Monday, 30 January 2012

How to create an account and purchase shares on GLBSE by 'molecular' from

by molecular from CoinConnect

I think the Global Bitcoin Stock Exchange is one of the cooler things having evolved around bitcoin.
Since many people seem to have trouble using the web client (there is also a node.js and a python client, but these are probably even more problematic to use for people having trouble with the web frontend), here's a little guide to help you buy shares.
Let's say you want to buy shares of a mining company. There's a nice "green" one using FPGA managed by fizzisist. So this example uses "FPGA.contract" as the name of the issue you want to buy.

1.) Sign Up and Create an Account
Note: The GLBSE doesn't work like a normal website incorporating traditional accounts. It uses asymetric cryphography to authorize actions by users. There is no concept of a user per se, instead there is the concept of an account, so you can easily have multiple accounts which will use different keys.
Asymmetric crypthography involves storing a private key that allows signing of actions. The web client stores this key in the Browers local storage, encrypting it with a password you can choose. This password is identical across all of your accounts within that web-browser. If you want to use an account with a different browser (maybe when on vacation), that password is useless, you will need to take the keys (see point 4.)
So, here are the steps to create your first account:
  • open browser to, enter a password to encrypt locally stored data (you choose this password and you should remember it), click "Go"
  • You should now be in "Account Managment", click "Register New Account"
  • You should now be in "Create New Account", click button "Generate new KeyPair" and enter an account name (any name will do) in "Enter a name for this account", click "Register"
  • You should be back in "Account Managment" and see the newly created account. Click the "Use" button next to the account name you entered before.
2.) Deposit funds
  • On the "Account Page" (It says "Global Bitcoin Stock Exchange" as title and there's a menu on the left), you can see your bitcoin balance on the top left below the title. Lets deposit some bitcoins by choosing "Deposit Funds" from the menu.
  • You're now on sub-page "Deposit Funds", click button "Get Deposit Address". You will see a bitcoin address in the text field below the button you just clicked.
  • Send some bitcoins to that address and wait for (I think) 7 confirmations. Click the "refresh"-icon to the right of your balance to see if the funds have arrived. (I sometimes get an error "verification failed due to incorrect signature", also when using other menu items. Dont worry too early, it seems to reliably work on second try)
  • You should now see your funds in the balance (top left)
3.) Buy shares
  • Choose "buy" from the menu.
  • Enter "FGPA.contract" into field "Enter the asset id"
  • Enter "5" (for example) into field "Enter the quantity you want to buy"
  • Enter "1" into field "Enter the price you are willing to pay"
  • Click button "Buy"
  • To verify you have bought the shares, you can choose "Portfolio" from the menu. You should also see the transaction in "Bitcoin History" and "Assets History".
  • To see the status of the Asset, choose "Asset" from the menu, enter "FPGA.contract" into field "Enter the Asset id" and click button "Get Details"
4.) Backup the keys
The keys for an account are stored as local data somehow in your browser. Maybe not a safe enough place... to make a backup, do the following:
  • go back to the "Account Managment" page by clicking button "Accounts List"
  • click button "Export Accounts"
  • click mouse in the big text area that appears and hit Ctrl-A or otherwise select all the text
  • paste that text into a new text file and store safely somewhere
5.) Where to go from here
  • click around the interface and see what you can do
  • for historic charts, go to bitcoincharts
  • if you have question or ideas or want to discuss issues, there is the GLBSE Forum
I hope this helps some people. Feedback appreciated. Donations, too: 1LBzU9PRSAbpj7MNCUnf2vBNdM7PpJbWPt

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