Five things to do with those Christmas Bitcoins

Five things to do with those Christmas Bitcoins

1. Store them securely


How you store the bitcoins
will depend on what you want to do with them. If you’re going to spend
them immediately, then you’ll want to put them into what’s called a ‘hot
wallet’. This is a wallet either on your smartphone, your desktop
computer, or a website, and it allows you to spend your coins straight
But you may also be planning on keeping the bitcoins for longer. The currency’s price is pretty volatile, and some analysts think
that it will bounce far higher than it has already. If you want to keep
your bitcoins for a while, then consider putting them in cold storage.
This is a bitcoin wallet that doesn’t connect to the Internet. No one on
the Internet can steal it because it isn’t stored on your computer, or
on a remote website. The easiest way to do this is with a paper wallet.
the bitcoin address isn’t on a piece of paper, or the gift giver has
promised you some coins but hasn’t sent them yet, then you can create a
paper wallet at various websites. One site that you can use to produce
excellent paper wallets is Bitcoin Paper Wallet. Another example is
like these will generate a bitcoin address for you. The address has two
components: a public key (which you show to everyone else when you want
to receive bitcoins to that address), and a private key (which you use
to send the coins). The bitcoin address will be printed out onto a paper
wallet for you to keep. Show the public key to the person sending the
bitcoins. They will scan the address and send the coins along using
their own wallet. It is important that you then keep that piece of paper
safe – because if you lose it or show it to someone malicious (like
Johnson did), then your bitcoins will be gone.
When you wish to
spend these bitcoins, you can import your private key to a hot wallet of
your choice. There are many to choose from, each with their own
strengths and weaknesses. Some, like, store your bitcoin private keys both online, and on a mobile app. Others, like Kryptokit,
restrict storage to your desktop computer only. The wallet will have a
way for you to input or scan your paper wallet’s private key,
transferring it into hot storage so that it is ready to spend. At this
point, it effectively has an Internet-connected copy of that paper
wallet, meaning that the paper wallet can’t be considered as cold
storage anymore.
Check out our handy guide to bitcoin storage.

2. Give them away

now you’ve secured your coins. What next? In the spirit of Christmas,
we thought we list the most obvious option near the top: giving them
away. There are several organizations that take bitcoin donations listed
here, one of which is Connie Gallippi’s BitGive Foundation.
It is a respected organization, with members of the Bitcoin Foundation
on its board, which takes bitcoin donations to build up a charitable
investment fund. It makes financial contributions to charities that
focus on public health and the environment. Most recently, it raised
$4,850 for Save the Children.

3. Gamble them

bitcoins to charity might be the right thing to do, but if there is a
devil sitting on your shoulder, he may advise you to gamble it away
instead. If you fancy a flutter and don’t fancy making the trip to
Vegas, then you can do it from the comfort of your armchair, in between
Turkey-induced catatonia and rounds of rum and eggnog.
There is no shortage of gambling-related sites. SatoshiDice
is perhaps one of the most famous. Akin to a large, Internet-based
penny slot machine, it works by publishing a variety of bitcoin
addresses. Players their bitcoins to one of them, and the site’s
computers evaluate them to see if you won or lost, sending back your
original bet multiplied by a prize multiplier if you are successful.
sites like these allow you to verify the payout either by using the
bitcoin block chain, or by using pre-defined numbers which can help you
to check that your payout was fair. But for those wanting a more
conventional game, there are several bitcoin poker sites up and running,
including Satoshi Poker, and Bits Poker. Players do so at their own risk, however. Another poker site, Seals with Clubs, just lost 42,000 hashed passwords in a hacking attack.

4. Spend them

you are just itching to spend your new virtual currency, there are many
places where you can buy goods and services online. We’re still not at
the point where you can hand them over the counter at your local boxing
day sale, but you can spend them online, and at selected physical
merchants. There is a big list of individual merchants organized by
category here, but you can also find bitcoin-based vendors on some online marketplace sites like Etsy.
is an online marketplace for vendors of all kinds that accept bitcoin,
which will enable you to magically turn your satoshis into that bar of
lavender and oatmeal goat milk soap you always wanted.
Alternatively, use a service that will enable you to purchase pretty much anything with bitcoins. All4BTC will
take your bitcoins and use them to pay pretty much any e-commerce
vendor on your behalf. Or, you can buy a gift card from over 200 popular
high street retailers, by sending your newly-gifted coins to Gyft.
For more details on your spending options, check out our in-depth guide here.

5. Sell them

have no idea what to do with those precious coins? Then flog them. If
there is a bitcoin ATM near you, you may be able to sell them there. You
can sometimes find bitcoin-related Meetup groups in your area, where people will lurk looking for bitcoins to buy, or items to sell in exchange for them.
You can also take advantage of direct person-to-person sales via sites such as,
where you can find people to trade with online, or in person (be
sensible and safe when doing the latter). Or, if you’re in the mood to
organize a whole bunch of paperwork over the holiday, you can register
yourself on one of the many bitcoin exchanges (there will probably be a
local one for your country) and then deposit your bitcoins there. This
will enable you to sell the bitcoins to a buyer offering a given asking
you decide to do with your new bitcoins, call the person that gave them
to you, and give them a happy New Year’s greeting from us at CoinDesk.
We like people that think outside the box. And aren’t bitcoins a much
more interesting present than a pair of socks?

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.


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