Nothing on this page, or any other, is to be construed as advice, nor do I attest to the accuracy of anything presented here. This is merely what I have done to set up my own bitcoin wallets.

First, let's create our Bitcoin Wallet. A wallet is where you "store" your cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.
There are several types of wallets.Wallet Types:

Software Wallet: Software wallets are Hot Wallets that require the download of software clients to create and use a wallet. Software clients are available for desktop and mobile platforms. Hot Wallets are always connected to the internet. It's your responsibility to not get hacked.

Online Wallet: Bitcoin exchanges fall into this category. In this scenareo, you keep your coins with a service accessable through your browser. They hold your private key. If they go down or go out of business, well...

Paper Wallet: In this scenareo, your public and private key are printed on paper and never touch the internet. Safe as keeping cash in a safety deposit box, if you remember to put it into your safety deposit box.

Hardware Wallet: These are stand-alone hardware devices that you keep offline, you connect them via your USB port only when using yours.
The first part of discussion will focus on software wallets. A software wallet is one in which you download an app to your mobile device or computer. Below is a step by step guide for installing the Jaxx wallet. This is a wallet I use, and so far, I am quite happy with it.

I chose Jaxx because its a Hierarchical DeterministicA deterministic wallet is a simple method of generating addresses from a known starting string. (From Wikipedia).

This means that your wallet's address can be recovered with a set of words (i.e. a mnemonic) that you will be presented when your private address is generated.

Write these down and keep them offline in case your wallet needs to be recovered.
wallet. Jaxx is available on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and as Firefox and Chrome extensions. With all these platforms choose from, you'll surely find yours.

Jaxx states on their web site that you are not beholden to them to access your currencies; such as the unlikely eventuality that Jaxx would one day go out of business. I have not yet personally tested recovering my own bitcoins with a different wallet.

Another wallet you might consider is Breadwallet, available on iOS and Android. I've set this up myself and appears super-easy to set up and use. This wallet is good for beginners because of its simplicity. Jaxx requires iOS 10.2 or later, so if you're stuck with an older 4 or 4s iPhone, then Breadwallet may be an option for you. Here are instructions for Breadwallet for iOS and for Android.

Your Jaxx wallet

Navigate to
Jaxx home page.
Select your platform. For this discussion, I'll go through the OSX first, then Windows desktop. For iOS and Android, the steps are quite similar. Linux users by definition are already smart.


select a platform
For Mac OSX click on Download DMG.

Open DMG
Open the DMG file.

copy DMG to Applications
You know the drill.
Drag Jaxx to Applications.

In Applications
There, it's in Applications.
Drag it to the Dock if you want.


Windows Select Download
Select your download.
Unless you have a really old computer, I recommend trying Download Zip (x64) first.

In Applications
Navigate to your download folder.
Select Extract All

In Applications

Extract Jaxx to where you would want to keep the wallet program.
Don't leave it in Downloads as in this example.

Continue here on both Platforms

Jaxx Starting
Open Jaxx and wait for it to Initialize

Release notes
"Continue" on these release notes.

"Accept" their EULAEnd User License Agreement.

Create a new wallet
Create New Wallet
Select Create A New Wallet, then "Continue".

Custom Wallet
Select Custom, then "Continue".

Select Bitcoins (BTC) as your cryptocurrency. If you're eager to jump in, or just adventurous, you may select other cryptocurrencies here, too. If so, select Ethereum, Litecoin, and/or Dash. There are three other well-established cryptocurrencies. Select others if you've heard of them and like them. I'm not advocating any particular coin.

fiat currency
Select your currency, e.g. US Dollars. In the cryptocurrency world, this is referred to as your fiat currency.

back up your wallet
Jaxx will now offer you a chance to back up your wallet.
This is really important. This step will generate a backup phase so you could recover your wallet in case something bad happens.
Check "Yes, I understand how Jaxx Works", then click "Continue".
If you don't understand how Jaxx works, click on the "i" to read up.

write down backup words
Jaxx will present you with a twelve word back up phrase
Write them down now! Put it in a safe place so you can find it in an emergency.

re-enter the backup words
Just to be sure you did write them down, Jaxx prompts you to re-key the backup words.

Jax will now ask you if you want to create a pin.
Yes, you DO want to create a pin.
So, check the Yes button: I understand how Jaxx security pin works, then click "Continue".
If you don't understand how Jaxx security in works, there always is the little "i" for you to read up.

Enter a PIN

Almost done...
Jaxx Initializing
Wait while Jaxx does its stuff. It takes less than a minute.

the Jaxx Applicaiton
If all went well, you should see this screen. This is your Jaxx Wallet.

Did you notice anything? At no time during this wallet set-up process were to asked to identify yourself. Hmmm. So is Bitcoin anonymous? Well, yes and no. No, your transactions never have your real name attached to them. However, your transactions are logged on the blockchain, and will stay there forever. The blockchain is free for anyone to examine. Hold that thought. More on this after we finish setting up our Coinbase wallet, below.

From here with Jaxx, you can send or receive funds, copy your address, view or copy your QR code -- which also contains your wallets public address.

You will be able to see your transaction history, etc. Just play around.

What is the wallet address for? This is the address to which you receive your bitcoins into.

For example, you wish to receive bitcoins from another wallet, this is the address you give the sender.

Hang on! You might ask. I don't know anyone off the top of my head that is willing to just give me bitcoins, how can I get some?

There are a few ways, for example you can earn them by putting a widget on your website. I found one, had it up for a while, then they disappeared. I took it down.

Another way is what's called a bitcoin faucet. This is where you visit a site and play their games. The more you play, the more bitcoin you get. I've never tried one.
Don't expect much earnings from any of these above methods.

