Latest Podcast



Featured Articles

Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom wants to ban inflation-related rises in phone and broadband contracts. Instead, it says any potential mid-contract price rises should be set out in pounds and pence.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

Global smartphone market is set for recovery, says new forecast

A new forecast from research specialists Canalys shows the smartphone market is set to recover next year. Worldwide shipments declined by 12% last year but that decline is expected to slow to 5% this year.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

New Hutchison/Vodafone network would be biggest UK operator

Vodafone Group plc and CK Hutchison Group Telecom Holdings Limited have agreed to combine their UK telecommunication businesses, respectively Vodafone UK and Three UK. The merger will create a large new network operator to compete with Virgin Media O2 and EE.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

UK mobile payment service Paym to close in March 2023

UK mobile payment service Paym will close on 7th March 2023. The service, which allowed users to make and receive payments using their mobile phone numbers, was launched in 2014.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
RSS

Opinion Articles

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Using Bitcoin on a mobile phone: it's much easier than I expected

Mark Bridge writes:

Bitcoin, as Wikipedia tells me, is a peer-to-peer payment system introduced as open-source software in 2009. It’s a ‘virtual currency’ that can be used for transferring money and for buying products or services, although only if your chosen retailer accepts Bitcoin.

So - why all the fuss? Well, unlike conventional currency, it doesn’t need a bank and it doesn’t need the support of any countries. In a way, it’s a bit like gold or any other precious metal. It doesn’t suffer from the same inflation that affects national currencies. In addition, governments can’t access it in the same way as a regular savings account. Oh, and the value of a Bitcoin has increased pretty dramatically since it was launched in 2009.

The downside is that Bitcoins aren’t widely accepted. The exchange rate can be volatile. And some people have lost money.

On a personal level, I’ve arrived late at the Bitcoin party. There’s little chance of me finding myself in the same situation as Kristoffer Koch, a Norwegian man who bought 5,000 bitcoins for 150 kroner (around £15) in 2009. He forgot about them until last year, when he discovered they were worth around half a million pounds. But that doesn’t mean there’s no point in making a little investment… or preparing for the future.

So, what do I need? I need a ‘wallet’ for my Bitcoins and I need some Bitcoins to put in it. At a basic level it’s as simple as that. So, let’s find a wallet.

There are a few ways to store Bitcoins. You can keep them in an online wallet that holds funds on your behalf. It saves you from the worry of looking after the money - the equivalent of keeping your savings in a vault rather than under the mattress - but, unlike the UK banking system, there’s nothing like as much protection if hackers target your account or the online service fails. Alternatively, you can keep them on your laptop or phone. Arguably there’s less risk from hackers, although a hard drive fault or a targeted hack could wipe out your money. Printing Bitcoins on paper as a QR code is an option as well.

Anyway, I’ve decided to keep my Bitcoins on my phone. It seems about as safe as keeping a £10 note in my trouser pocket. Yes, I could lose the £10 if I forget about it and wash the trousers… yet it feels pretty secure.

There are a few apps around for Bitcoins but I’ve chosen Hive. It seems secure and easy to use, with versions for Android and Mac OS. Installing it on my phone is as simple as finding Hive in the Google Play app store and clicking the link.

Image

Once the app is installed, it provides you with a unique wallet address. This can be displayed as a QR code or as an alphanumeric code. It’s rather like an account number, except that it can only be used for deposits. And that’s the first part complete.

Next, I need some Bitcoins. Actually, I need a fraction of a Bitcoin. Bitcoins are currently trading at just under £400 for one Bitcoin (depending on who you ask), which is a bit steep for what could end up as a brief moment of entertainment. Therefore I head over to the amusingly-named Bittylicious, where UK customers can buy Bitcoins. I choose 0.03 BTC (Bitcoin), for which I’ll be charged £12.15. I enter my email address and the Bitcoin wallet address. Bittylicious then provides me with a UK bank account number, a sort code and a reference number to quote. I log in to my usual online banking service, transfer £12.15 and seven minutes later - yes, just seven minutes - the Hive app alerts me to a Bitcoin deposit.

