How to buy bitcoin online

Key Takeaways

To buy bitcoin, you must first sign up for a bitcoin wallet.

Traditional payment methods such as a credit card, bank transfer (ACH), or debit cards will buy bitcoins on a bitcoin exchange using a bitcoin wallet as a depository.

Bitcoin experiences price volatility and remains an uncertain commodity in terms of taxation and legality.

What Do I Need to Buy Bitcoin Online?

  1. Digital Wallet: In order to conduct transactions on the bitcoin network, participants need to run a program called a “wallet.” Bitcoin is not technically “coins,” so it only seems right that a bitcoin wallet would not actually be a wallet. Bitcoin balances are maintained using public and private “keys,” which are long strings of numbers and letters linked through the mathematical encryption algorithm used to create them.The public key is the location where transactions are deposited to and withdrawn from. This is also the key that appears on the blockchain ledger as a user’s digital signature, not unlike a username on a social media newsfeed. The private key is the password required to buy, sell, and trade the bitcoin in a wallet. A private key should be a guarded secret and only used to authorize bitcoin transmissions. Some users protect their private keys by encrypting a wallet with a strong password and, in some cases, by choosing the cold storage option; that is, storing the wallet offline. Coinbase offers a secure “multisig vault” to host user keys.
  1. Personal Documents:
    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires users to verify their identities when registering for digital wallets as part of its Anti-Money Laundering Policy. In order to buy and sell bitcoin, you will need to verify your identity using several personal documents including your driver’s license and Social Security number (SSN).

3. Secure Internet Connection: If you choose to trade bitcoin online, use discretion about when and where you access your digital wallet. Trading bitcoin on an insecure or public wifi network is not recommended and may make you more susceptible to attacks from hackers.

4. Bank Account, Debit Card, or Credit Card: How to buy bitcoin Online with debit card. Once you have a bitcoin wallet, you can use a traditional payment method such as a credit card, bank transfer (ACH), or debit card to buy bitcoins on a bitcoin exchange. The bitcoins are then transferred to your wallet. The availability of the above payment methods is subject to the area of jurisdiction and exchange chosen. Below is a screenshot of the bitcoin interface on Coinbase showing how to buy and sell bitcoin and also Bitcoin CashEthereum, and Litecoin​, which are other popular virtual currencies. The user clicks the “Buy” tab to buy digital currency and the “Sell” tab to sell digital currency. You select which currency you are buying/selling and which payment method (your bank account or credit card) you want to use.

Buy bitcoin online

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