What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the first and largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks, managing transactions and the issuing of Bitcoin is carried out collectively by the network.
How to buy Bitcoin
1 We recommend using the popular exchange, Coinbase to purchase Bitcoin.
What is Coinbase?
Coinbase is a exchange that allows you to purchase Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies using fiat currency (USD, GBP, Euro etc) using your credit/debit card. This is very important service as it is the perfect entry point for those looking to buy cryptocurrencies. If you choose to purchase smaller cryptocurrencies it generally has to be done using either Bitcoin or Etherium so using Coinbase is the eaiest way to get started allowing you to later purchase any currency you like.
- Accepts debit & credit cards and bank transfers
- Operates in 32 countries
- Easiest way to purchase Bitcoin
- Been in business for many years
2 Create your account by filling out your name, email and desired password. We highly recommend using a very complex password with upper and lowercase characters and symbols.
3 Once you have created your account you must verify your account using photo ID such as a passport or driving license. You will also need to verify your phone number and add a payment option. This process can take a few days to complete.
4 Once your account is verified you will be ready to purchase your first Bitcoin! To do this click on the buy button in the top menu bar. You will then need to select Bitcoin as the currency and select your payment method and the amount of Bitcoin you would like to purchase or the amount of fiat currency you would like to put into Bitcoin.
If you are buying with a credit/debit card you should receive your Bitcoin instantly, if you are using a bank/wire transfer it may take upto 5 days for your payment to process.
5 To verify your Bitcoin balance click on the wallets link in the menu. Then on the left side you will see all of the cryptocurrency wallets of your account. The "BTC wallet" is your Bitcoin balance, you should see your Bitcoin balance here instantly if you purchased using a credit or debit card. If you used bank or wire transfer you will need to check back in a few days to give your purchase time to process.
Congratulations you now own Bitcoin! At this point you need to decide how you want to store it.
6 You have many different options for Bitcoin storage including:
Keep it on Coinbase
If you are holding small amounts or want the ability to quickly sell Bitcoin at anytime it's ok to leave it in Coinbase. But keep in mind that this is a risk as Coinbase is a exchange. It's widely accepted in the cryptocurrency world that it is a risk to hold Bitcoin on a exchange as you do not have full control over it especially if you have a high balance. Think of it like holding money on a PayPal account, if PayPal goes out of business or closes your account you risk loosing your funds.
Move it to a hardware wallet - Recommended!
Using a hardware wallet is the best option for storing cryptocurrencies period. A hardware wallet is a wallet that is in the form of a offline device such as a USB flash drive. What makes this device so secure is that your private keys are stored offline. These devices are known to be so secure that even if your computer is compromised the hardware wallet will still protect your Bitcoin and other currencies.
We highly recommend using a hardware wallet from Ledger. Ledger have 2 hardware wallets that can store Bitcoin and make it easy to send and receive BTC:
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Blue have all the same features as the Nano S but it also benefits from a touch screen experience and has space to store more currencies. This is the most enhanced hardware wallet on the market.
Move it to a software wallet
A software wallet is a form of wallet that you do have control of (access to the private keys), it can be in the form of software on your computer or a app on your phone. Software wallets are generally a better option than storing your Bitcoin on a exchange but keep in mind a software wallet is only as secure as the user or device it's stored on. If your computer is compromised it will put your Bitcoin at risk as the private keys are stored on your computer directly rather than a USB drive such as above.
How to send Bitcoin
In this example we will look at how to send Bitcoin from Coinbase to the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. This process is similar no matter which wallet you're using basically you need to your Bitcoin receieve address from the wallet you'd like to send to. Then use that address as the receive address when sending Bitcoin via Coinbase.
1 First you need to connect your Ledger Nano S, then open the Bitcoin wallet. You will then need to enter your pin code using your device when prompted. You should now see your Bitcoin wallet showing your balance and all past transactions.
2 Once you see your Bitcoin balance and list of transactions, click on the receive link at the top of the app and copy your Bitcoin receive address (public key).
3 Head back to your Coinbase account and go to accounts > find Bitcoin on the left. Click on the send button.
Next paste your public address coppied from your Ledger Wallet and paste it in the recipient box, next set has much Bitcoin you would like to send to your Ledger wallet and click on continue to send the payment.
4 Shortly after sending you should see the Bitcoin show up in your Ledger Nano S under the transactions and your total balance should be adjusted. You will need to wait some time for your transaction to confirm on the network (this may take up to 2 hours). The confirmation delay is one reason why some people choose to keep Bitcoin on a exchange such as Coinbase if they plan on selling it soon.
How to sell Bitcoin
This is a much overlooked part of cryptocurrency. The market is very volatile so there will be times when it makes sense to sell your Bitcoin and have it converted to fiat currency (USD, GBP, Euro etc) and sent to your bank. Here is a quick guide on how to sell your Bitcoin:
1 Login to your Coinbase account and go to accounts > next to BTC click on the receive button. This page will show you your Bitcoin receive address for your Coinbase wallet. Copy this address.
2 Next head to your Bitcoin wallet whether you're using a hardware wallet such as Ledger Nano S or a software wallet such as Exodus. Click to your Bitcoin wallet and then click on the send button. Next paste in the receieve address you got from Coinbase, set the amount of Bitcoin you'd like to send to Coinbase to sell and click on send.
3 Wait for the Bitcoin to reach your Coinbase account and confirm on the network. This could take up to a couple of hours.
4 Once the Bitcoin has reached your Coinbase account and confirmed on the network it's time to sell. Click on buy/sell in the top menu then select the sell tab. Set the amount of Bitcoin you'd like to sell, select your currency and then confirm. Congratulations you have just sold your Bitcoin! It will take a few days for Coinbase to send the payment to your bank account.
Leave a comment
Let us know what you think about this article!