If someone hands you a $20 bill and you want to keep it in your wallet, you simply place the bill inside. But, what if someone sends your Bitcoin? How do you receive Bitcoin into your Bitcoin wallet?
Since the money is digital, you won’t be taking part in any physical handoffs. But once you’re done reading this article, the process will hopefully seem as simple as putting cash in your wallet or pocket (even though transferring Bitcoin is more like sending a text).
Let’s get to it by starting with the basics.
A Bitcoin wallet is a digital wallet that holds the keys to your digital currencies, including bitcoin. It’s essentially a software application. Using Bitcoin wallets, people can send, store, manage, and receive Bitcoin.
You’ll never be able to actually hold cryptocurrency. Digital currencies are a set of codes which are stored securely on the blockchain using addresses. When you give someone your public key, they can send you crypto. Your private key is what you use to secure your own crypto wallet, so never give that to anyone. Ever.
So basically, the wallets store your public and private keys, not the crypto itself. Since the Bitcoin wallet doesn’t actually hold your crypto like a wallet holds your cash, you can think of it like having a safe to store a key to your vault at a bank. You need these keys to access your assets. In this case, it’s Bitcoin.
Wallets make it possible to generate Bitcoin addresses. No, we aren’t talking about the type of addresses that you use to ship your Amazon packages. Bitcoin addresses refer to a unique identifier, or a virtual location of where the crypto can be sent. A bitcoin address looks like a random string of letters and characters, but it is entirely unique each time a public Bitcoin address is generated.
When it comes to wallets, you’ve got options. There are a few different types of Bitcoin wallets. Hot wallets are connected to the internet. Cold wallets are not connected to the internet.
Many people prefer having a hot wallet AND a cold wallet. You can use your hot wallet to make transactions and access your crypto easily. You can use your cold wallet to store your crypto securely for the long haul. To learn more about the breakdown of hot and cold wallets and what kind to use, check out this guide on crypto wallets.
When it comes to adding Bitcoin to your wallet (a.k.a. receiving Bitcoin), here’s what you need to know.
On most exchanges or wallet apps, you need to log into your account or open the application and go to your dashboard or home screen.
Then, the process is pretty straightforward, and should be similar to this:
It’s super important to make sure that you give the right address or code because if you don’t, your Bitcoin won’t make it to your wallet. It will be lost in the crypto universe forever, or some other lucky person might have something to celebrate.
In most cases, you can copy your Bitcoin address to your clipboard. Then, you can paste it for the sender however you wish to. This could be through a messaging app, email, text, etc. You can use the QR code option if you are physically in the same room as the sender (or if you’re buying crypto with cash at a Coin Cloud machine).
Bitcoin transactions typically take at least 10 minutes to process, so don’t freak out if it’s not immediate (hey, it’s still faster than Amazon’s one-day shipping). Depending on the wallet you’re using, it might take multiple blockchain confirmations, so you’re typically looking at 30 minutes for three confirmations or 60 minutes for six confirmations.
The good news about a Bitcoin wallet is that you can send your Bitcoin address to anyone without risking them having access to your actual cryptocurrency. This is because you are only sharing the public key. You keep hold of your private key, which is the extra layer that secures your crypto. It’s like giving them your email address, but not your login credentials.
Keep in mind that Bitcoin’s network is public. So, if someone has your Bitcoin address, they can go look up how much Bitcoin is in that wallet at any moment in time. If you give your address to someone, and you don’t want them to always have access to that information, you can generate a new Bitcoin address. Some people even prefer to generate a new Bitcoin address for every transaction.
At Coin Cloud, we offer the Coin Cloud Wallet, which is free to download. The Coin Cloud Wallet app makes it easy to buy, sell, send, receive, and store Bitcoin (as well as many other digital currencies).
The Coin Cloud Wallet is a hot wallet. It’s also a non-custodial wallet, which means that only you have access to your private key, easily accessed with a 12-word recovery passphrase. You can also use a credit or debit card to buy Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
But wait, there’s more.
If you want to make cryptocurrency transactions using cash, you can do that too at a Digital Currency Machine (DCM). A DCM is like a Bitcoin ATM that got an upgraded makeover. Coin Cloud’s Digital Currency Machines are available in many locations (over 4,500 in the USA and Brazil). Another great thing about these machines is that they can reserve your cash.
So, say you received Bitcoin and want to sell it for cash. You can initiate the transaction from your app and then only show up to the machine to get the cash once the transaction has been processed. You can use those extra 10-60 minutes to do some push-ups, send some work emails, and eat a sandwich.
When you’re receiving Bitcoin, remember you’ll need to give your public key, or Bitcoin address, to the sender. It’s best to copy and paste this straight from your wallet so you don’t mix up any letters or characters (unless you really enjoy typing out 32-digit strings of case-sensitive letters and numbers verbatim … but most people don’t).
Just like you get to choose your wallet for your cash, you can choose the type of wallet you want to use for your Bitcoin. Some like it hot, some like it cold, and some like to mix it up.
Ready to get some bitcoin? Download the Coin Cloud Wallet app to get started. Don’t worry – even though one bitcoin is currently worth over $50,000 USD, you can buy fractions all the way down to a Satoshi, so you can spend what you want.
Disclaimer: The information and views supplied on the Coin Cloud blog are for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not financial advisors, so please do your research and consult with a trusted financial specialist before investing your money.
Founded in 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Coin Cloud is the leading digital currency machine (DCM) operator. With over 4,500 locations nationwide, in 48 states and Brazil, Coin Cloud operates the world’s largest and fastest-growing network of 100% two-way DCMs, a more advanced version of the Bitcoin ATM. Every Coin Cloud DCM empowers you to quickly and easily buy and sell over 40 cryptocurrency options with cash.
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