By Tiana Laurence
The Bitcoin blockchain is one of the largest and most powerful blockchains in the world. It was designed primarily to send Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency. So, naturally, in order to create a message in the Bitcoin blockchain, you must send some Bitcoins from one account to another.
When you send Bitcoins from one account to another, a transaction history is recorded in the Bitcoin blockchain. After a transaction has been entered, the information can’t be removed — your message will be around as long as Bitcoin is in existence. This concept of permanence is powerful — it’s the most important characteristic of any blockchain.
A Bitcoin wallet address is composed of 32 unique characters. It allows you to send and receive Bitcoins. Your private key is a secret code associated with your Bitcoin address that lets you prove your ownership of the Bitcoins linked with the address.
Anyone with your private key can spend your Bitcoins, so never share it.
Your first Bitcoin wallet needs to be linked to a credit card or bank account. I recommend using one of the following Bitcoin wallets:
To set up your first wallet, just go to one of these URLs and create an account. It just takes a few minutes. When you have your account open, add a little money to it so you can experiment — $5 is a great starting point.
To receive the Bitcoins you’ll send, you need to make a second Bitcoin wallet. For this second wallet, don’t use a Circle or Coinbase wallet — they don’t have the functionality you need for this purpose.
The easiest Bitcoin wallet to use for this project is the Blockchain.info wallet. Follow these steps to create it:
- Go to the Blockchain.info website.
- Click Wallet.
- Click Create Your Wallet.
- Enter an email address and password.
About the Book Author
Tiana Laurence is a blockchain pioneer, an investor, and a serial entrepreneur. She co-founded Factom, Inc., a software company that builds technology within the blockchain space. She is currently a columnist for TechTarget with writings focusing on blockchain and IoT and managing partner of Laurence Ventures, a firm investing in technology initiatives.