So you’ve read about the exciting world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. You’re excited/curious and you want in. Even just to see how it works.
When I tried to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum for the first time it was a nightmare. Mega complicated, having to learn new terminology while still not fully understanding what it was, and then trying find a system/app that works.
I have a background in accounts and my girlfriend is a lawyer and even we found it difficult. So we have figured it out so you can save a lot of hassle as we break it down for you in easy steps. Follow these and it’ll be straight-forward.
We’ll look at what a wallet is, the best exchange to go with and setting up.
You have two options on how you want your wallet setup, now what is a wallet?
I went about this the wrong way by downloading a wallet first and wondering what on earth it was.
Your wallet is where you store your Bitcoins. You can save them offline on a hard drive but if you’re just starting out I wouldn’t recommend this. The best thing to do is become acquainted and then figure out how to store offline at a later date (I will explain how to do this in another post). Also this is all a lot easier to do on your phone. I used my iPhone 7 and it will work on Android also.
We tried many apps on the app-store, quite a lot had issues of speed, some were faster than others, others wouldn’t take my credit card despite being obviously compatible. Some looked simply dodgy and didn’t have the 2 step security systems you really want or trust for piece of mind.
After much downloading and testing different apps, I eventually found and downloaded the Coinbase app. It is a tidy app though at the time of setting up was slightly slower than some others due to massive demand. The payments process was simpler by the fact it worked. The app itself was dynamic and quick.
Setup and details
You will initially setup an account which requires a password setup which doesn’t let you confirm it (i.e: type it in again to make sure its correct) so be careful to get it right first time, also a four digit code like your bank card pin is required and you can opt to use thumb I.D if on a phone setup with this.
This process of setting up requires your personal details such as email, phone number (for later verification) and using the app to take a photograph of your passport/Driving license before waiting for it to be processed and accepted. I found processing took about 30 minutes and you could leave the app and browse Instagram/Facebook/news at the time. You’ll be eagerly waiting for it to process, trust me.
Coinbase is by far the most popular exchange in the world comparable to Visa or PayPal of cryptocurrency and if you click the link below we both receive $10 worth of free bitcoin if you spend over $100 (£74.63) as an incentive, which is good for everyone.
Upon doing this you can enter your credit card/debit card details and select to buy either Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin. I chose Ethereum and my girlfriend chose Bitcoin.
Fees are as found here. We initially spent $67 (£50) each as we were experimenting with different accounts. The fees on that were $2.67 (£1.99) so we managed to buy $64.33 (£48.01) worth of coins. Within a day the currency had risen to pay off both the fees.
Once you’re in, you’re in and the fun begins. If like me you’re quite competitive with your other half, you’ll find yourself constantly checking your results as you watch your money grow. It’s brilliant but only invest what you can afford to lose as this is an investment like any other.
To set it up on a desktop computer after you have it on your phone, simply go to the Coinbase website where you’ll be asked your password, they will then ask for verification and send a code to you phone via text. Type that in and you’ll have to verify your computer via email, have that readily setup to accept.
And there you are. Welcome to the world of cryptocurrency and the future of the internet.