Cryptocurrencies are on the rise. In 2020, more and more people are curious to learn how to buy Bitcoin simply and safely. These are indeed some major points of concern when it comes to the global development of electronic currencies. Between their volatility which – even if those who believed in Bitcoin up until now have mostly been rewarded – remains quite palpable and a sometimes-complicated buying process, many are still unsure about this type of investment.
Yet, the promises of an alternative monetary system brought about by cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular have a real future.
Why use Bitcoin?
Investors no longer buy Bitcoin just to speculate up in the hopes of making their investment profitable. There are more and more smartphone applications to choose from, allowing users to store crypto assets. Real-life uses for digital currencies are also flourishing. Some retail outlets around the world, such as Burger King restaurants in Germany, KFC in Canada, some Subways, and even international airlines like Norwegian Air or CheapAir now accept payments in BTC. Naturally, though, it is still online that cryptocurrencies are the most widely used, especially by such American websites as Shopify.com. Payments in virtual currencies are slowly but surely becoming the norm and bring along with them lower transaction fees.
Bank transfers are an especially telling example. Currently, in order to carry out a SEPA transfer, several days may be necessary for the funds to reach their destination, internationally in particular. There is now an option to carry out transfers within just a few seconds, but the cost of this type of operation is quite high. As for card payments, interbank fees may hover around the 0.30% mark. Electronic transfers verified by cryptographic proof promise very cheap instantaneous payment solutions.
Finally, let us not deny the benefits of possessing a certain amount of assets which may be in a position to gain in value as Bitcoin did in 2017. How to buy Bitcoin without keeping this in mind?
Who uses Bitcoin?
BTC is now present on many more levels than one may think. Thus, in Japan, Switzerland or even Australia, it is currently an option to receive part of your salary in a cryptocurrency.
Individuals wishing to adopt Bitcoin for their everyday needs hope to see it make mobile payments simpler and more widespread, especially thanks to NFC chips, which are featured in most smartphones. Many also see in crypto assets the possibility to have more control over their money, which they may hold without any institution overseeing it. Similarly, the risk of identity theft is considerably reduced, since electronic wallets do not store personal user data. In addition, the system is interesting for those who want to carry out international transfers quickly and cheaply.
For companies, these perks are of great interest too. Cryptography offers excellent guarantees against fraud. Accepting card payments requires them to be PCI norm compliant, which also implies a cost for store owners. Once again, Bitcoin is a way to reduce these fees all while maintaining an equivalent level of transparency.
Such transparency is also useful to non-profit organizations.
Which site should I buy Bitcoin from?
Those who wish to know how to buy Bitcoin essentially wonder about the concrete means one has at their disposal to procure cryptocurrencies. The main difficulty unquestionably consists in identifying the best and most reliable sites and platforms among the thousands that sell Bitcoin. The risks associated with the volatility of crypto assets are sufficient not to cumulate them with other complications. Indeed, while adopting virtual currencies gives investors absolute control and freedom, it also implies that they are entirely responsible for their own decisions.
The first step is therefore to find a perfectly secure Bitcoin wallet, physical wallets being the safest option. Then, you will need to select the right place to purchase Bitcoin from. There exist several solutions.
Exchanges, such as Binance
Exchanges – or exchange platforms – offer an interface through which buyers and sellers of cryptocurrencies are connected anonymously. Bargaining principles apply and, once the service establishes a supply-demand correlation, the transaction can take place. While exchanges are in theory not reserved for professional traders, they are not recommended for beginners as the way they work may be confusing to those with little experience.
The fees are usually relatively low and they offer a permanent access to many different currencies. Exchanges often supply their users with a virtual wallet, but don’t be fooled: if you store your tokens on such an account, they remain the property of the exchange. As such, if hackers were to attack the platform or if the company suddenly went bankrupt, you would be provided with no guarantees. Binance is a good representation of this type of solution.
Exchanges are mostly interesting to those who truly wish to trade and already possess a certain quantity of crypto assets, allowing them to carry out transactions. Indeed, payment options brokers accept are fairly limited as some don’t support card payments or even bank transfers.
For those who are wondering how to buy Bitcoin without necessarily having to go online, know that it is now possible to find physical exchange counters in several cities around the world. While it may sound counter-intuitive to have brick-and-mortar outlets dedicated to dematerialized currencies, the system appeals to those who wish to make an investment but aren’t comfortable with online solutions.
These “Bitcoin stores” do remain a rarity, and the much talked-about Bitcoin ATMs are even harder to find except in a few American or Asian cities. The main benefit of cryptocurrencies being their entirely decentralized and virtual nature, it isn’t surprising that the fees such options apply are much higher than what you’ll see online. However, you’ll be greeted by specialists who can give you some precious advice if you are new to the crypto universe.
