Bitcoin has been the top currency in terms of market cap for a while now. Learn how to buy Bitcoin with these methods:
After purchasing Bitcoin, you may want to learn how to store it. Read our guide on Bitcoin hardware wallets.
Just like Bitcoin, Ethereum can be mined, allowing you to earn cryptocurrency using your computing power. Before mining Ethereum, check out our guides:
Monero is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency that has been around since 2014. Check out our guide on how to buy Monero. Monero can also be mined allowing users to earn coins in exchange for their computing power.
In order to mine for a profit, you’ll want to learn about:
Depending on your situation, certain cryptocurrency exchanges will be better than others. More will be added soon, but check out our in-depth reviews on:
Fiat exchanges are the onboard ramp, allowing users to exchange fiat currency for cryptocurrency. Depending on your country, certain exchanges will be a better option.
Crypto to Crypto Exchanges
Crypto to crypto exchanges allow users to trade cryptocurrencies with each other. The difference between these and the earlier mentioned exchange is that no fiat currencies are used at all!
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency created by an anonymous cryptographer who goes by the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Since the release of the Bitcoin software in 2009, Nakamoto has been quiet since. A cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital asset that uses cryptography to secure its network.
Unlike many other currencies, no one is in charge of Bitcoin, even the creator himself. Instead, it is a peer to peer network where no member has power over another. While most people think Bitcoin is anonymous, it is technically pseudo-anonymous. Every transaction that takes place on a public ledger where users are represented by wallet addresses.
Think of wallet addresses as a phone number, except that these are 34 characters long and contain letters and numbers (case sensitive).
How to get Free Bitcoin
There are several ways to get free Bitcoin, although it is probably not worth your time. The most common way of obtaining free Bitcoin is from a Bitcoin faucet.
A faucet is basically a page covered in ads, that hands out free bitcoin every x time periods. The amount given is usually several Satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin. One Satoshi is .00000001 Bitcoin. One of the most popular Bitcoin faucets is currently handing out 0.00000051 Satoshis every hour. Want to figure out how much 51 Satoshis is? Check out this Satoshi to USD calculator. At the time of this writing that is equal to 0.00323498 USD.
How to mine Bitcoin
Mining Bitcoin is a very intensive process and is not recommended for everyone. Nearly any device can mine Bitcoin, but the question worth asking is if it profitable to mine Bitcoin. Mining might not be profitable for everyone, as the electricity cost used to power the devices may cancel out potential gains.
The most profitable device to mine Bitcoin with is the Dragonmint 16T. They are somewhat rare as they are in very high demand, but will give you the most hashing power for your buck. They sold out almost instantly, but the official website has a waitlist if you would like to know when they are back in stock.
One of the most important factors in determining mining profitably is electricity cost. Compared to the rest of the world, electricity costs in the United States are high. Some of the profitable places to mine Bitcoin in the world are China and Canada.
How to get Bitcoin with Paypal
Buying Bitcoin with Paypal can be done, but is somewhat uncommon due to the fees associated with the process. Bitcoin and Paypal aren’t very compatible, due to the fact that Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, and Paypal’s are reversible. This creates a risk for anyone selling Bitcoin in exchange for Paypal balance.
The most common and oldest ways to get Bitcoin with Paypal is the exchange Virwox. On Virwox, you can exchange Paypal balance for a virtual currency called Second Life Lindens (SLL) from the game Second Life. After buying SLL, you can almost instantly exchange the SLL for Bitcoin.
Expect around 10% fees with this method, so it is not recommended if another method can be used.
How to get a Bitcoin Wallet
When it comes to storing Bitcoin, you have several options. Bitcoin is stored on wallets, that are secured through cryptography. The most common types of Bitcoin wallets are hardware wallets, software wallets, and paper wallets.
Hardware wallets are the most secure and are physical devices that secure Bitcoin. Hardware wallets are able to be so secure because if set up properly, no sensitive components (private key) are exposed to the outside world.
Software wallets are typically applications on a computer or phone, that have user interfaces that assist in the storing, sending, and receiving of Bitcoin. These aren’t as secure, as they interact with other online components. In theory, if your computer or device was ever compromised, they could access your software wallet.
Lastly, the other common method of storing Bitcoin is a paper wallet. Paper wallets are technically as secure as hardware wallets, as they can be created without ever exposing sensitive information to the outside world. The main drawback of a paper wallet is well… they are made out of paper. In the event of any flood, fire or other events, the important information could be destroyed.
How to add money to a Bitcoin Wallet
Bitcoin wallets only store Bitcoin and sometimes other cryptocurrencies, so in order to add money to a Bitcoin wallet, you must send cryptocurrency to the wallet. In order to do this, you must find your wallets deposit address (public key). Depending on if you are depositing to an exchange or your own wallet, this will be in different places.
As stated above, a Bitcoin public key is 34 characters long, with a variety of letters and numbers. Every wallet has a unique sequence, so it is important to copy and paste your address to ensure it is typed correctly.
How to get Bitcoin fast
Like most things, speed can come at a cost. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with a bank transfer, credit cards, and debit cards. Due to bank transfers being somewhat slow, most exchanges will not let you get Bitcoin fast. However, if a card is used, most exchanges deliver Bitcoin instantly. This convenience comes at a slight cost, as the usual rate for a card transaction is a 4% fee. Compared to a bank transfers fee of ~1.49%.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide if the delivery speed is worth a slightly higher fee. It is important to note that a lot of exchanges will let you lock in a buy price when a bank transfer is used, even though it takes several days for the funds to reach your account.
How to get Bitcoin with Cash
Similar to Paypal, this method can be done, but usually has a premium on the price. The exchange LocalBitcoins specializes in person to person transactions with their escrow service. First, find a vendor on the service who is selling Bitcoin for cash. On LocalBitcoins, you can either deposit into their account, or meet them in person. After, upload proof of the transaction and you should receive the Bitcoin in your account!
Another option for buying Bitcoin with cash are Bitcoin ATMs. These are scattered around the world, and charge a fee in exchange for their services. You deposit cash into the ATM and give an address for it to send Bitcoin to. Also, don’t try to rob a Bitcoin ATM, as the Bitcoins aren’t actually inside the machine. This also happens to be illegal too.
When purchasing Bitcoin on an ATM or on LocalBitcoins, you will often encounter higher prices, as most people are ok with paying a premium for the added privacy that these methods offer.