In part one of the “Understanding Bitcoins” series, we looked at what bitcoins are, why they have become popular, and ways their value is determined.
If you have been on the internet anytime this year, one word you are sure to come across is Bitcoins. A lot of Ghanaians have been talking about how bitcoins are making people rich and how it’s value is increasing.
Here on Mfidie.com, questions on bitcoins are one of the most asked. In this article, we decide to break bitcoin down to bits we can all process. If you haven’t read the part one of this article, you should do so.
If you are confused about something, just ask in the comments section below.
How to get started with Bitcoins in Ghana
Creating your bitcoin wallet online
There are quite a number of ways to obtain bitcoins. But the first real step in obtaining bitcoin is to have a ‘Bitcoin wallet”.
A Bitcoin wallet is first required to get started with using bitcoins. Like the name suggests, a Bitcoin wallet is where you “keep” all your bitcoins. Simply put, your bitcoin bank account. The wallet can be created easily through different online applications. Your Bitcoin wallet is essentially just like, well, any other wallet.
Think of a Bitcoin wallet like an “app” that you would install on your phone. You can download your wallet on your computer through a software wallet, on your mobile, and also on the web. I personally prefer the online wallet coinpayments.com. You can visit their website and follow the instructions to get yourself started. They also have mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Once you’ve got yourself a Bitcoin wallet, you’re good to go. It takes just a few minutes to get a wallet on coinpayments; once you have one, you can start accumulating bitcoins. Oh, coinpayments.com supports many other cryptocurrencies, in case you want to “go in deep”.
How to get or obtain bitcoins in Ghana
Obtaining bitcoins is a relatively easy process. The three common ways are:
- If you are selling a good, you can accept bitcoins as a form of payment (very rare here in Ghana).
- You can purchase and sell bitcoins through Bitcoin exchanges (This is the most common way around the world. Exchanges are typically found online but a lot of people don’t use them in Ghana.)
- You can buy directly from individuals who have bitcoins in their wallets at a rate you both agree on
Bitcoin Exchanges in Ghana
As written above, obtaining bitcoins through an exchange is the most common and workable way to get started. There are hundreds of exchanges (mostly online) through which you can obtain bitcoins. You simply register, enter your bank account information, and convert the local currency into bitcoins. In fact, there is an easy way for you to find an online exchange based on where you live through this website.
However, it is your responsibility to deal with a credible exchange as many have been duped under the premise of buying bitcoins. Don’t be a victim.
Buying Bitcoins from Individuals in Ghana
Buying bitcoins from an individual is usually faster than using an exchange.
Usually, sellers mark up their price so they can make a small profit for their time and service — you’ll usually end up paying a slightly higher price per bitcoin than you would on an exchange.
I always recommend that whenever you want to buy bitcoins from an individual here in Ghana, it is usually best to meet and do the transaction in person, see the Bitcoin in your wallet and pay accordingly. Nowadays, too much trust and you are a mugu. I’m not trying to spoil anyone’s business, but that’s the truth.
I have personally directed friends to people they can buy from. Traceable people, and not mere WhatsApp numbers and Facebook profiles.
In Part 3 of this series, we will look at how bitcoin transactions are done and how to know what you are buying is “safe bitcoin”.
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