Online outlets like Bitit
This solution allows you to buy Bitcoin online more simply than by going through exchanges. Bitit, for instance, makes purchasing Bitcoin more accessible to those who are mostly looking to own some rather than to truly trade it. Unlike exchanges, where a minimum deposit of €250 is usually required, Bitit allows users to invest even very small amounts (a minimum of €20) and offers a range of over 50 crypto assets to choose from.
The sites offers a very ergonomic e-commerce-type interface, a high level of security, several payment methods supported and a very instructional mode of operation. This is very reassuring to beginners and to investors who don’t want to take the risk of making any mistakes. For instance, the fact that a personal wallet is needed to store the Bitcoin you have purchased on the platform implies that you will have to do some research and wonder about the best ways to secure your assets.
How to buy BTC on Bitit?
The registration process on Bitit is quick and straightforward. You simply need to give some very basic information and a valid email address, a postal address and a phone number. Due to legal and compliance requirements, the site needs to verify their users’ identity by asking them to take a selfie while holding their ID before they can proceed with their first purchase.
Once the registration and identity verification process is complete, you can login to start shopping. Indicate the amount you wish to spend and the currency you wish to buy. You may use a credit or debit card, a prepaid voucher or proceed with a bank transfer.
A few minutes later, your Bitcoins are credited onto your personal wallet.
Buying Bitcoin: Payment methods
For some investors, choosing how to buy Bitcoin has nothing to do with how simple a platform is to use, whether or not they may trade directly or whether a virtual wallet is put at their disposal. Depending on the situation, the supported payment methods can be a key element.
How to buy Bitcoin using a credit card?
Buying Bitcoins using a credit card is only possible from some sites where this payment method is supported. While Bitit, eToro or Coinbase do accept Visa, MasterCard and Maestro payments, it isn’t the case everywhere. Kraken or Bittrex, for instance, still don’t support this type of solution. Buying Bitcoin using a card is not yet the norm.
The fees applied by the website are another element to consider before getting started. They mostly need to be transparent, but you’ll find that they can vary significantly.
How to buy Bitcoin through bank Transfers?
Bank transfers are probably the most widespread payment method across all platforms. Sometimes preferred by those who do not wish to use their credit or debit card (or don’t own one), this secure solution does still require a bank account. SEPA transfers are also an excellent way to receive your funds when you sell Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
How to buy Bitcoin using cash?
While it is now possible to buy Bitcoin from corner shops in some countries, the best way to buy Bitcoin using cash is to rely on prepaid vouchers. CASHlib or Neosurf, for example, give you the opportunity to buy Bitcoin using cash on the Internet (on Bitit, for instance) without having to divulge your account or credit card number. Most corner shops sell those cash vouchers. Available in a whole range of values, these may be “converted” into Bitcoin on a website that supports this option.
Where can I buy Bitcoin anonymously?
Buying Bitcoin anonymously, while conceivable, is rarely possible when using fiduciary money. Besides, sites must follow regulations (and therefore apply KYC guidelines) and offer guarantees you won’t be able to get from peer-to-peer exchanges (Localbitcoins, for instance).
How to convert your Bitcoins into Euros?
Bitcoin owners who wish to exchange this currency for fiduciary money can get a Bitcoin debit card. This solution allows them to use Bitcoin to make a purchase from an establishment that accepts fiat currencies. Do keep in mind that fees can get quite high, though.
Outside of possible purchases, it may be interesting to convert Bitcoin into fiat or into a crypto asset that is adjusted based on a fiat currency (TUSD, USDT) if you see its price go down. This provides a means of preserving the value of your Bitcoin, which you will buy again once the price goes back up. Bank transfers are one solution, but it can prove long and expensive too.
How to sell Bitcoin?
Selling your Bitcoin is probably the simplest and most financially interesting way to turn it into a fiduciary currency. Depending on the platforms, you can transfer your Euros, US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or other currencies onto a bank account. Some platforms also support PayPal.
There are three options to choose from. You may sell your Bitcoins on the website itself, as is the case on Bitit. It is also possible to put an offer on an exchange. Finally, you may sell Bitcoin to other individuals through peer-to-peer solutions, such as LocalBitcoins. In the first case, the current price of Bitcoin determines how much you will receive in return. The two other options allow you to decide on your own asking price.
It is interesting to wonder about how to buy Bitcoin in order to make the right choice of method. While multiple solutions exist, they all have their own characteristics which are important to know prior to purchasing crypto assets.