Help:Installing Bitcoin Core
You can start exchanging bitcoins within a few minutes.
Those who run the Bitcoin software on a computer have their wallet stored locally on their hard drive.
Download and install Bitcoin.
The first time you run Bitcoin, it needs to download all the blocks to setup. You already have your bitcoin address at this point, but you won't see any transactions before the initialisation is complete (it can take from an hour to a few hours).
Getting my first coins
A new entry should appear in Bitcoin. The network hasn't yet confirmed it, but you know it's being processed. After about one hour it should get 6 confirmations. You are able to spend the coins when there is only one confirmation.
The confirmation counter will, just like the block counter, increase by one every 10 minutes approximately. Six confirmations are considered as 100% sure a transfer has been processed.
Points to remember
- You don't need to be online for receiving BTC.
- You can create as many new addresses as you like. Using a different address each time helps keep you anonymous.
- You can be anonymous with adequate precautions.
- You cannot send BTC to an invalid address. Typos are not a worry as the payment will refuse to send.
- The wallet file holds the keys that allow spending and thus the computer should be protected from the risk of loss and from the risk of theft.