We were already impressed about a decade ago, but today we can see that cryptocurrency has come a long way since then. Digital currencies are becoming much more widely adopted, and it is never more apparent than when you look at bitcoin, the first, most well-known, most accepted, and most commonly adopted cryptocurrency out there.
The virtual currency, which was created in 2009 by an individual (or group) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, has seen a repeated rise, fall, and resurgence yet its influence remains. Given its importance and popularity, it makes sense that it is the go-to digital currency for people joining the crypto-craze.
If you are looking to get into the cryptocurrency game, this comprehensive guide provides the necessary guidance on how to buy bitcoin.
Before You Buy Bitcoins
To buy bitcoins, you first need to get yourself a bitcoin wallet to store the tokens you will be purchasing. Bitcoin wallets are applications that have been specially designed to store bitcoins in much the same way your bank account stores your traditional currency.
Besides holding bitcoins, a crypto wallet is used to send or receive bitcoins from other users. The most popular wallets you can use to store, send, or receive bitcoins include the Ledger Nano S, Trezor Wallet, Electrum Wallet, Coinbase, MyCelium, Xapo, Blockchain.info, among others. These wallets provide you with different levels of security, storage, and access options.
How to Buy Bitcoin
That said, some of the best exchange platforms to buy bitcoin from include:
Purchase Bitcoins on Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms
One of the ways to purchase bitcoins is to use a cryptocurrency exchange. A cryptocurrency exchange platform is an online portal that lets you buy, sell, or exchange cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for other digital currencies or central bank issued currencies like the US dollar or Euro.
These platforms automatically merge a buy and sell order without market participants knowing each other. Exchange transactions are completed instantly. One of the main factors to consider before choosing an exchange platform is your location. This is because some exchanges are not available in all countries.
There are many ways you can buy bitcoins. You can choose from the following:
- Coinbase: Coinbase is one of the world’s most popular digital currency exchanges with over 20 million accounts in its care. The platform lets users buy, sell, store, and trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Bitcoin can be purchased using debit or credit cards at a fee of 3.99%.
- Coinmama: Coinmama is a worldwide exchange that lets you buy bitcoins with debit or credit cards. The platform charges 6% for every purchase made.
- io: This platform allows you to buy bitcoins through a variety of payment channels including credit card, SEPA transfer, ACH bank transfer, AstroPay, and even cash. CEX.io charges a low transaction fee of 0.2%.
Other platforms you can use include Gemini, Kraken, Bitstamp, Changelly, etc.
Bitcoin ATMs offer a fast, secure, and convenient way to purchase bitcoins. To buy bitcoins via an ATM, all you need to do is insert cash into the machine. After that, you will receive a paper receipt containing the codes and instructions on how to send the funds to your bitcoin to your wallet.
Alternatively, you can scan your mobile wallet QR code to have the funds transferred directly to your wallet. Purchasing bitcoin on these machines attract between 3-8% commission on top of the standard exchange price.
LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer service which matches bitcoin buyers and sellers. The platform, which also provides an escrow service, enables buyers to transact face-to-face with a local seller. To enhance privacy, LocalBitcoins allows you to purchase bitcoin in person without linking identity to an exchange.
Trades can also be carried out over the internet, provided you and the seller agree. Transaction fee varies between 5-10% depending on the seller you’re dealing with. This amount is paid in addition to the original exchange price.
Another way to buy bitcoins is to trade gift cards for bitcoins. To do this, buy a gift card from any retailer, then log into a bitcoin exchange platform where gift cards are accepted (such as LocalBitcoins, Paxful, etc.) to complete the transaction.
Buying bitcoins is fast and easy, which doesn’t come as a surprise given the popularity of the token. However, we advise that you do your research thoroughly before you proceed to buy bitcoins, especially if you are using gift cards. This will help you avoid fraudsters looking to cheat and con you out of your money.