Where To Start
Every investment starts with a purchase and Bitcoin is no exception. Knowing where to go and who to trust can be challenging to those who are unfamiliar with Bitcoin as it is still fairly new to the world and scammers are around every corner ready to take your money and leave you empty-handed so security should always be the top priority. There are different ways to safely buy Bitcoin and the process is fairly easy once you learn the basics.
Purchasing Bitcoin From An Exchange
Exchanges are one of the easiest and the most popular way to purchase Bitcoin. If you decide to buy from an exchange, there will be a couple of things you will need to do before making your Bitcoin purchase.
- Find an exchange you feel comfortable with and create an account. Be sure to add the 2-factor authentication for added security when logging in.
- Exchanges in the US require identity verification known as KYC before purchases can be made. Follow instructions when prompted to complete verification.
- Follow the website’s instructions to link your bank account or credit card to your exchange account to easily make your purchase.
- Once you have made your purchase, it is wise to move your Bitcoin from the exchange to a personal hardware wallet where it can be stored offline in a safe place.
With a quick online search, you can find a host of exchanges to choose from. Some exchanges offer trading platforms while some are only for buying and selling. Below is a list of the top exchanges.
- Coinbase is the largest and most respected Bitcoin exchange in the US and continues to be voted number one. They offer both an exchange and a wallet to store your Bitcoin in one place. Their site is clean and easy to use so it is no surprise they are one of the best places to start when deciding to buy.
- Robinhood is a great place to buy Bitcoin if you want to save money on purchasing fees. They started as fee-free stock brokerage and have recently expanded into digital currencies. While Robinhood is geared towards their mobile app, you can also access it on your desktop. As of May 2020, Robinhood is restricted in some states.
- Binance offers Bitcoin plus a wide range of other cryptocurrencies that can be bought and traded on their platform with trading fees as low as .10% per trade. The platform can be accessed through your desktop or mobile app.
- Cash App is best known for sending fiat money to family and friends with no added fees. Adding fee-free buying and selling has put Cash App near the top of the list for places to buy Bitcoin.
- Coinbase Pro is a trading platform that is for the serious trader. Their user interface includes the order book, open orders, trade history, your balance, and candlestick price chart. They have amazing low fees ranging from 0% to 0.5% for credit/debit card transactions where Coinbase has fees in upwards of 4.0%. Coinbase Pro is one of the best places for active traders.
We have all used an ATM at one time or another to withdraw or deposit money into our accounts or check balances. ATMs have become a normal part of everyday banking and now you can buy and sell Bitcoin at select locations that have Bitcoin ATMs. Most Bitcoin ATMs let you buy and sell Bitcoin anonymously using your smartphone which makes them a great way to keep your identity private while some may require a passport or drivers license. These ATMs operate similarly to regular ones and certain models allow cash deposits and withdrawals. Stumbling upon a Bitcoin ATM may be a bit difficult if you don’t already know where one is as they are fairly new but starting to gain attention for people who are curious about Bitcoin. Websites like Coin ATM Radar and Coin ATM Map can help you find the closest ATM in your area.
Centralized exchanges use a third party to conduct and process Bitcoin transactions while a peer-to-peer(P2P) is decentralized and allows the user to search for a trade that best suits his or her needs. An escrow service is used where the funds are safely kept during the trade then released once the transaction is completed. This type of platform can also offer a wide variety of payment options like PayPal and gift cards from stores and restaurants that can be traded for Bitcoin. Sites like LocalBitcoins.com and Paxful list private buyers and sellers that you can choose from to either purchase or sell your Bitcoin. Since these transactions don’t require a third-party, they remain anonymous and private.
Meeting someone face-to-face at a meet-up or other gathering is also another way to purchase Bitcoin. Apps on mobile phones allow users to buy, sell, and trade on the spot privately with no middle man or third party. Just be careful and meet in a public place like a restaurant or park especially if a lot of money is being exchanged.
The Bitcoin world is fun and exciting to explore. Take the time to do some research and get familiar with the different ways to buy to find the one that is most convenient for you.