Bitcoin can be bought on exchanges, or buy bitcoin aus from other people via marketplaces. You can pay for them in a variety of ways, ranging from hard cash to credit and debit cards to wire transfers, or even with other cryptocurrencies, depending on who you are buying them from and where you live. Even within these categories of wallets there is a wide variety of services to choose from, so do some research before deciding on which version best suits your needs.
You can find more information on some of the wallets out there, as well as tips on how to use them, here and here. If you lose them, you lose access to the bitcoin stored there. Cryptocurrency exchanges will buy and sell bitcoin on your behalf. Bitfinex, although it is mainly aimed at spot traders. This will usually include a photo of your official ID, and sometimes also a proof of address.
Most exchanges accept payment via bank transfer or credit card, and some are willing to work with Paypal transfers. Each exchange has a different procedure for both setup and transaction, and should give you sufficient detail to be able to execute the purchase. If not, consider changing the service provider. Once the exchange has received payment, it will purchase the corresponding amount of bitcoin on your behalf, and deposit them in an automatically generated wallet on the exchange.
This can take minutes, or sometimes hours due to network bottlenecks. Also, LibertyX lists retail outlets across the United States at which you can exchange cash for bitcoin. ATMs are machines that will send bitcoin to your wallet in exchange for cash. QR code up to a screen, and the corresponding amount of bitcoin are beamed to your account. Coinatmradar can help you to find a bitcoin ATM near you. Note: specific businesses mentioned here are not the only options available, and should not be taken as a recommendation. What Can You Buy with Bitcoin?
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