As the price of Bitcoin continues to increase, it has more and more people interested in owning a piece of the new age "gold". If you are new to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, it can seem overwhelming as there are so many ways to buy or earn Bitcoins. With the growing number of exchanges and platforms it's important to do your research to buy from a trusted source. Below we have broken down the easiest and safest ways to get started and own your first "digit gold".
Before you buy bitcoins:
Get a wallet
Before you buy your bitcoins, you will need somewhere to store your bitcoins. This is called your "wallet" or "bitcoin wallet". Generally, there are 3 different types of wallets for your digital currency - a software stored on your harddrive (see our reviews on the Trezor or Ledger cold storage wallets), an online web-based or exchange wallet or a cold storage hardware wallet, which give you extra protection offline and the ability to carry your wallet physically with you.
Once you have a bitcoin wallet set up, you have have a private key and a public key. The private key is used for you to access your wallet and start transactions. The public is key used to receive bitcoins in your wallet. Be sure your private key is secure and backed up. Your public key can be available to be shared because you can only make deposits into the public key.
All exchanges also have wallets but we strongly reccommend taking all cryptocurrencies off of exchange wallets. See our post on the best bitcoin wallets to find the wallet best fit for you. Once you purchase your bitcoin from one of the services below, you will should send it to your wallet for safe keeping.
2-Factor Authentication - What is 2FA
In today's ages of digital crime and internet frauds, security and privacy is more important than ever. Many services which require usernames and passwords for logging in are a target. When investing in bitcoin or other cyptocurrencies, you want to make sure you are highly protected from any service where your fiat or digital currency in stores. 2-Factor Authentication, also know as 2FA, adds an extra layer of securty to your log in credentials. 2FA requires a "multi factor authentication" key in addition to your username and password which is retreived from an extrernal device such as a physical token or smart device with certain authentications applications available.
2FA should always be activated when buying and selling digital currencies on any exchange.
Coinbase is a company headquartered in San Francisco, California which operates as an exchange to buy and sell digital assets. Coinbase currently allows the purchase of Bitcoin (), Ethereum (Ξ), and Litecoin (Ł) with fiat currencies of over 30 countries. In addition to purchasing Bitcoin (or Ethereum/Litecoin), you can also store your digital assets on the Coinbase wallet. Leaving your Bitcoin on an exchange wallet is never recommended. We always recommend removing your Bitcoin from the exchange wallets and storing them on a cold store wallet or software wallet.
Coinbase offers a very simple to use platform to buy and sell Bitcoin. Coinbase offers a $5,000 weekly bank limit on purchases. Coinbase can be accessed via website or iOS AppStore or Android Play Store. This makes it convenient to buy and sell your coins on-to-go.
Signing up for Coinbase
Getting verified on Coinbase
Coinbase requires identity verification for all users of their platform. Coinbase is based in the United States and aims comply with all regulations of digital currency exchanges.
Once you are register you will need to verify your identification and your bank account to beginning buying Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin.
- Once your are logged into your account, click on "Add Payment Method"
- In order to use a bank account or credit card to purchase your bitcoins (or Ethereum or Litecoin) Coinbase will ask you to send a picture of your ID.
- Using your webcam, take a picture of your ID and ensure the ID is fully visible and in focus.
- Typically, Coinbase will verify your ID and account in 6-7 business days (however there are longer wait times with such a high increase in users in 2017.)
Once your are verified on Coinbase, you can start making purchases via bank account, credit card, or Paypal to for selling transactions. If you use your bank account for a purchase, remember that the coins will not clear your wallet for 5-7 days. This means, you can move your bitcoin from your Coinbase wallet until your bank payment is complete which takes 5-7 days.
Gemini is an exchange based in New York City with operations in the US, Canada, and UK . Gemini maintains complete compliance with all digital asset regulations. Currently it only trades USD ($) , Bitcoin (), and Ethereum (Ξ). Gemini offers an exchange platform that is different than Coinbase. Gemini customers trade from pre-funded accounts. If you wire USD, BTC, or ETH, there are no limits on deposits or withdrawals. If you use a ACH transfer, you are limited to $500 daily limits and $15,000 per month on an individual account. Institutional accounts have a $10,000 daily limit and $300,000 per month.
Registering and getting verified for Gemini
- To sign up for Gemini, go to Gemini.com and click Register in the top right corner.
- Sign up using your name, email address and a password of your choice.
- To get verified to make bank wires and ACH transfers you will need to send a picture of your your driver’s license, passport or government-issued identity card. This typically takes 1 to 3 days to get approved.
Gemini provides very nice and simple platform to buy and sell Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Continuous Trading Order Types
Market — filled immediately against resting orders.
Limit — filled at or better than a specified price. Any quantity of a limit order that is not filled rests on the continuous trading order book until it is filled or canceled.
Immediate-or-Cancel (IOC) — filled immediately at or better than a specified price. Any quantity of an IOC order that is not is filled immediately is canceled and does not rest on the continuous trading order book.
Maker-or-Cancel (MOC) — rests on the continuous trading order book at a specified price. If any quantity of an MOC order can be filled immediately, the entire MOC order is canceled. – Gemini.com