The Best Way to Get Started
As with everything there are trade offs. I explained in the book, Bitcoin Step by Step, a couple of methods to fund your account. I took you step by step how to do this.
I also blogged about using Local Trading. Well there is another method. It is by far cheaper. It’s called Dwolla.
To use it you must create and account. Then you must tie a bank account this Dwolla account. Dwolla will then make two small deposits into the account, which you need to tell dwolla the amounts, to verify the connection. This will take about 3 business days to complete.
Then to use Dwolla with Mt. Gox you need to be verified with Mt. Gox, which requires you to provide two forms of ID un-altered. This is for AML banking requirements. The verification process can take up to 7 business days. Once you are verified then you can set up Dwolla as a way to fund or withdraw funds from Mt. Gox.
Now you have Dwolla and Mt Gox ready to go, all you need to do is go to Dwolla and deposit funds from your bank. You should know that it will take up to 3 to 5 business days to fully fund your account. Funding you account is free. Now comes the part that most new comers find out the hard way (I Did) once your money hits your Dwolla account, you will have to wait 30 days before you can fund your exchange wallet.
To send the money to Mt. Gox you will pay $0.25 for amounts over $10 and its free for smaller amounts. That is it. So while this takes a little longer, it is by far the cheapest method to fund your account.
Dwolla keeps your currency in USD, so you do not need to fear changes in the exchange rate while you wait for the transfers to take place. You will however have to plan to movement of money.
There is also a Dwolla application for your smart phone. You can send/receive money through Dwolla with the app. Find merchants and other people on the Dwolla network and view your transactions.