A good payment method, store of value, quick and cheap for international transfers, or even an investment. For whatever convenient reason, it’s time to buy some Bitcoin! And don’t worry, the price doesn’t matter: you can buy fractions, from 1 USD to 300 USD or 2.000 USD or one million, get just as much as you please and need.
So, first things first. For our little recipe to buy Bitcoin, we’ll need these ingredients:
- A mobile or desktop dispositive with a decent OS (we don’t recommend Windows XP or Android 4, eh?) and antivirus, because you never know. If you don’t have this one, you can borrow something or go to a cyber café.
- Decent connection to the Internet. If you’re reading this, you probably have that already.
- Basic knowledge about apps and computer programs in general.
- Basic knowledge about cryptocurrency. At the least, do you know what you’re about to acquire, right? If not, check our article about it first. It’ll be quick.
- Pen and paper. Yes, this has a further explanation later.
- Some payment methods, preferably digital. It could be debit and credit cards, bank transfers, PayPal (this is a tricky one, though), Yandex Money, other cryptocurrencies, etc.
Are you ready? They’re just 6 little things easily findable at home, right? Let’s start it!
1. Open an account or wallet
As you may know by now, Bitcoin isn’t something physical. So… where are you gonna store it? You’ll need a digital account or a software/hardware wallet. They’re easy to find and use, so don’t freak out.
- For an online account: an awesome lot of crypto-exchanges platforms and “hot wallets” (because they’re always online) offer you digital accounts to store and use your cryptocurrency. They work like any other webpage, so, the process is very similar: you sign up, you give (or not) some of your personal data and that’s all! They’ll provide you some crypto-addresses to send and receive funds. This option is ideal for the cyber café thing, and you can try it now with us.
- For software and hardware wallets: for this alternative, you’ll need to have your own equipment (mobile phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) or even buy a little gadget. You can choose a software cryptocurrency wallet and download it in your disk. They’re like any other computer program, very intuitive. As for the hardware wallets, they’re similar to flash drives with some tiny buttons to manage your funds… and, of course, they’re not free. But you can find them in popular markets, like eBay or Amazon.
Remember the pen and paper in the ingredients? You’ll probably need them in this step. Most digital wallets create what we call a “seed”: this is the private key for your wallet and only you should know it.
It presents itself in the form of 12 to 36 random words you must write in paper and later store in a very safe place. The reason for the paper is that the seed needs to be totally out of the Internet and the digital world to avoid hacking attacks. It’s the key to your money, after all.
2. Pick the best vendor
You want to buy, so… you’ll need a Bitcoin vendor. Here you have several alternatives, with advantages and disadvantages.
- With individuals and/or peer-to-peer (P2P): if you don’t know someone who sells bitcoin, you can find a lot of individual vendors in public chats and social networks. They should have a good reputation among other users, so, don’t forget to check that before the trade. A more secure P2P option is an exchange of this kind, capable to offer some guarantees to its users.
- With Bitcoin ATMs: believe it or not, there are +9.188 Bitcoin ATMs around 71 countries, where anyone can buy and even sell cryptos with cash. Maybe some of them are close to you and you’re clueless about it. You can find it out in Coin ATM Radar here, but we must warn you: the fees for this one use to be high.
- With crypto-exchanges: this is probably the easiest way if you’re just starting. The crypto-exchanges are friendly webpages administrated by individuals or registered and regulated companies. Of course, the last ones are safer because in case of problems the company will be responsible for your funds. And if you don’t understand something or you’re having some issue, you can communicate with the round the clock support (well, at least on our web).
In any of these cases, you must consider some important factors: fees, exchange rate, payment methods, reputation, security, regulatory compliance, and why not? Some extra benefits like discounts or affiliate programs.
3. Choose wisely your payment method
Let’s say you already wrote the quantity you want to buy in the platform of your preference, and also your personal address —if corresponds— to receive the coins in your wallet or account. How will you pay for the Bitcoin? Credit card? Bank transference? PayPal? Cash?
Not every vendor has available aaall the payment methods and traditional currencies, and even if they have, the fees, requisites, and times are different for each one of them. And here is where we talk about PayPal: as you might already guess, yes, it’s difficult to buy Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies with PayPal. The reason is simple: Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and cheap, PayPal transactions aren’t. So, most vendors prefer not to push their luck.
On the other hand, bank cards and bank transfers are widely accepted, the same as digital wallets of fiat money, like Yandex. But first, don’t forget to check the respective fees and conditions.
4. Store, withdraw, use!
Once you give the necessary payment data and click on “Buy” or “Send”, then you should receive your BTC amount in your wallet during the next 30 to 60 minutes. The vendor should provide you the transaction ID, and it’d be ideal if they send you a direct link to the transaction in a blockchain explorer. Then you’ll be able to follow the state of the operation, which could appear “pending” or “confirmed”. In Bitcoin, it’s usual to wait at the least three confirmations from the miners before we can say for sure a transaction is actually irreversible.
And there it’s on your wallet, the amount you just bought! You can store it there and wait for a price rise, you can withdraw it any time to your favorite currency or another BTC wallet, or you can pay for products and services directly with it, through your PC or phone.
Now, it’s up to you. Remember: Bitcoin is money. So, imagination is the limit.