How And Where To Buy Bitcoin – The Definitive Guide
If you are wondering how to buy Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency without getting scammed, cavity checked by government or left hanging with a slow transaction – this post is for you. This guide is absolutely newbie-friendly.
First, buying any other cryptocurrency (e.g. Ether, Litecoin or Ripple) is easier when you have Bitcoin. BTC is basically the gateway to buying any other cryptocurrency.
Now, to buy Bitcoin you need to use either a centralized exchange, a decentralized one, or a peer-to-peer marketplace. Below is the list of top places online to get your first coin – fast, anonymous and secure.
LocalBitcoins (.com and .net) is one of the oldest and most trusted peer-to-peer platform created to buy Bitcoin. It’s also rooting for anonymity, and you will be able to buy Bitcoin anonymously, without submitting any identification documents, even though the fees might be higher.
What LocalBitcoins does is match Bitcoin sellers and buyers located nearby, and provides an escrow mechanism to make sure trades are safe. Considering people prefer different payment methods in different countries, you can use the payment methods that sellers in your country are comfortable with. As a result, LocalBitcoins offers the widest variety of payment methods – you can buy bitcoin for cash, local bank transfers, local sms payment methods, e-money like robokassa, PayPal (more expensive since they are seller-unfriendly), and anything you could imagine.
It’s essential to be careful with interacting with sellers, that is why LocalBItcoins has implemented a reputation system that weeds out bad actors before they possibly do any harm.
LocalBitcoins is definitely one of the recommended entry points into Bitcoin. Register now and browse all the available options near you.
Paxfulis basically a LocalBitcoins competitor, and many say it’s way more robust. Paxful is the same peer-to-peer marketplace with quick anonymous transactions, escrow mechanism and reputation scores.
The main feature of Paxful is the astonishing variety of payment methods used in buying and selling Bitcoin – you can literally buy Bitcoin for Amazon or Apple gift cards, not to mention bank transfers, credit cards, PayPal, money transfers – you’ll literally wonder what half of those payment methods are.
Paxful is definitely one of the best places to buy your first Bitcoins and stay anonymous.
Changelly is an amazing way to buy Bitcoin fast, anonymous and using your credit card. Well, you will be anonymous as much as your credit/debit card is anonymous – Changelly payments are processed by Simplex, so technically they will keep the card that paid on file – but that’s it, no verification, no IDs, no bank accounts.
Using this website is extremely simple: enter amount → specify Bitcoin wallet → pay → get your coin within 30 minutes.
Changelly is definitely a great starting point if you want to buy Bitcoin fast using your plastic card.
Bisq is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange – it’s fully anonymous, traders interact with one another only and no details are visible to anyone else, and there are no central wallets where any cryptocurrency is kept. Likewise, fiat payments are only going from trader to trader.
All the communication within the platform is encrypted and operates with the help of a desktop client running through TOR, so there are no servers that can be attacked either.
The Bisq platform offers dispute resolutions whenever there are disputes. It’s a bit complicated for newcomers (but there are the perks of decentralization), that is why Bisq advises to make initial Bitcoin purchases through LocalBitcoins, local meetups, ATMs or centralized exchanges.
Marketplaces mentioned above are better for buying Bitcoin if you are wondering how to buy Bitcoin fast and without giving up too much privacy. Naturally Bitcoin prices can be higher on peer-to-peer marketplaces like LocalBitcoins or Paxful, but the purchase can hardly be traced to your identity.
The list is continued below with the centralized, regulated exchanges. Use those if you do not mind uploading IDs to verify your name and address – otherwise there’s nothing wrong with them, they are all reliable and easy to use.
Cex.io is a centralized exchange where you can trade various cryptocurrencies. If you plan to use CEX to buy Bitcoin you’d have to create an account and fund it first. Bank transfers and credit cards deposits are supported, and you will have to provide your identity to Cex.io at some point.
The Cex.io exchange is a solid & reliable way to buy Bitcoins with a bank account or a debit card if you do not mind using a centralized exchange.
Bitpanda is a standard go-to service for buying Bitcoin for many EU residents. It’s a reputable Bitcoin exchange that is well-respected in the cryptocurrency community. At Bitpanda you can buy Bitcoin with a bank transfer, using a Visa/Mastercard card, Skrill, Neteller, Euro Wallet, SEPA, or Giropay.
Since this is an EU-licensed exchange, limits are very low for unverified users (50EUR deposits and withdrawals), so you will have to tie your phone number and enter your physical address to deposit and withdraw more than that. Still, Bitpanda is absolutely legitimate and we recommend it.
Coinbase is one of the most popular and default places online to buy Bitcoin with a credit card or a bank account. The exchange is getting millions of new users monthly and operates since 2012. At coinbase you can trade just a couple of cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, all against EUR.
Even though the array of payment methods and tradeable assets is not that large, Coinbase is popular for its’ reliability.
UPD: There have been reports about slow speed of purchase approvals lately – probably not a good idea to jump on Coinbase right away if you are looking to buy your first coin.
Coinmama is a great place to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum with a credit card. You will have to just specify your wallet and proceed to the credit/debit card payment – and you will receive the BTC you bought to the address you specified. Coinmama is a legitimate and reliable Bitcoin entry point for US citizens.
The next three exchanges are not too newbie-friendly, but they still deserve a mention, because they are extremely reliable. Mostly experienced traders use them to deposit large amounts of USD or EUR via bank transfers. The exchanges are reliable but they do not host a lot of altcoins to invest in:
Gemini is a regulated Bitcoin and Ether exchange based in the US. It works with bank accounts and requires full identity verification. Gemini is an absolutely legitimate way to buy Bitcoin with a bank account, but you will have to sacrifice speed and privacy for reliability.
Bitstamp is one of the oldest and the most legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges operating since 2011. The platform allows buying Bitcoin with credit cards (Visa, MasterCard), European bank accounts, and serves over 1 million users. The company is fully compliant with European regulation so you’ll have to verify your identity with them.
Kraken was founded in 2011 and is one of the most respected Bitcoin exchanges in the space. It trades Japanese Yen, Canadian dollars, US dollars and British pounds. You will have to verify yourself, tie your bank account, transfer funds to Kraken and purchase Bitcoin. Naturally this takes a while.