There’s now 30 mBTC (millibitcoin) in my Hive wallet. Hooray. Apparently my investment is worth £11.71. Oh. Still, I’m ready to spend, either at an online Bitcoin-enabled retailer or at one of the rare real-world venues that takes Bitcoin payments.

Except I don’t want to waste my money and there’s nothing I need to buy at the moment. So my 0.03 BTC is just going to sit there for a bit, rather like last year’s Euros in my passport. I check my phone again. £11.71. Oh well. At least I’m equipped for the 21st century.

Mark Bridge would like to point out that investing in Bitcoin is a risky business in many ways. He’s neither recommending it nor endorsing any of the products and services he mentions. However, he did find it all remarkably easy.
Print
Author: The Fonecast
2 Comments
Rate this article:
No rating

Categories: Applications, OpinionNumber of views: 25504

Tags: opinion payments barcode bitcoin

2 comments on article "Using Bitcoin on a mobile phone: it's much easier than I expected"

1
0
Avatar image

Mark

6/9/2014 3:03 AM

You really should try buying something so you can see how it fully works.

How about some books?:

https://www.humblebundle.com/books

I have no affiliation with this so it's just a suggestion

The amount you spend goes to charity if you want and you can get all 13 books with the money you have on your phone.


0
0
Avatar image

Scott

6/9/2014 11:54 PM

HI Mark,

"The downside is that Bitcoins aren’t widely accepted. ."

One can also download the Airbitz app available on both Andriod and iOS devices that show worldwide where to spend your bitcoins. The best thing is that each listing is vetted by a company employee, so you know if its listed the establishment accepts bitcoin.

Leave a comment

This form collects your name, email, IP address and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
Add comment

Recent Podcasts

From the archive: some of our favourite mobile industry interviews from 2007, 2008 and 2009

Podcast - 5th June 2013

We're celebrating the seventh anniversary of The Fonecast this month with a handful of our favourite interviews from the early years.

You'll hear Ben Whitaker from Masabi, Truphone co-founder James Tagg, former Olympic athlete Steve Backley OBE and online banking pioneer Steve Townend.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

The latest mobile industry news: from the delayed 'Facebook phone' to life-saving QR codes

Podcast - 29th May 2013

This week's podcast begins with a report about a delay - or perhaps even cancellation - for the UK launch of HTC's Facebook phone, the HTC First.

We then move on to Vodafone's results, an Android app scare for Sky, Samsung's successes, contactless payments, potentially life-saving QR codes and an uncomfortable story about a smuggled mobile phone.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

New devices from BlackBerry, HP and Jolla... plus a new purchase for Yahoo

Podcast - 22nd May 2013

We start this week's podcast by talking about Yahoo and Tumblr before moving on to discuss Google's recent developer conference.

There are product announcements from BlackBerry, HP and the former MeeGo developers at Jolla... and there's some interesting mobile app news as well.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

Good news from Nokia, unwelcome headlines for EE and a profitable year at Sony

Podcast - 15th May 2013

Three new smartphones launched at three separate events. Yes, Nokia has definitely been busy in the past few days.

As well as talking about Finland's finest phones, we also discuss recent claims made about EE, annual results from Sony, smart metering, 5G technology, virus protection, Vodafone and the worldwide growth of mobile phones.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

From airports to airtime... and from mobile ads to mobile apps

Podcast - 8th May 2013

We start today's programme with the promise of a faster roll-out for the UK's mobile broadband services.

Next on the agenda is tablet sales... followed by mobile security, mobile boarding passes, quarterly results, acquisitions, advertising and management succession.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
RSS
First1718192022242526Last

Follow thefonecast.com

Twitter @TheFonecast RSS podcast feed
Find us on Facebook Subscribe free via iTunes

Archive Calendar

«July 2024»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
24252627282930
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234

Archive

Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement