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How to Buy Bitcoin?

By Arthur Crowson10/06/2022

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If you’re wondering how to purchase bitcoin you’ve come to the right place. There are a variety of ways that you can buy Bitcoin from multiple types of sources. We’ll tell you all the ways you can get Bitcoin and recommend our favorite options for each method.

Crypto Exchanges

Perhaps the most obvious answer to the question of how to get Bitcoins is through cryptocurrency exchanges. They’re one of the oldest ways to buy Bitcoin, with many exchanges being over 10 years old. When you buy Bitcoin through a crypto exchange, you’ll have a few options such as instant purchases with a credit card, funding your account with fiat (through bank transfer, wire, etc.) then buying, exchanging for BTC through spot markets, and more. 

The way to get the most bang for your buck is to fund the account with fiat, then use spot markets, as this generally has the lowest fees. Instant purchases with a credit card, while tempting, will incur high fees which negate the time they save. Here are some of our favorite exchanges to buy Bitcoin:

Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the easiest options for buying BTC. This is especially true if you are a US resident, as Coinbase has direct deposit paycheck support, is based out of San Francisco, and has been serving the sector for over a decade. It is a publicly-traded company under the ticker COIN. Coinbase has a friendly user interface and simple processes for buying Bitcoin. Trading fees aren’t necessarily as low as with the two options below, but Coinbase is still a great choice for beginners. You can buy Bitcoin on Coinbase with a credit card for a fee or fund your account with a variety of fiat options such as USD, GBP, and EUR to make a direct swap. You can check out our full Coinbase review here.

Binance

Binance is the world’s largest exchange by trading volume and they offer users a wide variety of ways to buy Bitcoin. US residents must use Binance.US, a direct partner of the original Binance exchange. Binance supports a variety of fiat deposit currencies and has direct fiat pairs for Bitcoin with AUD, GBP, EUR, and more, with the only USD pairs being stablecoins like Dai, Tether, and USD Coin. There is a direct fiat USD pair on Binance.US. Binance has industry low trading fees, making it a great place to make your first BTC purchase.  In addition, Binance supports purchases of BTC with a variety of credit card options, though there are fees of over 3% for those options. Check out our full Binance review here.

Crypto.com

There are two different ways to buy Bitcoin using Crypto.com, as they have different products called Crypto.com Exchange and the Crypto.com App. You can purchase Bitcoin through either product, but it is likely easier through the Crypto.com App. The app supports fiat deposits of AUD, USD, GBP, and CAD which can then be directly swapped for Bitcoin, while the exchange doesn’t support fiat deposits at all. The only way to buy Bitcoin through the exchange is by owning other crypto assets, depositing them, and then swapping them for BTC. You could fund your App with fiat, swap it for a stablecoin like USDT, send it to the exchange, then swap it for BTC, but this is likely too long a process for many people and doesn’t really save you any fees. The fees charged through the app are spread based, unless swapping crypto for crypto which is zero fees, while using a credit/debit card is up to 4%. Check out our full Crypto.com review here.

NOTE

There isn’t an exchange that doesn’t offer Bitcoin in some form. You can check out all the other exchanges we’ve reviewed if none of the above seem like a good fit for you.

Simple Apps

One of the best ways to buy Bitcoin, especially for newcomers, is through simple payment apps that have integrated Bitcoin wallets and/or Bitcoin/crypto support. You can buy a little bit of Bitcoin in seconds with the money you already have in the app. There are many more apps than the ones listed below that can be used for this, but these are some of the best ones.

Cash App

Perhaps one of the most well-known payment apps available on the market, Cash App allows you to buy, sell, deposit, and withdraw Bitcoin. When you buy Bitcoin or go to deposit it, it generates a Bitcoin wallet address for you, which essentially means that Cash App doubles as a Bitcoin wallet in addition to a fiat one. Cash App does charge fees for buying and selling Bitcoin, with them being displayed at the time of the transaction. Withdrawing your Bitcoin from the platform only incurs the network fee required to process the transaction on the blockchain. However, if you choose “Standard” speed, they don’t charge you at all. Cash App is a great way to buy Bitcoin for US and UK citizens.

