Blockchain Blog

Tutorial: How to send bitcoins using email or SMS messages

As a follow up to our tutorial, How to send bitcoins using our web wallet, we wanted to also show you that you can send bitcoins with the Blockchain Wallet using email or SMS (text) messages. It’s simple to do, and has a lot of benefits such as, people don’t need a bitcoin address or wallet to be sent bitcoins. It’s a great way to introduce people to bitcoin and get them started, while showing them how valuable it is.

Yes, it’s that awesome

In this tutorial we will show how to send bitcoins to anyone in the world instantly using email or text messages. If you have follow up questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re here to help, and our goal is to always ensure that your experience with Blockchain and bitcoins are the best possible.

Send Via Email

To get started, log in to your Blockchain Wallet and then click on Send. On the left side menu, click on Email under Send Via. You will then see the screen below. Filling out the form is simple; just enter the recipient’s email address and the amount of bitcoins you want to send to them. A confirmation screen will appear, click Send Payment.

After the transaction is confirmed in the block chain, an email is generated to the recipient. The email should look like the screen below. It will tell the recipient who sent the bitcoins, pulling in your email address to display to the recipient, and display the transaction details including the amount of bitcoins sent.

The recipient must claim the payment for the transaction to go through. The payment can be reversed by the sender until it is claimed. Once the recipient claims the Bitcoin payment, it cannot be reversed. Upon claiming, the private key is swept into the recipient’s wallet or sent to another address. A copy of the private key is kept in the sender’s wallet so they can reverse the payment at any time until claimed.

Once the recipient claims the payment, they will see the screen below.

The recipient is presented with a few options. They can create a new Blockchain Wallet to send the funds to, or existing users can just log in to their current Blockchain Wallet and have the funds transferred there. The great thing about Blockchain is we never lock you in. We have provided users with another option, which is Forward To Desktop Client. This means, recipients have the choice to send the funds to another Bitcoin address managed by them in another wallet.

Send Via SMS Message

Sending bitcoins with text messages is very powerful. Here’s how to get started. Log in to your Blockchain Wallet and then click on Send. On the left side menu, click on SMS Message under Send Via. You will then see the screen below. Filling out the form is simple; select the recipient’s country code, enter the recipient’s phone number, and then amount of bitcoins you want to send to them. A confirmation screen will appear, click Send Payment.

As soon as you click Send Payment, a text message will be generated and sent to the recipient. The text message should look like the screen below. It will display the transaction amount including the amount of bitcoins sent, with a link to press to claim the bitcoins.

Once the recipient presses the link to claim the bitcoins, they will see the screen below. The recipient must claim the payment for the transaction to go through. The payment can be reversed by the sender until it is claimed. Once the recipient claims the Bitcoin payment, it cannot be reversed. Upon claiming, the private key is swept into the recipient’s wallet or sent to another address. A copy of the private key is kept in the sender’s wallet so they can reverse the payment at any time until claimed.

With this method, the recipient is once again presented with the same options. They can create a new Blockchain Wallet to transfer the funds to, or existing users can just log in to their current Blockchain Wallet and have the funds transferred to an address within that wallet. As mentioned above, the Forward To Desktop Client option allows recipients to send the funds to another Bitcoin address managed in another wallet.

And that’s how you send bitcoins using only email or SMS messaging. Here are some additional FAQs about sending bitcoins using these two options, which you can also find on our Send Via FAQ page.

Is it Secure?

It is as secure as your email or phone. If your email account were to be hacked or your phone compromised, the attacker would be able to redeem any unclaimed payments. Make sure for your email and phone, you always have two-factor authentication turned on.

What happens if the transaction is not claimed?

The private key the funds were sent to is saved in the senders archived addresses. The sender can reclaim the amount at anytime by sweeping that address, it’s up to you how long you wait for the amount to be claimed. To sweep the address and reclaim the funds, click on your wallet’s Receive tab, click Archived, then put a checkmark in the correct address and click on Sweep Keys.

The recipient did not receive the confirmation message?

Log in to your My Wallet account, click Receive and then Archived. If the address has a positive balance then the amount has not been claimed, sweep the address to reclaim the coins and retry the transaction.