Buying Bitcoin can seem intimidating, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. Once you have the basics down, buying Bitcoin becomes second nature and is an easy way to get started with this new digital currency. And the Bitcoin news will keep feeding you with information that pushes you to make a move. So, how do you buy your first Bitcoin?
Step One: Get a Wallet
To buy Bitcoin, you need somewhere to keep them. That place is called a “wallet”— just like your physical wallet stores cash on your body for daily use, a Bitcoin wallet keeps track of all transactions involving that specific Bitcoin address or addresses to properly manage balances on each account involved in every transaction performed by its owner(s).
Sign up with a cryptocurrency exchange service provider such as Coinbase or Gemini. For those that want to bypass exchanges altogether, there are LocalBitcoins and ATMs where you can purchase coins directly from someone else — but we won’t cover these options for now.
Step Two: Verify your identity by uploading copies of government-issued ID cards like driver’s licenses or passports (if required)
You also need to upload proof of residence (utility bills work) and wait until enough people verify their accounts before trading can occur on an exchange. Once verified, go ahead and add a funding source, whether bank transfer or credit card.
Step Three: Now comes the fun part — buying your coins
Head to an exchange you’ve chosen and click on “Exchange” at the top of the screen (in Gemini’s case). Search for either BTC/USD or ETH/BTC to buy Ethereum with US Dollars or Bitcoin, respectively. Next, choose how much money you’d like to spend per coin by clicking +/- under “Limit,” which will pop up next to your selected price when hovering over each option. You can also set limit orders that turn into market orders if someone decides to sell their coins below your offering, so keep this in mind when placing your bid. Once ready to buy, confirm the trade.
Step Four: Congratulations – You’ve now purchased your first bitcoins (or ether
But don’t get too excited because you may not be able to see them yet in your account’s wallet or on another exchange like Coinbase/Gemini that also serves as a wallet for holding coins.
There you have it — buying your first bitcoin is exceptionally straightforward and (usually) requires little to no technical knowledge, such as what mining entails. As always, be sure to research the cryptocurrency market before investing large amounts of money into any one currency/asset since there are legal risks involved in doing so. Keep your eyes open to Bitcoin news for some tricks on the currency.