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How to Set Up and Use Your First Bitcoin Wallet

How to Set Up and Use Your First Bitcoin Wallet

Apr 1, 2024
Bitcoin Basics

How to Set Up and Use Your First Bitcoin Wallet

Welcome to this comprehensive guide where we will walk you through setting up your first Bitcoin wallet. This guide, based on a video by BTC Sessions, is tailored for beginners and covers the essentials of how a Bitcoin wallet operates, how to back it up and restore it, and provides resources for further learning. Our goal is to empower you with independence and ease in managing your Bitcoin transactions.


Bitcoin wallets are crucial tools for engaging with the Bitcoin network. They allow you to send, receive, and manage your Bitcoin holdings. Contrary to the name, Bitcoin wallets don't store physical bitcoins; instead, they keep digital credentials—your private keys—needed to authorize outgoing transactions on the Bitcoin network. This guide is designed to help you navigate the entire process of setting up a wallet, securing it, and performing transactions.

Choosing a Bitcoin Wallet

Step 1: Download a Wallet

For this guide, we'll use BlueWallet, a user-friendly and secure option for beginners. To download, visit the BlueWallet website or search for it directly in your phone's app store.

Step 2: Install and Open the Wallet

  • Once downloaded, open the app.
  • You'll be greeted with an intro screen; look for the "Add now" button or a plus (+) sign at the top right corner.
  • Tap on "Add now" to create a new wallet.

Step 3: Create Your Wallet

  • Keep it simple and select the preselected top option labeled "Bitcoin."
  • Name your wallet for easy identification (e.g., "My Wallet").
  • Press the blue "Create" button.

Step 4: Write Down Your Backup Phrase

  • The app will display a 12-word mnemonic phrase. This is your backup and is critical for recovering your wallet.
  • Write down these words on paper. Never store them digitally to avoid potential theft.
  • Confirm you've written down the phrase, and proceed to the main screen of the wallet.

Receiving Bitcoin

Step 1: Locate Your Receiving Address

  • Tap on your wallet and then on the "Receive" button.
  • A QR code and a string of digits (your Bitcoin address) will appear.

Step 2: Copy or Share Your Address

  • Tap the address to copy it to your clipboard.
  • Use the share button to send it through your preferred communication method.

Step 3: Go to Your Preferred Exchange

  • Visit a Bitcoin exchange, like River, and go through their purchasing process if you do not already have Bitcoin held on an exchange.
  • Send your Bitcoin from the exchange by providing your copied Bitcoin address as the destination.

Sending Bitcoin

Step 1: Initiate a Transaction

  • Tap the "Send" button at the bottom of the wallet.
  • Enter the amount of Bitcoin you wish to send.
  • Paste the recipient's address or use the scan feature to scan their QR code.

Step 2: Add a Note and Set a Fee

  • Optionally add a note for your own reference.
  • Select a fee based on how quickly you want the transaction to be processed—higher fees can lead to faster confirmations.

Step 3: Confirm and Send

  • Review the transaction details.
  • Confirm and send. Your transaction will now be broadcast to the Bitcoin network.

Backing Up and Restoring Your Wallet

Step 1: Delete Your Wallet (Optional)

  • To practice restoring, you may optionally delete your wallet from the app.
  • Always ensure you have your 12-word backup phrase before doing so.

Step 2: Restore Your Wallet

  • Tap "Add now" and select "Import wallet."
  • Type in your 12-word phrase exactly as written.
  • Confirm the import, and your wallet, with all its transaction history, will be restored.

Next Steps and Resources

Now that you've established a basic Bitcoin wallet, consider exploring:

  • Spending Wallets: Learn about the Lightning Network and wallets like Phoenix and Aqua for faster and cheaper transactions.
  • Saving Wallets: Investigate cold storage options like the Coldcard and Tap Signer for long-term Bitcoin savings.
  • Educational Resources: Visit Bitcoin education sites and forums to deepen your understanding of Bitcoin and its ecosystem.


You've taken a significant first step in your Bitcoin journey by setting up and using a Bitcoin wallet. Remember to take your time, learn relentlessly, and seek assistance if needed.


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