With a secure digital wallet and the right platform, sending Bitcoin is safe and easy.
Sending traditional fiat currency — or receiving it — can be frustrating. Fees add up and restrictions may vary from region to region. But how does all this apply to sending Bitcoin?
Table of contents
- Why send or receive crypto?
- Crypto basics to understand
- What’s a crypto wallet?
- How to send and receive Bitcoin securely
- Tips for keeping your Bitcoin secure
Why send or receive crypto?
There are many advantages to sending or receiving crypto instead of using a traditional money transfer service. Some of the biggest include time saved, lower fees, and limited information disclosure.
With traditional transfers, the money can take three to six business days to arrive in the receiver’s account and requires a substantial fee for same-day deposits. With crypto, transfers take seconds.
Fees tend to be much lower when sending crypto as well. Traditional transfer services charge fees that can be up to 10% of the amount being transferred. But with many crypto payment apps, the fees are often less than 1%.
Traditional transfer services also often have an upper limit on how much you can transfer, which may differ from region to region. With cryptocurrencies, no such limit exists.
Finally, once you have established an account and verified your identity with a leading crypto platform, such as Binance.US, you can send or receive crypto securely without providing any additional potentially sensitive personal information.
Crypto basics to understand
Part of the reason you can send and receive crypto so quickly and securely is because of its underlying technology: blockchain.
A blockchain is an encrypted digital ledger distributed over a network of computers. It’s comprised of blocks, each of which records validated details about a digital transaction, such as the sale or transfer of crypto. Once added to the chain, the blocks are immutable.
The combination of validation — no block can be added until the transactions have been validated — and immutability enables the secure sending and receiving of cryptocurrency and other digital assets.
Each cryptocurrency carries two keys — or strings of characters — that encrypt data. A public key visible to anyone on the blockchain is akin to a street address and allows a sender to easily locate a receiver. The private key is secret and used by the sender to authorize the transaction.
A Bitcoin address is simply a condensed version of the public key. As with physical locations and physical packages, the Bitcoin address allows you to send Bitcoin from your virtual location to a recipient at theirs.
Addresses are just that — destinations. They aren’t meant to hold or store cryptocurrencies. To do that you’ll need a crypto wallet.
What’s a crypto wallet?
Unlike a traditional wallet that holds your fiat currency, a crypto wallet does not actually hold your cryptocurrency. Instead, a crypto wallet holds the public and private keys mentioned above.
The “actual” cryptocurrency is just an encrypted string of characters and numbers whose record becomes part of the transaction history locked in the immutable blockchain.
But to do anything with them, you’ll need a key — your private key safely stashed in your digital wallet. Some crypto platforms offer a digital wallet as part of their app or online system. Others offer a wallet you can download.
Alternatively, you can choose to purchase software or hardware wallets.
Software wallets are programs or apps that hold your crypto keys. Since they are software, they can be generalized or specialized for particular cryptocurrencies. They are available for your laptop, mobile device, or can reside entirely online.
Hardware wallets are as they sound: a device similar to a USB or hard drive that stores crypto key information. They offer the advantage of being somewhat disconnected from the network — authorization takes place on the hardware device, not on network-connected software.
So what kind of wallet should you use?
If you are fiercely protective of your crypto assets, a separate wallet — not a platform’s custodial one — may be best for you. As to the difference between software and hardware, it may come down to preference and ease of use.
Software wallets, especially mobile ones, tend to be very simple to use. And if making many rapid transactions is important, software wallets may give you an edge. If you make infrequent transactions and/or care more about safely storing your cryptocurrencies offline, the extra security nature of hardware wallets may be appealing.
But regardless of type, crypto wallets, like Trust Wallet, make sending and receiving Bitcoin super easy.
How to send and receive Bitcoin securely
It is possible to send or receive Bitcoin securely without a crypto wallet as many exchanges will allow exchange-to-exchange transfer of BTC. Crypto payment services and crypto platform apps may also enable sending and receiving without a separate wallet. Check your crypto platform or preferred crypto payment service to see what they offer.
But, overall, sending or receiving crypto works best from a digital wallet. Here are the basic steps to complete your transactions.
How to send Bitcoin in 3 simple steps
1. In your crypto wallet, choose “send” and enter the address you want to send the Bitcoin.
2. Enter the amount of Bitcoin you want to send.
3. Complete the transaction by clicking “send.”
How to receive Bitcoin in 2 simple steps
1. In your wallet, select “receive” or “generate a new address.”
2. Share that address with the person sending you Bitcoin.
Things to keep in mind when sending Bitcoin
Crypto transactions tend to be more permanent as blockchain’s immutability makes it impossible to simply “reverse a transaction.”
So, before you click send, triple-check the address to make sure the crypto is going to the right person. Since addresses are a string of characters and numbers that can look like nonsense, it’s important to carefully proofread each character before initiating a transfer.
