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The top 5 things you were too afraid to ask but always wanted
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Get the Lowdown

Bitcoin and Blockchain Basics


What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency for peer-to-peer transactions. It is often referred to as “trustless” because a bitcoin transaction does not require a bank or payment company to vouch for the other party and “decentralized” because it is not controlled by any central authority. Bitcoin transactions are recorded in a database spread across thousands of computers that communicate with each other and reach consensus on exactly who owns each bitcoin (or part of a bitcoin) every ten minutes. This database is called the bitcoin “blockchain.”


What is Blockchain?

The blockchain is the record of all bitcoin transactions. Every ten minutes, thousands of computers across the globe reach consensus on which bitcoins have been exchanged and record a “block” of transactions for that time period. Each block has a link to the previous block. This linking of each block to prior blocks creates a chain that makes efforts to reach back in time and alter or tamper with prior records virtually impossible. Any change to earlier blocks destroys the links that hold all blocks together. This makes the blockchain “immutable” or at least “tamper-evident” and creates a currency that freely moves digitally but has the uniqueness of cash. Blockchain technology was first developed for Bitcoin to allow people to make transactions without needing a third party (like a bank) to make sure the transaction was trustworthy. Blockchain has since evolved to be used for many applications, including other money and banking services, land titling, and voting.


How many Bitcoin are there?

Bitcoin is governed by computer code and is not operated or controlled by any one person or institution. The number of bitcoins was limited from the beginning, with a total of only 21 million to be issued, the last of which will be in 2040. Bitcoins are issued to the computers which calculate and agree on bitcoin transactions (often called Miners) as a reward for doing that work.


What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a name for any token, like Bitcoin, which uses cryptography to create a uniquely identifiable asset in cyberspace. Each bitcoin or other cryptocurrency will only change possession when a user signs a transaction with a cryptographic key that proves the bitcoin belongs to them.


What is a Wallet?

A cryptocurrency wallet, like Bitsy, is a software program or other method of storing cryptographic keys. These keys are required to transact with bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. That means that keeping keys secure is of the utmost importance. Losing a key is like dropping cash on the ground or in a pond. This is why Bitsy developed the Key Recovery system. It can help you get your money back if you lose your cryptographic keys.


What cryptocurrencies can I buy on Bitsy?

Bitsy supports bitcoin purchases and intends to add support and infrastructure to allow you to purchase additional cryptocurrencies in the near future.


What are Keys?

Cryptographic keys to a bitcoin address are what proves that a specific person should have access to those funds. Each “address” can be viewed by anyone using blockchain explorers such as However, the funds in that account can only be moved by someone who has the “private key” to that address. Cryptographic keys in their raw form are a long string of letters and numbers but Bitsy lets you move funds using a simple image of a key if you prefer.



Why does Bitsy need certain information?

Email Address: This is your account username. You will need this to restore your account if you lose your phone. We will only use your email address to send you important updates about your account.<br><br>Name, Address, Birthday: Bitsy is required to collect this information to comply with US anti-money laundering laws and the Bank Secrecy Act. By providing this information, Bitsy can help ensure that its users are not engaged or engaging in criminal activity. This helps safeguard the funds of all Bitsy users. Except for your name, Bitsy does not keep this information after it has performed its duty under the law.<br><br>Face: Bitsy uses this photo to make sure that transactions sent through the Bitsy app are being performed by the user. This protects you from theft – even if another person has your phone, they will not be able to spend your funds. We chose to keep this information because it is one of the least private and most unique things about you.<br><br>Government-Issued ID: ID information is collected to protect our users from identity theft, comply with government regulations, and keep our user's funds safe. Bitsy does not keep this information.


What about hackers?

Hacking is a very serious concern when it comes to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. While many companies store your Bitcoin in a centralized place–making them a tempting target for hackers–Bitsy never touches or holds any of your Bitcoin. Every purchase or transaction is recorded on the blockchain, which creates an unalterable record of it. The Bitcoin is put directly into an account that only you have access to, making it impossible for hackers to access your Bitcoin through Bitsy. Bitsy does not keep personally identifying information except as noted above. For all other information and the limited personal data Bitsy is required to keep, Bitsy uses state of the art encryption and security practices to keep that data safe.


What if I lose my phone?

