The easiest way to buy bitcoin is to purchase it through an online exchange like Coinbase. Coinbase makes it easy to buy, sell, send, receive, and store bitcoin without needing to hold it yourself using something called public and private keys.How to buy bitcoin, with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong
However, if you choose to buy and store bitcoin outside of an online exchange, hereâ€™s how that works.
- Each person who joins the bitcoin network is issued aÂ public key, which is a long string of letters and numbers that you can think of like an email address, and a private key, which is equivalent to a password.
- When you buy bitcoinâ€”or send/receive itâ€”you get a public key, which you can think of as a key that unlocks a virtual vault and gives you access to your money.
- Anyone can send bitcoin to you via your public key, but only the holder of the private key can access the bitcoin in the â€œvirtual vaultâ€ once itâ€™s been sent.
- There are many ways to store bitcoin both online and off.Â The simplest solution is a virtual wallet.
- If you want to transfer money from your wallet to a bank account after selling your bitcoin,Â the Coinbase app makes it as easy as transferring funds from one bank to another. Similar to conventional bank transfers or ATM withdrawals, exchanges like Coinbase set a daily limit, and it may take between a few days and a week for the transaction to be completed.