Many companies like Coinbase or trading exchanges like Binance hold your Bitcoin like a bank and offer convenience. However, if you are afraid your Bitcoin might be frozen, limited, lost or taken away by the company that holds your Bitcoins and you want full control over your Bitcoins instead, you need to control your unique private key or seed phrase that is often composed of 12 common words. Blockchain.com is a wallet provider that allows you to have full control of your Bitcoin. But remember when you become your own bank you are responsible for remembering your backup phrases (ie. seed phrases or private keys) and keeping them secure. So if you’re looking for an easy-to-use wallet where you have full control, Blockchain.com is a great place to start. Just follow these steps:
Enter your email and a strong password over 20 characters with symbols, upper and lower cases and numbers. (If you have LastPass just click on the lock icon on the right side of the password form box and it will automatically generate a password for you. Please see Basic Security guide to set up LastPass)
You should receive a verification email. Copy and save your WALLET ID on your computer and don’t share it with anyone. (You can also copy and paste it in the ‘Notes’ section in LastPass). Next click on ‘Yes, This is My Email’.
Next time you log in, enter your Wallet ID you received in the mail and your password to log in. (It may already be pre-populated)
Occasionally when you log in you may be required to Authorize your log in by email. Blockhain.com does this to notify you when someone is trying to log in and allows you to check and make sure the IP address is yours. Check your email and click ‘Authorize Log In’ if the log in details are correct.
Go ahead and Log In. Next click on the ‘Security’ button with the shield icon on the upper right. Click on the ‘Enable’ button in the Two-Step Verification section to enable Google Authenticator (Please see Basic Security guide to set up Google Authenticator)
Select the ‘Authenticator App’ box.
Open the Google Authenticator app on your smartphone and then click the ‘+’ sign on the upper right. Click Scan Barcode and hold your phone camera on computer screen as if to take a picture of the barcode and get the barcode within the green square until your phone recognizes the code. You will then see your six-digit numbers specifically for Blockchain.com on your Google Authenticator app. Enter those six digits in the box and click ‘Verify Code’.
Next go back to the ‘Security’ section and click on ‘Backup Funds’ in the Backup Phrase section.
Click ‘Backup Now’
Write down your secret 12 word seed phrase as a backup and keep it in a safe place. (You can also copy and paste the seed phrase in your notes section in LastPass).
Remember don’t forget these secret 12 words or you will lose access to your valuable Bitcoins!
Don’t let anyone know your secret 12 words or they will be able to take your Bitcoins!
You can buy up to $300 in Bitcoin with around a 5% fee using your debit or credit card if you verify your identity. Just click on ‘Buy/Sell Crypto’ and then click on ‘Buy Crypto Now’ on the side bar.
Enter how much you want to buy.
Click ‘Verify My Identity’
Enter your name and address and then click ‘Continue’ twice.
You can use try to use your computer webcam to take a picture of your government ID and take a selfie. You will have to hold your ID so that it shows up within the white box on the computer screen. However if that does not work or if you need a higher quality camera you can switch to a mobile device. If so select the Camera option on your mobile phone. Hold your mobile phone camera to hover over the barcode on the computer screen and a website link will pop up. Click on the link and you will be lead to a website where you be instructed to take a picture of your ID and selfie with your mobile phone.
After you take a picture of your government ID and a selfie you should get notification that your application is compete as shown below.
You can now complete your Bitcoin purchase.
Enter your credit or debit card info and continue and complete the process.
Finally you should have Bitcoin when it says ‘Trade Complete’. Congratulations!
You should notice you have your Bitcoin and a balance of $95.23 or so. There was a $2 transaction fee and an additional trading spread fee of close to $2.80. (The price of bitcoin was $11,034 to buy instead of the $10,723 shown in the dashboard). Hence the total fee is around 5%. Also remember it may take a few days for you to be verified so although Bitcoin shows in your account you may not be able to access it until your ID verification is complete.
To receive Bitcoin from someone else, just click on the ‘Receive’ button on the upper left and a window will pop up with an address with a very long string of numbers and letters. That is your public address you can share with anyone who wants to send Bitcoin to you.
To send Bitcoin to someone just ask that person to email or text you their public Bitcoin address. After you have their public address, click ‘Send’ on the upper left and copy and paste their public address that you want to send to. Under ‘Amount’, enter the Bitcoin amount on the right box (or the dollar amount on the left box) that you want to send. Click ‘Continue’.
Always double check the first 4 or last 4 digits of the public address of whom you’re sending Bitcoin to and if it’s correct just click ‘Confirm’ and thats it.
Now you know how to send and receive Bitcoin!
Blockchain.com is a great way to get started in Bitcoin while still having ultimate control over your Bitcoin money. All the value will be stored on your computer and no company, bank or government can limit or freeze you. You will experience the full power of Bitcoin! Just make sure you can retrieve your 12 word backup phrase in the future and keep it secure. The most complicated part of the whole purchase process is when you have to verify your ID, but unfortunately most platforms require this so please don’t worry about it. In the future you can just buy/sell with friends and peers so you can maintain more privacy.