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What is mining bitcoin?
Bitcoins are being sent all the time using the bitcoin network. It is essential that there are plenty of places where this information about bitcoin transactions is stored, as we'd not be able to see which address paid which. So the bitcoin network collects all these transactions for a set priod of time and creates a block. Mining is the process of verifying the block transactions and then writing them to the bitcoin general ledger or better known as the blockchain.
The best way to purchase bitcoins
Mining bitcoins is not for everyone, and most of the time it's a lot cheaper to buy some bitcoins than try to mine them yourself. The process requires a lot of dedicated computer power to be able to compete, or else you can try joining a mining pool where the reward is shared between those in the pool depending on how much coputing power they have contributed.
Purchasing your first bitcoins, we recommend using Coinbase, they are fast and secure plus they also do allow bitcoin merchant services. Check them out!
Ensuring your bitcoins are safe.
To ensure your bitcoins are safe, it is best practice to keep your coins in cold storage. You ideally would create a wallet offline, and always keep it offline. Best to use a virtual machine to generate public and private keys and then delete that machine. You can then transfer your bitcoins to that public address and you can rest assured nothing connected to the internet was available at the time the wallet was generated.
The probability that someone will generate the same public and private key is very very very small due to the algorithm being used, this sort of acts as some sort of insurance. However if someone had to generate the same private and public key (which is very unlikely) then they would have access to your coins too.
Even better if you use multisig, this basically allows you to transfer money in but to transfer money out you require multiple private keys to authorize that transaction. You can find more info about multisig here
Wallets and Insurance
With the recent hacking of exchanges and loss of coins, we do worry how to and where to store our coins and hold our wallets. Something without a lot of fuss that gives you good security without the bells and whistles. Simple. Still nowadays plenty of online wallets go uninsured against theft or loss. However the major ones do have you covered, Coinbase insurances their users coins against loss and thefy by employess by using a good broker called Aon. There is also Eliptic Vault which had their initial deal with Lloyds fall through but they still got insurance from CBC. This is another cool company to look out for when thinking of securing and ensuring your data is safe.
That said there are plenty of reasons current insurance hesitate when insuring bitcoin related companies.