Easy way to get started in bitcoin.
With bitcoin becoming more popular amongst the general population, I'm often get asked "What is the best way to get bitcoin?". For the average person that doesn't scour the corners of the web, purchasing bitcoin can be relatively nebulous. I will explain a couple of options to get started.
Coinbase is one of the more popular US based bitcoin exchanges/payment processors.
It's easy to setup an account, and purchase your first bitcoin. Go to the "Sign Up" button on the top of the page, and follow the instructions. Please take great care in creating a strong & secure password, and make note of it. In order to purchase bitcoin, Coinbase will ask you for your bank account information. Once you have verified your bank account (and personal info), then you are free to purchase bitcoin. It's really that simple.
Difficulty: 1 (easy)
Bitstamp has been a strong player in the bitcoin exchanges over the last year. They are located in the United Kingdom.
Bitstamp has a straight forward registration process, just follow their instructions. To fund your bitstamp account you'll have to do a bank wire transfer if you live in the United States. Otherwise if you live in a SEPA zone (EU), funding your account is more straight forward.
Difficulty: 3 (medium)
CampBX is one of the newer exchanges, and is becoming popular. CampBX is located in the USA.
CampBX has an easy signup process. Funding your CampBX account can be done by a bank wire transfer (ACH), Money Order, or personal check. Once you've created your account and added necessary funds, you are able to purchase bitcoin.
Difficulty: 2 (Easy/Medium)
In conclusion, these exchanges vary in difficulty in signing up. However, once your account is registered & funded, any of these exchanges make it easy to purchase bitcoin. Please take extra precautionary measures when purchasing/storing bitcoin. Make sure you have strong passwords (minimum 10 characters), and always do two-factor authentication when available. That's it! Welcome to the world of bitcoin.
Further reading: Bitcoin - An emerging global payment system