Six months ago I made my very first Bitcoin purchase. The price was $2,500 a coin and I decided to teach myself how it all worked by getting my very own holding of Bitcoin (purely to speculate and understand how it worked).
I opted to invest $1,000 (as you don’t have to buy a full Bitcoin) and received 40% of a single Bitcoin. Six months later, the price of Bitcoin has grown to $9,500, making that holding worth $3,800. As you can see, Bitcoin can go up and down quite rapidly – but in this case, it has nearly quadrupled my money.
Given I was completely new to Bitcoin, I did a lot of research on how I should go about doing my first purchase. I specifically focused on which Australian providers I could use, given I wanted to buy using my Australian Dollars and not deal with a US based website.
I ended up choosing CoinTree, an Australian based Bitcoin exchange as it was the simplest method I could find to setup an account and get going right away.
This post is going to look at how to setup an account and make your first Bitcoin purchase.
Remember, Bitcoin is a speculative cryptocurrency that is still trying to find its place in the world and thus can go up and down in value rather quickly. Do your homework and make your own informed decision before opting to buy into Bitcoin.
How to setup an account with CoinTree
Simply visit CoinTree.com.au and click ‘sign up’. From there, enter your email address and create a super strong password (the more complex the better).
This will create your CoinTree account, however your functionality and features will be limited until you go through a few quick steps to verify yourself. This is to protect you and your account.
Should you wish to make your first Bitcoin purchase, you will need to:
- Verify your email address (20 seconds)
- Verify your mobile number (20 seconds, done via SMS)
- Verify your identity online (no need to send scans of ID)
- Optional: link your bank account (this enables selling Bitcoin and using POLi to buy Bitcoin)
CoinTree make this process really simple. Visit the ‘Security’ section within your account and you will be presented with a checklist of items to complete. All in all it took me 5 minutes to get everything sorted, including verifying my identity online. I was really happy that I didn’t need to send scans of my ID documents or anything.
Now, you should have an account that is ready for you to buy Bitcoin.
How to make your first Bitcoin purchase using CoinTree
CoinTree lets you buy Bitcoin via three methods:
- Deposit cash at your local NAB branch (into CoinTree account)
- Pay online using POLi (the platform owned by Australia Post)
- Transfer from your internet banking
Within your account, select ‘Buy Bitcoin’ and you will receive a quote for how much you wish to buy. This will tell you the rough rate of conversion at that point of time which may be subject to change between when you pay for your Bitcoin and when CoinTree receive your money.
When I made my first purchase of $1,000 I did so by opting to go to my local NAB branch. I gave the branch teller the CoinTree account details I was provided along with a unique reference number (relating to my order I just made online) for the deposit.
By the time I had walked back to my desk (20 minutes) – my Bitcoin was ready and waiting in my account. It was super easy and actually shocked me how fast it appeared.
What features and services do CoinTree offer users?
CoinTree have been rapidly building out new features for its users in the past six months. Some of the cool things you can do on CoinTree (above and beyond buying Bitcoin) include:
- Pay your everyday bills via BPAY using your Bitcoin balance
- Send Bitcoin to others
- Receive Bitcoin from others
- Sell Bitcoin and cash out to your everyday bank account
How do you sell your Bitcoin and cash out your balance?
CoinTree have made this process really easy. Simply link your bank in the ‘Security’ section of CoinTree (which you ideally should have done in setting up your account) and this will allow you to cash out your Bitcoin balance (or portion of) directly into your everyday bank account.
Is CoinTree safe and secure?
While the sign up process is dead simple, security appears to be a number one priority for CoinTree. They offer two factor authentication via mobile before you login or sell Bitcoin (optional but highly recommended).
CoinTree also give you the ability to view your Bitcoin wallet on an independent Blockchain – helping assure you your balance is real and actually exists.
Review of CoinTree customer support
My experience to date with CoinTree’s customer service has been great. They offer live chat nearly all day for quick questions and if they aren’t available to chat, they will respond to your emails within one day. The customer service representatives have been super lovely, easy to understand and always willing to help you understand how the service works.
Finishing thoughts on using CoinTree for my Bitcoin
I really like it. The website is simple, the process is easy, the people are nice and it’s enabled me to understand and use Bitcoin while everyone else I speak to is still stuck trying to figure it out.