The virtual currency bitcoin
might not yet have taken over the world, but it has certainly made a big impression. Following on the mass media coverage of a couple of years ago, Bitcoin has grown significantly, with daily trading volumes climbing steadily upwards. Despite this growth and notoriety, though, Bitcoin still remains something of a mystery to many people. Many people, for example, still wonder how to buy bitcoins
, even if there are some excellent, easy options for doing so.
Part of the reason for this is that it was actually fairly difficult, in the early days of the currency, to secure a stash using the kind of hard currency that most people depend upon in their daily lives. Early Bitcoin exchanges were often pretty clunk affairs, requiring that new users submit a bunch of paperwork and wait weeks or months until it was reviewed by hand.
Luckily, that unsatisfying situation is no longer the norm. Instead, the best of today's Bitcoin exchanges make it extremely easy to get started with the currency, often completing initial deposits in minutes. In fact, the process of signing up for an exchange and buying some Bitcoin currency is often no more difficult, today, than shopping online.
That means that a wallet full of Bitcoin is now within reach of just about anyone who wants one. The initial steps are typically the same as signing up for any online site, with users only needing
to provide an email address and select a password that will be used to safeguard the account.
Once that email address has been confirmed, the site will typically generate a Bitcoin wallet for the user to store their coins in. These details need to be safeguarded, because losing of them will cut off access to the Bitcoin contained within. Another, simpler option is to have the coins kept on the exchange itself, in which case just storing the necessary password safely is all that will be required.
Once these needs have been taken care of, buying Bitcoin is simply a matter of paying for the transaction. That can typically be accomplished with any of a debit card, credit card or a direct bank transfer, with exchanges competing to make this, too, as easy and simple as possible.