After some lengthy research, I decided on using Coinbase as a ‘one stop shop’. They set me up with an address, a wallet and the conversion of pounds to Bitcoin itself.
I also like their intuitive website and mobile app, which allows me to send and receive Bitcoin on the move. The whole process took me less than 15 minutes.
Click here for a special promo page inviting you to join.
Complete the short form and hit “Sign up”.
Head to your inbox and click the verification link. It may take a few minutes to arrive (check junk folder if longer).
To secure your account, you’ll now be asked to link up your mobile phone.
This is known as 2-factor authentication and means no one can access your account without knowing your password and holding your phone.
Coinbase will immediately send you an SMS with a code. Enter this in the box, and your account’s created and secured
You’re now looking at your dashboard, but before being able to buy Bitcoin you need to verify your identity.
Scroll down and click the “Verify your identity” block (bottom left).
Select an ID type. Now decide how you want to take a photo of it (webcam or mobile).
The live verification check only takes a minute or so.
Back on the dashboard, scroll down and now click “Add a payment method”.
For the purposes of this tutorial, I suggest using a debit or credit card. This allows you to buy Bitcoin instantly, but note there is a small fee.
Bank transfer is an option, but that takes several days to setup. Also when I tried it had to be made in Euros (which for the small amount I bought would have cost me more in bank fees than a card).
Run through the card authentication process and now you’re ready to buy your first Bitcoin.
Click “Buy/Sell” in the top menu.
Ensure “Bitcoin” is selected and your payment method should be pre-loaded.
Enter in the amount of money (or Bitcoin) you wish to buy. I bought $100 but it could be as little as $10 ($100 is needed for the $10 signup bonus).
The conversion will be automatically shown. The box on the right shows the full transaction, including the fees.
Click “Buy Bitcoin Instantly” and the Bitcoin will be added to your wallet immediately. Congrats!
In my example, I purchased $100 with total Coinbase fees of $3.41. The remaining $96.59 bought me 0.01603666 Bitcoin.
Click “Accounts” in the top menu.
Under “BTC Wallet” you should now see your Bitcoin amount and the transaction.
This is also where you’re able to send and receive Bitcoin.