Out of the blocks
I’d known about bitcoins for a while and decided to take the plunge. I knew it was a gamble so if I lost out I wouldn’t be blaming anyone else.
It’s September 2014. The price of 1 bitcoin (BTC) had fallen from over £600 at the end of 2013 to just over £300. Following social media I noticed that interest in the currency was increasing and I thought this was a good time take the plunge.
On the train home from work I was listening to my usual podcasts when the subject of bitcoins came up. This got my attention as I still wasn’t sure how to get going.
They were interviewing someone from Bittylicious which is a marketplace where various sellers offer their Bitcoins for sale and Bittylicious act as the go between for the buyer and seller. Another thing that was mentioned in the same article was bitcoin wallets and an online wallet service called Blockchain.info was explained.
This is what I did
This was how I decided to start my bitcoin experiment. First of all I created a wallet by signing up to Blockchain, then I created an account with Bittylicious. This took a bit longer to do due to the identity verification, but wasn’t too onerous. When you first sign up you have set limits on how much you can buy or sell but that didn’t bother me at this stage.
8th September 2014 – I was in the market for 0.1 BTC and the offer price was £31.03.
Note: Buying small amounts of bitcoin on Bittylicious can work out more expensive as I found out when comparing costs for different amounts. If I had bought 0.5 BTC I would have got a much better rate. The costs do vary quite a bit so do your homework.
I entered my wallet address into Bittylicious and selected BUY and 0.1 BTC.
Now comes the scary bit for a bitcoin beginner. I was presented with a screen which had a timer on it (no pressure). It instructed me to carry out a bank transfer to the seller’s bank account.
I logged in to my bank account and entered the recipient’s bank account details along with the Bittylicious reference number. There was a note asking me not to put the word bitcoin in the bank transfer details. After checking the account and sort code about 3 times I pushed the confirmation button. At this point my money left the account.
Back to Bittylicious and I confirmed that the money had been transferred. That was my part over with and all that was left was for the seller to transfer the bitcoin to my wallet. Once the trade was completed I got a confirmation screen telling me how long it all took.
Over to my Blockchain wallet and there it was, I had 0.1 BTC sitting in my wallet.