How to Buy Bitcoin: 6 Best Ways To Get Started

Navigating the world of cryptocurrency can be an exciting but daunting task, especially for those new to the concept of digital assets. One of the first steps for investors looking to enter the world of crypto is to buy Bitcoin, the pioneering cryptocurrency that has gained significant popularity over the years. In this article, we will explore six of the best ways to buy Bitcoin and provide some guidance on how to get started in this fascinating and ever-evolving market.

6 Ways to Buy Bitcoin

1. Cryptocurrency Exchanges: Convenient and Diverse Choices

Cryptocurrency exchanges provide a straightforward and popular way to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. These platforms offer a wide range of digital assets, although some may have a more limited selection. It’s essential to research and compare different exchanges to understand their fees and consumer protections before making a choice. Here are a few reputable cryptocurrency exchanges where you can purchase Bitcoin:

  • Gemini
  • Kraken
  • Coinbase

2. Traditional Stockbrokers: Expanding Access to Bitcoin

While options are currently limited, traditional stockbrokers have started offering customers the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin. One prominent example is Robinhood, which introduced Bitcoin trading through its Robinhood Crypto platform. Notably, Robinhood charges no fees for Bitcoin trades, similar to its stock-trading services. Other online brokers that provide access to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies include:

  • SoFi Active Investing
  • WeBull
  • TradeStation
  • Firstrade

3. Bitcoin ATMs: Simple and Convenient Transactions

Bitcoin ATMs are similar to regular ATMs, but they allow you to buy and sell Bitcoin. These ATMs are often located in places like convenience stores, making them easily accessible. Before using a Bitcoin ATM, it’s important to be aware of the fees associated with the transactions.

Moreover, you should have a plan in place for where to send the purchased Bitcoin. Bitcoin ATMs provide a convenient option for individuals who prefer a physical presence when buying or selling Bitcoin.

4. Trusts or Exchange-Traded Funds: Simplified Investment Options

Trusts and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) offer a more straightforward approach to investing in Bitcoin. ProShares, a financial firm, launched the first Bitcoin-linked ETF in October 2021, known as BITO. Instead of directly investing in Bitcoin, this ETF invests in Bitcoin futures contracts. Moreover, Grayscale Investments provides Bitcoin trust funds, such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) and Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust (ETCG), which are publicly traded. This means you can purchase them through various discount brokers. 

It’s important to note that these options involve fees, and GBTC shares may trade at a premium compared to Bitcoin’s actual value. However, some investors prefer this method as it eliminates the need for managing wallets and storage.

5. Peer-to-Peer Money Transfer Apps: Convenient and User-Friendly

Popular cash transfer services like PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App have made it possible to buy Bitcoin directly within their applications. These user-friendly apps allow you to purchase, store, and sell Bitcoin seamlessly. Additionally, services like PayPal and Cash App enable you to send and receive payments using Bitcoin. 

However, it’s worth mentioning that Venmo currently does not support Bitcoin payments. This method offers convenience and accessibility for individuals who are already familiar with these payment apps.

6. Wallet Software: Buying and Selling Within Crypto Apps

Certain cryptocurrency apps, including games, crypto wallets, and other online services that utilize blockchain technology, allow users to buy and sell digital assets directly within the app. If you choose to use cash for these transactions, you may need to use a third-party service like MoonPay to complete your order. 

While these services may have slightly higher costs compared to regular exchanges, they offer advantages such as quick and relatively hassle-free transactions. This option is suitable for individuals who prefer an all-in-one solution within a specific crypto app.

How to Store Bitcoin

If you’re buying Bitcoin, you’ll need a way to store it securely. There are two types of digital wallets for storing Bitcoin: hot wallets and cold wallets.

A hot wallet offers faster transaction speeds, but it may have slightly lower security measures. On the other hand, a cold wallet provides additional security steps to safeguard your assets, which can slow down transaction times.

1. Hot Wallet: Convenience with Security Considerations

A hot wallet is a popular option for storing Bitcoin, offering convenience and faster transactions. In this method, Bitcoin is stored by a trusted exchange or provider in the cloud, accessible through an app or a computer browser connected to the internet.

When you join a trading exchange, they typically provide a free Bitcoin hot wallet where your purchases are automatically stored. However, many users prefer to transfer and store their Bitcoin with a third-party hot wallet provider, which is also typically free to download and use.

It’s important to note that while blockchain technology offers inherent security, hot wallets can be attractive targets for hackers. cautions that exchanges and online wallets have experienced security breaches in the past, and many of these services lack sufficient insurance and security measures. Therefore, if you choose a hot wallet, consider using a reputable third-party provider for enhanced security.

2. Cold Wallet: Enhanced Security for Long-Term Storage

A cold wallet is a highly secure option for storing Bitcoin. It is a small, encrypted portable device that allows you to download and carry your Bitcoin offline. Cold wallets are considered much safer than hot wallets, providing additional layers of security to protect your assets.

These wallets typically cost less than $100 and are worth the investment for long-term storage. By keeping your Bitcoin offline, away from potential online vulnerabilities, you minimize the risk of hacking or unauthorized access. Cold wallets offer peace of mind, especially for those who hold a significant amount of Bitcoin or prefer a more secure approach.

Remember, when creating accounts for your digital wallets and currency exchanges, it’s crucial to prioritize security measures. Use a strong and unique password for each account and consider enabling two-factor authentication (2FA). These extra steps add an additional layer of protection against unauthorized access to your Bitcoin holdings.

How to Pay for Bitcoin

Once you have linked your Bitcoin wallet to the Bitcoin exchange of your choice, the final step in buying Bitcoin is deciding how much you want to purchase. While the price of a single Bitcoin may be in the thousands of dollars, you don’t need to buy a whole Bitcoin. Bitcoin can be bought and sold as fractional shares, allowing you to start with a lower initial investment, such as $25 or any other amount you prefer.

This flexibility in purchasing fractional shares of Bitcoin makes it more accessible for individuals with varying budget sizes. You can enter the world of Bitcoin investment with a smaller amount and gradually increase your investment as you become more comfortable and confident.

What Can You Do With Bitcoin?

Bitcoin offers different possibilities: it can be utilized as an investment or as a medium of exchange. Depending on your goals and preferences, you can spend it, trade it, or hold onto it.

1. Spending Bitcoin: Embracing Cryptocurrency as Payment

If you choose to spend your Bitcoin, there are a growing number of retailers and digital services that accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. By using Bitcoin for transactions, you can experience the benefits of decentralized digital currency firsthand. It’s worth exploring and supporting businesses that embrace cryptocurrencies, as this can help promote their wider adoption.

2. Investing in Bitcoin: Consider Your Investor Profile

When it comes to investing in Bitcoin, it’s important to understand what type of investor you want to be. Some investors engage in day trading, a strategy involving frequent buying and selling to take advantage of price fluctuations. Day traders aim to buy Bitcoin when its value is low and sell it when it reaches higher levels. However, day trading can be risky and requires a significant amount of time and expertise.

Alternatively, you may view Bitcoin as a long-term investment and believe in its potential as a digital currency. In this case, your investment plan may involve buying Bitcoin and holding onto it for an extended period. This strategy aligns with the idea that Bitcoin’s value may increase over time as its adoption and mainstream acceptance grow.

3. Tax Considerations: Stay Informed

It’s essential to be aware that owning Bitcoin can create a complex tax situation. Transactions involving cryptocurrencies may be subject to specific tax regulations depending on your jurisdiction. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional or familiarize yourself with the tax laws relevant to cryptocurrency in your country to ensure compliance and minimize any potential issues.

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