Once you have your Bitcoin Wallet, there are several ways in which you can get a hold of bitcoins.
- Obtain bitcoins for “free”
Bitcoin Faucet: it’s a service created by Gavin Andresen, one of the lead programmers of the Bitcoin Project, in order to promote and widespread the currency’s adoption giving some for free. It used to deliver 5 BTC to anyone who requested them, but currently you can obtain a small fraction (at the moment it’s closed, but it might be temporary).
There are other similar sites to Bitcoin Faucet, such as Daily Bitcoins, CoinAd and BitVisitor. Unlike Bitcoin Faucet, these allow you to get fractions of bitcoins every day (in Bitvisitor’s case every 5 minutes).
- Exchanges and Trading Sites
The most known and used Bitcoin exchange to date is Mt.Gox. But there are many other sites that facilitate the exchange with all types of currencies, and support various systems for transferring funds. BitInstant, BitStamp, Bitcoin Nordic and MercaBit, are just some that sell bitcoins through hundreds of thousands of points of sale worldwide.
- Sites that accept payments through Western Union or Liberty Reserve, like Nanaimo Gold.
- Sites that accept gold and silver in exchange for bitcoins (and vice versa), like Coinabul.
- Sites that accept Linden Dollars (the digital currency used in Second Life) in exchange for bitcoins, like VirWoX.
- Accepting bitcoins for goods and services
There are many services out there which will help you set up an e-commerce solution to your business. It is possible to set a price in any currency and denominate them in Bitcoin automatically at current exchange rates, so that the cost won’t be affected by fluctuations. Through BitPay, payments can also be automatically converted to the currency the merchant prefers (so your customers can pay with Bitcoin, but you will receive dollars, if that’s your choice. Namecheap is a good example of this).
- Finding people willing to sell their bitcoins
You can locate them using services such as TradeBitcoin, LocalBitcoins or specialized forums, among other places. There are many miners who sell their produce and local traders who buy and sell for a commission. It is very common for people to get together at some neutral location, such as a Wi-Fi café or restaurant).
Due to the increased difficulty of obtaining bitcoins through this means (related to the ever increasing computational power being added by miners to the Bitcoin’s network), nowadays it is essential to have a very high computational power and use a mining pool to be able to have shared results. It’s been a long time since mining ceased to be at reach of the average PC user, and even the most powerful GPUs are being left behind by a super powerful card named ASIC.
- Markets that run without intermediaries
Such as Bitcoin-otc (definitely not suited for beginners), or Bitcoinary (friendlier interface, but hasn’t been online for that long). In order to minimize the risk of fraud, these sites provide access to reputation and transaction history of all of its members.
- 10. Consumer to consumer online retails
- 11. Games based on Bitcoin:
- 12. Others:
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