July 10, 2016
A long time ago, I read a news article about a startup, Circle, that was handing out some money for to sign up for their bitcoin wallet. Then, almost year later, I started to really get into bitcoin and the technology behind it.
There are some companies that are doing some interesting things in the space to make using and buying bitcoins really easy. The technology is becoming easier to use as more people start to use it, so software companies start forming to streamline this process.
Coinbase, Bitpay, and Circle have all done amazing jobs at making really easy to use consumer products. They are three apps that I have now used for multiple different reasons. Bitpay has a wonderful new debit card product which you can load with your bitcoins. Coinbase is an exchange service and wallet where you can store or trade your bitcoin. Circle is a cool way to send money between people. As I started to get going in the world of bitcoin, there were a few things that worried me and a few things that I learned along the way.
First thing you should do if you sign up for any app that involves money is use two factor authentication. You should really use it for any app that supports it. But, with any of these bitcoin apps, just turn it on. It will be worth it for the peace of mind.
When I signed up for Coinbase, I didn’t add much money into my account and I kind of forgot about it. But, when I started to really get into and start using it, I noticed something. Coinbase has a nice account page that lets you see what apps are authorized on the account. I had about 15 attempts on my account from European countries. It did spook me a little, but I was glad that I made sure that I had two step on for every type of transaction.
The three apps that I used for my bitcoin experiments all value bitcoin at a different amount. Say I buy bitcoin and use the wallet to load my Bitpay debit card. There could be a change in that value and the wallet might have to debt more. It was something that was confusing at first until I understood that they have different values.
I even made an Android app to get the value of a bitcoin. The value is different than what Coinbase and the other use. It is something to keep in mind when you have to send money between apps and wallets.
Written by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter