Video - Bitcoin 101 - How To Buy Get Your First Bitcoins

Once you've decided you want to buy a few Bitcoins life gets difficult. There's such a mess of confusing options. This video is intended to clear that up and allow you to dip your toe into the Bitcoin world without fear or potential fraud. Hosted by James D'Angelo, we'll take you on a tour of some of the best ways to get your first bitcoins.


Hello and welcome to our Blackboard Series for Beginners. Today, we're covering something pretty damn important. We're going to cover how to buy or just get -- how to buy your first Bitcoins.

Now this is for two reasons, one you just want some Bitcoins. You've gotten excited by the whole process and you want to jump in or you want to learn more. So the best way to learn is not watch these videos or read up online, just buy a little bit. You can buy under a penny's worth, while it's hard to buy but you could have a friend send you under a penny's worth and you can put it in one wallet. You could open up 100 wallets and move it around and see how it all works, see how stable it is. See whether you lose or made money.

Getting your feet wet is one of the best reasons to get your first Bitcoin. So how to buy or get your first Bitcoins. And remember you can jump in the system for less than pennies. You don't have to give anyone a credit card. You don't have to tell them your name your address or anything. You can get in as easily as you would email in fact easier, you don't have to provide any information at all. So this could be titled how to get your feet wet or maybe even just dive in entirely right. And remember that you can oops! You can get your feet wet for next to nothing right. So for 0.1 pennies of American dollars you can already have a Bitcoin account and play around moving stuff around, you can divide that up in a much smaller units even. So you can get started really easily.

Now one thing that's worth mentioning right now is if you're getting your feet wet, if you're moving to this one thing that concerns most people is that you aren't actually holding the Bitcoins. You will never hold an actual Bitcoin despite all the logos and everything you see in all these coins. You will never hold a Bitcoin and for a lot of people is a big leap right. This seems like a scary but you know if some crazy Martian came down right now and dropped a rule on you. They said, you as an American or European or someone in a very modern community you can never use cash again. Like oh! It's not the world's biggest punishment. Because most of the transactions you make right now are not cash. So this is an internet statistics. I don't know how much it means but 97% percent of all transactions, not the Bitcoin one but of all transactions made in the US today, in the USA are digital.

If you make interest on your bank account, does your bank account send you actual coins or dollars? They don't send you anything they just blip up a little digital counter, right. If you go to the coffee shop and you pay with your debit card right or your credit card right. These are digital transactions right. These are entirely digital. In fact, mostly now if you get a loan from the bank you don't walk out with a bag of money. They go blip! blip! and the computer adds more money. It's not like back in their safe there they take a bag out and put it in a special storage. It's all digital. So digital transactions are really a current thing and cash turns out as kind of annoying as most of you know cash is annoying right. So if someone hands you like say the bill is a dollar one right. Then they hand you back 99 cents or you get a 20.

So you get 18 dollars and 99 cents right. You got to carry that around. It actually weighs something. It's kind of annoying and it's dirty right. So someone has a cold, blown their nose, God knows what, that sits there in the porous of your paper right. It even sits on a metal coin right. The rhino virus travels better than any disease on earth. So cash is annoying. So working with digital currency is something actually we all do. And we're all familiar with right. So it is now. It's not a future. It's not a Bitcoin future right. So working with digital currency is now. And Bitcoin if it had been invented in 1970's would have failed. So Bitcoin came about now because it can. Bitcoin can work now. So you're ready to buy.

Let's go back to buy. So let's buy some Bitcoin or get some Bitcoin. Because this is actually the first method which is my most recommended method. I'm bad with this. This week I'm telling. The first method which I think is the easiest way to get in is have a friend send you some Bitcoin. Send Bitcoin right. That's the easiest way to get going. So what you need to do and we'll cover this in another episode but I'll touch on it briefly. Before you can get your friend to send it to you right. Before anyone can send you an email you need to set up an email account. The same is true with Bitcoin.

So before anyone can send you Bitcoin you need to have some way of receiving it. And the most common way of receiving it is you open a Bitcoin wallet right. And Bitcoin loves all these terrible metaphors right. There's no coins in your hand. There's no Bitcoin right. And they also -- they send you a wallet. Now the wallet metaphor is a little bit better but it's still -- so you need to set up a wallet right and you can you set up a wallet, you can set up a wallet. Right now, I think even Apple has finally agreed to allow a wallet on their apps. They've been hating any competitive currency, they're trying to set their own.

