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We get a lot of questions revolving around the questions and problems faced by new users of Bitcoin. While some of this is beyond your question, this answer might work as a potential lightning rod for some of the questions that get asked anew here almost daily. In the following you find a few hand-picked questions that are likely of interest for new users. ...


15

Is it a new payment merchant like PayPal? No. PayPal is a company, Bitcoin isn't. PayPal deals with existing currencies like US dollars, Bitcoin doesn't. PayPal holds your balance for you, can freeze your account and can stop you from sending your money to people it doesn't like. With Bitcoin, nobody can freeze your account or tell you how to spend your ...


13

The book Mastering Bitcoin would be a good solid start (although it might not answer all your questions). It is also available for free.


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Studying Bitcoin and it's core protocols is the best place to start if you want to take the 'blockchain train'. Almost all cryptocurrencies today are bitcoins code forked and changed for their respective implementations However, for the concepts required in understanding bitcoin, I suggest the following pre-requisites. Mathematics Probability: Basic ...


9

The Developer Documentation may also be of use.


9

Quite concisely, bitcoin is to money what email was to letters . . . and the post office is in trouble.


8

It's a distributed digital cryptocurrency. The key word here is distributed, i.e. there is no central authority, instead transactions are handled peer-to-peer with a complex protocol where everyone ensures no one cheats. New bitcoins are created at a predetermined rate to people who run "miners", which are a vital part of the protocol that checks for ...


5

Bitcoin is the currency of the future. In order to understand why this is true, there are two key pieces of information that a person must have: The first is an understanding of how money actually works: how it is created, how it enters the marketplace, and what exactly makes it valuable. The second is an understanding of the Bitcoin community and system. ...


5

Use a desktop or mobile wallet (Electrum or Mycelium) to spend bitcoins (be sure to write down your recovery seed and store it like a paper wallet). To receive and store them, use offline paper wallets. As soon as a paper wallet exceeds some amount (50mXBC for instance), put it in storage and start a new one. If you are spending and your online wallet runs ...


5

Wallet The wallet holds the most valuable component of the bitcoin network, your private key. When you go to Bitcoin.org, there are several choices. A HD wallet (Hierarchical Deterministic) is more future proof. Wallet Feature Caveats Example Mobile Convenience Trust? Mycelium Online Backing of co ...


4

There's a good reason for why when people try to understand Bitcoin and ask the most obvious question "What is it?" they only get even more confused and discouraged. This reason is the fact that this question doesn't really have a single concrete answer and usually receives multiple answers from those who do understand it that include a lot of technical ...


4

The realistic, honest answer to this question is that Bitcoin is a "Digital Commodity". Bitcoin cannot currently be described as a digital currency since it cannot, practically, fulfill the basic functions of a currency. The wildly fluctuating USD/BTC exchange rate alone means there is price instability. How would YOU like to offer your labour for a few ...


4

Recently I stumbled across this question as I was supposed to explain what Bitcoin was to my 5-year-old nephew. As the question states that it needs to explain the concept of bitcoin to a non-technical person, I took it a step further and explained it to the kid, who knows nothing (literally). So here goes my 2 satoshis on what is the best explanation (...


4

Bitcoin transactions are essentially the movement of coins, by encumbering the coins with a restriction on who may redeem them. Bitcoin's internal scripting language is used to accomplish this.The restrictions can be overcome by the owner of the coins, since only they can meet the requirements of that script. An example is a pay-to-pubkey script. The ...


4

Not sure if this is a proper question for this site. But in case it doesn't get deleted: Stay away from scams. Imagine Nigerian princes everywhere but with internet money instead of email. Assume anything except Bitcoin is a scam (and convince yourself of even that fact before investing) until you know enough to judge for yourself or 2 years have passed (...


4

If you have already started reading a book on bitcoin, I'm going to assume you have at least a layman understand of how it works, and don't need to be linked any complete introductions. The traditional starting point for learning the technical aspects behind bitcoin is, of course, Satoshi Nakamoto's Bitcoin Whitepaper Other good reads include the Bitcoin ...


4

Bitcoin is a digital currency. It is described as a "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" in the Bitcoin Whitepaper. Bitcoin Core is a software application that implements Bitcoin. Anyone can implement a software application to interact with the Bitcoin network (network of computers that all agree on the same protocol rules). So perhaps it is ...


3

General What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, Bitcoin is pretty much like cash for the Internet. Bitcoin can also be seen as ...


3

I have created a page on the Wiki called "First time buyers guide". It is only a rough version at the time of writing, but hopefully it will be revised into a go-to guide for anyone wanting to make a payment with Bitcoin with as little unnecessary information as possible.


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The answer of Mallory-Erik falls a bit short. Bitcoin uses Script to create and redeem transaction scripts. Spend to Address is the most commonly used, but it is also possible to script other schemes. Some you might have heard about already are multisignature addresses, and contracts. Bitcoin Script is somewhat limited, as it is not Turing-complete, other ...


3

For non-technical users, I found this video to be extremely clear and helpful in explaining the details of how Bitcoin works: How Bitcoin Works Under the Hood


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My best approach would be to show them coinbase.com or xcoins.io or gemini.com and show them how its similar to a bank account. They can log in and check their balance or withdraw to a bank account directly from their wallet. Tell them that Bitcoin + Coinbase is less costly compared to PayPal: With Coinbase the church can create its own donation button for ...


3

I would suggest the following: satoshi bitcoin white paper the book "Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies" the course on coursera.org that goes with the above book university of Nicosia MOOC, which is the first class in a masters program in Digital Currencies


3

Bitcoin is as fast or slow as it always was. Transactions never were reliable before they were included in a block. In fact, Satoshi suggested to wait for six confirmations before accepting a payment as fact. I concede that the price of blockspace has increased significantly compared to earlier times. However, this is all of our fault: collectively, we, the ...


2

Bitcoin is a global payment network on the internet. It is self-sustained and allows users to make payments between individuals like cash. Instead of a company being the referee, Bitcoin is governed neutrally by rules asserted through a network of computers running the same open-source software. Bitcoin is completely transparent, in that anyone can see ...


2

I think most people don't get the decentralized part. To explain, I have made a few questions and their answers: how are bitcoins created? how does it prevent double spending? how do we avoid central authorities? Bitcoin is a distributed ledger. Everyone knows how many bitcoins are around and which address sent how many to which address (sort of). A1. ...


2

Cash on the internet. It can be spent anonymously, and stolen if you're not careful.


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There are a couple of books on Kindle that might help you get started. The best way to really understand Bitcoins is to create a wallet and fund it with a few Bitcoins then use them. To start safe and securely check this book on Kindle out: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A1CUQQU


2

Bitcoin is no payment merchant like PayPal, as it is no company but an open source project and a community of users connected in a completely decentralized P2P network. It can act as a payment service similar to PayPal, but you have no intermediary and transactions are irreversible and (for the most part) free of charge. Also, Bitcoins are not on some online ...


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You should also check out the free Princeton Bitcoin textbook: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies.


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