To make sending easier, some companies, like Binance.US, offer the ability to send crypto to easy-to-remember Crypto Domains. These domains act like a URL domain, such as .binanceus, where you can easily send or receive crypto without having to remember or input a long, complicated wallet address. So, an addresses can change from a nonsensical string of characters to something as simple as me.binanceus. To learn more about Crypto Domains, click here.
Also, use only a secure, trusted service. Bitcoin’s integrity is protected by its cryptographic encryption, so it’s almost impossible to counterfeit it, and blockchain provides a highly secure transaction recording environment. But if the service you use isn’t secure, all bets are off.
The same goes for your personal information or private keys. If they’re stored with a platform service, your information and key are only as safe as the service is secure. Choose a platform partner wisely.
Tips for keeping your Bitcoin secure
Learning how to send Bitcoin safely is more than just knowing which buttons to click and which data to verify. The security of your Bitcoin — and your entire portfolio — depends on your vigilance and the steps you’re willing to take to keep your data safe.
Implement these suggestions into your security measures as you learn how to send Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
1) Watch out for scams and threats
A giveaway scam involves persuading a victim to send Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency as a donation or with the promise that the victim will receive double or triple the original amount in return.
These types of scams can run from simple — impersonating a trusted individual — to incredibly complex — hacking a verified Twitter account or repurposing footage of a celebrity — all with the intention of separating you from your Bitcoin.
And because blockchain technology is extremely fast and irreversible, once the cryptocurrency leaves your wallet, you forfeit all rights and claims to the funds.
Avoid sending Bitcoin to strangers that promise future value in return — especially if it sounds too good to be true.
Rug pull scams
A rug pull scam (or exit scam) is one in which the creator of a cryptocurrency, NFT, or some other digital asset first convinces others to buy into their product or service.
Once the creator amasses enough funds, they abruptly abandon the project and disappear, keeping the cryptocurrency for themselves and pulling the rug out from underneath the buyers.
Rug pull scams are not unique to the blockchain and have actually been running in one form or another for decades in other financial sectors.
That’s why it’s essential that you learn as much as you can about this type of scam and keep a sharp, skeptical eye on any situation that involves your Bitcoin.
Technical support scams
A technical support scam involves a bad actor posing as a customer service representative of some sort — typically from the platform on which the victim conducts their cryptocurrency activities.
The bad actor will often claim that the victim’s account has been compromised and offer to fix it after the victim verifies their username and password.
Should the victim do so, their entire account balance becomes vulnerable, and the bad actor will often transfer the funds out in a matter of minutes while the victim is still unaware.
You can protect yourself against technical support scams by taking the following measures:
- Verify every digital correspondence to ensure the sender isn’t fraudulent
- Never authorize remote access to your computer or laptop
- Always use two-factor authentication (2FA) when setting up your account (more on this later)
- Never share 2FA codes with anyone
- Never give out personal account details in any correspondence
And, if you ever receive an email or phone call claiming there is an issue with your account, contact the official customer support channel listed on the platform’s website first — don’t click any links or dial any phone numbers provided in the email or phone call.
An exchange attack is a direct hack against a crypto platform. Most exchanges have strong security, but it’s still possible for a determined hacker to find a way in and make off with funds.
This highlights the importance of doing your own research before getting involved with any platform and using a hardware wallet to keep your Bitcoin offline (more on this later).
Get-rich-quick scams come in many shapes and sizes — from pyramid schemes to Ponzi schemes to investment fraud. All are designed to prey on the hope of the cryptocurrency holders and their desire to make money.
Ponzi schemes and pyramid scams promise high returns and then use the next round of “investment” — usually at a higher valuation — to pay off the previous set of buyers.
Investment scams, on the other hand, can be more difficult to identify. One example is when an “investment manager” reaches out to an individual with an “incredible investment opportunity” that requires the individual to transfer crypto to an online account or disclose their bank information ASAP in order to receive the profits. Scammers will often have legitimate-looking websites to make it all seem real. But once the individual tries to withdraw money from the platform, either he or she will either be blocked from withdrawing money or only be able to access their money by paying an exorbitant fee.
Even if the price of a project increases rapidly overnight, be wary of pump-and-dump schemes where the cryptocurrency is artificially inflated (pumped) and then sold off en masse (dumped) while retail buyers are still engaged in chasing the upward movement.
Like many of the other scams on this list, get-rich-quick schemes have existed for decades outside the cryptocurrency space. As such, bad actors have had plenty of time to perfect the details.
That doesn’t mean that all projects are fraudulent. It just means that you need to do your own research before getting involved.
Phishing scams are popular ways for thieves to steal all kinds of information. Once they have this information, they can use it to access your accounts — be they of the traditional or cryptocurrency type — and transfer your funds wherever they choose.
