Before we start to collect or even mine coins, we have to get a wallet to keep our money safe and be able to receive even money.
You got two options to store your coins:
- you keep it local, either on your computer or your smartphone
- or you use an online wallet
This is simply an application which is connected to the (bit-)coin network and runs on your computer or smartphone. Everything locally on your device. Privacy is a big advantage of this option, as you have to trust no one else except yourself. Disadvantage on the other side if you loose your wallet file (for example you delete it by accident) or your phone got stolen, you also lost all your coins.
With this option you sign up for an account at a provider to keep your money safe, meaning you trust a third party. Hugh advantage is you can not loose your wallet file. You got other risk as wit every other online account.
Whether you decide to go for a local or online wallet is up to you. I myself prefer to have everything controled, hence I decided to have my wallet local.
Download and install the wallet
Let’s go to the practical part and download a wallet. Or even two, as I like to play around with Bitcoins and also Litecoins. For Bitcoin I selected “Multibit”, which is a cross platform application written in Java, and for Litecoins the “Litecoin QT” application. You can download both apps from below links:
To install your wallet, you have to basically follow these steps:
- Download the wallet client
- extract the archive into a directory of your choice
- start the application
- wait for finished synchronization with the network
Once the wallet app started, it needs to synchronize with the network. This can take quite some time, depending on your connection, as it downloads all of the transactions happened so far on the entire network.
In the meantime, we can checkout your wallet address. See below screenshots for Multibit and for Litecoin QT to see where to find it:
Whenever someone likes to send you coins, this is the information they need. To collect your first coins, try the “Coins for free” site to collect the first coins and see them arriving in your wallet.