***Disclaimer – this is not financial advice ***
So you’ve decided to buy some Bitcoin but don’t know where to start. This quick guide will get you up and running in no time.
Create an account with coinbase or kraken. These are called exchanges. On the exchange you decide to sign up for you will need to provide some details such as credit card details so you can buy the bitcoins.
Create a wallet with another service. The wallet is what will hold your bitcoins. Exchanges are targets of hacks since they hold large quantities of bitcoin, They have been hacked multiple times in the past and is only a matter of time before they are hacked again. See this Guardian article for a list of bitcoin hacks over the years. Options for wallets include:
Be sure to secure your wallet as best you can using 2 factor authentication, encrypted flash drives or other means.
Buy a small amount of bitcoin on one of the exchanges (coinbase or Kraken). These bitcoins will now be in a wallet operated by the exchange. Send it from the exchange wallet to the other wallet you created with the different service.
Here is an example of transferring bitcoin using a blockchain wallet:
That’s it! You now have bitcoin in your (hopefully) secure wallet, you can spend wherever it is accepted
If you end up having more substantial amounts of money in bitcoin it would be worth securing it more thoroughly.
Listen to this podcast for more details on how to keep Bitcoins secure.
It is possible to buy or sell bitcoins locally with cash with other willing buyers or sellers, arrangements can be made on localbitcoins.com
Trading Bitcoins for other crypto currencies is also possible at shapeshift if you fancy a bit of bitcoin cash or Dogecoin
Be warned, cryptocurrencies are not thoroughly regulated yet and many scammers abound. Be sure to do your research.