Complete How & Where To Buy Bitcoins Guide For 2016

Buying Bitcoins can be quite a confusing process if you are new to the digital currency. This guide was created to give you a very simple process to help purchase your first Bitcoin safely and without too much headache.

Even though many people are becoming familiar with the name Bitcoin and the concept of crypto currency, few still understand how to buy Bitcoins safely or even how to use them.   Up until recently, it has been quite hard to purchase Bitcoins with standard payment methods we are so used to such as; credit & debit cards or a Paypal account.  But as new technologies and companies emerge, the process of getting your hands on your first coin has become more simple.

Over time, more and more people are coming to the realization that crypto-currency may be a legitimate choice of currency in the future.  Some are buying it to begin using it, while many others are still looking at Bitcoin purely as an investment opportunity since the currency trading market has witnessed such dramatic highs and lows in the USD/BTC price.  At it’s peak, a single Bitcoin was worth just over $1200.

What ever your reason for wanting to purchase Bitcoins, let this article and our research serve as your safe guide to betting into Bitcoin.

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Step 1.  Obtaining A Bitcoin Wallet

The first step to purchasing Bitcoins is getting a wallet for you to store your new Bitcoins in.  Your wallet will serve just like your own bank account. The Bitcoin wallet will enable you to hold your Bitcoins securely as well as allow you to receive and send Bitcoins to and from others.

[two_third_first]Getting a wallet is extremely simple as most Bitcoin wallet providers will only require you to provide your email address. Obtaining such a wallet will take just a minute or two, and you’ll be ready to safely purchase and store Bitcoins.  Blockchain.info is a industry pioneer in providing secure wallets with many rich features.  As a beginner, this is a great place to get your first free wallet.[/two_third_first]

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This wallet can be software on your computer hard drive or even a web-based service. Both have their own vulnerabilities. If stored locally on your computer, it is important to make sure that you back up the wallet regularly. This will position you on the safe side in case your hard drive becomes corrupted. Almost all web-based wallets employ a high degree of security against hacking. In case a theft from your wallet occurs due to a password or security lapse on your part, you will not have any guaranteed way in which you can recover the funds.

Once you have a wallet, you can safely move to the next step of buying your first Bitcoin.  Now comes the choice of where to buy and for that you have 3 main choices.

Step 2.  Purchase Your Bitcoins From An Exchange, A Person or a Bitcoin ATM.

CoinMama: Buy Bitcoins with Credit Card
Bitcoin Exchanges

Crypto currency exchanges offer a way in which one can buy and also sell Bitcoins.

You should bear it in mind that these exchanges and wallets are not regulated the way banks are. Ultimately, you’ll have no insurance for your account and this will be an issue in case of any hacking and robbing.  Although several larger exchanges have undertaken many security measures to ensure your Bitcoin safety, and even to replace customer funds in the event of theft.

First, you will have to register, providing some proof of residency and identity.  This can become an intimidating process for many, as some places may ask for personal information and copies of your drivers license, passport, email or phone number.  However these are protective measures to ensure your safety as well as make sure that you will not perform illegal purchasing activities, since your identity can be traced back to your purchases.

Once you are confirmed, you will then be required to set up a payment method with the details provided at the exchange.  Some exchanges will allow you to make deposits in person to their bank account via a human teller.  Other exchanges will offer various payment options that are more common such as credit or debit cards as well.   Any transfer of funds done online, will require different forms of verification documents depending on the exchange.  Also you may incur transfer fees depending on your funding source, when moving funds into your new exchange account.  However, all fees are clearly stated at the time of purchase.  At this point, you can fund your account, enabling you to purchase some Bitcoins.

Bitcoin exchanges would be the best approach to take if you wish to engage in regular Bitcoin trading and speculation.  However, the best exchange option will depend on your specific location.

Below is a detailed chart of some of the most respected exhanges from which you can obtain your first Bitcoins.

coin-mama-logocoinbase-logoexpresscoin-logo
Counties AcceptedAll Major CountriesUSA + 14 OthersUSA Only
Verification RequiredLicense or PassportEmail & Phone
Visa/MastercardYesNoNo
Debit CardNoNoNo
ACHNoNoN0
Intl or Dom Wire YesNoNo
Connect Bank AccoutNoYesNo
Western Union/Money Gram4% FeeNoNo
USPS Money OrderNoNoYes
Personal CheckNoNoYes
Wallet IncludedNoYesNo
Bring Your Own WalletBlockchain Wallets Only.
Free. Register Here
NoYes
Android AppYesYesYes
iPhone AppNoYesNo

Over-The-Counter (OTC)/ Face-to-face Trades in Person

This is the easiest option, especially if you live in a big city and prefer being anonymous. This also helps avoid many bank hassles, document verifications and fees.  There are numerous ways through which you can arrange a face-to-face trade with a local seller.  There are several sites or rather, P2P marketplaces on the Internet that work to arrange such meet-ups and allow for negotiations on the prices. Such platforms will match individuals who wish to trade Bitcoins.

LocalBitcoinsLocalBitcoins.com is one of the top market places in which you can find people willing to buy or sell bitcoins in person.  They

If you decide to adopt this approach, it would be best to meet in a busy public place and take all necessary precautions you would take when carrying large amounts of cash. Also keep in mind that you should be able to have access to your wallet when meeting face-to-face. It would also be much wise to check whether such trades are legally allowed in your local area.

You may be prompted to pay a certain premium of around 5-10% on top of the exchange price, depending on the seller. This is essentially done for all privacy and convenience needs. A reputable trader is one who will negotiate the price before the meeting.

Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs are growing drastically in number despite being a relatively new concept. This is similar to the face-to-face trade, with the only difference being that you are interacting with a machine. In such ATMS, you are required to insert your cash before the Bitcoins are loaded into your wallet. They might require you to scan your mobile-wallet QR code or issue you a paper receipt having codes necessary to load Bitcoins onto your wallet. The exchange rates in this case vary widely, and may be between 3%-8% on top of the standard exchange price. Some machine models will allow you to send Bitcoins and withdraw cash.

In conclusion…
As a newcomer, you’ll find that buying Bitcoins does not have to be as complicated as you first may have imagined.  The number of safe, viable payment options is increasing with time.  There are also plenty of incentives for creative entrepreneurs to invent convenient options. You can expect a lot of developments to be witnessed in the Bitcoin industry within just a short span of time.

The good thing about Bitcoin is that is truly the future. It will easily subvert bank monopolies, cross borders and governments at the blink of an eye. A new era of trade, business growth and prosperity are set to be with us. It will be to your advantage if you are involved in this amazing life-changing phenomenon.