Since it came into existence in 2009, Bitcoin has come a long way in terms of mainstream adoption. One of the main benefits of Bitcoin is it can be used to pay for various everyday items.
Many online merchants accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Even some brick-and-mortar stores allow customers to pay with Bitcoin these days.
But to successfully use Bitcoin as a form of payment, it’s vital to understand how someone can receive Bitcoin and turn it into cash. The good news is that sending and receiving Bitcoin is a reasonably straightforward process, and we can guide you through it.
Step 1 – Create a Bitcoin Wallet
If you want to use Bitcoin exclusively to receive payments, you don’t need to create a crypto exchange account, which is usually the first step.
However, you will need a reliable Bitcoin wallet for receiving Bitcoin and storing it. Choosing a digital wallet might be a little overwhelming for a crypto novice, though. There are so many options nowadays, and not all of them are secure or operated by trustworthy services.
While hardware wallets might be the safest option available, they’re not the best choice for crypto beginners or those who only want to receive Bitcoin payments. That’s why creating a free, open-source online Bitcoin wallet is usually the recommended route.
Some online wallets will ask for your personal information, but non-custodial wallets based on the open-source network will not. All you need to do is open an account, copy, and save the provided key, and start using your wallet.
Step 2 – Generate a Bitcoin Address
If you are a freelancer who wants to be paid in Bitcoin, you’ll need to provide a Bitcoin address to your customers. But what is a Bitcoin address? In short, it’s a destination for a specific place on the Bitcoin blockchain. It’s not like a username or another wallet, and it doesn’t function as storage.
Visually, a Bitcoin address is 26 to 36 alphanumerical characters that you copy and send to the person who will send you Bitcoin. It’s imperative to understand that even though you can use the same Bitcoin address for multiple transactions, it’s not what most Bitcoin users do.
A repeated address poses a security risk. As every transaction is a matter of public record available on the block explorer, a great number of transactions to the same address can make you a target for a cyber-attack.
The good news is that Bitcoin wallets usually have designated features that can help you generate a new Bitcoin address for every transaction.
Once you have the address, you can send it to another person via email, use a QR code, or any other form of communication. A Bitcoin address can only be used for receiving funds and nothing else, so it can’t be misused.
Step 3 – Make Sure You Received the Funds
So, how do you make sure that you’ve received Bitcoin? The obvious answer would be that the Bitcoin wallet balance will change. But if you receive multiple transactions per day, that’s not so easy to do.
An accurate and safe way to check if a transaction was confirmed is to search a Bitcoin block explorer. You can go to blockexplorer.com to see the status of the transaction.
However, the sender will first have to provide the transaction ID. Then, simply enter the ID into the search bar, and the explorer will show you the transaction and its status and the exact time and date it was created.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Bitcoin?
This is a crucial question to those who want to receive Bitcoin payments for their work. First, it’s important to keep in mind that every Bitcoin transaction comes with a fee that goes to the blockchain and subsequently to the miners.
Depending on the mempool size and the price of the fee, it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours to receive. On rare occasions, a transaction may get stuck in mempool and returned to sender.
Getting Paid in Bitcoin
Bitcoin was created out of a desire for financial liberty and transparency, offering people a payment alternative. Some employers already issue salaries to their workers in Bitcoin.
This cryptocurrency is even legal tender in El Salvador, which was a great way to provide “banking” for those without a bank account.
If you want to receive Bitcoin for any reason, all you need is a Bitcoin wallet and a reminder not to use the same Bitcoin address for multiple transactions.