Strike

Strike is a blockchain based payments application. It was developed by Zap Solutions and allows users to send and receive money instantly around the world, for free. It’s available for iOS, Android, and as a Chrome browser extension. Currently it is only available for residents of the US, El Salvador, and Argentina. Other countries are in the waitlist stage and once released this will allow for international feeless transactions. Strike lets users pay each other, buy goods and services online, make micropayments, tip content creators, as well as buy and sell Bitcoin.

Venmo

Another one of the most popular social payment apps on the market, Venmo, also has options for purchasing crypto with just a few clicks. You can buy as little as $1 worth of crypto to start. They support buying Bitcoin along with Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Venmo charges a spread on crypto buying and selling. Crypto purchased on Venmo cannot be withdrawn and you cannot deposit your own.

Custodial Options

Though exchanges are also custodial options, they’re more focused on crypto than the options in this section, which are combinations of traditional and crypto investment options. These options often present a somewhat easier process for users to buy crypto as they often already have an account for traditional investments, but even for those that do not, these options are easy to sign up for and buy crypto through. Here are some of our favorite custodial options for buying Bitcoin: 

Robinhood

Robinhood is an investment platform focused on making it easy and accessible for users to do both stock market and crypto investment. Robinhood added crypto support to their platform during the 2017 crypto spike. Only US residents can use Robinhood. The platform boasts zero commission on both stock and crypto trades. However, they make money by having price spreads for their assets of about 0.1%. One of the biggest issues with Robinhood was that you couldn’t deposit or withdraw crypto. You now can, as long as you go through identity verification and activate two-factor authentication. Robinhood is an easy option for buying Bitcoin.

SoFi

SoFi is a personal finance company based in San Francisco, originally founded back in 2011. SoFi provides a variety of financial services including investments, banking, personal loans, and crypto. The company began as an alternative to traditional banks for SoFi users to create savings accounts, refinance, and more. SoFi offers investment options for stocks, ETFs, IPOs, and crypto. Users are given the options to have SoFi manage their investments for free as well. There are currently 30 crypto assets available for buying and selling on SoFi. The only caveat with SoFi is that you cannot deposit or withdraw crypto from the platform, which they say is for your security. SoFi is a good option to buy Bitcoin if you’re comfortable with SoFi’s security.

Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple was launched in 2014. The fintech company is focused on providing ways for users to easily access and manage investments via automated savings programs. Users can buy and sell stocks across a variety of exchanges such as the NASDAQ and TSX in a personal or TFSA account. Wealthsimple Crypto was added to their offerings meaning traders can also buy and sell 50+ supported digital assets on the platform. Wealthsimple is only available to Canadian citizens. You can both deposit and withdraw crypto from Wealthsimple, making it a great option for Canadians.

P2P Exchanges

Maybe not the most talked about way to buy Bitcoin but a reliable one, is through peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges. These platforms operate as mediaries between those looking to buy Bitcoin and those looking to sell it, often holding funds in escrow on behalf of the two parties. Rates are generally better than through a typical exchange because there are little to no fees charged to either party. 

Sellers will note how much BTC they have to sell, what payment methods they accept, and at what rate they’re willing to sell the BTC for each method. As a buyer you simply find a method and exchange rate you like, check the seller’s feedback, then proceed with starting the buying process. Your funds will often be held in escrow once sent to ensure that the seller holds up their end of the transaction. Here are 3 P2P exchange options:

Paxful

One of the most popular peer to peer exchanges on the market today, Paxful boasts that they accept over 350 different payment methods. Payment methods include PayPal, Western Union, gift cards, rewards points, or even physical assets such as a car. While all these payment methods are possible, the more obscure ones aren’t typically available, as a seller has to be willing to accept them. Paxful started in 2015 and now has over 4.8 million users. Paxful transactions are secured by escrow, and there are only 1% fees on the seller side of the transaction.

