Have you left your holiday shopping to the last minute? Or in need of a last minute gift that doesn’t suck and seems like you’ve put a lot of thought into it, we’d like to suggest Bitcoin. If you’ve already converted to the religion of Cryptocurrency this will give you a platform to try to brainwash your family.
There are a few ways that you can give the gift of Bitcoin, we’ve started with the quickest and simplest, the Paper Wallet from there things get more complicated. Using an Exchange is easy, once you get it set up, getting it set up is a hassle. The bottom two are options that we don’t like, we thought we’d point them out so you don’t waste your time.
Paper Wallets lets you buy the bitcoin and print out the public and private key which will let you give the Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin itself will be stored on that piece of paper, so if you lose it before you enter it into your wallet, you’ve lost it and there is no way to recover it.
You would essentially just be giving someone a piece of paper that you’ve printed yourself, or you could hand write it (make sure you get it right) into a Christmas card. The downside is, It doesn’t look valuable and could easily be misplaced or lost. And anybody finding it can use the bitcoins.
If you’re giving the Bitcoin to someone who might not open up a wallet, I’d keep a copy stored away and ask them next Christmas if they ever did anything with it.
If you’ve gotten a paper wallet, redeem the whole thing, don’t leave a balance it and reuse the same public key, this would mean the remainder couldn’t be spent, only transferred or sold.
Use an Exchange
If you haven’t bought bitcoin before, the easiest way to get set up in by using a web-based wallet like Coinbase. I went through about 5 different exchanges before I found Coinbase, I found it and Coinmama to be the least painful.
Through Coinbase, you create an account and buy the bitcoin. Be warned: depending on where you live you might have to submit personal information like your address and last four digits of a social security number. You will also have to verify a bank account or debit card with photo identification to transfer bitcoin into Coinbase’s system.
If you want to make the transfer today, DO NOT USE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, this method of transfer is great if you have 2-5 days to wait. If you want to buy the Bitcoin today you’ll need to make the purchase with a credit or debit card if your card supports ‘3D Secure’. With this payment method, you can purchase instantly. If you don’t mind the wait, go for the Bank transfer.
To determine if your card supports 3D Secure, you can contact your credit/debit card provider directly or simply try adding it to your Coinbase account. You will get an error message if your card does not support 3D Secure. Some banks will require various security steps to authorize a purchase using 3D Secure. Some of the methods you may see will be a text message, a bank provided security card or security questions.
The following steps will get you started:
1. When logged into your account, go to the payment methods page.
2. Click ‘Add a Credit/Debit Card’ at the top of the page.
3. Enter your card information (The address must match the billing address for the card).
4. If needed, add a billing address for the card.
5. You should now see a window that says ‘Credit Card Added’ and a ‘Buy Digital Currency’ button.
6. You’re ready to buy Bitcoins
7. Enter any dollar amount you want and then you’ll see how much bitcoin that actually gets you.
Beware: in some cases you may receive a fraud alert from your bank, which you’ll need to clear up. (This happened to me and required a call to the bank to approve charges.)
8. Now we’re finally ready to Gift the Bitcoin. Go to the Accounts section
9. Click on BTC Wallet, which shows the current balance
10. Look for the small “Send” Arrow
11. Choose how much you want to send
12. Enter the person’s email address or their Bitcoin address if you have it. The receiving party can find this by tapping the QR code in their BTC wallet inside Coinbase.
Now you’ll just have to walk them through how to sign up for Coinbase. Which if you weren’t lucky and it didn’t go smoothly, might be the opposite experience you’ll want to give someone as a gift.
Anyone who is serious about Bitcoin should have one, it’s recommended that once you have a weeks salary in Bitcoin, you should get a hardware wallet.
If you’re planning ahead you can buy a hardware wallet and load it with Bitcoin.
Here are a few that we like:
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The downside is, the wallets themselves aren’t cheap, depending on how much you want to spend the wallet might be more than the Bitcoin you want to give.
If you want to give a Physical Bitcoin Denarium is a site where you can buy a gold-plated coin that can represent as little as 19EUR worth of Bitcoin. You won’t get as good of a deal if you bought them digitally but it’s a nice gift for someone who is really into Cyroptocurrency, you just need to plan a head because they are sold in batches.
How Not to Give Bitcoin as a Gift
Don’t buy a Giftcard, sites like bit4coin let you buy cards in Euros and when the person redeems them they’ll purchase the coins at their current rate. This is a crap way to give Bitcoins, you’re giving someone cash and telling them they have to buy Bitcoin.
If you’re lucky maybe you’re living near a Bitcoin ATM and don’t even know it. You can find the nearest one through a website like CoinATMradar, which says there are 1,930 ATMs in 61 countries. All you have to do is put in cash and get bitcoin at these machines, for a hefty fee. The biggest problem with this method is that you’ll need a Bitcoin Wallet to send it to, so it won’t be much of a surprise gift if you have to ask them for their Bitcoin address in advance.
You should know that bitcoin isn’t stable, the minute you buy i could be worth 10% less or 20% more, that’s the danger of giving Bitcoin.
If you think the person you’re giving it to won’t open a Bitcoin wallet online then you might just be throwing your money away. You might think it’s fun to own a bit of the craze, but you might want to ask yourself, are you giving it so you can preach about Bitcoin, or because you genuinely think they’ll take an interest in Cryptocurrency.