Getting Into Bitcoin
As the crypto market is alive with gains recently, renewed interest in bitcoin has taken hold yet again. For those new to crypto, the first step can be the hardest: simply “getting in.” While there is definitely a learning curve to some aspects of crypto, buying, storing and using bitcoin doesn’t need to be complicated. Below we’ll cover five easy ways to buy bitcoin. Before moving forward, though, it’s important to know what kind of bitcoin you want to buy.
Use a P2P Trading Platform
Another way to buy directly is to connect with a seller via a peer-to-peer platform like local.Bitcoin.com where buyers can select a variety of payment methods including Paypal, bank transfer, and cash-in-person. You can even trade goods for crypto via the site. Each user has different offers and charges different rates, so be sure to choose a seller with a good reputation, fair price, and history of completed trades.
Local.bitcoin.com focuses exclusively on bitcoin cash (BCH), but there are other platforms that provide similar peer-to-peer services for buying bitcoin core (BTC), like Localbitcoins. Each platform for buying crypto peer-to-peer requires different amounts of identification to make a trade. For example, local.Bitcoin.com only requires an email address and is extremely private, while other platforms can require extensive details via their know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) policies.
Use a Credit Card
A very easy way to buy some bitcoin is to use a credit card. This can be done at buy.Bitcoin.com, and users can choose to purchase either bitcoin cash or bitcoin core.
Once you click the buy button, there’s a prompt to enter a bitcoin wallet address. For users without a bitcoin wallet, there are instructions linked via the “Need a wallet?” option that can provide assistance in downloading one for free. Though this buy option charges a set service fee, the trade-off is that it’s very convenient and quick. Also, all that is required is an email address.
Use a Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin ATMs are popping up all over the place and provide a convenient means for investing in cryptocurrencies. Due to applicable regulations, this option is typically not as private as a direct, peer-to-peer trade, but for buyers comfortable with sharing some personal information, these machines can provide an easy on-ramp to the world of crypto.
The site Coinatmradar site is a good resource for locating a machine near you. Users can select their location, the type of crypto they wish to buy or sell, and find an ATM nearby. The service also provides info on the individual ATMs submitted by providers and users regarding the machine’s current status. For buyers in California, U.S., many popular Coinstar kiosks now feature a bitcoin buy option as well.
Buy Bitcoin on an Exchange
An established and reputable cryptocurrency exchange can be a relatively simple and convenient way to buy bitcoin with credit card or via bank account. As with peer-to-peer trading platforms, each exchange will have different KYC/AML requirements, fees, capabilities and special offers, so it’s important to research any potential choice carefully before making a decision.
Crypto exchanges for beginners which are very popular include Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken. Bitcoin.com now also has its own crypto exchange. Mainstream exchanges usually provide the option to buy bitcoin with a credit card or through bank account deposit.
An important thing to note about exchanges, however, is that if your bitcoin is stored custodially (meaning you don’t have the private keys) and the exchange is hacked or experiences problems, you may lose your money. This is why it is advisable to move funds to a private, non-custodial wallet as soon as possible after purchasing bitcoin, and to only keep the bare minimum of what’s needed to transact on a centrally managed exchange.