You can buy bitcoins from a bitcoins trader. You can find them on sites like I've never tried them. But I've looked, the first thing I noticed is that the selling price for local traders runs a lot higher than you can get on an exchange. Do your due-diligence before sending a stranger your hard-earned cash.

I prefer buying cryptocurrency from my own bank account.

To do this, you need to go to a cryptocurrency exchange. The one I use is When you set up a wallet on an exchange, unlike Jaxx, you will be required to identify yourself using an officially issued form of id.

Your Coinbase wallet.

Setting up a Coinbase wallet and linking it to a US bank account.

Navigate to
Click Create an Account. Enter your name, email, and password, etc. Click to continue.

Verify your email.

Select an account type. You'll probably want an individual account. This tutorial will follow that path.

Enter your phone number. This is for that two-step verification thing. You know the drill...

... they send you a code. You type in the code.

How do you want to buy Bitcoins? Select Bank Account.

Select your bank. Don't see it? Scroll to the bottom and select other.

Enter your routing and account numbers from a check.

Coinbase makes 2 small deposits to your bank.

Wait a few days for your deposit to arrive.

You're back? Now, lets buy some bitcoin. You don't have to purchase whole bitcoins. Any fraction thereof will do. You can specify your amount in your native, i.e. fiat, currency.
Enter the amounts and you can start your purchases.

Your Coinbase dashboard. Click Buy/Sell if you dare.

Select your bank if you set up more than one. Enter an amount. (I suggest you start off small.) Click Buy Bitcoin.

Wait. This too, will take several days.


After a few more days of running around and jumping up and down, and waiting, if everything goes right, your cash will be converted to Bitcoin and deposited into your Coinbase Wallet. Once done, you are free to move it around the Bitcoin universe.
Now that you've got your Bitcoins in your Coinbase wallet, let's move them out!


Let's send your deposit on to your Jaxx wallet (or to whichever wallet you had set up for yourself in the first step).

Go back to your Jaxx wallet, copy the public address. Look to where it is labeled "Your Current Bitcoin Address:" Click on the document looking symbol right of the address to copy to the clipboard.

Back to the Coinbase dashboard again, Click Send/Request. Paste your Jaxx address into the recipient field. Now, this is very important, verify the first and last few digits of the address you just pasted to the address appearing in you Jaxx wallet. There has been a nasty virus going around in the past which replaces the contents of your paste buffer with a hacker's address, you'll be sending your coins to him!

Enter an amount to send, you can enter this either as Bitcoin or your local currency. You may also click on "Use Max".

You won't be able to send your entire amount. There are Bitcoin mining fees which will be automatically calculated into your transaction. (There's more to it than that, like for example you can adjust the mining fee you are willing to pay, but that is beyond this discussion.)

At first, your transaction will be pending. Then you will start to receive confirmations. Once you have received enough confirmations, you'll see your Bitcoins deposited into your Jaxx wallet. Congratulations.

An interesting observation

Perhaps you'd noticed already, although your Jaxx wallet is anonymous, you had needed to identify your real self in order set up your Coinbase wallet in order to be able to move funds to and from a US bank. And since the blockchain is a public ledger that's intended to exist forever, the IRS, NSA, a despot state, the big corporation overlords, your ex anyone may inspect its contents and follow your paper trail.

An extra goodie

Although you are done, you have set up two wallets, deposited Bitcoin into one, then transfered those bitcoin to the wallet, there is one more thing to show you.

Look at the QR code in the next step, as you are set up now, nothing will happen when you click on it (Chrome), or you'll get a cryptic message (Firefox). The text of the QR code is bitcoin:1HPr8VJy2XidCWqfbKcK9seT9cG6BoHDz8. This is telling your browser to use the bitcoin protocol using the address that follows. The next step will set your browser to handle the bitcoin protocol using Coinbase. (Jaxx does not support this yet.)

Log into your Coinbase account
Under "Settings", click the "Preferences" tab
Under "Bitcoin Payment URLs", click "Add link handler to your browser"

You should see a request to allow Coinbase to handle bitcoin payment links appear at the top of your browser window. Hopefully, you've left a residual amount in you Coinbase wallet when moving your bitcoin over to Jaxx.

Coinbase only supports Firefox and Chrome for this feature.

Now your final step


Try out your bitcoin skills.
Send a small donation (50¢ to $ 5.00) in BTC,
what you think this advice has been worth.
Thank you,

Finally, a warning

A snapshot of the day's Bitcoin activity on May 15, 2017
as bitcoin value goes south.
Don't invest anything you can't afford to lose.

Other Resources


From's "about" page: " is not Bitcoin's official website. Just like nobody owns the email technology, nobody owns the Bitcoin network. As such, nobody can speak with authority in the name of Bitcoin." But, I think these guys are as authoritative as you can get.

Another resource for first timers

V for Vendetta

Information on this page appears to be straight-forward and correct. However, other pages on this site discuss how to access the dark web. If you're like me and have no interest in drugs, weapons, illegal porn, or ... , be warned.

Yet another resource for getting started

This site also has a getting started with Bitcoins section.

You still want more choices?

I just came across this wallet selection tool.

Now what?

You've set up your wallet. You've bought some token amount of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency. You started researching. Maybe you've read up on crypto on some websites, maybe you've watched some videos and gone beyond what I've suggested on the previous page. Follow the prices, watch the trends. Buy more when the price dips. Don't panic and sell when it drops. Never panic. Remember you haven't invested more than you can afford to lose, right? You are an early adopter, shit happens.
Play around for a few weeks, a month or two. When you're ready, come back for some advanced intermediate videos.

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