So you’ve decided to take the plunge. You’ve seen all this news about this strange thing called Bitcoin, and the dangling worm of curiosity has caught you, hook, line and sinker. Good! Now you can start to investigate the benefits of the new monetary system, and the overwhelming flaws of the old. But how do you do it? Where do you even start?
Here are 7 easy steps to get you on your way.
1. Set up an account with a crypto exchange
Popular exchanges include, www.coinbase.com , www.cex.io, www.binance.com. There are many exchanges out there which will allow you to transfer money from your credit/debit card or account onto the exchange where you can buy Bitcoin. Do your own research and find out which is best for you. There are also now a number of apps such as ‘Revolut’ which allow direct payment to and from your bank account.
2. Send your KYC
This stands for ‘know your customer’ and is a prerequisite for most of the big exchanges. Some you don’t have to send the info over, but many of your actions will be restricted because of it. It is best to send over the information so you can deposit and withdraw at will. There is nothing worse than having money stuck on an exchange for days or weeks sometimes while waiting for you KYC to be approved, all the while watching as the price of your coin plummets. If only you had done this earlier!
3. Set up 2 factor Authorisation
What the hell is two factor authorisation? I hear you ask. Well, it is the best way to keep your trading account secure online. It works by either putting in a mobile number or email, or, probably the best format, by using Google Authenticator. This is an app with which you scan a QR code on the 2 factor authorisation screen in your account. The app then randomly generates a 6 digit code every 30 seconds, with which you input into the login screen when you sign into your account. 2 factor authorisation helps to keep your account secure and resistant to hackers.
4. Deposit cash to your wallet
This is the easy part, you literally type in how much you want to send, click a button and voila the money is in your exchange account within a matter of minutes. Some exchanges take a little longer for clearing but generally, you are good to go.
5. Buy Bitcoin
This is the scary part, where things start getting a little trickier, but in reality it's as easy as buying sweets in a sweetshop. All you need to do, click on the ‘trade’ or ‘exchange’ button on the website, navigate to BTC/USD (most exchange trading pages will be set to this already) enter in the amount of bitcoin you want to buy – say 0.10 – this will then provide a USD value underneath. If you have enough in your account, it will allow you to buy, if not it won’t. Simple as that. Note: the buy orders are generally in green, so find that green button and input the amount you want. If your order is successful it will first say ‘order submitted’ then ‘order filled’. If not, you may need to readjust how much bitcoin you are buying as the price has fluctuated. And that’s it done, you have your first Bitcoin!!
6. Set up an offline crypto wallet
Currently there are many apps and online websites which provide you with the opportunity to store your Bitcoin. This is called the Bitcoin wallet. In the old days for ‘cold storage’ (keeping your Bitcoin offline) you would have to use a paper wallet. These days it is much easier. Apps such as ‘Jaxx’ and ‘Ethos’ allow you to transfer the money across and will store it offline for you to view. The best option by far is to purchase a 'ledger' these are hardware wallets that only allow access to you once plugged into your computer and can be found by a simple google search. Remember to always save all of your password information in a notebook or flash and most importantly WRITE DOWN YOUR PRIVATE KEY – this allows to recover the wallet and any funds if you have any problems with the app. Your wallet address should be displayed when you open the wallet, this is what you will use for the next step.
7. Withdraw to a wallet
On every exchange under ‘account’ or ‘finances’ or ‘funds’ you will be able to see how much crypto you have at any one time. Here you will also be able to deposit, withdraw or manage your funds. Before all of this I hope you have set up your bitcoin wallet, because here is where you are going to use it! Take your bitcoin address from your wallet, and paste it into the withdrawal address box. Make sure it is correct as you don’t want to send it to the wrong address. Also, make sure it is in fact a Bitcoin address, anything else and it won’t be received, it will just be lost. After checking the address MULTIPLE times, click that button, withdraw!! And depending on the network, your Bitcoin will be with you within the hour. It will always provide you with a transaction ID as well. Copy this and paste it into http://bitcointicker.co to track where your money is going and how long it is potentially going to take.
PS: Always Buy from a recognized exchanged & store in your private wallet.
You can start with https://www.binance.com/?ref=11670758
And there you have it, you have Bitcoin, in cold storage away from prying eyes and yours to keep forever. As long as you look after your private key, that bitcoin can never be taken away from you. What you are to do with it, well, that’s for you to decide!