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What is Bitcoin...?

Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. Bitcoin's are digital coins that are sent through the internet. Compared to all other alternatives, bitcoins have a number of advantages.

Bitcoins are transferred from person to person via the net similar to an email without having to go through a bank which means the following:
Fees are much lower
Use them in every country
your account cannot be frozen
There are no prerequisites or arbitrary limits.

How does a Bitcoin work?

Bitcoins are generated all over the internet with a free application called a bitcoin miner. Mining requires a certain amount of work for each block of coins. This amount is already adjusted by the network such that bitcoins are already created at a predictable and limited rate.

Your bitcoins are stored on a digital wallet which might look familiar if you use online banking. When you transfer bitcoins, an electronic signature is added. After a few minutes, the transaction is verified by a miner and permanently and anonymously stored on the network.

The bitcoin software is completely open source and anybody can review the code. Bitcoin is changing finance similar to the way that the net has changed publishing. When everyone has access to a global market, great ideas flourish.

Here are some examples how Bitcoins are used today:
Purchase video games
Gifts (gift cards)
Real Estate
person to person
money exchange
and of course Poker....

Several bitcoin exchanges exist to exchange bitcoins for USD or EUR or other decentralized currency. Bitcoins are a great way for small businesses and freelancers to get noticed. It doesn't cost anything to start accepting bitcoin. There are no charge-backs and nominal fees and you get additional businesses from the bitcoin economy.


Who to Trust?

~This article was written by BDP, moderator of our scam prevention forums ~

This is a difficult question, I have been around for over a year now and have seen a few people stick around under the same screen name I trust a lot.

For now I am going to avoid naming names, rather focus on the characteristics I look for, but nothing beats experience and being around for awhile IMO before trying to deal. There is an old saying here in the midwest that goes "take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth" if you are new anywhere you should use this reasoning IMO.

I look for longevity, I trust people who have been around for a long time, 6+ months and have some playing time in and are regs. This is pretty easy to pick up on watching chat. Those same people usually have a high WOT. WOT is not a guarantee of anything, but if someone is shady they usually have bad comments net to their name, lots of untrusts. Do your research, don't rush.

If I do not know someone I ask the chat, usually someone will say something positive about a guy who is solid and also if they are sketchy. Be careful who you listen to of course, no one solid minds you wot-ing them IMO.

Are the people on here at the forums? That always makes it easier to me if they have a forum presence, though it is not mandatory. To me it shows that they care about the community and are willing to donate their time to helping out. Are they mentioned in the forums at all? Good/bad...worth a read. IMO you should read everything here about the site you can for many reasons, not just for avoiding scams. For Seals you have GAB and Sealsdeals, as well as Bitcoinpokerblog all with useful info (esp GAB ;D)

I do not stake new players, I do not know who they are, they could be the same guy who scammed yesterday under a different screen name and often times are. I never loan $ and I have never been burned. I deal in chips ONLY through a trusted escrow and we will soon have a list of people that are as solid as they get after we clear a few things up. If you feel compelled to loan, you will have to develop your own comfort level and formula for figuring it out, I have none.

There are no guarantees in life other than death and taxes but with some thought and a lot of listening and learning you can eliminate a lot of red flags.

If you see me on feel free to ask any questions.

How do I get a wallet...?

You have several options for wallets. There are online wallets, offline wallets, and paper wallets (you can actually print out and store offline).

Online wallets: is connected directly on the "chain" for bitcoins.
  • two factor authentication
    can be backed up and stored offline
    mobile client which is a popular US site that exchanges bitcoin to USD tied to a bank account
  • two factor authentication
    mobile client
    tied directly to a bank account

Online wallets are convenient and can get to at any workstation but the biggest drawback is that it's depended on the site. If one of the site goes down, you will not be able to access your wallets.

The safest place for your hard earned bitcoins is an offline wallet. It takes it off the net and then it's tied directly to your harddrive.

Here are some offline wallets.

This is a long download but is a solid wallet. It downloads the entire chain to your computer so that it will give you absolute control of your coins on your computer offline.

Multi Bit
Very easy to use wallet and lightway for it syncs online to the block so it doesn't require a huge download and is tied directly to the blockchain as the offline backup option to blockchain

this is an advanced wallet if in case you want to backup, encrypt, option to print out your wallet.