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Buy Bitcoins

Last Update March 10th, 2020. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency and is often compared to gold in terms of rarity.

Many people want to own bitcoin and can do so with a select few methods.

This guide will teach you step-by-step how you can purchase bitcoin and where you can do it.

How To Buy Bitcoins Online: The Best Bitcoin Exchanges

Why You Should Get Bitcoins

Bitcoin is used as a form of money, both in day-to-day monetary transactions and as a long-term financial asset. It is popular for its rarity, fungibility, and immutability.

Depending on the country you live in you can obtain bitcoin easily and instantly with different methods.

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Step 1: Find A Friend Or Local Dealer Online

LocalBitcoins Map

It is not necessary that you have to sign up for an exchange in order to obtain or purchase bitcoin.

You can easily locate a bitcoin dealer in your local area on sites like Facebook or LocalBitcoins and trade with them in-person.

Bitcoin can be sent directly to a person’s wallets as a gift or in exchange for goods and services.

It is not uncommon for people to be introduced to bitcoin by frequent users who prefer using it as money.

How To Buy Bitcoins Anonymously

The first use case of bitcoin is as an anonymous currency and still is, for the most part, today, anonymous.

Bitcoin transactions, wallets, and miner rewards are stored on the blockchain ledger, so although there is technically not a name or address attached to the ledger, bitcoins can still be tracked to the original miner or previous wallet owner.

Buy Bitcoin With Cash

If you want to buy bitcoin anonymously you will have to find a friend or dealer in-person who will sell you bitcoin for cash or similar. It is also best that you use a hardware wallet or wallet that doesn’t have your personal information attached to it such as an exchange.

LocalBitcoins and similar meetup sites are good places to start to find a nearby dealer in your local area who is willing to accept cash for bitcoin.

Although there will likely be people nearby, if you need a small amount of bitcoin and don’t mind the high fees, another good option is to find and use a Bitcoin ATM nearby you.

Cash is the most popular way for people to buy bitcoin anonymously. Check out our buy bitcoin with cash guide to learn more about this payment method.


Step 2: Choose A Payment Method

Buy Bitcoins

No matter your skill level with the cryptocurrency space, it is simple to get started.

Most people prefer buying bitcoin from an exchange because it is more convenient and secure than buying from a local dealer, and you have many more payment methods available to you.

Usually, the exchange will also supply you with a bitcoin wallet to help you store your bitcoin.

Why Do I Need To Provide ID To Buy Bitcoin On An Exchange?

Due to AML and KYC regulations, all customers must present some form of identity verification upon registration before they can begin to purchase bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on an exchange.

Do Banks Like Bitcoin?

Many banks discourage the purchase of bitcoin for many reasons although they are becoming more open to the idea of it as a legitimate currency.

We recommend finding a bitcoin-friendly bank before making a purchase to prevent any issues with your transaction or account.

Buying bitcoin with a debit card, credit card or bank account is the most popular way of purchasing bitcoin.

Credit Card or Debit Card

Credit Card or Debit Card Icon

Not only is buying bitcoin with a credit card or debit card the fastest option for procuring bitcoin but also it is secure because you have a bank behind your purchase.

Most institutional banks offer a debit card for customers to make purchases anytime they please.

If you are in a rush and need to buy bitcoins at the price you want, then we recommend purchasing bitcoin with either a debit card or credit card.

Buying bitcoin with a debit card or credit card is by far the most popular method of purchasing bitcoin online.

Want more information about this payment method? Have a look at our guide to buying bitcoin with debit card or credit card.

Popular Exchanges For Buying Bitcoin With Debit Card Or Credit Card Instantly

 
Company
Fees
Countries Supported
Coinbase Icon Resized
Coinbase

3.99%102 countries (see full list)
CEX IO Icon Resized
CEX.IO


2.99%Worldwide
Coinmama Icon Resized
Coinmama


5.00%Worldwide

Bank Account Or Bank Transfer

Bank Account Symbol

Purchasing bitcoin with a bank account or bank transfer is the most secure route of doing business and carries the lowest fees. Bank transfers require between 2 to 5 business days to process and is an efficient way to transfer a large amount of money.

If you are trading large volumes then you will want to look for an exchange that offers security, tools, and flexibility.

Want more information about this payment method? Have a look at our guide to buying bitcoin with bank account or bank transfer.

Popular Exchanges For Buying Bitcoin With Bank Account Or Transfer Instantly

 
Company
Fees
Countries Supported
Coinbase Icon Resized
Coinbase


Free102 countries (see full list)
Gemini Icon Resized
Gemini


FreeUnited States, United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea
Kraken Bitcoin Exchange Icon Resized
Kraken


Free / $5Worldwide
CEX IO Icon Resized
CEX.IO


FreeWorldwide
Coinmama Icon Resized
Coinmama

FreeWorldwide

PayPal

PayPal Logo

Established in 1998 by moguls Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, and Reid Hoffman, PayPal is a multinational payment processing platform.

PayPal provides a world-class payment system and a seamless interface where others don’t.

Transactions on PayPal are fast and secure. PayPal also provides excellent customer service and buyer protection.

Many people use PayPal as a mobile wallet or bank, so using it to purchase bitcoin is an easy transition.

Want more information about this payment method? Have a look at our guide to buying bitcoin with PayPal.

Popular Exchanges For Buying Bitcoin With PayPal Instantly

 
Company
Fees
Countries Supported
Etoro Icon Resized
Etoro

Free, $5 withdrawal feeWorldwide
LocalBitcoins Icon Resized
LocalBitcoins


Free, 1% to advertisersWorldwide
Paxful Icon Resized
Paxful

Free, 0.1% to 5% for sellersEvery country except for a few (see banned countries)
Wirex Icon Resized
Wirex


FreeWorldwide
XCOINS Icon Resized
XCOINS


2.9% + $0.3040 countries

Gift Card

Amazon Gift Card

Gift cards are an immensely popular method for buying bitcoin, especially in countries with few supported exchanges or countries where banks specifically prohibit the purchase of bitcoin.

