Choose a wallet
There are many crypto wallet types. Opt for the most reputable and safe one.
- Desktop wallet. Download and install only the original and official software, e.g., Electrum, Exodus, Bitcoin Core;
- Mobile wallet. Convenient for payments in physical stores. Examples: Breadwallet, Airbitz, Mycelium;
- Online wallet, e.g., Blockchain wallet;
- Hardware wallet keeps your private keys safe on a separate device: Trezor, Ledger, KeepKey, Digital Bitbox;
- Paper Wallet. A paper wallet allows you to print a QR-code with your public and private keys (e.g., Wallet Generator.net). Convenient for offline shopping and use in crypto-ATMs.
There are several ways to add an extra layer of protection to your wallet:
- Encryption – create a strong password;
- Backup – make copies of your wallet and the private keys, save it in multiple locations on your PC, memory-stick or paper safely;
- Enable multiple signature (multi-sig) addresses – add an extra signature requirement via a device or by a highly-trusted person to confirm transactions. This feature is supported by wallets such as Xapo, BitGo;
- 2FA (two-factor authentication) – an app for access control that requires entering a code received on your smartphone.
Choose a payment method
Select a method that suits you best:
- Cash: search for a seller near you and meet him/her in person via Wall of Coins, LibertyX. Some Bitcoin ATMs allow you to buy crypto with cash;
- Debit/credit card: a method supported by many exchanges, e.g., COSS.io, etc.). Consider the exchanges that have a compulsory KYC verification as they are the safest;
- PayPal: supported by a handful of services such as Wirex, Paxful;
- Other cryptocurrencies: you can buy bitcoin with another cryptocurrency via multiple exchanges and ATMs.
Find an ATM near you and buy BTC with cash. Bitcoin ATMs will provide you with screen steps and instructions for use. Check out a guide here.
- Create an account;
- Get verified (e.g., with KYC);
- Deposit crypto or fiat currency;
- Place a buying order or choose a selling order from the list. It will be fulfilled shortly;
- You got your Bitcoin, now you can spend it, trade it, withdraw it or just keep it.
There are thousands of active online crypto-exchanges at the moment. Use CoinMarketCap.com to view their rankings, trading volumes and popularity. Make sure to check the fee structure of the exchange before you start. Different exchanges offer different payment options to make deposits. These two factors may be crucial for defining your choice of the exchange to use. Don’t forget to compare the current market price of Bitcoin with the price offered on the exchange. Opt for the one that matches the market price more closely. Additionally, you can search by country.