You can buy Bitcoin at a lot of places these days. From Bitcoin ATMs to broker websites to peer-to-peer. But by far the lowest fees and safest way is through an exchange like Coinbase.
Coinbase is the most popular site and is very easy to use. We’ll show you how you set up your account and make your first trade.
Let’s Get Started
You’ll need some essentials first. Most reputable exchanges have to uphold to KYC/AML and won’t let you buy/sell/trade unless you verify your identity.
A valid photo ID (driver’s license)
A bank account or credit card
You don’t need any minimum account size, or even to leave your Bitcoin on Coinbase for that matter. You can ship it to another exchange, your own wallet or (maybe the safest way) a hardware wallet (We’ll have a guide on that in a few days, important: Whoever owns the private key, owns the coins!).
You do need to verify your identity, and for that you’ll use the driver’s license (or equivalent). Once you signed up to Coinbase go to your account settings and start the verification process. You’ll have to upload a scan of your document as Coinbase doens’t allow emailing your information for security reasons.
Once you are verified you can link your bank account and start transfering $/€/… to your coinbase account
Just fill in the required fields to open your account. You will be asked to upload the ID document we spoke of earlier, and verify your bank account or creditcard as you go. Just follow the steps, they guide you through the whole process. Once you have created your account you can view your “dashboard” with the prices of all availlable currencies. We’ll focus mainly on Bitcoin for this guide.
Buying That First Bitcoin
To buy Bitcoin, simply scroll to the top of the main page and click on “Buy/Sell”. A screen will pop up that looks like this:
You can choose your dollar amount you want to buy and the website will display how much BTC you will get for that amount. Presented here is a purchase order of $200 at early 2018 prices, 0.01369407 BTC
You will see the order to buy your selected BTC amount for your $ amount, with the coinbase fee which is around 3.8% of the purchase price, low compared to other BTC outlets.
Confirm your purchase, if everything is right, a green checkmark will indicate a successful purchase.
When you return to your dashboard you will find a summary of the account and its activity, including your most recent purchases.
That’s it, you’re done! You just made your first purchase of (part of) a Bitcoin! Welcome to the future.
In later articles we’ll teach you how to keep your Bitcoin as safe as possible and how you can trade cryptocurrencies to maximise your Fiat or Bitcoin balance!
The links to Coinbase in this article are reflinks. This means that I benefit from your subscription. Coinbase has an affiliate system that grants a one time bonus for both you and me to receive $10 additional Bitcoin on your first $100+ purchase. Both you and me get $10, no other strings attached.