You may have heard of the confusing world that is cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. Whilst many have taken a punt on Bitcoin, either making or losing money, there are still many others who haven’t.
Not only can Bitcoin be confusing in what it is trying to achieve, cryptocurrency still isn’t viewed very favourably by the mainstream media. On top of this, buying and selling Bitcoin can be confusing for those who are not the most technologically minded. So here, we will cover five ways to buy Bitcoin online.
Buy Bitcoin online through Coinbase
There are a few cryptocurrency exchanges that provide fiat gateways. These allow you to send euros, dollars, or pounds directly to the exchange and convert them to Bitcoin. For newcomers, the most common exchange used is Coinbase. Through a simple user interface and its early mover advantage, Coinbase has become the number one exchange for people to buy their first Bitcoin. Whilst the site is easy to use, it is not one of the cheapest. Coinbase is known for charging higher fees than most.
Coinbase has recently announced that it is insured for $255 million worth of customer funds in its hot wallets (wallets that can be accessed easily), with most of its customer funds stored in cold wallets. This should ease any fears about security on the platform.
Buy Bitcoin online through Kraken
Another exchange that has a fiat gateway is Kraken. An early mover in the space, Kraken has established itself as one of the main places to buy Bitcoin. Kraken also offers the opportunity to buy a few altcoins such as Ethereum. Again, as one of the larger and more popular exchanges within the industry, one would expect Kraken’s security to be high.
However, for your own safety, once you have bought your Bitcoin, you should research how to store it in your own hardware wallet no matter what exchange you use. As strong and secure as an exchange might be, there is always the risk of a hack. Remember, not your keys, not your Bitcoin.
For both Kraken and Coinbase and most other exchanges nowadays, you will have to pass the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure to ensure that you are not engaging in any criminal activities. Through extensive KYC, you can begin to exchange larger amounts of Bitcoin on both exchanges.
Buy Bitcoin online through Local Bitcoins
Local Bitcoins is a platform that allows you to purchase Bitcoin directly from another person. The system shares similarities with sites like eBay, with buyers and sellers having a rating to show their trustworthiness. Whilst the system is set up so that those geographically closest to you appear on your searches, it is possible to purchase Bitcoin from anyone in the world through this platform.
Local Bitcoins has the advantage that you will find cheaper Bitcoin through its website. Yet, as it is peer-to-peer, there is the added risk of not knowing who you are trading with.
Buy Bitcoin online through Changelly
Changelly recently relocated to Malta (like many other Bitcoin and blockchain businesses). This is because the regulations in Malta allow companies to know what they can and can’t do. In many other nations, there are still questions regarding regulations.
Changelly currently has around 2 million users and aims to provide transparent fees and the best rates on the market. Users can purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through either Visa or MasterCard.
Buy Bitcoin online through Coinmama
Coinmama is another cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to purchase Bitcoin through either Visa or MasterCard. You can also purchase Bitcoin through a SEPA bank transfer. Coinmama has been operational since 2013 and it offers quick and easy verification and a selection of altcoins such as Ethereum and Ripple.
Coinmama also offers a referral program whereby you can earn 15% of Coinmama’s commission on all of your referral’s purchases. So if you and your friends are thinking of entering the market, you can earn some spare pocket money.
There are a variety of different exchanges where you can buy Bitcoin online. Long gone are the days of shady exchanges or wiring money to Japan – such was the case with Mt Gox. Of course, there are always still risks when storing your Bitcoin on an exchange. If you are to purchase Bitcoin from an exchange, the wisest course of action is then to store them yourself in a hardware wallet.
Many exchanges offer affiliate programs to encourage sign-ups, so if you have a friend that has already purchased Bitcoin, speak to them and see whether they can help and you both might earn a bonus.
If you are to choose to purchase Bitcoin, remember to never invest more than you can afford to lose, and also remember that you can always buy a fraction of a Bitcoin instead of a whole one!