How To Use Your US Bank Account To Exchange US Dollars to Bitcoin
I am writing this article to educate readers on how to buy Bitcoin in the US. If you are reading this article, you probably have heard the rapid price gains Bitcoin has had. I myself was interested in Bitcoin in April 2013 and I am happy to report that purchasing process is much easier now than it was back then. This article will only tell US readers on how to purchase Bitcoin, but if I get positive feedback on this article I will write future ones covering other countries.
The first step to purchasing Bitcoin is to locate a reputable exchange. An exchange is a company that will trade US Dollars (or other currency) into Bitcoin and vice versa. For people in the US, Coinbase is the recommended one. Readers should go to their site and click on the "Sign Up" button as demonstrated below.
Procede through the brief sign up process and link your bank account to Coinbase. This is the account with which they will withdraw your US Dollars and give you Bitcoin in return. Before you can buy any Bitcoins, you must be at least level 1 verified. Answer the questions they give you as accurately as possible. If you want to get your Bitcoins instantly, you will need to add a credit card as an alternate form of payment. If you don't want to add a credit card, there will be a delay of 3-5 business days for your funds to clear. You first can buy up to $100 instantly from Coinbase, but after waiting 30 days you will be able to buy up to $1000.
The second step is to download a trustworthy Bitcoin wallet. A wallet is software on your computer that stores the private keys to a Bitcoin address, allowing the user to send and receive coins. I recommend Electrum or Bitcoin-QT as the best wallet for beginners, as you do not need to wait several days for the blockchain to download.
Once you have installed Electrum, boot it up and create your own wallet. The following step is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Electrum gives you a "seed" of 12 words that will allow you retain control of your coins should your computer crash. Do NOT under any circumstance give this seed to anybody. If they know this seed, they have control of coins and will steal them. Be sure to write this seed down and keep it somewhere safe.
Once the wallet is properly set up, click on the "Receive" tab of the wallet and copy one of the "Receiving Addresses" to your clipboard. Go back into Coinbase and send your coins to this receiving address. If done properly, you will see your coins in your electrum wallet in 10-20 minutes and you are finished!
I hope you find this article helpful, I welcome any feedback or suggestions for future articles.