To set up a wallet you can put one on your phone and I think by far the most common is Bitcoin wallet for Android but there's other competitors right. So have a friend send you some Bitcoin. So once you set up the wallet, you tell them and they can go Beep! Beep! Bleep! And within seconds usually you'll see that you've received the Bitcoins. Now it takes a while. There's a confirmation process. We'll touch on some. But you actually will start to see it there. Within 10 minutes or so you'll actually be able to spend it, send it to another wallet. A lot of people what they do is they set up a couple wallets or a couple of accounts and they send it to themselves a few times just to see how the whole process works. Highly recommend, great way of learning. So a friend send you some Bitcoins and I highly recommend and I've done this a ton is you look at an area which might not have many people using Bitcoin. You think they might, you know, my wife is Ugandan right. So I send Bitcoins to her family. It's a great adventure for them figuring out how they can use it and all that. I've sent it to friends that I met in Egypt elsewhere. You know, send small amounts right. To her brother I sent a large amount but normally I'll send two or three bucks and it gets just enough to get people excited, start to use it and understand it. So not only will you learn but your friend is usually excited to send you some amount of Bitcoins.

The number two best way if you're American is to go on to Now Coinbase is a company. And their big idea is they will profit off of you wanting to switch money there in exchange right. And exchanges exist in every type of currency that you can imagine. So you can exchange dollars to euros and you'll pay the exchanger money for the exchange. So exchange companies make money. Coinbase typically takes on the order of 1%. That's pretty damn good as exchangers go. So they're going to take one percent. So if you've got $101 and you send that to them they'll give you $100 worth of Bitcoin at their exchange rate. I like Coinbase. I use Coinbase a lot. For many people with Visa cards you can actually do instant buys whereas most of the other exchanges you have to send them a wire transfer. They'll wait to the bank then clears and then they'll give you a Bitcoin. So it takes a number of days. If you don't have a Visa card even on Coinbase it takes five or six days to do the turnaround and Coinbase will ask you for a lot more details. Your friend when you set up a wallet you don't need to put in information. Coinbase does remove some level of anonymity. So if you're up to a legal stuff maybe Coinbase is not your best option. But if you're not worried about that sort of thing Coinbase might be the best way to get started. and then if you are doing illegal stuff not recommended, you know, set up another account somewhere else and send the money over to that.

So that's another good way to get started, get your first coins is this amazing little service called And I admit when I first saw this I was like they'll never take off. What the hell is that? But they're doing very well and what is you go onto the site and the first thing they ask you is your zip code. So yeah, you type in 02134 (Inaudible 0:09:37) zooms old zip code. All right. So you type in your zip code and up will immediately will come a list of if anyone's selling Bitcoins in the area. So there might be someone selling Bitcoins two doors down from here. You can now text them saying well, through local Bitcoin send them a message saying that you're interested. You want to buy it and then you determine some sort of meet up place.

One of my friends who uses LocalBitcoins a lot meets up and McDonald's. Okay. Why well, McDonald's has cameras. There's usually people around. The old idea of money transactions was an open market called buttonwood which people are using now for Bitcoins is to be around a lot of people. Because you're less likely to have a scamming transaction right. If the guy in LocalBitcoin says hey, come down to my little alley and a bunch of Italian are greasing their hair right and it's dark and smells like fish or something, you probably don't want to go do that. So come up with a public meeting place and what you'll do is you'll have set up a wallet remember that before you deal with them definitely try and set yourself up a Bitcoin wallet on your phone or on your computer but you'll have to have internet access where you go and McDonald's usually has internet.

So you set up your Bitcoin wallet, you go meet them and then you want to watch as the transaction takes place. So they'll probably ask you to bring cash. So you bring, say you want to buy one Bitcoin. So today it's 170 something. You bring 170 dollars and you'll be sitting there and you'll hand it to them and he'll Peep! Peep! Peep! And you should see a flash of receiving those Bitcoins right there. And then in all fairness you probably want to wait till you get your third confirmation which takes about 10 minutes. So have a little coffee, chat the guy up a little bit. A lot of people don't even wait for -- I don't even wait for the confirmation on a small amount like that. But if you want to be really sure you wait for the third confirmation which is Bitcoins transaction server basically saying this transaction is final. So, he can't call it back or he can't double spend or cheat you in any way. Okay. Once that's on there and it's confirmed he has no access to those funds. He doesn't even really know too much about who he sent them to or how. It's only appears on your phone. Once it's done you can part ways. If you want to make a receipt some people do a bill of sale, you can do that. So local Bitcoins are great.

Another way that people work with LocalBitcoins is actually completely online. So, someone will send money via PayPal or someone will send a bank transfer or something and you'll do it online. That's got some inherent fraud capabilities inside it but people have been doing that which leads us to, you know, these are my three favorite ways to get started. So here is James's recommended ways to get started, good ways, good cool ways to get started getting some Bitcoin. And I've used all of those. Now I'm going to give you some others that I haven't used but I hear people using and they have some inherent problems. The first it's kind of funny and you won't probably figure out but on eBay people are selling Bitcoins and it turns out a lot of people in countries where there isn't an exchange are buying them.

So if you're in Egypt there's no local exchange, there's no that serves for Egypt. If you log onto Coinbase in Egypt they don't serve you. So if you're in Egypt and you want Bitcoins eBay is one way to go. So go to eBay, you send the money with PayPal and you deal with all -- they're going to have lots of specifications because it has got some fraud and there's been some pay bail charge backs and all this stuff especially if you're a Bitcoin seller. You can, it's a little risky but that's one way to do it and as long as you are careful and not dealing with enormous amounts it's probably going to be an okay way to do it. Another is there's a number of other exchanges.

So isn't the only one. I've heard of one just opening up in North America. I think it's a Canadian called Satoshi Vaults or something like that, Vault of Satoshi. Check it out they're new. New exchanges can be great but you do want to let them seize in a little bit. And then further outside of the US you have the big daddy of them Mt. Gox, the big daddy. I won't draw a shark. They're not a shark. So get rid of that. They're the big daddy. They got the big beard. They've been around the longest. They've served and transacted more Bitcoins than anybody else. They've run into some difficulty lately. They've been having a lot of hard times giving people their money back in US dollars. You can buy with them but you do need to set up account. It will require some wire transfer sending them money. It'll take a few days, then you can move your Bitcoins around.

I hear that's pretty safe but once you ask for your money back in dollars they're not so good. So maybe move your Bitcoin somewhere else. Then there's BitStamp, the up-and-comer. They're in Eastern Europe or something like that. I'm not exactly sure but they're not in the US. Also, quite reliable doing lots of transactions. And then especially if you have or can read and write in Chinese there's the Chinese exchanges which are blowing up because China is getting very involved. So that's that's another way to get your Bitcoins and for some reason I thought there was some other thing. I forgot to mention mining. That's a great way to get your first Bitcoin. Mining is not one of the recommended ways right now. So there's a lot of problems with this main thing called difficulty, etcetera. So it's not one of my recommended ways but it also we'll cover that in a full video series of itself. So, wait for a bigger video. Wait for full series alright.

So don't worry about mining for now, get in, get a friend to mail you some, buy some at Coinbase whatever. Don't worry about mining. It's not the best way to get your Bitcoins right now. But that's pretty it. Pretty much it. That's how you will get started on Coinbase again, is going to ask you for some information, some bank stuff. I've given it to them. I find them very reliable, very helpful. They're young, they're moving. Everything is going to be risky. Owning dollars is risky, owning euros is risky. So learn the system, buy a few Bitcoin, buy a few Ringos, buy a few milli-Bitcoins right, which someone proposed was Ringos. Buy a few Ringos, 50 Ringos and move it around. Play with it with your friends, have fun. And I think that you'll find that Bitcoins are much easier to use than everyone perceives and much more understandable if you buy.

So good luck, Bitcoiners. My name is James D'Angelo. This is WBN and hit like, subscribe, comment, anything. Take care. Enjoy.

Written by James DeAngelo on October 21, 2013.