Phishing scams are often conducted through emails or direct messages that look like they’re from a legitimate source.
The ultimate goal, though, is to get you to supply personal information, like your username, password, or details they can use to figure out the security questions you’ve set up on your account.
All of that so they can log in legitimately and transfer your cryptocurrency to another account.
SIM swap attacks
Another common threat you may encounter as you’re learning how to send Bitcoin safely is the SIM swap.
In this type of attack, a thief obtains information about you (usually through a phishing scam) so that they can obtain a new SIM card from your cellular provider.
With the new SIM in their device, they can pose as you, reset the login information on your platform account so that you no longer have access, and gain control of any cryptocurrency they find there.
2) Keep your private key secure
Your private key is a long series of letters (both lowercase and uppercase), numbers, and symbols combined in random order to create a password that you use to access the funds in your crypto wallet in order to buy, sell, trade, or withdraw.
Because your private key gives access to everything, it’s essential that you never share your private key and that you keep it as secret and secure as possible.
3) Use a hardware wallet for long-term storage
Most crypto platforms provide a software wallet (a.k.a. a hot wallet) in which you can securely store your BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.
While software wallets are convenient, they can be less secure because they are always connected to the internet, and, therefore, more susceptible to attack by hackers.
To eliminate this risk, consider using a hardware wallet (a.k.a. a cold wallet) for long-term storage.
A cold wallet is similar to a portable hard drive or flash drive. After you transfer the data to the drive, you can sever the connection completely by removing it from the host computer.
To access the data again, you plug in the cold wallet, initiate a transaction, and then remove the drive when the transaction is complete.
Depending on the type of hardware wallet you use, the interface between it and the computer, the transfer speed, and a host of other technical details, it usually takes more time to access the funds stored there.
For that reason, it may not be the best option if you have to initiate transactions as quickly as possible.
But, if you know you’re not going to be sending the cryptocurrency stored there for a while, you might be better served by transferring some of your funds to an offline medium.
4) Set up two-factor authentication
Whatever type of crypto account you maintain (be it one with a software wallet or one with a hardware wallet), consider adding another layer of security by setting up two-factor authentication whenever possible.
With two-factor authentication in place, the platform provides an additional code — either via email, push notification, or some other means of rapid communication — that you must enter in addition to your username and password in order to gain access to your account.
Yes, it’s just one more step in the process of learning how to send Bitcoin securely, but the few seconds it takes to verify your identity can help keep your cryptocurrency from falling into the wrong hands.
5) Don’t share details about your holdings
When you learn how to send Bitcoin, grow your portfolio, and make other good moves in the crypto market, you naturally want to share your success with others. But it’s better to not do so in this case.
Avoid bragging, play things as close to the vest as possible, and keep as many of the details about your holdings private.
If you talk about your portfolio too publicly, you may come to the attention of the fraudsters, bad actors, hackers, and thieves mentioned earlier who may try to perpetrate any number of scams to separate you from your hard-earned cryptocurrency.
Send and receive Bitcoin with the right crypto platform
Figuring out how to send Bitcoin is relatively straightforward — especially if you have a crypto wallet. Perhaps the most important component of buying, selling, or trading, though, is having the best crypto platform partner.
Here are a few things you’ll want to look for in a crypto partner for the long haul.
Security. Above all else, make sure your personal information is safe and look for a platform that uses two-factor identification in addition to anti-theft tactics.
Services. A strong platform will offer more than just simple buy or sell functionality. More advanced features that will allow trading over time can help your Bitcoin grow so you have more to send!
Fees. As we saw with traditional money transfers and payment services, transaction fees can quickly erode the value of what you’re sending or make it prohibitively expensive to do so. Consider both the normal Bitcoin network transaction fees and any charged by the platform.
Binance.US is known for its reasonable and clearly communicated fees, so there are no hidden surprises.
Ease of use. The basic steps to send or receive Bitcoin are fairly straightforward. Make sure the platform you choose allows you to easily send and receive BTC, so you always know what’s going on and what you have to do next to achieve your goals.
Keeps you smart. The right platform partner will keep you ahead of the learning curve so that your crypto experience isn’t a trial-by-error ordeal. Check out its educational resources and the range they cover so you can be prepared for all things crypto.
To buy, sell, send, and receive Bitcoin on Binance.US, create your free account today.
This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and should NOT be: (1) considered an individualized recommendation, endorsement, or offer of any digital asset or services discussed herein; and (2) relied upon for any investment activities. All information is provided on an as-is basis and is subject to change without notice, we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of any such information. Binance.US does NOT provide investment, legal, or tax advice in any manner or form. The ownership of any investment decision(s) exclusively vests with you after analyzing all possible risk factors and by exercising your own independent discretion. Binance.US shall not be liable for any consequences thereof.