Localbitcoins

Based and regulated in Finland since 2012, Localbitcoins is one of the most popular P2P crypto exchanges. Their decade-long stay in the industry means that they have some of the best volume of any P2P exchange, and they accept many different payment methods including PayPal. There are no fees for buying or selling Bitcoin on Localbitcoins, you will only be charged a fee if you advertise that you are looking to buy or sell, and even then you are only charged 1% of any transaction generated through the ad. If you simply find an offer you like and buy, you get charged no fee. In addition, Localbitcoins will automatically create a BTC wallet for you upon account creation, which is great for newbies.

HODL HODL

Hodl Hodl is a global P2P Bitcoin trading platform. They don’t hold user’s funds but rather lock it in multisig escrow. This minimizes the possibility of Bitcoin assets theft and reduces trading time. Because Hodl Hodl doesn’t hold any money, digital or fiat, users aren’t required to go through any complex identity verification process. This means trades happen directly between users’ wallets and without having to submit their identities to the trading platform. There is a maximum fee of 0.6% charged by HODL HODL on a trade that is split evenly between the buyer and seller, meaning a maximum fee of 0.3% to each member of a transaction.

Do I Need a Wallet After Buying?

If you’re purchasing Bitcoin from a P2P option, then you will definitely need a wallet to store your Bitcoin, and you’ll need it first. This is because the P2P seller has to send your Bitcoin to an address, and since P2P exchanges don’t offer exchange wallets, that means you need to already have a wallet in order to have an address to receive your BTC.

If using any of the other options, you don’t necessarily have to get a wallet after buying. This is because most exchanges have built-in wallets and can hold custody of your Bitcoin. The simple apps generally are already a Bitcoin wallet, and the custodial options are just that, custodial, meaning they can hold your Bitcoin for you. However, if you’re serious about keeping your Bitcoin as safe as possible, we recommend you get your own crypto wallet, whether hardware or software. This is because if you don’t hold the private keys to where your Bitcoin is, which you don’t with exchange wallets, simple apps, and most definitely the custodial options as it’s in the name.

If you’re interested in getting a wallet for your Bitcoin, you can check out our wallets page to see our favorite crypto wallets.

Buying Bitcoin Within a Crypto Wallet 

While you can use any of the above ways to get Bitcoin and then possibly decide to get a wallet to store it in, you can actually do both at the same time. Some wallet apps have built-in exchanges and payment gateways, allowing you to buy Bitcoin and many other crypto assets directly from within the app. The best part is that because you’re doing it through the wallet, the Bitcoin is deposited directly into it, without you having to provide the address, and you hold total custody of it as well. Here are some of our favorite wallet apps with Bitcoin buying options:

Exodus

Exodus is a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet available for desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux), mobile (iOS and Android), and as a browser extension (Chrome and Brave). It also allows Trezor hardware wallets to be connected. Exodus also supports swapping assets directly within the wallet and making purchases of crypto using a credit/debit card, bank transfer, or Apply Pay through one of Exodus’ partners.

Atomic Wallet

The Atomic Wallet is another non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet and exchange app. It supports over 300 cryptocurrencies and their blockchains. Atomic Wallet is compatible with Windows, MacOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Android, and iOS. Atomic Wallet integrates an exchange directly in the wallet, letting you instantly swap between any supported assets. In addition they have a cashback program through which users can earn anywhere from 0.25-1% on their swaps. You can purchase crypto directly with your bank card using Atomic Wallet and even get cashback that way

Trust Wallet

Trust Wallet is a non-custodial crypto wallet available for iOS, Android, and as a browser extension for web browsers. You can send, receive, and store a variety of crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and many more. You can swap between supported assets using the built-in exchange. There is also the option to buy crypto with a credit card directly from within the wallet, making it easy for a first time user to buy Bitcoin.

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Arthur Crowson

Editor

Further reading

What is Blockchain? image
What is Blockchain?10/11/2022
What is Bitcoin? image
What is Bitcoin?10/06/2022
Best Crypto Exchanges image
Best Crypto Exchanges10/06/2022
Best Crypto Wallet image
Best Crypto Wallet10/06/2022

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