I have decided to write this as many people have asked the question “how do I buy bitcoin ?” you may think it is complicated, and costly to do, but that is not the case, you can buy your first Bitcoin in less than 15 minutes ! Join today via my dedicated referral link.
Let’s start by looking at what bitcoin actually is. Bitcoin is a new kind of money that can be sent from one person to another without the need for a trusted third party such as a bank or other financial institution, it is the first global, decentralized currency.
Bitcoin works a bit like cash in that transactions cannot be reversed by the sender. So you need to ensure the details are correct when you send money. If you used a credit card or popular online payment systems or banking transactions these can all be reversed after the payment has been made, sometimes months after the initial transaction.
Before writing this I did a lot of research into what sites to use, as I wanted one that was a big player, secure, and was simple for people to use. In the end I went with Coinbase, as they are a large well established company, and the process to register and buy Bitcoin is very easy.
The value of Bitcoin can go up and down, and you should treat it like any other similar investment.
Just to add that I am based in the UK so if you are doing this from another country then some of the requirements for registration may be different to mine (for example you may be asked for a different type of ID, or have different payment options to buy Bitcoin).
Step-by-step guide – Register for an account and buy your first Bitcoin in 15 minutes !
Here is the process to register for Coinbase, the whole process should take less than 15 minutes :-
- Click here to access the special promo page to create an account – With this link you will able to receive a bonus amount of free Bitcoin if you buy or sell over $100/apx£73 (check the site for further info). See below I got my bonus 🙂
- Complete the registration form, and create an account – this is the same as you would be required to do for any website. Treat this like a banking site and please ensure you use a strong complex password.
- During this process you will be asked for your mobile phone number. This is used to enable two-step verification this means that no one can access your account without knowing your password and having your phone, as it will send you a separate code via text message each time you login.
- You will also be required to provide proof of your ID. As I am based in the UK it requires a driving licence, passport or citizen card. You need to follow the instructions and take a picture of the relevant ID and upload it via the link they supply.
- You will also be asked to provide your address.
- Once you have completed the above steps you are now registered on the Coinbase website. The next step is to add a payment method to your account.
- From the Coinbase dashboard, scroll down and now click “Add a payment method” (or go to Settings). For example you can use a debit card. This will allow you to buy Bitcoin instantly for a small fee. Bank transfer is also an option but can take a few days to set up.
- If you have selected the debit card option you will be required to complete the card authentication process, once this is complete you are ready to buy your first Bitcoin.
- To buy Bitcoin select “Buy/Sell” from the top menu bar, the default option will then be buy. From here you can then select how much Bitcoin you wish to buy. Note that from this option you can buy other cryptocurrencies but Bitcoin is selected by default, if you wish to buy others then I suggest you read up on them first to understand what they are and how they work.
My Bitcoin purchase is shown in the image above. I purchased £90 – The fee at the time for this transaction was £3.45 as this was made via debit card, this leaves me with £86.55 worth of Bitcoin, which at the time of purchase was worth 0.00233687 BTC.
I got a bonus of £7.23 as I purchased more than $100 worth of Bitcoin. So in total I have £93, which is good as I have recovered my card payment fee and got a little bit on top also.
The value of Bitcoin
As I said above the value of Bitcoin should be treated like any other investment, as it can go up and down. If you look at the below chart this shows how much it has gone up over the years.
Looking at my Bitcoin purchase over the past hour I can see it went up in value slightly at one point (see graph below) from £93 to £94.49, before levelling off a bit, but it is still worth a little bit more now then when I purchased it. You can view this graph from your main “Home” screen once logged into Coinbase, you can adjust it to show the trend over the past hour, week, month etc.
Key facts about Bitcoin
If anyone knows your Bitcoin public address, they can see how many Bitcoins you hold and what transactions you have made. They can not see your name or the names of who the transactions are made to.
There will only ever be 21 million bitcoins. At the moment almost 17 million have already been mined and are being traded. The last bitcoin will be mined in 2140. After that, no new bitcoins can be mined.
Since 2008, Bitcoin has consistently been making a profit, except for its first year.
It is not possible to ban Bitcoin or stop the Bitcoin network. Restrictions may come from banks and governments, but anyone with access to the internet can use Bitcoin.
The above is designed to be a basic guide on how to register for an account and buy your first Bitcoin. If you want to know more about Bitcoin in general then I suggest you read a book something like Bitcoin For Dummies is a good starting point. There is also Cryptocurrency Investing For Dummies which will give you more information on the investing side of things. You could also read Blockchain For Dummies which gives more information on how the blockchain element of Bitcoin works.
Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.