How to Add Funds to a Bitcoin Wallet

add funds bitcoin wallet

You may have just downloaded your first Bitcoin wallet, but now want to know how to add coins to it.

Doing your first transfer from an exchange to a wallet can be intimidating for first timers.

Not to worry! In this short guide, we will show you how to add coins to your Bitcoin wallet. Once you are finished you’ll be a pro at this very common process.

By the end, you’ll see how easy it is to send and receive Bitcoins from anyone you want!

But first, in case you haven’t got a wallet yet, check out our picks below:


Best Wallet For

Best for Security

ledger nano x

Ledger Nano X

Secure storage for any cryptocurrency

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The Ledger Nano X is the newest crypto hardware wallet, and is very easy to use. It connects to iOS, Android & desktop.

Best for Mobile

brd wallet logo

BRD

Easy to use iOS & Android wallet

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BRD is an easy-to-use iOS and Android Bitcoin wallet. It's available on both iOS and Android.

Best for Desktop

electrum logo

Electrum

Simple yet powerful desktop wallet

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Electrum is a Bitcoin-only wallet that has been around since 2011. It's easy to use, but has advanced features.


On a technical level, your wallet is more like a window onto the Bitcoin network that you control with your own electronic private keys. Whether you use a super secure hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano X, a convenient mobile app like the BRD wallet or an old school favorite Electrum you’ll need to be sure to keep your private keys safe.

I have a wallet, do I have to buy a whole bitcoin?

It’s a common misconception to think that you need to buy one whole bitcoin at a time. These days, that would be quite an expensive endeavour. You can check out the current price of one bitcoin, here.

partial bitcoin

Instead, the inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, made it possible to divide one bitcoin into 100,000,000 pieces.

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One bitcoin is divisible to 8 decimal places and you can own as little as 0.00000001 bitcoin. In reality, most places where you can buy bitcoin allow you to spend as little as $5 at a time.


In 2010 an early member of the bitcointalk community, ribuk, proposed the name ‘satoshi’ for the smallest unit of a bitcoin, and the name stuck. In recent years it’s become common to use the phrase “stacking sats” for buying and holding small amounts of bitcoin in order to periodically accumulate more of the coin.

The best place to buy your first bitcoin is on an exchange

Wallets themselves tend not to give you the option to buy and sell bitcoin for fiat. So, you’re going to have to find a trustworthy and low-cost exchange, and then send the coins from the exchange to your wallet.

  • Popular Exchanges
  • Coinbase
    • High liquidity and buying limits
    • Easy way for newcomers to get bitcoins
    • "Instant Buy" option available with debit card
  • Coinmama
    • Works in almost all countries
    • Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
    • Reliable and trusted broker
  • eToro
    • Supports Bitcoin, Ethereum & 15 other coins
    • Start trading fast; high limits
    • Your capital is at risk.

    This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) & USA (by eToro USA LLC); which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, no EU protections & not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risk, including the loss of principal.

An ideal fiat cryptocurrency exchange for people just getting started is Coinbase. For the following reasons:

Three important factors for choosing which exchange is the right choice for you are reputation, fees and speed:

Reputation

withdraw btc

It’s sad to say, but a lot of exchanges in the past turned out to be scams. That means the longer an exchange has been around, building up a positive reputation, the less likely it is to be a bad actor in the space.

You can also check if the exchange is regulated in your part of the world. We reviewed the top exchanges we would recommend, here.

Fees

withdraw btc

Another important factor in choosing the right exchange to fund your bitcoin wallet is to compare how much they will charge for converting your fiat to bitcoin.

On average the fees for credit card purchases are around 4%. If you send your money via bank transfer you usually save on fees and can expect to pay somewhere between 1 and 1.5%.

Speed

withdraw btc

Finally it’s important to look at how quickly will you be able to buy and then receive your coins. It’s interesting to note that a lot of the problems connected with how quickly you can fund your Bitcoin wallet, are actually due to the slowness of the legacy financial systems, and not cryptocurrency itself.

However, it’s a good idea to look at waiting times and withdrawal limits for the purchasing method of your choice as it’s never a good feeling to be caught out by these kind of factors when you want to buy some Bitcoin in a hurry.

Credit card purchases are usually quicker than bank transfers, but they come at a higher cost.


WARNING

Do NOT get comfortable leaving your cryptocurrency on an exchange. Ideally you should send your money to an exchange, purchase your crypto, and then withdraw the coins immediately to a secure hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano X.


COMPARISON

ledger nano x folded

Ledger Nano X

  • SCREEN:
  • RELEASED: 2019
  • PRICE: $119
ledger nano s illustration

Ledger Nano S

  • SCREEN:
  • RELEASED: 2016
  • PRICE: $59
trezor model T

TREZOR T

  • SCREEN:
  • RELEASED: 2018
  • PRICE: $159
Trezor One

TREZOR One

  • SCREEN:
  • RELEASED: 2013
  • PRICE: $59

How to withdraw to your wallet

withdraw btc

The first few times you withdraw to a bitcoin wallet it can feel a bit nerve wracking. You do need to be careful and ensure that you follow the steps carefully. Wallets that have modern user interfaces and easy to follow step by step processes will help reduce the chance of you making a mistake.

The most important thing is to make sure that the wallet address you send your bitcoin to, the long string of numbers and letters, is correct. If you send your bitcoin to a different address by accident there is no way of getting your money back. So be careful.

As an example, if you are withdrawing from your Coinbase account to your Ledger Nano X you would follow these steps:

  1. Select send BTC on Coinbase and enter the amount of BTC you want to send. You can send as little or as much as your BTC as you wish, but be aware that each withdrawal will have a fee. Once you are comfortable sending and receiving bitcoin it is worth learning a little more about transaction fees and how you can minimize the costs.


    coinbase send bitcoin
    Send from coinbase
  2. Log in to your Ledger Live account and follow the instructions to copy your wallet address so that you can input it in Coinbase as the receiving address.First you must connect and unlock your Ledger, then open the Bitcoin app on your device.


    connect ledger device
    Connect and unlock your Ledger
  3. Next, check the Bitcoin address that is showing on your device. It should be your Bitcoin wallet address, and nobody elses.


    verify ledger device
    Verify your Bitcoin address
  4. Use the app to copy the address from Ledger Live, or scan the QR code that shows in Ledger live


    ledger live receive
    Copy the address to Coinbase
  5. From your Coinbase account. Double check the address by sight to ensure Coinbase is sending the bitcoin to your wallet address.


    coinbase address input
    Copy the address to Coinbase

How long will it take till my bitcoin arrives?

Typically you should wait 3-6 confirmations before you can be sure your bitcoin has arrived safely. 1 confirmation can be enough if you are sending less than $1000. Each confirmation is a block in the Bitcoin blockchain with your transaction recorded accurately. These blocks are created about every ten minute by the Bitcoin miners. The miners verify the blocks and get rewarded with Bitcoin for their work.

Once the transaction has confirmed a few times, you can relax and be certain that you have added the funds correctly.