First off, I want to say that by no means do I consider myself an expert. I’m simply an average joe with a Computer Science degree who recognizes Bitcoin’s potential and works in the crypto space. If anyone claims to be a so- called “blockchain expert”, they’re most likely lying and are trying to scam you.
Here’s how to buy Bitcoin:
1. DON’T BUY BITCOIN
That was easy. If you think this is a shortcut to wealth, do not buy Bitcoin. You will end up losing money and you’re probably better off investing in other things with less volatility.
2. BUY BITCOIN
If you believe that this is the future, a solution to our current financial system and plan on hodling — avoid the temptation of selling once price starts rising, then buy Bitcoin with money you can afford to lose. With any investment, you need to practice proper risk management. Don’t take out a mortgage or risk money that will keep you up at night.
3. Set up and secure your Bitcoin Wallet
You will first need to set up a Bitcoin wallet. If you’re an iPhone user, I recommend downloading Bread Wallet. For Android users, download Mycellium. Follow the set up instructions and don’t forget to store your recovery pass-phrase somewhere safe!
Each wallet contains a private key and a public key. A private key is like a password that is used to authenticate your bitcoin transactions. Your wallet address is derived from your wallet’s public key. This is what is used to receive bitcoins from other users or wallets.
If you’re a serious about a security, then I recommend purchasing a hardware wallet. Your private keys are maintained in a secure offline environment away from vulnerable internet devices. This ensures that hackers have no way of getting access to your funds. Personally, I use a Ledger Nano S.
Once you’ve finished setting up your wallet, you can start acquiring bitcoin.
4. Acquiring Bitcoin
There are multiple ways to go about acquiring bitcoin:
- Purchasing from a friend — This is probably the easiest way, just don’t take it out on them if they decide not to sell.
- Purchasing from an exchange — If you’d like to purchase Bitcoin using a credit card, I recommend either purchasing from Coinbase or Changelly. If you’re purchasing Bitcoins from Coinbase, I highly recommend withdrawing your bitcoins immediately to your Bitcoin wallet.
- Purchasing from Local Bitcoins — If you don’t have access to an exchange or a friend who sells Bitcoin, check out local bitcoins to find sellers in your area. Local Bitcoins provides a service to facilitate trading of local currency for Bitcoins.
- Providing services for Bitcoin — If you’re a freelancer, charge your clients in Bitcoin. Chances are they will end up thanking you in the long run for introducing it to them.
5. Spread the word and learn more
The more people find out about Bitcoin, the greater the adoption rate. Take the time and educate yourself on the implications and use cases of this emerging technology. I recommend checking out Jameson Lopp’s Bitcoin Resources — the most comprehensive guide to understanding everything about Bitcoin.