New Bitcoin Buyers Guide – How To Buy Bitcoin Safely
Welcome to my step-by-step guide on how and where to safely buy bitcoin for the first time. This guide walks you through the few short steps it takes to get your very first bitcoin.
I provide screen shots and links to more information so you can learn as much as you want to before spending any money.
Before we get started, some of you might just want to know the absolute best place to buy bitcoin right now. If that is you then read through my short list of where to buy bitcoin now and the quick details.
- CEX – You can buy bitcoin with a credit card here easily and or trade bitcoin on their exchange for best rates
- CoinMama.com – buy from around the world with a credit card fast and easy.
- CoinBase.com – Buy $150 worth of BTC for purchase with a credit card nearly instantly.
- LocalBitcoins – Person to person marketplace with LBC as the provider in the middle to help insure safety of transactions. Ton’s of options, worldwide.
- BitQuick – use cash and have bitcoin fast (often within 10 minutes).
These trusted sources are the easiest, fastest and most convenient way to acquire bitcoin. As always, read reviews of these services to learn more.
First Time Buyers Guide Step-by-Step How To
Let’s get down to the details. To go from zero bitcoins to having some bitcoins takes three easy steps on the fastest path. By the time you finish this guide you will understand exactly what you have to do to get your first cryptocurrency.
Table of Contents
- Getting a bitcoin wallet
- Choosing a payment method
- Choosing a place to buy bitcoin from
- Making the purchase
- Accessing your bitcoin in your wallet
- What to do next
Step 1 – Get a Bitcoin Wallet (Free or Paid)
In simple terms, your bitcoin wallet is where you keep your bitcoins before spending them.
Once you have a wallet you generate a bitcoin address. You take your bitcoin address and give it to the broker you are buying bitcoin from. The broker sends the bitcoin to this address and they show up in your wallet.
Wallets come in a variety of flavors. The important thing is that you are using a respected wallet that has a legit reputation. Indeed there have been wallet scams as well as unsecure wallets that were hacked. Let’s avoid that.
Here is a very short list of wallets we recommend:
Bitcoin Wallet Options
- Electrum.org – (free) This is an opensource desktop client that lets you quickly and easily create a wallet on your computer to generate bitcoin addresses and receive and send bitcoin.
- Trezor – (paid) A secure hardware wallet. I use this personally.The Trezor connects via USB cable. It comes with a google chrome desktop wallet that works in conjunction with the hardware to securely store your bitcoin on a piece of hardware that you control.
- Coinbase.com – (free) quickly get a desktop bitcoin wallet where you can receive and send bitcoin.
- GreenAddress – (free) A 100% free web based wallet you can access from anywhere. Includes unique security and privacy features.
- BreadWallet – (free) a free online wallet that is simple to use and works everywhere.
There are many more good wallets out there. Our guide on the best bitcoin wallets compares them. iOS, Android, desktop, hot wallet, cold storage and hardware wallets.
There is a fantastic page on bitcoin.org here that covers choosing a wallet for you. If you have any kind of substantial investment into crypto currencies you owe it to yourself to get a quality wallet solution.
Once you have a wallet set up, it’s time to buy some bitcoin.
Step 2 – Acquire Bitcoin
Now it is time to buy bitcoin.
You have a lot of choices when it comes to buying bitcoin. Depending on how you plan to buy bitcoin with help determine the best place to purchase it from.
Buy Bitcoin With Various Payment Methods
In addition to your payment method you may require differing levels of privacy, speed or exchange rate.
- Fast – I want bitcoin as fast as possible
- Privacy – no personal data required
- Best Exchange Rate – get the absolute best price on bitcoin.
- Easiest – total newbie here need something easy and secure.
Finally, depending on where you are will determine who and how you can purchase bitcoin.
Buy Bitcoin With Credit Card (and Debit Cards)
Fast, reliable and safe are great reasons to use a VISA or MasterCard to buy bitcoin.
Here are the best sites to purchase BTC with a credit card.
- CoinMama.com – offers a near worldwide bitcoin buying service that is fast, easy and reputable. Learn more in my look at is CoinMama legit or a scam review.
- Coinbase.com – the largest USA based exchange allows you to purchase $150 worth of bitcoin with a credit card right away with a built in wallet you can use
- CEX – Use credit cards to fund your account. Then trade on the exchange from USD > BTC for the best prices. Send BTC to your wallet.
- Paxful – There are over 300 ways to buy bitcoin and Paxful makes it possible with this p2p marketplace.
Learn more about these bitcoin sellers and brokers here with our reviews and guides.
Using credit (and debit) cards are the easiest way for most people to get a smaller amount of bitcoin instantly. The trade off is that you will pay a bit more for your bitcoins. Why is it more expensive? Because of chargebacks.
A certain portion of the population is shady. One of their scams is to buy bitcoin with a credit card with the intent of filing a charge back after receiving the BTC. Since BTC transactions can not be reversed the seller of the bitcoin is screwed over.
