For this guide we will focus on bitcoin as it is the leading crypto currency. We will add more guides on other crypto currencies as time pass.
Crypto coins are sent and received by software called wallets. When you install your wallet you will receive a unique receiving address that can be used to receive payments.
Getting your own wallet
Step 1: Open https://electrum.org/#download. You can also install a different bitcoin wallet from: https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet. We recommend the electrum wallet does not require you to download the whole bitcoin blockchain (120 GB).
Step 2: Install the wallet for your device on the page that opens. For windows you can use the Standalone Executable.
Step 3: Once the file has downloaded, install and run it. You will be presented with the following screen:
If you have reached the above page you can proceed with configuring your wallet.
Step 4: Select Auto connect and select next.
Step 5: Give your wallet a name and select next.
Step 6: Select standard wallet and select next.
Step 7: Select create a new seed. This will create a seed that you can use to recover your wallet at any time.
You will be presented with a page like the below:
Save your wallet seed somewhere safe. You will need to confirm it again in the next step. Keep your wallet generation seed somewhere safe as it is the only way to access your funds in case you ever lose your wallet (Your computer crashes). Likewise it will also allow others to access your funds if they ever got a hold of it. We will discuss the chance of someone guessing your secret key below.
Step 8: Confirm your seed and select next.
Step 9: Enter your desired wallet password and select next
If everything went well you will be presented with your bitcoin wallet as follows:
If you reached this page you have successfully installed your wallet and are ready to start sending and receiving bitcoins.
Using your wallet
With your wallet software installed receiving bitcoins is simple. You can go to the receive tab and copy your receiving wallet address:
If you need any person or website to send you coins you can use the copied address. As you grow more familiar with crypto currencies you can also start using the other addresses under the addresses tab to receive bitcoin.
Sending bitcoin is just as easy. You simply need to open the send tab and copy the wallet address you wish to send coins to in the Pay to field and fill in the rest of the details.
How secure is your wallet?
The seed that is created by your wallet is so unique that there are more combinations of words than there are grains of sand on earth. The chances of anyone finding your seed is almost mathematically impossible.
The easiest way people can gain access to your bitcoin wallet is if they hacked your computer and gained access to your seed / private keys.
Bitcoin is is one of the most secure systems on earth if you keep your seeds secret. It is far more secure than banks where other organizations have access to your funds.