How to Add Money to Your Bitcoin Wallet
Every so often at Coinmama, we get a question that makes us scratch our heads, rethink how we explain things, and go back to Bitcoin basics. Recently that question was “How do I add money to my Bitcoin wallet?”
The head-scratching came from being unsure exactly what question was being asked. Was the customer wondering how to buy Bitcoin? Or were they asking how to load his wallet with fiat (traditional currency)? After some lively office debate over coffee and a few chocolate bars, we were reminded of something often repeated by teachers; if one person has a question, someone else is probably asking the same thing. And because here at Coinmama we like to think of ourselves as crypto teachers, we decided to tackle both questions and a few bonus topics as well.
Table of Contents
First, let's rewrite the question:
Before you can ask “How do I add money to Bitcoin wallet?” you need to ask, “Can I add money to my Bitcoin wallet?” The answer, much like our relationship with Coinpapa, is “It’s complicated.”
Let’s back up. A crypto wallet is a cross between your bank account and your mailbox for cryptocurrency – it’s a place where you can transfer, manage, and store coins. It’s also where you can see a record of all your transactions. But a crypto wallet is, by its very nature, for cryptocurrency. It’s where you (and only you) access, send and receive Bitcoin.
So, the answer to the question depends on what you mean by “money”. Perhaps “funds” would be a more suitable term – a store of value. In a nutshell, if by “money” you mean Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, then yes! You can buy cryptocurrency and send it to your wallet (we’ll cover that in a second). But if by “money” you mean fiat currency, such as USD, Euro, or Yen, then the answer is no. While on some exchanges you can link your credit card or bank account, that link is to the exchange and not to your wallet. In other words, you cannot add fiat to your crypto wallet.
How do I buy Bitcoin?
If our user was actually asking how to add (or buy) Bitcoin to their wallet, well that we can easily answer!
Step 1: Get a bitcoin wallet
You can’t get cryptocurrency without a crypto wallet. So, if you don’t already have one, that’s your first step. There are many, many crypto wallets you can choose from. Some wallets are online (hot wallets, desktop wallets, wallet apps for your mobile device), some exist offline (e.g. a hardware wallet). Some can be used to store several different digital currencies, others only one or two.
Many experienced crypto asset holders spread their coins out over several wallets. They might use a hardware wallet, a desktop wallet, and a paper wallet for example. Non-custodial/self-custody options are also very common among experienced crypto enthusiasts as these represent the highest level of security when it comes to your private key(s).
The key to choosing a wallet is to do your research: learn which wallets support each crypto, read the reviews, and then download the wallet or wallets of your choice. When it comes to mobile wallets, we recommend using the Coinmama Wallet to safely manage your crypto. In terms of a digital wallet that’s easily downloadable to your mobile device, the Coinmama Wallet is arguably the safest software option on the market. It allows users in every part of the world to store and protect their own digital assets using self-custody. You can utilize the Coinmama wallet not only to secure your private key(s) with self-custody but also as a payment app as it facilitates peer-to-peer sending and receiving of a range of digital assets.
Step 2: Place an order
If you’re registered with Coinmama, once you have a wallet you can easily buy Bitcoin with your credit card, debit card, or SEPA bank account. (If you’re not registered, you can do that here.) Simply choose the amount of crypto you’d like to buy, add your payment details, and go to step 3!
Step 3: Enter your wallet address
Here’s where things get interesting. All wallets have both a public key and a private key. These are just very long strings of numbers and letters. The public key is what other people can see: it’s what appears on the blockchain, and it’s also what you can give to others in order to receive cryptocurrency. The private key is like a password to your wallet. Only you should have access to this. (Don’t lose it, because it can’t be reset, and don’t give it to anyone you wouldn’t also give your bank password to.) In order to transfer (or add) Bitcoin to your wallet, you will need to enter your public key—or wallet address, so that Coinmama can transfer you your coins. Once you do that, your work is basically done! You’ll just need to confirm your wallet address by email before you can sit back, relax, and wait for the Bitcoin to be added (or sent) to your wallet. That’s the process of how Bitcoin is sent and stored. Simple, right?
At Coinmama, we’ve been around crypto long enough that we forget some people are new to it. It’s nice to get a head-scratcher every once in a while, to remind us that for many people, crypto basics are not so basic, and to give us an excuse to answer questions we don’t normally get to answer.