The world of cryptocurrency is vast and expanding as more and more people begin to accept it and dive into it themselves. Rather than there just being one type of cryptocurrency that people are stuck using, there are countless different coins with various values and uses. To someone who is not used to the world of cryptocurrency, this can all be incredibly overwhelming at first. One might find themselves not knowing where to start, or even how to buy bitcoin in the first place. Thankfully, getting involved in cryptocurrency is actually pretty easy, even though it may take a bit of research to find the most reputable places to handle your new currency.
1. Open up a Digital Wallet
Before one can really get started on purchasing, investing, selling, and just generally making use of cryptocurrency, one first needs a place for that cryptocurrency to go. Because this form of currency is entirely online and has no physical form, the place where it will be stored also has no physical form. What one will need to search for is known as a digital wallet, often referred to as just a wallet in communities that deal with cryptocurrency. These wallets are going to be where all forms of cryptocurrency are kept, whether that might be the ever-popular bitcoin or another, lesser-known coin. It will be important to take some time to research all of the different features that various wallets can offer. Some wallets focus on being easy for anyone and everyone to access, while others might come at a cost to use, but with the promise of increased security and protection from anyone trying to get the money out of the wallet. Additionally, it will be important to consider an offline wallet, also known as a cold storage wallet, as these are considered the safest way to store cryptocurrencies when they are not being actively traded or used. This will be the first step toward dipping one’s toes into bitcoin.
2. Find a Reliable Trader
Now that one has a place for the cryptocurrency to go, one is now going to have to find a place to get that cryptocurrency from. Unlike standard money, it isn’t floating around the world in the form of coins or notes. Instead, it is entirely online and this includes the places where one will eventually purchase the coins from. When one is thinking about how to buy bitcoin, one can think of it being a trade or exchange like Bitbuy, which is what it is commonly referred to as. One will trade a certain amount of money, and in return, will get bitcoin equal to that amount of money. There are different traders out there, each with their own caveats and rules, so it is important to do some research on which ones will work the best for one’s own purposes.
Once a trader is found, the next step will be to set up an account with that trader. With the more reputable traders who have a reputation to hold up, this is going to include showing a form of identification and, in some cases, showing a live image so that they can verify identity. Some places will have linked exchange programs to offer more control over purchases, while others are designed to completely remove the “middleman” aspect of trading, allowing one to connect peer-to-peer to make the trade. If meeting in-person, always follow proper safety.
3. Consider How to Pay
So, now that one has a place for the cryptocurrency to go and a place to purchase that cryptocurrency from, all that is left is to finalize how the payment is going to work. Because there are so many types of payment methods out there, some methods of payment may be ruled out depending on various traders and exchange regulations. With that being said, some of the many ways to pay include paying with a linked bank account, credit card, or debit card, paying with another cryptocurrency, or making a cash payment at an in-person trade. Each method of payment has its benefits and drawbacks to it, so it is almost entirely situation-dependent how one would go about paying. Typically, a linked account with a bank or card is going to be the most common method of payment because it is one of the easiest.
Likewise, one can also turn bitcoin directly into cash at a bitcoin ATM. This is important to note, as most traders do not deal directly with cash when handling bitcoin, and they can be helpful when making certain transactions. Keep in mind that bitcoin ATMs are not only compatible with select wallets, but they are also only in a limited number of cities.
4. Put the Bitcoin in the Wallet
At last, it comes time to put the bitcoin into the wallet and finish with the purchase. More often than not, people will start out with purchasing a fraction of a bitcoin and most exchange websites will provide a plethora of information about how much of a bitcoin one can get for a particular amount of money. Because bitcoin prices change at a moment’s notice, it is important to keep track of the fluctuating rates so that one can purchase the coin when it is at a low and sell it off when it is at a high. As one follows the prompts of where to go on the exchange website, it will be fairly straightforward from there. Eventually, one will have the bitcoin purchased, and that fraction of a coin will need to either be sold or transferred to the wallet for later storage. It can take a bit more time than one would expect for this change to go through, as every bitcoin transaction needs to be recorded in the blockchain and affirmed. During the busiest trading times, this process can take a couple of hours to complete.