How to Buy Bitcoin - Complete Guide

Looking to buy Bitcoin? This resource will help you understand how and where to buy bitcoins.

From experience, we know that buying bitcoins can seem long and complicated at first. This guide was created to make buying bitcoins quick and simple for anyone.


Introduction to Buying Bitcoins

If you’re looking to learn how to buy bitcoins, you’ve come to the right place! To buy, you will need to:

1. Choose a Bitcoin exchange (chapter 2)

2. Exchange your local currency ($, £, ¥, €) for bitcoins

3. Secure your bitcoins on a Bitcoin Wallet

Fun fact: you can buy any fraction of a Bitcoin (ex: 0.1 Bitcoin)

After reading our guide on how to buy bitcoins, you will understand these important topics:

• How to buy bitcoins

• Where to buy bitcoins

• How to select the best exchange

• How to secure bitcoins after buying

• How to prevent theft and scams

The following section discusses Bitcoin exchanges. Our experts recommend these exchanges based on reputation, security and reliability.

Certain exchanges steal your private information, money and bitcoins.

We strongly recommend buying from one of the exchanges listed below and to conduct your own research prior to deciding on where to buy.


Picking the Best Bitcoin Exchange

When looking for the perfect exchange to buy bitcoins, you’ll need to consider the following 6 important points:

1. Anonymity

2. Buying Limits

3. Speed

4. Rates & Fees

5. Trust & Reliability

6. Payment Method

1. Anonymity

Do you want to buy privately?

If buying bitcoins in complete privacy and anonymity is important to you, you will need to avoid the following payment types:

a. Credit cards

b. Bank cards

c. Bank wire / transfer

d. PayPal, Skrill, Google Pay

e. Other methods requiring ID

Buying bitcoins with cash deposit, cash or through an ATM is the only way to purchase bitcoins privately.

2. Limits

How much do you want to buy?

If you are looking to buy a large amount of bitcoins, for example over $100k, you may want to explore big brokers and major exchanges.

Coinbase is a popular and trusted exchange with high limits when buying using a bank account.

3. Delivery

When do you need your bitcoins?

Depending on when you need your coins will impact where and how you pay for your coins.

Buying bitcoins for the first may take some time. Each subsequent investment should be much quicker and easier.

Although pricey (high fees), bitcoins ATM’s are the quickest way to get bitcoins on demand. Check out this map to locate an ATM in your area.

For small purchases, most brokers offer instant buys with bank transfer, debit and credit cards.

4. Exchange Rates

Why is the bitcoin price different?

While we often hear about the price of Bitcoin, there is technically no official price. The most important factor for bitcoin exchange rates is your payment method of choice (see chapter 3 for more information) because of fees.

5. Trust & Reliability

Does the exchange have a good reputation?

Before selecting an exchange, make sure to do your homework to see if the company you want to buy from is trustworthy.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are still very new and some bad actors occasionally try to take advantage of less knowledgeable folks.

Read reviews on the top bitcoin exchanges and you’ll be all set!

6. Payment Methods

How do you want to buy your bitcoins?

Knowing how you want to buy your coins is an essential step to buying bitcoins. Each payment method has its pros and cons; you’ll have to judge what is best for you!

Fees range from 0.0% to 15.0%

Bank Account

0.0% - 3.0%

1 – 5 days

ID Required

Credit/Debit Card

4.0% - 12.0%


ID Required


5.5% - 15.0%


ID Required


5.0% - 10.0%




You may need a wallet before buying with a credit or debit card or a Bitcoin ATM.

Don’t have a wallet yet? Quickly find the perfect bitcoin wallet for you.



Selecting a Payment Method

Once you’ve decided on a payment method, you’ll be ready to pick an exchange and invest in Bitcoin.

The most popular ways to buy bitcoins include:

• Online with credit and debit cards (instant)

• Online with a bank account (1-5 days)

• Online with PayPal (instant)

• In person with cash or by cash deposit (instant)

• In person by ATM (instant)

Regardless of your preferred payment method, you’ll have to exchange your local currency ($, €, ¥, £) for Bitcoin. Read on to learn more

Credit and Debit Cards

Since the majority of bitcoins are purchased online, it’s not surprising that credit card and debit cards are a popular way to buy.