It is a risk anyone who sells BTC via credit card must take. This additional level or risk for the bitcoin seller increases the price you have to pay.
Here are the benefits of using a credit card to buy bitcoin:
- Easy and Fast
- Buyer protection
The drawbacks include:
- Cost is higher
- Privacy is less, the sellers need your info
- Amounts available for purchase are lower
Buy BTC With Cash
Yes, you can buy bitcoin with cash. It’s the most private and often times one of the fastest ways to do so.
Here is how it works depending on where you buy from. Best bitcoin cash buying places:
- BitQuick – get bitcoin in under three hours (usually minutes) with a simple cash deposit into your local bank
- LocalBitcoins – use cash to buy bitcoin from someone else either directly, via Western Union or a deposit into a bank account
- Deposit cash into a bank account (Bitquick provides a great service)
- Meet someone locally and give them cash (LocalBitcoins is your go to)
- Deposit cash into a Bitcoin ATM (CoinRadar shows a map of crypto atm’s.)
- Deposit cash using Western Union
The advantages of using cash.
- Cash is private. No ID required in most cases
- Cash is fast. You can get bitcoin in 3 hours or less at Bitquick
- Cash is easy and convenient
The drawbacks are:
- Cost can be higher than buying/trading from an exchange
- Risk is elevated slightly because cash transactions with “strangers” can be unpredictable
We are buying bitcoin with cash and documenting the exact steps we take in our guides.
In addition to using cash, many users use cash plus WU to make deposits
Bank Wire / ACH Transfer / SEPA
If you are sending a wire then you are most likely looking for a full fledged exchange.
Here is how the buying works at Coinbase.
Buy Bitcoin With Paypal
When we add Paypal to the buying mix the choices are a bit more limited. Paypal has policy against exchanging paypal money for crypto currencies and they do not easily work. There are a few legit choices.
- Paxful – pretty easy but does come with ID requirements in most instances
- Coinbase – buy btc via Paypal with a 3.99% fee, only from the USA
- OneXBTC – this site looks like it was made in the late 90’s, but the reviews of the service are positive.
- Xcoins – offers a reputable service that lets you purchase with papyal
- VirWox – a confusing but effective and reliable way to buy bitcoin using paypal. Around 10% fee once everything is said and done.
Using paypal to buy bitcoin is somewhat challenging since paypal has numerous policies they enforce. It’s also more expensive than buying with a bank wire or even some credit card purchases. However, for those of us who want to use paypal, the options are changing. Keep up with how to buy btc with paypal on this page.
Buy Bitcoin In Person – Directly From Someone Or an ATM
There are places where you can buy bitcoin in-person from someone who has it or simply go to an ATM.
- LocalBitcoins – the largest person-to-person marketplace that hooks up local buyers and sellers
- BitcoinradarATM – provides a map of the nearest bitcoin ATM’s
Buying Bitcoin From Different Countries
Governments regulate who can do what with their money, and the land of bitcoin is no different. When it comes to converting fiat currency into bitcoin and turning bitcoin into fiat currency the waters become even more muddy and regulated.
Find out the best way to trade, sell and buy bitcoin based on where you live here.
Ready To Buy Bitcion?
If you are ready then now is as good of a time as any. People say the best time to have bought bitcoin was in 2009. The second best time is right now. If you feel this is true then you are armed with the knowledge of where to do so safely.
You are ahead of the vast majority of the world when it comes to Bitcoin. It’s not to late to get on the boat. In 5 years from now you’ll either be really glad you jumped aboard or really glad you didn’t. I don’t think there will be much in-between with bitcoin but I’m not a professional investor. Just a guy who likes the idea of crypto’s and has a general dislike for the established banking industry.
Buy Bitcoin Instantly Via Brokers
Credit / Debit
New User Friendly
USA's largest exchange
Buy and sell BTC, ETH and LTC
Total: 22 Average: 3.3
|Visit Coinbase Read Review|
Credit Card (Visa/MC)
Easiest way to buy bitcoin with a credit card.
Serves almost all countries.
Total: 17 Average: 3.2
|Visit CoinMama Read Review|
Credit Card (Visa/MC)
Europe's Most Popular BTC Exchange
Buy and Sell Fast and Easy
Total: 71 Average: 3.4
|Visit BitPanda Read Review|
Bank Transfer / SEPA
Quick, Easy way to buy or sell.
Margin Trading (no USA)
Guaranteed Stop Loss Orders
Total: 28 Average: 2.7
|Visit CEX Read Review|
Easily exchange crypto's into other crypto's.
Buy dozens of crypto's with a credit card.
Total: 18 Average: 4.1
|Visit Read Review|
- Coinbase – USA residents can get their first bitcoin here with a credit card within moments.
- CEX – Europe focused exchange. Buy bitcoin with Euro’s fast and easy
- CoinMama – credit cards taken from most locations around the world
- Bitquick – cash for bitcoin super fast. Deposit into a local bank, get BTC to your wallet
- LocalBitcoins – Buy bitcoin anonymously
- How to buy bitcoin for online gambling