It used to be a daunting experience buying bitcoin and required more trust and technical knowledge than it does now. There are still many examples of ways to buy that are a bit confusing but thankfully there are some that are as simple as buying a product on Ebay.
A good place to start for anyone wanting to buy bitcoin for the first time, after you have done your own research is Fastbitcoins.com where you can visit a retail location and purchase a bitcoin voucher for cash or send a bank transfer or alternatively Coinbase via their app or website.
Coinbase is a very simple and user friendly experience, you will be required to register an account and prove your identity first (KYC). You can then buy bitcoin either with your debit card (higher fee) or via same day bank transfer in GBP from your bank account (lower fee) to your Coinbase account.
Once purchased, if it is a small amount you could move it to their Coinbase Vault, securely storing it offline or if it is a larger amount we recommend transferring it to your own Hardware Wallet.
Some things to be aware of when buying your first bitcoin:
Triple check that the website you are visiting is the correct one and not a phishing site. Ideally bookmark your exchange addresses and never follow links in emails.
Always use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) and ALWAYS record the backup to recover them and store this safely. Google Authenticator is highly recommended.
Never EVER invest more than you can afford to lose. It is safer to invest small amounts regularly called Dollar Cost Averaging, than a large amount in one go as this will average out price swings.
If sending your first bitcoin off an exchange, triple check you are sending it to the correct receiving address and start by sending only a small test amount that if successfully received can be followed with the remaining balance.
Never forget that if you send bitcoin to a wrong address it cannot be undone, you are your own bank. Double check the start, middle and end of all addresses and try not to reuse the same address repeatedly.
The person who owns the private keys to the bitcoin, owns the bitcoin, that should be you.
Trust no one.
There are many exchanges that you can chose from to purchase your first bitcoin and it is important you do your own research. Remember, you don’t need to buy a whole bitcoin, each breaks down to one hundred million Satoshi’s.