Gone are the days when buying Bitcoin was a time consuming and somewhat
uncomfortable endeavor. Nowadays buying Bitcoin is a similar process to
exchanging currency when you go on vacation.
There are two ways to buy Bitcoin, the first is to use fiat currency (USD, EUR,
GBP etc.) to purchase cryptocurrency via an exchange. These exchanges
function the same way as regular foreign currency exchanges do. The prices
fluctuate on a daily basis, and like regular currency exchange markets – they are
open 24/7. These exchanges make their money from charging a small fee for
Some charge both buyers and sellers, some only charge a fee for buying. For
security reasons, most of these exchanges will require you to verify your ID
before allowing you to purchase cryptocurrency.
It is also important to note the type of payments each exchange supports. Some
allow for debit/credit card payments whereas other only accept PayPal or bank
wire transfers. Below are the three biggest and reputable currency exchanges for
purchasing Bitcoin, Ethereum and other altcoins with fiat currency like US
dollars, Euros or British Pounds.
Currently largest currency exchange in the world, Coinbase allows users to buy,
sell and store cryptocurrency. Coinbase is undoubtedly the most beginner
friendly exchange for anyone looking to get involved in the cryptocurrency
market. They currently allow trading of Bitcoin, as well as, Ethereum and
LiteCoin using fiat currency as a base. Known for their stellar security
procedures and insurance policies regarding stored currency. The exchange also
has a fully functioning iPhone and Android app for buying and selling on the go,
very useful if you are looking to trade.
Once you are signed up and complete the identity verification procedures you
can buy Bitcoin with your credit or debit card instantly.
If you sign up for Coinbase using this link, you will receive $10 worth of free
Bitcoin after your first purchase of more than $100 worth of
Based in Canada, and currently the largest exchange in terms of volume of buys
in Euros, Kraken has the advantage of more coin support (they also allow the
purchase of Monero, Ethereum Classic and Dogecoin) than Coinbase. It allows
margin trading, which while beyond the scope of a beginner, will be of interest
to more experienced traders
For other altcoins, you will need access to an exchange that facilitates
cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency trading. The best one of these is Poloniex.
With more than 100 different cryptocurrencies available and data analysis for
advanced traders, Poloniex is the most comprehensive exchange on the market.
Low trading fees are another plus, this is a great place to trade your Bitcoin into
other cryptocurrencies. If you have never purchased Bitcoin before, you will no
be able to do so as Poloniex does not allow fiat currency deposits. Therefore,
you will have to make your initial Bitcoin purchases on Coinbase or Kraken.
The second way to buy Bitcoins in exchange for fiat currency is to locally
purchase them in person. The advantage of this is that you may be able to get a
marginally better price than by using an exchange. The other advantage is that
users living in countries that don’t have easy access to online exchanges can still
buy coins in person. All transactions are protected by Escrow to prevent either
party being scammed.
Website http://localbitcoins.com is the current market leader for local bitcoin
transactions with sellers in over 15,000 cities around the world.