Advantages of buying with Bitcoin credit/debit cards

Easiest way to buy bitcoins online, everyone is used to buying stuff online

Instant delivery of coins

Disadvantages of buying Bitcoin with credit/debit cards

Medium to high fees

Requires ID verification

The following are the most popular places to buy bitcoins online with a credit or debit card:

Trusted Exchanges to Buy Bitcoin Online with a Credit or Debit Card

  Exchange Fees Countries Buy
Coinbase 3.75% USA, Europe, Canada
Coinmama 6.00% Global
BitPanda 5.00% Europe 3.50% Global
ChangeNOW 5.00% Global
Changelly 5.00% Global

See our step-by-step guide on how to buy bitcoins online using a credit or debit card.

Bank Account & Bank Transfers

Connect your bank account or send money directly to a Bitcoin exchange is the best way to buy bitcoins at a competitive rate. This method is ideal for those buying regularly or large amounts.

Advantages of buying Bitcoin with a bank account

Good for regular or large bitcoin purchases

Most competitive exchange rates

Disadvantages of buying Bitcoin with a bank account

Slow transfers (up to 5 days)

Requires ID verification

Some of the most known places to buy bitcoins with your bank account or banks are:

Coinbase - USA, Canada, Singapore, and Europe

BitPanda - Europe

Gemini - US & Canada

See our step-by-step guide on how to buy bitcoins online using your bank account or by bank transfer.

Cash & Cash Deposit

Buying bitcoins by cash deposit takes no longer than a few hours and is among the most secure and anonymous ways to buy Bitcoin.

Advantages of buying Bitcoin with cash

Anonymous and secure

Quick delivery (1-2 hours)

Disadvantages of buying Bitcoin with cash

Higher exchange rates

Not ideal for beginners

Some of the most known places to buy bitcoins with cash or by cash deposit are: – World wide

BitQuick - USA

Wall of Coin – USA, Canada, Germany +

• ATMs – find one near you

See our step-by-step guide on how to buy bitcoins with cash or by cash deposit.

Advantages of buying Bitcoin using an ATM

Anonymous and secure

Instant delivery

Disadvantages of buying Bitcoin using an ATM

High fees and rates

Only in major cities


You can buy Bitcoin using PayPal in one of two ways despite the fact that PayPal explicitly prohibits merchants from selling bitcoin.

1. VirWox (virtual world exchange)

2. Local exchange (ex: LocalBitcoins)

Advantages of buying Bitcoin with PayPal

Fast delivery

Practical if you have a PayPal balance

Disadvantages of buying Bitcoin with PayPal

High fees and rates

Complicated (VirWox)

Summary of Popular Payment Methods

  Method Delivery Fees (%) Buy
Debit/Credit Card Instant 4.0% - 10.0%
Bank Account 1 to 3 days 0.0% - 5.0%
Cash/Cash deposit 1 to 2 hours 5.0% - 15.0%
ATM Instant 7.5% - 15.0%
PayPal 1 to 3 hours 10.0% - 15.0%


Some exchanges require you to have a wallet before buying (credit/debit card, ATMs).

Find the perfect Bitcoin wallet for your needs.


Frequently Asked Questions

The following chapter covers the questions we frequently get from our readers. If you still can't find the answer to your question, contact us or browse our Bitcoin guides

Is Bitcoin legal?

Bitcoin is legal in almost every country and widely recognized by governments and central banks from around the world. Bitcoin is commonly recognized as either a currency or commodity and is widely reported across global news channels.

What is the easiest way to buy bitcoins?

The easiest way to buy Bitcoin is online using your credit or debit card.

Can anyone buy bitcoins?

Bitcoin is available to anyone with an internet connection. Bitcoin cannot be blocked or sensored.

What is the cheapest way to buy bitcoins?

The cheapest way to purchase bitcoin is by bank transfer.

When is the best time to invest in Bitcoin?

