One of the first questions potential new crypto investors ask me is “so if I am interested in buying Bitcoin, what’s the process”?
And my short answer for them is, to create an exchange account, complete their KYC requirements, and then buy Bitcoin with your bank card.
But this oversimplified process might not be very helpful for an absolute beginner to follow through all by themselves.
That’s why I am writing this post.
To help a total beginner to buy their first Bitcoin without the help of anyone, and just by reading and following the instructions in this article.
There’re dozens of ways to buy your first Bitcoin with cash, but I will be sharing the most simple and straightforward ways out there.
So without much ado, let’s get started.
3 simple ways to buy your first Bitcoin with your local currency
There are three simple ways to buy your first Bitcoin with fiat:
- Buy bitcoin from an individual in a face to face transaction and pay them with cash or bank transfer.
- Buy Bitcoin on a cryptocurrency exchange using your bank card.
- Buy bitcoin with fiat on a peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplace.
There are other ways, but these are the top 3 most popular and simplest ways to buy your first Bitcoin as a beginner or even an experienced crypto investor.
Let’s discuss how to buy your first Bitcoin using each of the above methods in detail.
1. Buy Bitcoin from an individual
This is self-explanatory. Locate a close friend or family member who’s into Bitcoin and ask if you can buy some from them.
If they have for sale, then you can give them cash and they send the Bitcoin into your wallet on the spot in a face to face transaction.
I bought my first Bitcoin in 2017 in a face to face transaction. I gave my friend the cash, and he sent the Bitcoin equivalent to my wallet immediately.
This transaction could also happen over a long distance if you trust the person enough but I wouldn’t suggest that as you can be easily scammed or cheated.
2. Buy Bitcoin from an exchange with your bank card
The second and arguably most popular and convenient way to buy Bitcoin is through a centralized exchange, using your bank card.
This is because these exchanges are highly regulated and compliant with applicable laws.
Furthermore, they offer a lot of different features and multiple cryptocurrencies you can buy, not just Bitcoin.
They could also serve as your crypto wallet or “crypto bank” where you can buy, trade, store, and even invest your crypto to earn interest.
However, I wouldn’t suggest leaving your crypto on an exchange due to safety and privacy reasons. It’s better you keep your coins in your own wallet where only you have access to and control over it.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the best crypto exchanges where you can buy Bitcoin and how to actually buy your first Bitcoin on an exchange.
List of some popular cryptocurrency exchanges where you can buy Bitcoin
Some popular centralized exchanges you can consider buying your Bitcoin from include:
- Binance. The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume, liquidity, traffic (userbase), and other metrics. Binance offers spot, margin, derivatives, peer-to-peer trading; investment, lending, mining services; NFT marketplace, a smart chain, and a host of other services and features.
- OKX. Leading and innovative cryptocurrency exchange with advanced financial services. OKX offers spot, margin, futures, options, perpetual swaps trading, investment, lending, and mining services.
- Coinbase. Coinbase is the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the US but is also available in over 100 countries. It’s probably the only exchange that offers FDIC insurance on all USD cash balances on its platform up to a maximum of $250,000.
- KuCoin. Popularly known as the people’s exchange, KuCOin offers spot, margin, contract (futures) trading; investment, lending, and trading bot services; and a smart chain network.
- FTX. FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange built by traders, for traders, offering innovative products including industry-first derivatives, options, volatility products and leveraged tokens. The exchange aims to develop a platform robust enough for professional trading firms and intuitive enough for first-time users.
- Huobi Global. Huobi is one of the oldest and leading cryptocurrency exchanges established in 2013. The exchange supports over 469 different crypto assets and offers 2 major ways to buy crypto with fiat (with a bank card or with local currency on its P2P marketplace).
- Kraken. Kraken is arguably the oldest cryptocurrency exchange still in existence. It was established in 2011 and built for newcomers and experts alike.
- Binance US. This is Binance but for US only. It supports a much-limited number of coins and features than Binancemu ch-limited global.
- Gemini. Gemini is another US-based crypto exchange with a carefully selected list of coins to list.
- FTX.US. This is FTX but for the US only.
For the purpose of this article, we will be using Binance to buy our first crypto with a bank card.
If you don’t have a Binance exchange account, then you have to quickly create one by following the simple steps below.
How to create a Binance account
- Step one:
Click here to begin the signup process (affiliate link).
- Step two
On the next page that pops up, select your country of residence and click Confirm.
Fill out the simple form that pops up with your email address, and a good password you will be using to access your Binance account.
Then agree to the terms and conditions and click Create Account to proceed.
On the next screen (shown above) you’ll be required to prove you’re not a bot by solving a simple puzzle. Drag the slide accordingly until you fit the cut-out shape in the frame.
Once you solve that puzzle successfully, you will be taken to the email verification screen as shown below.
