By Mickael Mosse – Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Expert
You’ve been wondering what’s all the hype about Bitcoin and crypto. All over the internet you can see communities dedicated to talk about this hot topic. Only on Twitter, you can find countless verified accounts talking exclusively about Bitcoin and crypto news, offers, updates and more. Being such a trend, you start to wonder: what actually takes to buy crypto?
Let’s start by the methods of payment. “You can actually buy Bitcoin either with a credit card, a debit card or even a bank account. But there are restrictions that you need to be aware of before using one of these methods”, says Mickael Mosse.
Even though buying bitcoin and cryptocurrencies might be still a mystery topic for most, the truth is that, nowadays, it’s as easy as shopping online. But of course, as in any other purchase you’re planning to do, you need to find out about the specifics of the product, in this case, Bitcoin or any other crypto.
Depending on the region you reside, the availability of the purchase might vary. Some countries find the whole cryptocurrencies matter still illegal but, fortunately, it is now a small number of countries. Basically, regions as North America, the Eurozone and countries belonging to the G7 consider it legal, as well as countries in Asia -except Nepal and Pakistan- although with restrictions in countries like China, Taiwan or Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, regions like Africa and Latin America have a mix of countries that have individual views towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
A particular case regarding the method of payment is the USA. “USA have banned the use of credit cards for buying crypto, so you can only do it via debit card or, for a larger amount of crypto, a bank account, especially to reduce the cost in fees”, reminds us Mickael Mosse.
Now, the most common way to buy crypto would be an exchange. And this is natural, since you’ll be basically exchanging fiat for Bitcoin. And I specifically mention Bitcoin here, because other cryptocurrencies are available to buy only in Bitcoins.
To choose an exchange, the first thing is checking out if the main and most used exchanges, like Coinbase, Bitpanda, CEX.io, Coinmama, have operations in your country or if they allow you to participate in the exchange. That would mean all the difference, for obvious reasons. Then, you can find out the requirements and costs associated with the trade but, most importantly, how safe it is since you’ll be giving up your personal and financial information to be able to buy. You could simply rely on the most known exchanges but it is always advised to check out carefully what are the terms of the transaction. According to Mickael Mosse, “Better safe than sorry!”
Beside exchanges, there are other options that are similarly easy to use for the purchase of Bitcoin, specifically. One of them is buying directly from someone who owns bitcoins. With the help of Bitcoin Cash meetups you can not only buy Bitcoin but get more information about it if you prefer to know about actual transactions already made by people belonging to this communities before actually move into an actual purchase yourself.
“You can also buy Bitcoin through peer-to-peer, P2P exchanges”, advices Mosse. It means that you’ll be trading with people that own Bitcoin already and it is done through platforms like LocalBitcoins or MickaelMosse.com Local. These platforms have their own rules and a variety of options to buy Bitcoin.
One last, but less available option, is a Bitcoin ATM. Although they’re increasing its presence worldwide, they are still scarce. Moreover, you need to be sure that the ATM operators are regulated by your country respective institutions, since anyone can claim to operate an ATM to make scams. But once you check how safe it is to use one, you can go ahead and buy and even sell some Bitcoins.
“Lastly, I would like to address a frequent question when thinking about buying Bitcoin -as I already mentioned, other cryptocurrencies are available to buy after owning some Bitcoin, at least if you are using an exchange-. A lot of people assume that, similar to any other fiat currency, you need to buy units of Bitcoin, this means that you’d have to buy from one bitcoin forward”, affirms Mickael Mosse.
But the reality is that one of the advantages, and main differences, of Bitcoin from traditional fiat currency, is its capacity of being divided up until 8 decimal places. This means that you can be the owner of 0.00000001 Bitcoin and some exchanges even let you buy $1 value in Bitcoin.
In conclusion, the possibilities of buying Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are wider and more numerous than before. “Remember also to be sure to have a digital wallet that suits your needs in terms of short or long-term goals and the level of safety and control you want over the management of your digital currencies”, recommends Mickael Mosse. Although some exchanges have the feature of storing your crypto, it has been instances in which million of dollars have been lost since the specialty of an exchange is not to store but, of course, exchange, and this doesn’t mean that exchanges are dubious. They simply don’t have the features to storage your crypto as a digital wallet -if chosen well- might offer.