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Author Topic: So do I need to install special software to use bitcoins?  (Read 637 times)
generickid
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October 18, 2011, 05:03:20 PM
 #1

I'm talking about with online marketplaces. I already have an account with Mt.Gox and I'm thinking that's enough to move currency over

but I've been reading people have installed bitcoin software? I don't understand the purpose of this unless to mine for bc... also read about a "wallet" file which I thought may store the currency. just trying to get pointed towards the right direction thanks in advance!
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Gabi
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October 18, 2011, 05:50:31 PM
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No you don't need to install anything, but then you will have to rely on web services

Now, since bitcoin born to let you manage your bitcoins in local, understanding how the bitcoin client work may be a good idea. The wallet file for example is where your bitcoins are. If they are in mt.gox for example they will be in the mt.gox wallet file. If you install the bitcoin client, you will have your personal wallet file and you can send bitcoins to it (and then if you lose it your bitcoins are lost too), like when you go in a bank and draw some money.
forsetifox
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October 18, 2011, 06:36:22 PM
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The bitcoin client lets you transfer funds to other users via the long address. And you can also receive funds from exchanges and store them in your wallet. And if you want to mine you'll need another program that connects with a "pool". You also need to create a user and worker at pool to mine with your mining program.
generickid
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October 18, 2011, 06:47:56 PM
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The bitcoin client lets you transfer funds to other users via the long address. And you can also receive funds from exchanges and store them in your wallet. And if you want to mine you'll need another program that connects with a "pool". You also need to create a user and worker at pool to mine with your mining program.


right this was a fantastic explanation thank you!
kokjo
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October 18, 2011, 06:55:12 PM
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you don't need to install anything. but its all a question about trust, do you trust mtgox? do you trust some ewallet provider? or will you have your money on your computer, or on a flash drive in a safe?

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
generickid
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October 18, 2011, 07:17:04 PM
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it's a very good point you make. Do you know if the bitcoin transfer is instantly (or basically instant)?

or rather let's say I'm transferring 50bc from mtgox into a wallet I've got on my laptop. how long would this normally take? I'm looking into software for both windows and mac cause this seems like a good alternative
kokjo
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October 18, 2011, 07:20:04 PM
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it's a very good point you make. Do you know if the bitcoin transfer is instantly (or basically instant)?

or rather let's say I'm transferring 50bc from mtgox into a wallet I've got on my laptop. how long would this normally take? I'm looking into software for both windows and mac cause this seems like a good alternative
for the transaction to arrive: instant.
for it to confirm: 1-2 hours, depending on fees, size(bytes), recent used funds, and block generation time.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
N.Olmos
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October 18, 2011, 08:10:12 PM
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Hi generickid,

After you download and start your client(wallet) you will need to wait for the blockchain to download in order to see your transactions and transfer coins. This can take a very long time; even a day or two. You should get your client running as soon as possible and have it ready when you do need you use it.

Bitcoin transactions are almost instant and with an up to date blockchain you will see them immediately, you do have wait for them to confirm before they are added to your balance or before you can transfer them. Confirmations only take a few minutes.

You can always use the blockexplorer to view your transactions.

n.olmos

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generickid
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October 18, 2011, 08:50:33 PM
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Hi generickid,

After you download and start your client(wallet) you will need to wait for the blockchain to download in order to see your transactions and transfer coins. This can take a very long time; even a day or two. You should get your client running as soon as possible and have it ready when you do need you use it.

Bitcoin transactions are almost instant and with an up to date blockchain you will see them immediately, you do have wait for them to confirm before they are added to your balance or before you can transfer them. Confirmations only take a few minutes.

You can always use the blockexplorer to view your transactions.

n.olmos


well so I don't need to use a client if my bitcoins are held elsewhere correct? such as stored in mtgox or transferred into mtgox I don't need a client on my computer, but it would be a  good idea?

I just dont  know any good software for osx but now i'm checking for Linux distros
N.Olmos
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October 18, 2011, 09:54:07 PM
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Hi gererickid,

You are correct. You do not need a client if you have your bitcoins in an exchange or online wallet.

An exchange will let you send bitcoins to your client, another exchange, a merchant and anyone else. You can also use your BTC deposit address in your exchange account to have others send you bitcoins.

An online wallet adds multiple receiving and sending addresses to better manage your transactions.

An Exchange or online wallet should only be used for small amounts or quick transactions as you are trusting them to save your bitcoins.

You should have your own client if you have a large amount of bitcoins. Your own client will also allow you to have permanent receiving addresses; exchange and online wallet may close or get hacked.

You will need to safeguard your client. Make encrypted backups in multiple places.

n.olmos




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nmat
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October 18, 2011, 10:01:29 PM
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such as stored in mtgox or transferred into mtgox I don't need a client on my computer, but it would be a  good idea?

You have two options:
- Trust an external service that holds your money for you
- Hold the money yourself

Both have advantages and disadvantages, but I bet that for a lot people it is more secure to store bitcoins at MtGox with a Digikey than at their own computer.
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