Bitcoin is gaining popularity more and more as the years go by. Since its inception, there has been plenty of innovation and there are a few different methods of acquiring the stuff. You could buy Bitcoin, mine it, receive it in exchange for a service instead of a fiat currency, or even gamble or play online games for it. In this article, we will show you how to buy Bitcoin and the different ways you can do that.
Methods To Buy Bitcoin
There are four main methods/routes you can take to buy Bitcoin. You could purchase from an exchange, swapping either cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies. You could find a Bitcoin ATM or in-person Bitcoin sellers, or even get some Bitcoin vouchers that are now being sold at physical locations including dedicated stores or post offices.
There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to each method of purchasing Bitcoin. For example, the convenience of online exchanges might trump going to a physical post office for your Bitcoin, but a physical address might make you feel more at ease with such an unregulated industry.
These are the four different ways you can buy Bitcoin currently:
- Use an online exchange
- Buy Bitcoin vouchers from a physical location
- Purchase from an individual
- Find a Bitcoin ATM
Online Bitcoin Exchange
Arguably the best, and most convenient way to buy Bitcoin is through an online exchange. This method is the most popular and has had a few years to be completely established, unlike the new physical Bitcoin Voucher stores opening up recently.
When you sign up with an online exchange, you’ll need to (in most cases) provide some form of ID before you can get started. Then you can fund your account via credit card or bank transfer, or send cryptocurrencies to your wallet and get started buying Bitcoin. After you buy crypto, you can store it within your exchange’s wallet, though it is far more vulnerable than it would be in cold storage or in a dedicated online wallet, so we always suggest transferring it off the exchange as soon as possible.
There is a tonne of different exchanges around, and it’s best to do thorough research into an exchange before trusting your coins or currency with them. Cryptocurrency is a notoriously unregulated landscape, and there is a fair share of scam artists out there waiting to take advantage of newbies. There are however some very legitimate, great exchanges out there.
Some good exchanges to start with include:
Kraken has good fees and even better security protocols. Unfortunately, they do not accept credit card payment so you’ll need to use bank transfer to get started.
Register to Kraken over here!
In the US, Coinbase is the most popular online trading platform for Bitcoin. Their company is based in the US, so they are subject to US laws. They keep all their stored funds on their platform and have insurance policies that will cover losses in case of a hack.
Register to Coinbase over here!
For EU citizens, Bitstamp is a great choice, located in the EU and subject to their laws and regulations. You can fund your Bitstamp wallet via bank transfer or with other cryptocurrencies if you already have some.
Register to Bitstamp over here!
Buy Bitcoin Vouchers From A Physical Location
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Lately, since Bitcoin is gaining popularity, many banks, post offices, and dedicated Bitcoin stores around the world are beginning to offer Bitcoin vouchers that can be bought in-store and redeemed online. If you choose this option, you have the advantage of being sure of your Bitcoins legitimacy and a physical address to go to in case something goes wrong. If you are not tech-savvy, this could be right for you.
Some places now offering Bitcoin vouchers include the Austrian Post Office, Azteco London, and House of Nakamoto.
Buy From An In-Person Bitcoin Seller
This option can also be suitable for the less tech-savvy wanting to buy Bitcoin. When you are dealing with an exchange such as Coinbase or Kraken there is no face and even sometimes absolutely no customer support available. Making a mistake such as getting the address of a wallet wrong could leave you at a loss, and by the very nature of cryptocurrency, no way to get it back. So, what are your options in terms of Bitcoin sellers? Where can you find them, and how can you keep yourself safe?
Looking for one of the most reliable Bitcoin wallets? Check out our Bitcoin.com wallet review!
Let’s start with the dangers. If you are buying Bitcoin in person from a stranger for a large sum of money, you could be in danger of getting mugged or defrauded out of your money. It’s important to remember that after Bitcoin has been transferred, it needs at least one but preferably around 3 confirmations for any values under $10,000 to be pretty much irreversible, and 6 or more over that amount.
If you don’t know what confirmations are, we have an article explaining confirmations and how to ensure a transfer is irreversible.
Always meet in a public place during the daylight to prevent physical harm to yourself. Bitcoin trading isn’t illegal so it’s ok to meet in a café or restaurant to make a trade.
The benefit of buying Bitcoin from another person can also be a good option as it will generally be cheaper than from an exchange, as there are no fees on top of the conversion price. You might also want to use an online escrow service such as LocalBitcoin, which can connect you to Bitcoin sellers, and prevent fraud by ensuring both parties receive their funds.
Bitcoin ATMs are usually also regular ATMs and can be found in dozens of cities and towns all over the world. The process is simple, insert your card and load your Bitcoin wallet with Bitcoin using your credit card as payment.
There are a few different ways to buy Bitcoin in this day and age. With the currency very much making its way into the mainstream, plenty of mainstream businesses, banks, and retailers are beginning to sell and accept Bitcoin at their physical addresses. Online exchanges are growing rapidly, and more and more regulations and safety systems are being put in place to improve the security and legitimacy of the trade. Hopefully, this article has helped you learn about the ways you can buy your own Bitcoin, happy trading!