If you have backed up your Bitsy wallet, you can use your email address and an account recovery phrase to add your Bitsy account to a new phone. You can find instructions for backing up your wallet under Account Backup in the menu.<br><br>Unlike other apps, if you don't have your recovery phrase we can still help you recover your account using our exclusive Key Recovery System.


The Bitsy Key Recovery System

If you lose your phone or it has been stolen or damaged, Bitsy offers a unique Key Recovery System. Take the following steps:<br><br><ol><li>Download the Bitsy App on your new device;</li><li>Go to the Enrollment recovery page and indicate that you do NOT have an account recovery phrase;</li><li>You will be asked to provide the following information directly to Bitsy <ol class="alpha"><li>Name</li><li>Email address</li><li>Photo of front and back of ID compared to live Photo of Face</li><li>Other documentation to help with recovery (i.e., death certificate and documents proving authority to settle the deceased’s estate)</li></ol></li><li>You will be asked to submit a non-refundable payment of $25 plus estimated blockchain recording fees.</li><li>Adjudication - Bitsy will confirm ownership of the public address using your ID:</li><li>Account Restoration - If Bitsy determines that it can restore access to the assets in your Bitsy Wallet, then it will: <ol class="alpha"><li>Create a new Bitsy Wallet for you and generate the Bitsy key to your lost wallet.</li><li>Request access on your behalf to a protected root key held by an independent third party for the purpose of generating a new key to the lost public address.</li><li>Sweep all assets that remain in your previous Bitsy Wallet under the lost public address, into a new Bitsy Wallet for you.</li><li>Notify you when the process has been completed and provide you with the new keys you will need to access your new Bitsy Wallet.</li></ol></li></ol><br><br>Please note:<br><br>Only Assets that have not been transferred out of the public address in your previous Bitsy Wallet (whether such a transfer was through theft, accident or otherwise) will be recoverable under this process.<br><br>Digital Financial Assets are very volatile and the value of your Assets could change dramatically during the recovery process. Bitsy will not be responsible for price changes that occur during the long and manual adjudication or recovery process.

Account Setup


Why are there transaction limits?

Transaction limits help us comply with US law and minimize risk to our users. Limits will vary by user and purchase method, and your limit may change over time.

Buying Bitcoin


Is there a minimum?

Bitsy will support transactions for amounts as small as 0.001 Bitcoin (which is approximately $10.00 at this writing).


How does Bitsy price its Bitcoin?

Bitsy sells bitcoins to you out of its own inventory. It sets its price based on the cost it believes it will incur to purchase replacement bitcoins. Bitcoin prices can vary slightly between exchanges and Bitsy will check prices on several exchanges when quoting its price. For these reasons, the price you pay for bitcoins on Bitsy could be higher or lower than prices that you might be able to find elsewhere in the market.



How do I send Bitcoin to another person?

From the More menu go to Send. On that page you will enter the amount you want to send either in United States Dollars or any other supported cryptocurrency. Paste in the recipient's Public Address - they can find it in the app they are using under "Receive." You can also tap the camera to scan their QR code, which will enter their Public Address.


How long does it take to send cryptocurrency to another person?

The time it takes to send or receive bitcoin or other coins from another person depends on the coin being sent and the amount of transactions currently pending on that coin’s blockchain. Some coins are very quick to send, but others can take hours to process, depending on network traffic.


How do I receive Bitcoin from another person?

From the More menu go to Receive. On that page the sender can scan your QR code to get your Public Address. You can also copy your Public Address to your device's clipboard and paste it into another app, such as your email. Tapping Send Address will show a list of apps you can use to send your Public Address.


How long will the money take to appear in my account?

For purchases we will initiate the transaction immediately, but there is a delay in being able to spend the funds since we need to wait for your funds to clear the traditional banking system. Even though bitcoin and other networks are fast, we are using the traditional banking system to fund the purchase. So we have to wait 5 to 7 days on ACH transactions and up to 3 days on credit/debit transactions. Within minutes, your purchase should show up in the app as a pending transaction, but please note that in times of high traffic it could take an hour or two to show up in your account.


Why is my transaction still pending?

When you initiate a transaction, it will immediately show in your history page. However, Bitsy will not show a transaction as complete until it is certain that the transaction has been appropriately recorded on the blockchain. Sometimes, this can take up to an hour or two. When a transaction shows as pending, the person receiving the funds will not be able to spend them until the transaction has been verified.