How to Buy – Bitcoin (XBT) – Complete Guide
Learn how to buy Bitcoin and other digital assets online using any payment method
If you’re looking to learn how to purchase bitcoins, you’ve come to the right place!
To buy Bitcoin you will need to:
- Choose a Bitcoin exchange (chapter 2)
- Exchange your local currency ($, £, ¥, €) for bitcoins
- Secure your bitcoins on a Bitcoin Wallet
Fun fact: You can buy any fraction of a Bitcoin!
After reading our guide on how to buy bitcoins, you will understand these important topics:
- How and where to buy bitcoins
- Selecting the best exchange
- How to secure your Bitcoin
|Buy Bitcoin Here:|
When looking for the perfect exchange to buy bitcoins, you’ll need to consider the following 6 important factors:
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:
- Credit/debit cards
- Bank wire/transfer
- PayPal, Skrill, Google Pay
Buying bitcoins with cash, cash deposit or an ATM is the only way to purchase bitcoins anonymously.
Limits – how much do you want to buy?
If you are looking to buy large amounts of bitcoins, for example over $50k, 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.
Delivery – when do you need your bitcoins?
Depending on when you need your coins will impact where and how you pay for your Bitcoin.
Buy instantly using your credit/debit card on CEX.IO, Coinbase or BitPanda.
Buy within a few hours using your bank account, PayPal and other methods on a peer-to-peer exchange like Paxful or LocalBitcoins.
Sending money from your bank account or connecting your bank account to an exchange like Coinbase, BitPanda or CEX.IO can take up to 7 days.
Exchange rates – why is the price of Bitcoin different?
The price of one Bitcoin will vary depending on where you are buying and how you are paying. The market price is often determined by averaging prices across popular exchanges.
To buy at the so-called “market price”, you will need to buy Bitcoin on a live exchange like Coinbase’s GDAX
When buying Bitcoin instantly using your credit or debit card, you will likely end up paying 5%-10% above the market price in exchange for quick delivery and convenience.
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.
The exchanges recommended in this guide have been carefully reviewed and vetted to help our readers stay safe.
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 and selecting the perfect exchange.
Fees range from 0.0% to 15.0% depending on your payment method
|Bank Account||Credit/Debit Card||ATMs||Cash|
|0.0% – 3.0%||3.0% – 6.0%||5.5% – 15.0%||5.0% – 10.0%|
|1 – 7 days||Instant||Instant||Instant|
|ID Required||ID Required||No ID||No ID|
|High Limit||High Limit||Low Limit||High Limit|
|Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now|
GET A WALLET!
You will need a wallet before buying with a credit/debit card or using a Bitcoin ATM.
Don’t have a wallet yet? Quickly find the perfect Bitcoin wallet for you.
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 card (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 Buy Now
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
Instant delivery of coins
Secure and trusted
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
Exchanges to Buy Bitcoin Online with a Credit or Debit Card
|Coinbase||3.99%||USA, Europe, Canada||VISIT|
See our step-by-step guide on how to buy bitcoins online using a credit or debit card
Bank Account & Bank Transfers Buy Now
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 in large amounts.
Advantages of buying Bitcoin with a bank account
Best for regular traders
Most competitive exchange rates
Low trading fees
Disadvantages of buying Bitcoin with a bank account
Slow transfers (up to 7 business days)
Requires ID verification
Some of the most known places to buy bitcoins with your bank account or SEPA transfer are:
See our step-by-step guide on how to buy bitcoins by bank transfer
Cash & Cash Deposit Buy Now
Buying bitcoins by cash deposit takes no longer than a few hours and is among the most secure and anonymous ways to buy Bitcoin.
Cash trades are done in person. We do not recommend trading in person for cash with strangers even through trusted marketplaces like LocalBitcoins and Paxful.
Advantages of buying Bitcoin by cash deposit
Anonymous and secure
Quick delivery (1-2 hours)
No fees and low premium
Disadvantages of buying Bitcoin by cash deposit
Higher exchange rates
Not ideal for beginners
Cash trades with strangers are dangerous
Some of the most known places to buy bitcoins with cash or by cash deposit are:
See our step-by-step guide on how to buy bitcoins by cash deposit.
Advantages of buying Bitcoin using an ATM
Anonymous and secure
Disadvantages of buying Bitcoin using an ATM
High fees and rates
Only in major cities
PayPal Buy Now
You can buy Bitcoin using PayPal in one of two ways despite the fact that PayPal explicitly prohibits merchants from selling bitcoin.
Advantages of buying Bitcoin with PayPal
Practical if you have a PayPal balance
PayPal buyer protection
Disadvantages of buying Bitcoin with PayPal
High fees and rates
Not ideal for beginners
Requires ID verification
Summary of Popular Payment Methods
|Debit/Credit Card||Instant||3.0% – 7.0%||VISIT|
|Bank Account||1 – 3 days||0.0% – 5.0%||VISIT|
|Cash/Cash Deposit||1 – 2 hours||5.0% – 15.0%||VISIT|
|PayPal||Instant||5.0% – 15.0%||VISIT|
Secure your Bitcoin like the pros. Find the perfect Bitcoin wallet for your needs.
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 censored.
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 buying 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 securing 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.
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 BitcoinTalk.org 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 LocalBitcoins are based on a trust and user rating system. We recommend only buying from users with many strong positive reviews.
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 transactions 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)
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:
- Coincheck Hack: How to Steal $500 Million in Cryptocurrency
- The Inside Story of Mt. Gox, Bitcoin’s $460 Million Disaster
- Bitcoin worth $72 million stolen from Bitfinex exchange
- Bitstamp Claims $5 Million Lost in Hot Wallet Hack
Protect your coins in a Bitcoin wallet like a Trezor or Ledger. Ultimate security. 100% control.
Our experts recommend that all Bitcoin holders get their own Bitcoin wallet.
If you’re planning on investing a small amount or if you’re 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 you would normally hold in your wallet, 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 Hardware Wallets
Ultimate security (cold/offline storage)
Full control over your money (private keys)
Control over privacy and fees
Compatible with other wallets
Disadvantages of Hardware Wallets
Inconvenient for day-to-day spending
Cost money (approximately $100)
Recommended Hardware Wallets [Updated June 2018]
|Wallet||Release||Price ($)||Rating||Buy Now|
|Trezor Model T||2018||$175||9.7/10||Buy|
|Ledger Nano S||2016||$105||9.3/10||Buy|
See our Complete Guide to Hardware Wallets for more information