You can buy bitcoin with most gift cards, particularly the popular ones including Amazon, iTunes, eBay, and many, many more.

Want more information about this payment method? Have a look at our guide to buying bitcoin with gift card.

Popular Exchanges For Buying Bitcoin With Gift Card Instantly

 CompanyFeesCountries Supported
Paxful Icon Resized
Paxful

Free, 0.1% to 5% for sellersEvery country except for a few (see banned countries)
LocalBitcoins Icon Resized
LocalBitcoins


Free, 1% to advertisersAll countries

Venmo

Venmo Icon

Venmo, acquired by PayPal in 2013 for $800 million, is one of the most popular platforms for sending and receiving money. As bitcoin is a uniquely peer-to-peer digital currency, Venmo is a peer-to-peer social payment platform.

Buying bitcoin with Venmo is also a popular method for many cryptocurrency traders.

On Venmo, transactions must go through the centralized Venmo network where users can instantly send money to their friends by opening the app and finding their friends’ profiles.

Want more information about this payment method? Have a look at our guide to buying bitcoin with Venmo.

Popular Exchanges For Buying Bitcoin With Venmo Instantly

 
Company
Fees
Countries Supported
Paxful Icon Resized
Paxful

Free, 0.1% to 5% for sellersEvery country except for a few (see banned countries)
LocalBitcoins Icon Resized
LocalBitcoins


Free, 1% to advertisersAll countries

Buy Bitcoin With Any Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies

If you already have a stash of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar Lumens and/or other cryptocurrencies and you want to quickly trade between them then you will want to find a reliable trading platform. Experienced traders know the importance of being able to exchange between currencies especially in case of a bull run or sell-off.

Many forex traders will find similarities between trading dollars of different denominations with trading cryptocurrencies.

Exchanging between bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is extremely simple. Most trading platforms have a wide variety of analysis tools to facilitate the trading process.

Popular Exchanges For Trading Cryptocurrency Instantly

 
Company
Countries Supported
Coinbase Pro Icon Resized
Coinbase Pro


102 countries (see full list)
Binance Icon Resized
Binance


Worldwide
Gemini Icon Resized
Gemini ActiveTrader


United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea
Kraken Bitcoin Exchange Icon Resized
Kraken Pro


Worldwide
Poloniex Icon Resized
Poloniex


Worldwide

Step 3: Find A Reliable Exchange Or Marketplace

Once you have decided on a payment method the next step is to find a trustworthy exchange or marketplace that accepts your chosen method of payment.

If you want to fully utilize each exchange make sure that you are fully verified and that you secure your account with a strong password and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).

Some of the most reputable exchanges on the planet include:

The most popular person-to-person marketplaces include:

What Is The Best Overall Place To Buy Bitcoin?

Here are our personal favorite bitcoin exchanges for each method of payment:

Buy Bitcoin With A Credit Card or Debit Card (Top Recommendation: Coinbase)

Buy Bitcoin With Bank Account (Top Recommendation: Gemini)

Buy Bitcoin With PayPal (Top Recommendation: Etoro)

Buy Bitcoin With Gift Card (Top Recommendation: Paxful)

Buy Bitcoin With Venmo (Top Recommendation: LocalBitcoins)

Buy Bitcoin With Cash (Top Recommendation: Bitcoin ATM)

Buy Bitcoin With Any Cryptocurrency (Top Recommendation: Binance)

Coinbase Icon

Best Overall: Coinbase

If we had to go with one exchange out of the hundreds of thousands of them available to you, we would have to go with Coinbase.


Step 4: Secure Your Bitcoins

Buy Bitcoins

After investing or buying a large amount of bitcoin you will want to further secure them so that they are safe in the case of a natural disaster or hack.

Too much currency held inside of an exchange puts you at risk.

Our advice is to get a reliable bitcoin wallet that will secure your bitcoin in the event of an Internet outage or hack.

Hot Wallet vs Cold Wallet

Exchanges are considered to be hot wallets and are always connected to the Internet, so it is preferable to store your bitcoin offline within a dependable cold storage hardware wallet so only you have control of where your bitcoin is held.

Refer to our official bitcoin wallet guide for more information on this topic.


Can I Buy Bitcoin Without Fees?

Depending on the size and desired speed, every bitcoin transaction incurs a small fee that finds its way to the original miner of the BTC.

Although they usually require 2 or more business days to complete, bank transfers are primarily the best way to avoid fees when purchasing Bitcoin.

How Can I Buy Bitcoin Stock?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is considered by most to be a volatile alternative asset. You can buy stock in bitcoin on most exchanges and trading platforms. Some exchanges will let you transfer the bitcoin in and out of the exchange i.e. Coinbase or Coinmama, while others will only allow you to buy and sell bitcoin for profit i.e. Cash App or Etoro.

Have a look at our guide to buying bitcoin stock for more information.

How Do I Get Bitcoin At The Best Price?

If you want to get bitcoin at the best possible price our recommendation is to make a purchase when the price is at a low inflection point. Alternatively, most exchanges will allow you to set a market limit order that executes when the price of bitcoin passes a certain threshold. If you are serious about buying bitcoin at the best possible price this would be the best way to do it.

Where Are The Other Exchanges?

There are many exchanges not listed in this guide for one reason or another. Some exchanges only serve certain countries, while others don’t support all payment methods or cryptocurrencies. You can have a look at our complete list of exchanges if you want to find one that suits your needs better.