet preparation screen would get populated that would walk you through the entire process. Read the instructions and click “Next”.
Select Backup Location
MultiBit HD will prompt you to select the backup location. In the event that your operating system crashes or your computer gets a virus, you would be able to recover all the wallet information by restoring from the backup.
Don’t worry about the security and frequency. MultiBit HD automatically takes backups and stores them in an encrypted form. However, since laptops/PCs are susceptible to hardware failures, we strongly recommend storing the backups on a cloud drive and USB.
Once you have setup the backup location, click “Next”.
Note: This is not Cold Storage, this backup was not created in a secure location. There is a possibility that a Hacker had compromised your computer prior to setting up this backup. As a result, we do not recommend this as a solution to long-term storage or investment, Heres our guide for Cold Storage.
Setting Up Recovery
On the new screen, you will now be prompted to note down the recovery passphrase. This step is important, because:
1. You will need this phrase to recover your wallet from the backup.
2. You will need to keep the information safe (DO NOT take screenshots), anyone who has a copy of your backup file and the recovery passphrase can take your Bitcoins.
Think of the recovery passphrase as the “Forgot Password” questions that you set for your email. In case you lose access to your wallet, you can recover everything using the wallet words. It’s best to note down the passphrase on a piece of paper or use Cryptosteel– the private and indestructible cold storage wallet which we recommended.
Once you have stored the passphrase in a safe place, click “Next”. You would need to confirm the wallet words to proceed. This is to make sure that you have copied the words correctly. If you find an error, simply click “Previous” and note down the passphrase again.
If you enter the information correctly, you will get a “Verified” icon at the bottom. Click “Next”.
Setting Up Security
Once you’ve set the recovery passphrase, it’s time to protect your wallet. Just how you secure your Internet banking/PayPal account using a password, you need to protect your MultiBit HD wallet with a password. You will need to enter this password when you want to send bitcoins. So, make sure you pick something that’s easy to remember but hard to guess.
Once you have confirmed the password and see the “Verified” icon at the bottom, click “Next”.
You should see the following screen. Click “Finish” to complete the setup process.
Accessing the Wallet
Once the setup process is complete click “Finish”, you will see the following screen:
Enter the wallet password and click “Unlock” to access your wallet. If you entered the correct password, you will see the following screen:
Click “Finish” to complete the setup process and you’re ready to start using Bitcoin.
Once you’re logged in, you will see the following screen. MultiBit HD really makes it simple for you to send and receive bitcoins.
To receive Bitcoin, click “Request Payment”
You should see the above screen. Here, you can either select the amount that you want to request in milli-bitcoins (1 BTC = 1000 mBTC), or enter the amount (Default in USD) in the textbox to the right. MultiBit HD will handle the real-time currency conversion for you.
After entering the amount, click on the copy icon to the right side of the recipient address. This will copy your wallet address to clipboard (the same as doing Ctrl+C), so you can share it with the sender. Alternatively, you can also click on the generate QR code icon to the right, which would generate a QR image for you to use to request payment.
Note: Your QR code/wallet address contains all the information the sender needs to transfer the bitcoins, which means you don’t need to share anything else, like your name, SSN, or any other personal information.
To send bitcoins, copy the bitcoin wallet address of the recipient, paste it in the textbox, and enter the amount that you want to send– either in mBTC or US dollars.
Click “Next” to send the bitcoins to the recipient’s address and complete the transaction.
Just like you can manage payees with your Internet banking account, you can save a bitcoin wallet addresses in the address book. The advantage of having assigning bitcoin wallet addresses to contacts is that you don’t have to ask for the wallet address every time, and you can also track your incoming/outgoing expenses.
If you’re going to be sending money frequently, we highly recommend adding the person to your contact list. Here’s how you can do it:
Click “Contacts”, A new window would pop up. Enter the name, email address, and bitcoin address of the person. You can also add Tags like “Work”, “Personal”, or “Business”. Once you’ve entered all the details, click “Apply”.
If you wish to send bitcoins to John, you just need to click on “Send Bitcoins”, and click on the recipient dropdown. Select the appropriate recipient from your contacts, enter the amount and click “Next” to initiate the payment.
We hope this guide has helped you figure out how to create and use your first PC Bitcoin Wallet. To get your first Bitcoins Click Here