Clients guide to… Paying Corrine with Bitcoin
Disclaimer PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL WITH YOUR MONEY AND TRANSACTIONS. THIS ADVICE IS GENERAL IN NATURE AND IS NOT LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE.
I highly advise reading https://bitcoin.org/en/you-need-to-know at a minimum. Also understand there are risks associated with using Bitcoin. Further information at https://www.weusecoins.com/en/questions/ in particular the Security https://www.weusecoins.com/en/questions/#security and disadvantages https://www.weusecoins.com/en/questions/#what-are-the-disadvantages-of-bitcoin sections
What is Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a type of currency that is virtual, you might hear it called cryptocurrency. Think of it as internet money. You can’t hold it in your hand or stuff it under your actual mattress but it works online on sites that are set up to take Bitcoin like any other money.
“Bitcoin is a digital currency, meaning it’s money controlled and stored entirely by computers spread across the internet” http://www.wired.com/2013/11/bitcoin-survival-guide/
“Bitcoin isn’t just a currency, like dollars or euros or yen. It’s a way of making payments, like PayPal or the Visa credit card network. It lets you hold money, but it also lets you spend it and trade it and move it from place to place, almost as cheaply and easily as you’d send an email.” http://www.wired.com/2013/11/bitcoin-survival-guide/
For more details try
- ‘The Key To The System’ section on http://www.wired.com/2013/11/bitcoin-survival-guide/
- ‘How Does Bitcoin Work’ on https://bitcoin.org/en/how-it-works
- Bitcoin Wiki https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page
- We Use Coins https://www.weusecoins.com/
Opening a Bitcoin account
If you own Bitcoins you will have a private key which is like an weird looking internet address that’s a register of your bitcoins. You’ll need a program called a wallet to manage your private keys and bitcoins.
“As with paper money, you can save Bitcoins in a wallet, which stores the public and private keys needed to identify the Bitcoins and execute a transaction. These can be digital wallets that exist in secure cloud environments or on a computer, or they can take physical form. If a wallet is hacked or you lose your private Bitcoin key, you no longer have access to that Bitcoin. Possession of the public address and private key amounts to possession of the Bitcoin.” http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/17/bitcoin-for-idiots-an-introductory-guide/
There are many excellent wallets for smartphones, desktops and web access. For a good list try https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet I’m going to suggest for desktops/web applications (note that web based may potentially be less secure)
- Coinjar (easy to use) https://www.coinjar.com/
- Armory (super secure) https://bitcoinarmory.com/
- Circle (web based) https://www.circle.com/en
and for smartphones
- Airbitz (iPhone, android) https://airbitz.co/ or check the app store
- Coinjar (iPhone, android) https://www.coinjar.com/
but check out the options and find something you are comfortable with. And as always READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS! I haven’t gone over all of them yet and they may change.
*Update: check closely that your wallet doesn’t have anti-sexworkers policies. Paxful and Coin Cafe should be avoided.
Generally speaking Bitcoin wallets will let you transfer money from your bank account to your wallet. Note that to use your wallet with a bank account you will most likely need to meet identity verification requirement https://support.coinjar.com/hc/en-us/articles/202909955-Verifying-your-identity for example, essentially government issued photo ID and a statement showing your full name and current residential address and it could take a few days to process. My personal preference for ease of use in Australia is Coinjar. If you don’t want to do this see below for buying bitcoin with cash.
It is possible to buy Bitcoins without a bank account or without linking your wallet to a bank account. WARNING! Be careful with who you trade with. Check reputations and avoid scams.
Bitcoin Australia https://www.coinloft.com.au/ take payments for bitcoin by creating an order online and then doing an over the counter bank deposit at any Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac or NAB bank branch.This has proven to be a useful option.
Local bitcoins https://localbitcoins.com/ is a marketplace for trading bitcoins locally for cash or online payments of your choice, you can search by location and see who will accept cash or over the counter bank deposit. Please read https://localbitcoins.com/guides/security for security information.
Bitcoin ATM’s exist as well but there are not many of them. Try http://abatech.com.au/ (requires government ID even for cash) and http://coinatmradar.com/ or http://www.bitrocket.co for an ATM search.
For more information on buying bitcoins try https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Buying_Bitcoins_(the_newbie_version)
Paying with Bitcoin
When you make a booking you can request to pay in Bitcoin in advance or on arrival, and if I am touring and asking for deposits you can pay using Bitcoin for this too (or I have a very easy BPay option for deposits, please don’t feel obligated to use Bitcoin). If you are paying in advance or paying a deposit I will send a QR code and a wallet address by email, SMS or Twitter DM. QR codes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code) can be easily scanned by mobile apps or you can use the wallet address directly with your wallet application. If you are paying on arrival having a smartphone based wallet that can scan a QR Code will be simplest. (For anyone interested in the nuts and bolts I would prefer 4-6 confirmations for payments on arrival however this should be completed by the completion of the booking.)
Sending a Bitcoin Payment
To send a Bitcoin payment, the first thing you will want to do is open your wallet. There are many different Bitcoin wallets out there today, so we’ll stay way from the specifics of where you can find each button during the “send payment” process. There should be a tab for sending payments in your wallet, so navigate to that section of your wallet to begin. Once you’re in the “send” section of your wallet, you will be asked to provide a Bitcoin address and an amount. If your friend has sent you a Bitcoin address, you can simply copy and paste it into the address box. Before entering the amount for the payment, make sure to check the unit name next to the box. Some wallets will use full bitcoins, while others can use bits or millibits. Most online wallets will allow you to enter an amount in US dollars or euros if needed, so don’t hesitate to use that feature as well. Once you’ve entered the required info into the two boxes, you can then send the payment. http://bitcoin.cex.io/how-to-pay-with-bitcoins/
Instead of typing in a long Bitcoin address, you can also use QR codes to speed up the process. When you scan a QR code with your smartphone, the details of a transaction will instantly be placed into the various “send” fields of your Bitcoin wallet. This is especially useful when shopping with your smartphone. While you’re going through the checkout process, a QR code will usually be displayed on your computer or a merchant’s POS device. All you have to do is scan the QR code and press “send” to complete the payment. http://bitcoin.cex.io/how-to-pay-with-bitcoins/