So you want to buy some bitcoin, but not sure where to start? No problem, lets look at some options on how to buy bitcoin.
Be aware that if this is your first time it could take a few hours, or it could take a couple of weeks. Please don’t let this discourage you, it is going to depend on your personal situation as to how long this takes. The technology is still new and being accepted and “on ramps” are still being built.
When buying bitcoin for the first time, you need to consider the options available in your country and local area.
– Finding people locally might be sparse or abundant.
– Bank deposits or transfers may be instant or take 5 days.
– Many places do not take credit cards as the funds are easily reversible, where Bitcoin transactions are not.
– Online exchanges may require “KYC” “Know Your Customer” information like photo ID’s and copy’s of bills.
Verification of people and accounts can take time. Keep these things in the back of your mind, as it may frustrate you, but it is part of the learning process and the second time will be easier 😉
This is a large and complex area. Not all exchanges are equal. Some specialize in different areas, some have different KYC requirements and user interfaces can also vary a lot as well. For this post we really want to focus on exchanges that will allow us to buy bitcoin with government issued fiat.
International wire fees for sending money add up quickly, so finding local options is best. I’m a New Zealand citizen so I’m not able to fully test many services in other countries. If you are in New Zealand, then BitNZ.com has been a reliable basic service for me.
The following website is not a complete list, but it does have a global scope that does cover a lot of established exchanges.
Here are some sites you could also consider if you are stuck or want an example.
Coinbase.com, United States – To buy bitcoins with your bank account, they support the United States and Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. But you can still sign up with Coinbase for other features even if you are in another country.
BitStamp.net, USA, UK, Luxembourg – After they verify your identify with photo ID and address, they will accept EU SEPA and International wire transfers from a wide range of countries. Unfortunately the more detailed information is only available after you create an account, and more detailed than I want to post here. But the general FAQ maybe of some help.
Try Meetup.com to meet local people who are passionate. They will have the experience to point you in the right direction locally.
LocalBitcoins.com is a service that allows you to buy person-2-person in the same way you might buy a used car on an auction site. This method is much more direct, personal and maybe more private than using an online exchange. They only require an email address and maybe a mobile number and personal name if you want to improve your reputation and use online banking. There is an escrow service and they may take a 1% fee for facilitating transactions.
Ask a Friend
If you have a friend who already has experience, they maybe able to sell you bitcoin directly and also guide you through the best options for your situation. When a friend asked me, I was happy to gift them $10 worth and then we went through the process together of signing up with a local online exchange. They were able to learn from me on the spot, and 3 days later they were buying online.
This may have come across as rather broad, but every persons situation is going to be unique, and I can not cover all of them here. I have supplied some solid general places to start looking for the option that is going to suit you best. Once you find the sweet spot for your situation, it will become easier to move in and out of bitcoin.
What’s next?! Go out and investigate the options above. Please share any good or bad experiences you have in the comments. I would also be keen to hear about your favourite local methods.
Stock Photo: imcreator.com