How do I buy Bitcoin?

In order to buy bitcoin, you will need an exchange and a wallet. 

An exchange is where you will purchase your Bitcoin with your chosen fiat. There are a ton of exchanges, but some of the most popular are Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, and Cash App.

You can technically keep your Bitcoin on the exchange and never use a wallet. However, I highly advise against this. Keeping your Bitcoin on an exchange goes against one of the golden rules of Bitcoin Not Your Keys Not Your Coins. This is a very important thing to understand before getting into crypto. This is why I omitted PayPal as a place to buy Bitcoin. 

Coinbase

www.coinbase.com

Gemini

www.gemini.com

Kraken

www.kraken.com

Cash App

https://cash.app/bitcoin

The reason you do not own your coins on an exchange is because you do not own the private keys. I think a good analogy is a mailbox with a key. A public key is what is used to receive coins. This is like providing your address so you can receive mail. The private key is used to authenticate and encrypt your coins and transactions. This is the key to your mailbox. The key is what is giving you access to your mail. Without it you would need to rely on the post office to read your mail and open your packages. You want full control of your mail and what would happen if your local post office was to close? So please remember Not Your Keys Not Your Coin.

Next are wallets. There are a few different types, so I will break them down then provide some examples. There are primarily 2 types of wallets software and hardware

Software wallets

Software wallets are further broken down by Mobile, Desktop, and Online wallets. In general software wallets are more convenient than hardware wallets, but are less secure. Examples of some mobile wallets are Mycelium and BRD. For desktop Electrum and Wasabi. Below is a simple summary of the 3 types of software wallets.

  • Mobile – Wallet is in the form of an app. Private Keys are stored locally. Less secure than hardware wallets. Vulnerable to malware and viruses.

Mycelium

https://wallet.mycelium.com/

BRD

https://brd.com/
  • Desktop – Private keys are stored locally on the PC. Less secure than hardware wallets, but more security options to choose from than a cell phone. Vulnerable to malware and viruses.

Electrum

https://electrum.org/#home

Wasabi

https://wasabiwallet.io/
  • Online – Most convenient since you can access your funds anywhere with internet. The most vulnerable as private keys are stored online and not locally. Private keys are held by a third party. Do Not Recommend.

Hardware wallets

Hardware wallets as mentioned are the most secure. Your private keys are stored offline in a device that will not be used daily like a PC or Phone. The main disadvantage is that you will need to connect the wallet to a device in order to access your funds. This is a little less convenient than mobile or desktop wallets, but is worth the added security. Examples of hardware wallets are Ledger, Trezor, and Keystone. 

Ledger

https://shop.ledger.com/#category-cryptocurrency-wallets

Keystone

https://keyst.one/keystone-hardware-wallet-product-comparison

Trezor

https://trezor.io/#comparison

It is best to do your own research to determine which exchange and wallet is best for you.
To help start your research here are a few helpful places to get started.