Bitcoin has been one of the best performing assets of the last decade. Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has seen wild price swings, going from under $1 to over $60,000 per coin today. As cryptocurrency gains mainstream adoption, now is a great time to buy your first Bitcoin. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Choose an Exchange
The first step is to choose a cryptocurrency exchange to buy Bitcoin. Some of the popular options include:
Coinbase is one of the largest and most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, especially for beginners. It has an easy-to-use interface and allows you to buy Bitcoin with a bank account, credit or debit card. Fees range from 1.49% to 3.99% depending on your payment method.
Binance is one of the biggest crypto exchanges by volume and offers a wide range of digital currencies to buy and trade including Bitcoin. Fees are very low at just 0.1% per trade. Binance does not allow you to buy Bitcoin directly with fiat currency so you’ll need to deposit money from a bank account or buy a stablecoin like USDC first.
Crypto.com is another reputable exchange that offers competitive fees and a wide range of coins. They provide the option to buy Bitcoin with a credit/debit card, bank transfer or crypto. Fees range from 2.99% to 3.5% depending on the method. They also offer staking and high-yield savings accounts for your crypto.
Fund Your Account
Once you choose an exchange, the next step is to fund your account so you can buy Bitcoin. Most platforms allow you to use a bank account, debit or credit card, wire transfer or crypto wallet to deposit money. Bank accounts and wire transfers typically take 3-5 business days, while card payments are instant. Funds from a crypto wallet are also available immediately.
Make sure to deposit at least the minimum amount of fiat currency specified by the exchange. On Coinbase and Crypto.com, the minimums are $2 and $15 respectively. Binance does not have a minimum since they only deal in digital assets.
Place a Buy Order
When your deposit clears, you’re ready to buy Bitcoin. On the “Trade” or “Exchange” page of your chosen broker, select “Buy/Sell”. Then choose “Bitcoin” and whether you want to buy with USD (or other fiat currency) or another crypto.
Enter the amount of money you want to spend or the amount of BTC you wish to buy. The exchange will automatically show you the equivalent in the other currency. Double check all the details, including any fees charged, before completing the transaction.
Most platforms allow you to set a market order which executes immediately at the best available price. You can also do limit orders to buy only when Bitcoin reaches your target price. Market orders ensure the swiftest execution but you may end up paying higher fees. Limit orders can result in a better price but there is a chance the price may not drop or rise to your limit.
Once you buy, your Bitcoin balance will be deposited directly into your exchange wallet. You can then hold it in your trading account, transfer it to a Bitcoin wallet you control, or send it elsewhere.
Secure Your Bitcoin
While most major cryptocurrency exchanges have strong security practices, there is still a small chance your account can get hacked. We strongly advise you to enable 2-factor authentication on your exchange account. You should also move your Bitcoin off the exchange into a private wallet that you control as soon as possible.
Some good options for Bitcoin wallets include:
- Ledger Nano S/X – A popular hardware wallet that provides strong security for your private keys.
- Trezor Model T – Another reputable hardware wallet built solely for crypto storage.
- Exodus – A free desktop wallet with an easy-to-use interface and private key access.
- Mycelium – An open-source mobile wallet with advanced features like cold storage and hardware wallet integration.
Taking custody of your own Bitcoin ensures that only you have control over your private keys. Hardware wallets provide the strongest security and are highly recommended for most Bitcoin holders.
Stay Up to Date
The cryptocurrency market is open 24/7 and highly volatile. The value of your Bitcoin can go down as much as up. Make sure to stay on top of the latest Bitcoin news and price movements. Some recommended resources include CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, and of course Blockchain Army.
Bitcoin is still a new technology, so do plenty of research to understand the risks. However, buying your first Bitcoin can be a rewarding experience if you go in with an informed and long-term perspective.
Welcome to the world of crypto!