How to buy your first Bitcoin
If you want to skip the article, here is the summary....
Sign up for Coinbase Pro and attach your bank account.
Transfer US Dollars into your Coinbase Pro account directly from your bank account
Use the dollars that you transferred to purchase your first Bitcoin, Ether or any other. You can purchase part of a coin.
Use a limit order when you purchase, not a market order so you can set your price.
Buying your first Bitcoin is filled with emotion. It is fun, scary, exciting, and stressful. Bitcoin will be many people's first purchase of a non tangible and unstable asset.
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are the absolute easiest on ramps for Americans with accounts at major banks. US residents will be able to attach your Chase or Bank of America account fairly easily. If you transfer US dollars from your bank account to Coinbase Pro, there isn't a fee. That is the least expensive and best way we know to buy crypto.
We are also looking into Moonpay and Coinmama. They are very big players in the fiat to crypto market. Moonpay was not interested in a partnership and we are looking into becoming a Coinmama afilliate.
One of the easiest ways to buy Bitcoin and alt coins is through a centralized exchange. My favorite way to buy Bitcoin is with Coinbase Pro. Coinbase Pro can easily login in to your bank account at a major bank. I have been successful in getting transfers from Chase and Bank of America. If you transfer US Dollars into your account, there is no fee. If you transfer $500, you will receive exactly $500 in your Coinbase Pro account. In general Coinbase Pro is a very good program. My only concern is that it doesn't have all of the pairs I would like to trade. As an example I am very interested in Sushi Swap token right now. I won't be able to buy that from Coinbase or any of the major exchanges. I still have a Coinbase Pro account that use occassionaly. I have it locked to a Yubikey so that you need a physical device to get it to work. I have my regular Coinbase account also locked. The nice thing about Coinbase is that it is real crypto and you can withraw and deposit like normal crypto. The only hesitation is that they will probably hold your funds the first time you try to withdraw and they still have the private keys. Coinbase Pro has an awesome mobile app but there is a problem if you use a Yubikey. I am not able to access my mobile account right now. I can only access my account on a PC.
The first time I ever bought any crypto it was Litecoin using Coinbase. Coinbase back in 2017 was the safest and easiest option I could find to get money into the crypto system. I have used Coinbase and Coinbase pro for all of my purchase of crpto using fiat. The main negative with Coinbase is that it has big fees. If you are only going to make a purchase or two, this is probably the best way for you to enter the Bitcoin space. If you plan to buy often and trade into other currencies, then you should consider Coinbase Pro right away, Same thing with the Yubikey. I am only able to access my account on a pc using the Yubikey. I would need to take away that protection in order to use the app. Coinbase integrates with Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Wallet really well. It also syncs perfectly with Cointracker.io if you want to use Cointracker for tax purposes.
I don't really know too much about this one. Back in 2017 I joined when I was looking for ways to buy Ripple and other alt coins. I remember it being easy to use and feeling safe. I didn't end up letting money stay in the account as I was inactive during 2019. When I tried to reopen the account a few months ago, I wasn't able to do it immediately so I kind of gave up. I didn't have any money in the account and I didn't really need an extra exchange at the moment. As I have done more research on Centralized exchanges I have come to realize that Poloniex is one of the smaller exchanges and caters to specific niches.
This is the main account I am using right now. I used to have a Kraken account back in 2017 and I lost access to it. I didn't have any money in the account but I had already done the verification which is a pain and I didnt want to do it again. I was able to use their customer service and get my account reestablished. That is one of the main reasons I use Kraken as my main account. They allow me to secure my account with a Yubikey. They have access to Monero. They allow you to stake about 7 different coins. I am staking Polka Dot with Kraken and earning 12%. I am staking Tezos and a few other coins. You can stake Ethereum 2.0 with any amount. There are lots of cool things about Kraken. I feel that they are one of the most trustworthy of the Centralized Exchanges. Kraken doesn't have as many pairs to trade as CEX like Binance, HTBC, OKEx, and Huobi but Kraken is available in the United States. Binance US in not the same as Binance. The closest an American can get to some of these unusual pairs is by using an exchange like Kucoin.
Binance is the biggest and the best but I am annoyed that they made me cancel my account. I had a Binance account since 2017 and they made me switch to the Binance USA. Apparently my Binance International account brought up some red flags that I was American. Well, Binance Internation is awesome and has lots of coins to stake and the most pairs to trade and the most volume. It was my favorite exchange while they let me use it. You can pay transactions with BNB which saves on transactions and BNB tends to go up on its own. I have made more from my Binanace currently going up than any of my trades.
This site is OK but compared to its parent site it isn't that good. The volume is way less and the available coins and trade options are also way less. The only redeaming value is that you have access to some coins that are kind of hard to buy with other exchanges. I have been holding Raven Coin, BNB, and Algorand. Algorand gets a staking reward just for holding it in your account at Binance. I will slowly be moving funds out of Binance USA in favor of wallets and better staking opportunities. Using Binance US makes me miss how awesome Binance International is. I wish Binance would open up in the US with their real system. The closest we can get is the Binance Dex but even that is technically blocked from the US.