Click Get Code and a verification code would be sent to your email.
Now login to your email, copy the 6 digit verification code that was sent to you and enter it on the next screen as shown above, then click Submit.
The next step is to click Verify at the top right-hand side of the screen and complete their KYC requirements to verify your identity.
Select your country from the top right-hand side and click Start Now to begin the identity verification process. Then follow the onscreen instructions and provide the required information accordingly.
Depending on your country, the KYC requirements and review time could be slightly different.
KYC is compulsory on all exchanges if you want to buy crypto with your bank card or fiat.
How to buy Bitcoin with your bank card on Binance
Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume and website traffic, as per data from CoinGecko.
It’s also the most trusted and reliable cryptocurrency exchange, judging by the number of people using it and the amount of money that flows through its accounts.
Furthermore, Binance supports the most number of coins and smart chains you can withdraw your crypto assets to. That’s why it’s my most preferred crypto exchange for this guide.
Enough of the Binance hype though, let’s go buy your Bitcoin already.
Buy Bitcoin on Binance using your bank card
From your Binance account home screen, click Buy Crypto and select Credit/Debi Card from the Pay With, drop-down menu as shown above.
From the next screen, enter the USD (or your local currency) amount you want to spend and the system will automatically calculate the amount of BTC you will get.
Then click Continue to proceed.
Agree to the fiat service agreement and click Start to proceed.
Click Continue to proceed.
Now click Ok to continue with buying your first Bitcoin on Binance using your credit or debit card.
Enter your credit or debit card details and click Next to proceed.
Enter your street address and city name and then click Confirm to proceed.
Then click Continue.
You can see that the transaction fee for this purchase is $100 which is 2% of the total amount you’re using to buy Bitcoin.
This fairly high fee is why I personally prefer to use the Binance peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace for my purchases where there’s literarily zero transaction fee.
However, the risk of buying crypto on the peer-to-peer crypto marketplace is higher compared to buying directly from Binance.
If you’re ok with the fee, click Confirm within the specified 10 seconds, otherwise, the rate will refresh.
Once the payment is successful, the money will be deducted from your bank account and your Binance account will be credited with the amount of Bitcoin shown earlier.
Congratulations, you have successfully purchased your first Bitcoin on Binance.
3. Buy Bitcoin with fiat on the Binance P2P crypto marketplace
Before you can buy crypto on the Binance peer-to-peer marketplace, you need to first complete SMS authentication and Identity verification.
To begin, click on Buy Crypto and select P2P Trading from the drop-down menu.
This will take you to the Binance p2p crypto marketplace where you can select the coin you want to buy, the amount you want to spend, your local currency, and the payment method you wish to use.
Once done, click SEARCH to filter the order list to your preference as shown below.
The system will return all BTC sell orders that match your selected criteria. Just click the green Buy BTC button in front of any of the sellers’ names to initiate a transaction with them.
On the screen that follows, enter the amount of BTC you want to buy from this seller and click Buy BTC as shown above.
You will be directed to the payment page where you have to transfer money directly to the seller’s account.
Once you have paid the seller, click “Transferred, notify seller”.
When the seller confirms your payment, the BTC will be credited to your Binance wallet accordingly.
There are other peer-to-peer crypto marketplaces where you can buy your first Bitcoin from, but Binance P2P is arguably the best among them all.
You will notice that there’s a zero transaction fee when buying crypto on Binance P2P. That’s why I prefer using it when buying crypto with fiat, plus it feels more secure compared to other p2p crypto marketplaces.
If you prefer a visual guide, below are two video tutorials on how to buy crypto on Binance P2P on your PC and mobile app.
How to Buy Crypto on Binance P2P on your PC via a web browser
How to Buy Crypto on Binance P2P on the Binance mobile app
But, they work fine too, and you can try them out if you want to explore other alternatives to Binance p2p.
How much Bitcoin should I buy for the first time?
You can buy any amount of Bitcoin you can afford. Whether it’s $1 or $1 billion. You can buy 1 or several whole Bitcoins, and you can also buy a fraction of 1 BTC (e.g. 0.0001 0r 0.1) depending on how much cash you have to spend.
No amount is too small or too big. It’s all about your budget and risk appetite.
If you need more explanation on how much you really need to start your Bitcoin investment with, check out my previous article: How much do I need to start investing in crypto?
There, I discussed in detail all the factors you should consider in deciding how much you need to start investing in crypto.
There you have it. The top 3 ways to buy your first Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency for that matter using your bank card.
Buying crypto on the Binance p2p marketplace is my favourite because of the zero fees involved, no limits or restrictions, and the platform is more secure and reliable compared to other p2p crypto marketplaces.
What’s your favourite method of buying crypto with your bank card? Share with us in the comments section below.