What do you need to buy Bitcoin?
- An email address
- Driver’s license or Passport (18 years of age)
- A bank account with or without a debit/credit card
1. International exchanges (safer)
There are many international exchanges where you can create an account in 5 minutes, verify your identity, and buy Bitcoin with Credit/Debit card or a bank transfer.
Although we do recommend using a software or hardware wallet for long-term storage for bitcoin, if you want to store your Bitcoin on an exchange, International exchanges are perhaps a better option than local exchanges. International exchanges are monitored closely, they have a long history, and they have to honor the laws and regulations in the countries they provide services to.
Here are a few international exchanges you can use:
2. Local exchanges (riskier)
Since the Bitcoin industry has become more regulated around the world, some countries are banned from international exchanges, but you may be able to buy Bitcoin from an exchange that has been approved in your country.
You can do a local google search or use your native language to try and locate them, “buy bitcoin Thailand,” for example.
The benefit of local exchanges is that you can use your native language on the platform, and you may get a better price with your currency. But research about the exchange first before you make a purchase as there have been reports of local exchanges shutting down unexpectedly if they have failed to comply with country’s laws, they have gone bankrupt, or they have done something illegal.
3. Peer-to-peer exchanges (riskiest)
Peer-to-peer exchanges work slightly differently than centralized exchanges. Peer-to-peer exchanges simply serve as a platform that allows individuals to make trades with one another privately.
Private transactions made on peer-to-peer exchanges are harder to track for governments, which also attracts users with ill intent.
Some peer-to-peer exchanges do not require a proven identity, or the identity of the other person is only verified by other accounts, which may be fake accounts.
This is why some peer-to-peer exchanges and traders on those exchanges are under investigation for money laundering, tax evasion, or allowing illegal scams. This is why I will not list them here.
4. Bitcoin ATMs (safe?)
4th way to buy Bitcoin are Bitcoin ATMs. You simply insert cash or a credit or debit card, then choose how much you want to deposit, scan your Bitcoin wallet address and transfer your money into Bitcoin.
Using Bitcoin ATMs does not usually require you to verify your identity, but this may depend on the country you live in. The fees of ATMs are typically higher than using online exchanges.
You only have to have a Bitcoin wallet address where you want to transfer the Bitcoin. You can use this wallet generator to create a new Bitcoin wallet.
Always asses the risk of the ATMs in your country before you head to the closest mall and give them your money.
5. Physical Bitcoin coins (unusual way?)
There are services around the world that sell “physical coins” that include access codes to real Bitcoin. Having physical coins makes Bitcoin more tangible.
For example, you can buy a physical gold-plated coin for $30 and order 1 Bitcoin inside the coin. If Bitcoin would be $10,000 during the time of purchase, you would pay $10,030 + fees.
When you receive the coin, you can break the coin to get access codes to 1 BTC, which you can then transfer to any wallet you want.
These physical coins are a great gift even in smaller amounts like 0.01 BTC.
A few services:
3 simple steps to buy Bitcoin on online exchanges
Most people purchase their first Bitcoin with online exchanges, and that’s how we got into crypto as well. The process is simple.
- Sign up to an exchange
- Verify your identity
- Buy Bitcoin with a credit card or bank transfer
That’s it! After you have Bitcoin on the wallet on your exchange, you can start using Bitcoin in any way you choose.
What to do with Bitcoin after you have it?
After you’ve bought your Bitcoin, you will start wondering what to do with it.
Here are a few examples:
- Keep it and sell it when its price is higher
- Use it to make money on a leveraged crypto trading exchange.
- Convert it to other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and start earning interest or use other decentralized finance services
- Buy real-world items and services with Bitcoin
- Donate money to charities without middlemen anywhere in the world