I was really excited to try Etoro for a while. I couldn't figure out how to get money in for a month or two. It wouldn't connect properly to my Chase account. Chase kept denying the transaction. I was finally able to get $50 into the account and I used it to buy some ADA. I was able to turn $50 into $40 before I finally figured out how to add more money to the account using my Bank of America account. The reason I was so excited is because Etoro has this feature called copy trading. You can sign up to copy the trades exactly of someone else. There are no trade commissions so it works out well. I tried the copy trading and I was able to turn a little bit of profit. My main issue with Etoro is that you can't send and receive crypto using the normal sending methods. All of the other exchanges listed above have the ability to send and receive from an outside wallet. Etoro needs to be hooked up to a bank account. The other reason I am not super fond of Etoro is that they don't appear to get good prices on market orders. I like to do market orders when the bid and ask are right by each other. That works fine on big platforms like Binance and Kraken but not so well on Etoro and Robinhood. I am waiting on Etoro to release my funds. I trying to clear out my account on March 3rd and it is still on hold March 7th. With Kraken, I can send funds and have them arrive in seconds. I am annoyed that my Etoro money is stuck in limbo during this Bull run.
This isn't really an exchange but a bunch of people including me use it to trade. I wanted to give it a try a few months ago so I transferred a few bucks into a new account. I tried to use it for stock trading but it was too slow. I was not able to execute the trades I wanted. I would put in a limit order and see the stock or coin hit my price but the sale wouldn't happen. I slowly realized that if you want to sell on Robinhood, you need to sell for slightly more than the current price. If the price of the stock is $45, you need to put a limit sell at $44 and you will sell it for $44. If you put in a market order, you will sell for $42. After a few of those, I decided to just use Robinhood for crypto. That worked well for another month but in the end I have decided to close out my Robinhood account. I am still mad at them for stopping trading on Gamestop. What can I say? Let's trade some Stonks.
Paypal isn't exactly an exchange but it is a way to buy Bitcoin that I have tried. Technically I used it to buy Litecoin. The experience was the most simple and straightforward of all the processes on this page. I already had a verified Paypal account so it literally took 5 minutes. If you don't have a Paypal account, I wouldn't suggest getting one just for Bitcoin. The transaction fees are very high and you don't have the ability to use your Bitcoin for anything. You can't send it or use it to buy something. All you can do is buy it with a huge fee and then sell it with a huge fee. I fail to see the value in Paypal with its current level of service. This is probably going to be one to watch. Supposedly they are testing the ability to use crypto to pay for things with the Paypal wallet.
I have not used Square in any capacity but I am under the impression that this is an easy way to get Bitcoin for first time buyers. I will eventually give it a try so I can give you my firsthand account. I am not sure if you are able to transfer the coins once you buy them. As an example, all I was able to do with Paypal was buy the coins with a high fee and then eventually sell them back also with a high fee. Until you can use the crypto with Paypal, I don't think this is the best way to get new coins. You will not be able to send them to anyone or send them to a wallet for cold storage. At least, not yet.
My favorite exchange for the last few years was Binance China. After Binance China cut me off I wanted to have access to another exchange where I could buy lots of small Alt coins and try things like futures and margin. I signed up for Binance USA but it was a totally different experience. They did not have all the alts that I liked to buy. They also didn't have futures, or margin, or even Ripple. I had some BSV stuck in my Coinbase account from the fork and I thought I would send it to Kucoin and see what happens. I was able to figure out how to start a sub account and deposit the funds in a sub account. I was able to figure out how to setup a robot trader. What I couldn't figure out for about a month was how to stop the robot and get my money back. In a month of automated trading doing thousands of transactions, I lost about $80.00. After about an hour of Google searching I figured out how to get my money out of the sub account and how to transfer from Kucoin out to Kraken. Kraken is now the main centralized exchange that I use.
I have not tried this exchange and I don't know anyone that has. It appears to be right up there with Coinbase and Binance for volume. They have some of the lesser known coins. I have not setup an account yet. I want to see what coins I can stake before I take the time. My current mindset is that all I really need is wallets, Coinbase, and Kraken. I am working on getting it all organized in the fewest needed accounts and backing up all the seeds using seed backup cassettes.
I just learned about this exchange yesterday. Who would have guessed it is the second biggest in the world by trading volume. Apparently they don't allow United States Citizens to sign up. HTBC is known a the Hotbit Exchange and it is a joint venture between OKEx, and Huobi and a bunch of other big players.
I am very interested in Centralized exchanges and the tokens they issue. Binance Coin is already through the roof and I think the that Huobi Token, KCS, and Hotbit Captain token are going to see some pin action from the IPO of Coinbase. If Coinbase is worth billions, then these bigger and more profitable exchanges should be worth more than Coinbase.