So you've been watching the rising prices of cryptocurrencies over the past year or so and have decided it's time to jump in.
But you're not sure how to get started.
The best place to buy bitcoins for beginners is, without question, Coinbase. When it comes to ease of use, security, and convenience, Coinbase is hard to beat.
Today, I'll show you exactly how to buy bitcoins on Coinbase, step by step.
I consider Coinbase the easiest "on-ramp" into the world of cryptocurrencies – much as America Online was to the Internet back in the 1990s. (I believe Coinbase ultimately will be the first Bitcoin stock to have an IPO.)
For an overview of exchanges that offer a wider selection of cryptocurrencies and have more robust trading features, check out this article.
But Coinbase offers what beginners need most…
Why Coinbase Is the Best Place to Buy Bitcoins If You're a Novice
- Ease of use: The Coinbase interface is clean, straightforward, and written in plain language. Getting U.S. dollars in and out of your Coinbase account is relatively painless when you link it to your bank account. You can also link your account to a credit card.
- Security: Coinbase uses a two-step verification of all accounts and stores 98% of customer funds offline – out of reach of hackers. And if somehow the company's storage was breached, it has an insurance policy to cover any customer losses. That means you can feel comfortable storing your cryptocurrency at Coinbase rather than downloading and setting up a separate software wallet.
- U.S.-based: Coinbase has its headquarters in San Francisco.
- Convenient: You can access Coinbase through a browser on a PC or with a smartphone app.
- It's an exchange, too: When you have an account at Coinbase, you automatically have an account at GDAX, the company's full-featured Bitcoin exchange. If and when you feel ready to move on to Bitcoin trading rather than just buying, your GDAX account is ready and waiting.
For these reasons, Coinbase has experienced dramatic growth over the past couple of years, from about 4 million customers in mid-2016 to more than 13 million by the end of 2017.
But such rapid expansion has caused growing pains.
When cryptocurrency prices are spiking or plunging, the site can get very slow or even crash. Customer service can be spotty, as the company has struggled to keep up with its exploding user base. Coinbase fees also tend to be a bit higher than on other Bitcoin exchanges.
The Cryptocurrency Everyone Else Will Regret Not Owning: To See Tom Gentile's No. 1 Crypto Pick and Excactly How to Trade It, Click Here Now.
That said, I've had a Coinbase account since 2013 and personally have not had any issues buying, selling, or transferring Bitcoin or U.S. dollars in and out of the account. And none of those issues change the fact that Coinbase is the best place to buy Bitcoin if you're new to cryptocurrencies.
Now here's your step-by-step guide on how to open, set up, and start using a Coinbase account…
How to Buy Bitcoins on Coinbase
About the Author
Dave has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.