It has become commonplace to see QR Codes on product packaging and advertising. These codes hold a small amount of information, such as a website address or a bitcoin address.
QR Codes can seem like ‘yet another technology to learn about’ but using them are as simple as using any app on your smartphone or tablet.
Nearly every device manufactured in the last few years has a camera built in.
The QR scanning app on your device uses the camera to take a picture of the QR Code and analyses the image to decode the information contained within.
From the user’s perspective, it’s as easy as opening the app, tap ‘scan’, point the camera at the code and viola! That’s it.
What Are Bitcoin QR Codes
A bitcoin address is just data, usually between 27 and 34 characters long.
Scanning a QR code is much easier than typing very long Bitcoin addresses. The QR code can contain other information as well, such as payment information and a note.
I frequently embed QR Codes in my videos. Those QR Codes are a representation of my bitcoin address.
Anyone with a smartphone or tablet can take a picture of the QR Code in my videos using their bitcoin wallet app and send me tips!
If you are a content creator, allowing viewers to express their appreciation for your content with a monetary tip is like a great big cyber-hug.
If you are a consumer of online content, recognizing the time, effort and bravery of creators by sending them a tip is a great way of telling them that they’re providing a worthwhile service.
How To Use Bitcoin QR Codes
If you do not have a bitcoin wallet yet, search Google Play or the App Store for “bitcoin wallet” on your smartphone/device.
I like Mycelium, Blockchain, CoinJar or AirBitz wallets. There are other options, but choose one with good reviews and more than 3 or 4 stars.
Now, fire up your bitcoin wallet app.
Due to differences between apps, I need to generalize and make a few assumptions. One assumption is that your wallet is not empty and you have a few bits.
1. SEND BUTTON
When you tap ‘send’, you may have the option to type in a bitcoin address or scan a QR code. Scanning is the easiest and quickest method of populating your wallet with the information it needs to send a payment.
2. RECEIVE BUTTON
If you want to receive bitcoin into your wallet, tapping the ‘receive’ button should give you two crucial bits of information.
First, you should see your bitcoin address which looks like 1BKnJY3Qe6hFSK6XaGXWsSuYcuZxBtkBoQ.
Second, you may have the option to display a QR code that represents your bitcoin address.
How To Know The Payment Went Through
Below is my QR Code. If you scan this code using the ‘SEND’ function in your bitcoin wallet app, you should see my bitcoin address pop up.
You can send me a small ‘test’ amount (I appreciate it!) and check whether your payment has gone through at Blockchain.info (a service that let’s you check bitcoin addresses).
Now you should be set to go. Happy bitcoining! (No, that’s not a word)