Alright, bitcoin has a lot to go in terms of ease of use before it will be used by anyone other than early adopters. The benefits are obvious, but I was a bit disappointed since the amount of PR this tech gets is way ahead of the tools and documentation that currently exist to help “non-nerds” send and receive bitcoins.
Luckily I am a nerd, and I like to blog. Here is the fastest way I could find to send bitcoins to another person (in Canada):
How To Send Bitcoins To Someone Quickly
- Sign-up for Coinbase. Even though it kind of defeats the purpose to use a web service for bitcoin, trust me, this is way better than getting started with the Bitcoin QT that you would need to download and update.
- Copy your Bitcoin ID. It should be a long string of characters and numbers. You might find it in the My Account section of Coinbase. It should look something like this: 16PW58mQstaBdWFsdmaDLRT4j4QFD1168Q
- Familiarize yourself with the conversion rate. Check it out, XE.com even recognizes bitcoin now.
- Buy bitcoins at Tinkercoin. When it asks you for your bitcoin ID enter in the ID you got from Coinbase in step #2.
Note 1: Tinkercoin is the fastest way I could find to buy bitcoins with a credit card so you don’t have to wait for your bank account to get validated. Their fees are well worth the convenience IMO.
Note 2: Keep in mind you can only currently buy 1 bitcoin at a time and no fractions. One of the founders (Ross Robinson) said they’re going to be implementing that soon, so keep an eye out.
- Wait for the transaction to get validated. You should see the bitcoins reach your account in Coinbase almost instantly, but they need to get validated before you can use them. This generally takes an hour or so.
- Use Coinbase to send the bitcoins to your recipient. It should be pretty obvious how to do this in Coinbase if you have the recipient’s bitcoin ID.
The whole process takes about 2-3 hours the first time you do it and probably 1-2 hours the second time you do it. The biggest time sink is waiting for the sent bitcoins to be validated across the network. If it didn’t take so long to validate you could probably send bitcoins within 5 minutes every time after setting it all up.
Feel free to discuss your bitcoin challenges in the comments below or suggest more tools that make it easier to send/receive bitcoins!