How Can I Buy Bitcoin?

So, you have learned the basics about bitcoin, you are passionate about potential and now you want to buy some *. But how?

(* Please, never invest more than you can afford to lose - cryptocurrency is very volatile and the price can go down and up.)

Bitcoin can be bought on the stock, or directly from other people through the market.

You can pay them in various ways, from cash to credit and debit cards to wire transfers, or even with other cryptocurrency, depending on who you buy and where you live.

1 - set the wallet

The first step is to prepare a wallet to store your bitcoin - you will need it, whatever purchase method you like. This can be an online wallet (either part of an exchange platform, or through an independent provider), a desktop wallet, a cellphone wallet, or an offline wallet (such as a hardware device or paper wallet).

Even in this wallet category there are various services to choose from, so do some research before deciding which version best suits your needs.

You can find more information about some wallets out there, as well as tips on how to use them, here and here.

The most important part of any wallet is keeping your key (a set of characters) and / or password secure. If you lose them, you lose access to the bitcoin stored there.


2 - open an account on the exchange

Cryptocurrency exchanges will buy and sell bitcoins on your behalf. There are hundreds currently operating, with varying degrees of liquidity and security, and new ones continue to emerge while others are finally closed. Like a wallet, it is advisable to research before choosing - you may be lucky enough to have several leading exchanges to choose from, or your access may be limited to one or two, depending on your geographic area.

The biggest bitcoin exchange in the world today in terms of US $ volume is Bitfinex, although it is primarily intended for spot traders. Other high-volume exchanges are Coinbase, Bitstamp and Poloniex, but for small amounts, most leading exchanges should work well. (Note: at the time of writing, a wave of interest in the bitcoin trade puts pressure on most retail buying and selling operations, so a level of patience and caution is recommended.)

With a clampdown on know-your-client (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, many exchanges now require verified identification for account settings. This will usually include your official ID photo, and sometimes also proof of address.

Most exchanges accept payments via bank transfer or credit card, and some are willing to work with Paypal transfers. And most exchanges collect fees (which generally include fees for using the bitcoin network).

Each exchange has different procedures for arrangement and transaction, and must provide you with sufficient details to be able to make a purchase. If not, consider changing service providers.

After the exchange receives payment, the exchange will buy the associated bitcoin amount on your behalf, and store it in a wallet that is automatically made on the exchange. This can take several minutes, or sometimes for hours due to network congestion. If you want (recommended), you can move funds to your off-exchange wallet.


2 - select the purchase method

Platforms like LocalBitcoins will help you find individuals near you who are willing to exchange bitcoin for cash. Also, LibertyX lists retail outlets throughout the United States where you can exchange cash with bitcoin. And WallofCoins, Paxful and BitQuick will direct you to a bank branch near you that allows you to make a cash deposit and accept bitcoin a few hours later.

An ATM is a machine that will send bitcoin to your wallet in exchange for cash. They operate in a manner similar to bank ATMs - you enter bills, hold your wallet's QR code to the screen, and the appropriate number of bitcoins is sent to your account. Coinatmradar can help you find bitcoin ATMs near you.

(Note: certain businesses mentioned here are not the only available options, and should not be considered as recommendations.)
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