The price of Bitcoin is becoming more and more stable compared to previous years. Expert traders always recommend to buy when a lot of people are selling.

Can I sell my Bitcoin?

Yes, most exchanges allow you to sell your Bitcoin in exchange for a fee.

Why do exchanges require ID verification?

Exchanges require identification for a variety of reasons, namely 1) Legal and anti-money laundering prevention 2) fraud control and prevention

Can I buy a physical Bitcoin?

Physical coins became popular in the early days of Bitcoins and are generally no longer available nor do we recommend getting any. Physical coins simply contain the access code to a wallet with the promised funds.

Can I buy less than one Bitcoin?

Yes, you most certainly can. Each Bitcoin can be divided up into 100,000,000 “units”. These units are referred to as satoshis after the mysterious founder of Bitcoin.

Can I buy from more than one exchange?

Yes, you can buy from as many exchanges as you’d like.

Where is the best place to keep my bitcoins?

We strongly recommend to secure your Bitcoin in a trusted a reputable wallet. If you do not mind spending a few bucks, a Trezor or a Ledger wallet are highly encouraged. Both are secure and very easy to use.


Staying Safe & Avoiding Bitcoin Scams

The best way to stay safe, protect your funds and avoid scams is to be able to detect a threat when you see one.

In order to help you avoid Bitcoin scams, we’ve put together a list of tips from our cryptocurrency experts:

Read Reviews Online (all exchanges)

Before buying bitcoins from a new exchange, we recommend reading reviews online, reading user feedback on forums like and to generally make sure the company will not simply steal your funds.

If you cannot find any information about the exchange, assume there is a high risk of being scammed. We strongly recommend proceeding with a well-known and reliable exchange.

Read Trader Ratings (local exchanges)

Local exchanges like are based on a trust and user rating system. We recommend only buying from users with many strong positive reviews.

Time-sensitive Scams

Many scams will urge you to act fast in order to get a better price or get bonus coins. These are fraudulent 100% of the time. Never give out any sensitive information to these sites or ads,

Money First Scams

Some scammers will ask you to send money before they give you the coins. Never agree to do so as Bitcoin transaction are irreversible. Always use an escrow to protect yourself from fraud when buying with cash.

Bitcoin Investment Scams

These scams are relatively new but have affected many individuals. Bitcoin investment scams will promise to invest your Bitcoin in exchange for very large returns. Never send your coins to these types of websites.

Other Coins (Altcoin) Scams

Although there exist many legitimate and promising cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin, there are many scam-coins as well. Always research coins thoroughly before buying altcoins.

Largest Cryptocurrency Scams in History

- PinCoin and iFan ($660 million)

- OneCoin ($30 million)

- Bitconnect ($700,000)

- Plexcoin ($15 million)

- Centratech ($32 million)


Protect your Coins in a Bitcoin Wallet

The next essential lesson is where to store your Bitcoin after you’ve purchased them. No matter how much or how little Bitcoin you have purchased, never keep your coins on an exchange. In fact, some exchanges require you to have a wallet to begin with.

Did you know?

Individuals and investors have already lost over one billion dollars from trusting exchanges with their precious Bitcoin:

The only place to store your coins is in a Bitcoin Wallet controlled and protected by you, and you only.

Our experts recommend that you get your own Bitcoin Wallet. If youre planning on investing less than $250 or looking for a day-to-day wallet, we recommend a mobile wallet like Jaxx or Mycelium. These are lightweight, user friendly and quickly accessible.

If you are planning on holding more than $250 of Bitcoin, we strongly recommend getting a Hardware wallet. A hardware wallet is a small physical device that lives offline, far and away from virtual threats.

Advantages of BitcoinHardware Wallet

Ultra secure and trusted

Complete control of your money

Easy to setup

Simple to use

For medium to large sums

Disadvantage of BitcoinHardware Wallet

Not free (about $100)

Not ideal for small amount

Recommended Bitcoin hardware wallets:

  Wallet Released Price Buy
Ledger Nano S 2016 $99
TREZOR One 2013 $100
KeepKey 2015 $99
TREZOR Model T 2017 Coming soon!