By: Alyse-Noël Hicks
Calling all Crypto buyers! Are you interested in buying more Crypto, but are unsure where to go? If you answered yes to this question, read on as we highlight the Top 5 Easiest Ways to Buy Crypto.
- Choose a Do-It-All Digital Wallet
A digital wallet is a secure, encrypted location where you can safely store your Cryptocurrencies. Additionally, a do-it-all wallet lets you purchase the Bitcoin to put in it, usually with a charge-card.
Below are a two do-it-all wallets that you can download for free:
Atomic is a popular laptop/desktop wallet that accommodates Bitcoin and about 300 other Cryptocurrencies. It is secure, because only you hold the private keys that control access to it.
You can buy Bitcoin with your VISA or Mastercard, for which Atomic charges a 5% fee per transaction. You can then trade your Bitcoin among any of the other coins that the wallet supports.
If you are on the go, there is also an Atomic app that is available in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play Store for android devices. The app syncs with your desktop installation and with it, you can trade or check prices anywhere you have an Internet connection.
Exodus is another laptop/desktop digital wallet for storing Bitcoin and several dozen other Cryptocurrencies. The security is strong like Atomic Wallet, as you too are in sole possession of the private keys.
In addition to Atomic Wallet, Exodus also allows you to trade among any of its supported Cryptocurrencies inside the wallet.
There is also an Exodus app available for Apple devices, which syncs with the desktop installation. Additionally, you can use Apple Pay to buy Bitcoin.
- Visit One of America’s Bitcoin ATMs
In recent years, Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) have been popping up everywhere around the world. Just about every medium-sized city in some 76 countries now has at least one. For example, Chicago has over 290.
BTMs are easy to find and with the free BTC CoinATMRadar, you can find one within seconds! The app identifies the ones nearest to you and displays their precise location on Google Maps. BTC CoinATMRadar is also available online.
CoinFlip is another website that helps you locate the nearest BTM on their network.
BTMs work similarly to regular ATMs. The only difference is instead of moving dollars out of or into a bank account, they redeem Bitcoin in your digital wallet for dollars. Or, convert the dollars you insert into Bitcoin in your wallet.
You can use any Crypto wallet, however, the smartphone versions of Atomic and Exodus are especially convenient. This is because they both can convert your wallet address to a QR code on your phone screen.
BTMs also charge a fee, which varies depending on the type of machine and its location. However, usually the fee for using a BTM to convert your Crypto to cash runs about 4% or 5%. The opposite transaction of feeding paper dollars into the ATM to convert to Bitcoin in your digital wallet typically comes with a fee of 7% or 8%.
- Buy Bitcoin Using Your Regular Stockbroker
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), a publicly-listed, closed-end fund that holds Bitcoin allows anyone to buy and sell it through their regular stockbroker without restriction.
In addition, its price movements follow Bitcoin closely.
Back in 2017, as the Crypto bull market sent Bitcoin skyrocketing up to all-time highs, GBTC shot up more than 1,300%.
GBTC is virtually the equivalent of investing in Bitcoin itself. This can be a good thing, especially if you’re a Crypto newbie.
The major drawback of GBTC is that it consistently shares trade at prices well above (usually 20% to 35%) what Bitcoin is worth.
- Choose a Cryptocurrency Exchange
Exchanges automatically match buyers and sellers of a particular Cryptocurrency, which protects you from counterparty risk, since you do not need to trust the person on the other side of the trade. In other words, Cryptocurrency exchanges act as the intermediary that guarantees easy trade execution.
Getting started is pretty straightforward, simply sign up for an account with the exchange of your choice. Some popular options include Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini, and Binance. Check out this list by CoinGecko.
The majority of legitimate exchanges require you to verify your identity while signing up. This is because governments around the world mandate that Cryptocurrency exchanges comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws.
It is only a one-time process and the exchange you sign up with will likely only ask you to upload scans of your driving license, national tax document, or similar identity proof, depending on your region. The review process may take a while to complete, so be aware that you will not be able to buy Cryptocurrencies immediately.
Once your account is verified, you will have complete access to the exchange’s trading interface. From this point on, you can deposit funds into your account and start Cryptocurrency investing.
Cryptocurrency exchanges will usually not let you use a debit or credit card to deposit funds and purchase tokens. While this was an option several years ago, banks have since restricted their use for such purchases, citing the Cryptocurrency market’s volatility.
Given the slow nature of interbank financial transactions, deposits may take several hours or even days, so plan ahead of time.
Once the deposited funds reflect in your account, you are able to place an order. On Coinbase, for instance, all you have to do is input an amount and the platform will take care of the rest.
- Select a Peer-to-Peer Trading Platforms
If centralized Cryptocurrency exchanges do not interest you, consider peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platforms for Cryptocurrency investing.
P2P trading platforms match buyers with sellers and vice-versa. Since these trades take place between individuals, either party can set their own prices and terms. Possible payment methods include online bank transfers, cash, gift cards, and almost anything else of value.
LocalBitcoins and Paxful are the two largest brands in this space and have plenty of liquidity in most countries. They have lowered the bar for Cryptocurrency adoption to a considerable degree in regions with less stable economies. Users from Venezuela and Zimbabwe, for instance, almost exclusively rely on P2P platforms.
While P2P trades with strangers may seem risky, the platforms mentioned above help to alleviate the obvious issues to some extent. Specifically, the Cryptocurrency being traded is held in escrow until the barter is completed. This is why it is considered best practice to use digital payment methods. During a dispute, these can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Peer-to-peer trading may seem tedious, especially if you need to queue multiple trades for larger amounts. In practice, however, P2P trades can be faster from end to end than using a Cryptocurrency exchange since your funds do not go through a middleman. These platforms also charge lower fees since they do not have to offer high-frequency order books and other advanced features.
Now that you have these options, you must decide which one works best for you! Happy Crypto buying!