Buy bitcoin online (Image: AI/BIC)

How to Buy Your First Bitcoin on Coinbase (2024)

Before buying your first Bitcoin on Coinbase you need to open an account as described in How to Open a Coinbase Account to Buy Bitcoin (2024).

After that you will have an account page that looks like this – with 2 of 4 steps complete:

Coinbase Account page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Account page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Click on the Add payment method to get to the next screen:

Coinbase Add payment method (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Add payment method (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Here for simplicity we’ll add a debit card:

Coinbase Link card (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Link card (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Fill in the details and press Add Card. That will add the card as a payment method and you’ll be returned to the main account page, now showing 3 of 4 steps complete:

Coinbase Payment added (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Payment added (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Next select Buy crypto then Continue and trade crypto:

Coinbase Trade crypto (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Trade crypto (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

At this point you will be required to pass a quiz on crypto to show you understand what you’re doing – rather ‘nanny state’ but that’s where we are. It’s best to select Read our crypto guide and then learn the basics about crypto:

Coinbase Crypto quiz (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Crypto quiz (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

There are then a dozen screens like the following to read through:

Coinbase Crypto quiz 2 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Crypto quiz 2 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

On the last one select Take the test:

Coinbase Crypto quiz 3 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Crypto quiz 3 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

There are then half a dozen quiz questions like the following – in most cases you will be right if you choose the most pessimistic or negative response!

Coinbase Crypto quiz 4 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Crypto quiz 4 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Once you’ve passed, select Continue and trade crypto:

Coinbase Crypto quiz 5 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Crypto quiz 5 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

You’ll finally get to the Buy screen – in future you can just select this from the main account page menu. Here the pound option has been selected (to spend so many pounds on Bitcoin) but you can instead select the Bitcoin (to buy so much Bitcoin, e.g. 0.1, and be told how many pounds this will cost). Enter the amount required. Note the card you entered will be shown at the bottom, with a credit limit:

Coinbase Crypto buy screen (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Crypto buy screen (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Press Preview Buy, note here that the exchange rate changes live:

Coinbase Crypto buy screen 2 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Crypto buy screen 2 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Press Buy now:

Coinbase Crypto buy screen 3 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Crypto buy screen 3 (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

And you’ve bought your first Bitcoin! Note that the value of your Bitcoin will be shown at the bottom, and it will be less than asked for – there are always trading fees, buying and selling so you’ll get used to this. Coinbase fees are quite high (here £100 bought £95 of Bitcoin, so nearly 5%!). There are ways to reduce this – but that’s beyond the scope of this article (if you’re going to spend a lot of money, do investigate Coinbase One – but you will have to learn how to do trading). Click on View details to get taken to the Bitcoin Primary balance page (in future you can select this from your main account page):

Coinbase Primary balance (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Primary balance (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

This shows your current holdings of Bitcoin and the pound sterling equivalent. For a more general overview, return to Home:

Coinbase Account home (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Account home (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Also note that if you buy multiple cryptocurrencies (e.g. Ethereum, USDC, etc.) you can see the balance of each coin, plus the total value of your portfolio, via the My assets menu and page:

Coinbase Assets page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)
Coinbase Assets page (Bitcoin-Investors.co.uk)

Welcome to cryptocurrency and Bitcoin – you are no longer a Nocoiner!