The biggest question everyone has is: how do you go about getting your first bitcoin?
The most difficult task for new users is to acquire bitcoin just to get started. Being that bitcoin isn’t centralized there isn’t one right or wrong way or one right wallet. That means choice and it can make something simple turn into something very complicated. Unlike other foreign currencies, you cannot simply buy bitcoin at a bank.
Be aware that bitcoin transactions are irreversible. Most electronic payment networks such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and bank account transfers are reversible. For someone selling bitcoin, this difference introduces a very high risk that the buyer will reverse the electronic payment after they have received bitcoin, in effect defrauding the seller. To mitigate risk, companies accepting traditional electronic payments in return for bitcoin usually require buyers to undergo identity verification and credit-worthiness checks. This can take days or weeks which often deters new users. Also, as a new user, you cannot buy bitcoin instantly with a credit card.
The good news, there are ways around this waiting game and checking credit, etc.
Here are faster ways for a new user to get bitcoin:
- Find a friend who has bitcoin and buy some from them directly. Many bitcoin users start this way. This method is the least complicated.
- Go to a meetup and buy from someone local.
- There are classified sites such as localbitcoins.com to find a seller in your area to buy bitcoin for cash in an in-person transaction.
- Earn bitcoin by selling a product or service for bitcoin. For example, if you use Shopify you can now charge with bitcoin.
- If you have offer a service you can charge via bitcoin right from you phone using one of many wallets.
- Use a bitcoin ATM in your city. A bitcoin ATM is a machine that accepts cash and sends bitcoin to your smartphone bitcoin wallet.
- Use a bitcoin currency exchange linked to your bank account. Many countries now have currency exchanges that offer a market for buyers and sellers to swap bitcoin with local currency.