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How to buy Bitcoin in 7 steps

In 2013 I set out to buy one whole Bitcoin for £200. But it never actually happened.

The closer I got to buying, the more confused and worried about the whole thing I got. So I gave up.

I wasn’t to know, but if I’d persevered, that Bitcoin would now be worth over £3,000.

With the ongoing surge in interest and media coverage, the conversation gets louder and louder, and so much harder to ignore.

bitcoin charts

Bitcoin could have huge implications for everyone’s future. I felt it was time to try again. Not to make money, but to understand what the hell all the fuss was about.

The itch led me down a rabbit hole of research, fueled by fascination and excitement. I finally ‘got it’. It also became obvious that today it’s far easier to buy Bitcoin than it was 4 years ago.

Today I’m the proud owner of 0.01603666 BTC, which I exchanged for £100.

In this guide, I take you through the exact steps I followed to buy Bitcoin. The process itself took about 15 minutes.

But before we get to the tutorial steps, it’s really important to know what we’re getting into. Increasingly I hear from students making mistakes due to rushing into Bitcoin because of all the hype. There’s so much fragmented or misleading information out there. My aim here is to strip it to total basics without putting you off for another 4 years (hopefully).

What is Bitcoin?

To many people Bitcoin represents the future of paying for something, as a new digital global ‘cryptocurrency’. Rather than using a £1 coin or $1 bill, something could be 1 Bitcoin (1 BTC).

But Bitcoin is much more than a currency, and this is why people often get confused. It’s also the entire network (known as a Blockchain) that securely oversees the entire process of someone sending money to someone else.

Say you spend £20 at a restaurant on a Visa debit card. That transaction must be processed through a card machine, Visa, your bank and the merchant bank. At each step, communication and verification takes place.

Bitcoin’s promise is removing all of this friction involved in the verification, whilst also making payments much more secure. You could use your mobile phone to send £20 worth of Bitcoin to the restaurant directly.

bitcoin transaction

Now to make it completely real for you, here’s a guy buying an ice-cream with Bitcoin back in 2014: