Coinbase, the first wallet app on the above list, also offers a "Bitcoin exchange" where you'll register to buy your first share of Bitcoin. We'll talk more about exchanges in the second step below.
2. Register With a Bitcoin Exchange
If there are national stock exchanges like NASDAQ, does that mean there's also a Bitcoin exchange? Yep. Bitcoin trades on a variety of online exchanges around the world, and to start buying and selling Bitcoin, you'll have to register with one of them. Have your email address and credit or debit card information ready.
Don't worry, all of your exchange options recognize the same Bitcoin trading price. Each exchange just caters to a different country or continent, and therefore offers an exchange rate that corresponds with the currency you'll use to buy Bitcoin. For example, while Korean exchanges sell Bitcoin for won (Korea's main currency), U.K.-based exchanges sell Bitcoin for pounds.
Here are some international Bitcoin exchanges you can register with (these exchanges trade Bitcoin for most currencies across the globe):
Although there are Bitcoin exchanges that specialize in just one country, you might find it easiest to register with an exchange that also supplies you with a Bitcoin wallet so you're not submitting your bank information to two separate services. Coinbase is one of those options. After downloading the Coinbase wallet, you can move right over to its exchange to buy your Bitcoin stock and fill your wallet.
Now, let's talk about how to make your first crypto-purchase.
3. Select a Buy-In Amount
Once you've selected the exchange where you want to buy your Bitcoin, navigate to the exchange's "Buy" section and select your buy-in amount. You'll tether your Bitcoin wallet to this purchase a "bit" differently (pun intended) depending on the exchange you use to buy your Bitcoin.
Nervous? Don't be -- you can buy less than ₿1 if you want to. Bitcoin exchanges sell cryptocurrencies down to several decimal places, so if Bitcoin is trading at $7,450 per ₿1, you can invest $1 and receive .00013 Bitcoin. Then, as Bitcoin's trading price increases, so does the value of the Bitcoin you bought.
4. Browse a Crypto Marketplace
With your Bitcoin in hand (or rather, in wallet), you can do one of two things with your purchase:
Spend Bitcoin in a Marketplace
Bitcoin has its very own ecommerce marketplaces where you can trade Bitcoin for products. Products include those that are shippable to your door -- such as jewelry -- and those you can download to your computer, such as Microsoft Office. Remember, no banks are involved in these transactions. The market simply verifies your Bitcoin's individual blockchain and completes the purchase.
Common Bitcoin marketplaces where you can spend Bitcoin include Bitify, Glyde, and even a Reddit community called BitMarket. Keep in mind you can also sell your own products for Bitcoin, making these marketplaces an easy way to build up your Bitcoin investment.
Buy and Wait
Of course, like any good investor, the key to making money on Bitcoin is to buy in and leave it alone. Cryptocurrencies' trading prices can fluctuate hundreds of dollars in a single morning, and watching Bitcoin's value peak and dip every day can drive you nuts.
Bitcoin investors often say that the money you put into Bitcoin should be money you're willing to lose. With that in mind, the best way to enjoy your investment is to let it sit, try selling personal items that could grow your Bitcoin account, and check the Bitcoin price once in a (long) while.