One of the most common questions when people are new to the blockchain/cryptocurrency scene is “how do I buy Bitcoin“? Depending on your needs, there are a variety of ways to acquire blockchain tokens. If you already have a bank account at a traditional institution, this may be one of the easiest ways to buy and sell. You don’t even have to get off your couch! Continue reading below about your different options for acquiring crypto-tokens.
Step 1: Buying cryptocurrency
Option 1: Connect your bank account
Coinbase is the most popular service to buy and sell cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Available in dozens of countries and across the United States (including New York), Coinbase has continuously operated since the early days of Bitcoin. While Coinbase is an easy-to-use consumer service, there are limits on how much can be bought at once and it may take several days to verify your identity, connect your bank account, and complete your first purchase. If you’re in a hurry to buy cryptocurrency, read on for more options!
Another option is to use a more traditional exchange. If you have experience trading in the other commodity or stock markets, the advanced interface and ability to trade more frequently will likely benefit you. Reputation and reliability during peak times can vary, sometimes freezing up services completely. Some popular cryptocurrency exchanges are linked below (keep scrolling).
Option 2: Buy Bitcoin at Cryptocurrency ATMs
Need to get cryptocurrency in a hurry? Using a local Bitcoin ATM might be just the service you need! These machines are just like norm ATMs at the bank, but they also work with cryptocurrency.
Most accept paper cash and will send you a digital token in exchange. Some will even allow you to sell Bitcoin for local currency. How svelte!
Coin ATM Radar has a comprehensive listing and map of all sorts of ATMS across the globe. Availability can still be scarce in rural regions, so your best chance to find a Bitcoin ATM is in big cities.
Option 3: Buy cryptocurrency locally or trade with friends
If there are no cryptocurrency ATMs around your local area, you might have better luck finding someone to meet up with in person.
Typically, it is easy to meet someone in a coffee shop and exchange funds in a safe environment. But just standing on the street corner yelling “SELL ME BITCOINS!” probably won’t get you very far.
It’s likely better to use LocalBitcoins.com, a long-standing reputable service which helps people find each other. You can also trade with friends & family locally. You might be surprised who is in your circle of friends that can help you out!
This can be especially helpful when traveling internationally or in areas that you cannot easily access other crypto services.
Changing blockchain tokens
Once you’ve got Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or any myriad of other options, it’s easy to change them for any other cryptocurrency token. Many exchange & trade services exist with varying degrees of complexity.
Easiest Token Exchange (for smaller amounts)
One of the nice things about cryptocurrency is that it’s very easy to trade or exchange them for other cryptocurrency–like Pokemon! If you have Bitcoin, Ether, Dash, or some other digital coin, you can trade it for another with low frustration. ShapeShift is an amazing service that helps automate the process of converting tokens. Maybe you get paid in Ether but want to buy alpaca socks with Bitcoin–ShapeShift is the fastest & easiest cryptocurrency exchange. And the best part is that no complicated signup forms are required! Just supply your receiving address for the desired cryptocurrency and send them what you have. Wait a few minutes and your order should be fulfilled. ShapeShift’s customer service team is also fast and responsive.
Cryptocurrency exchanges for the advanced trader and large amounts
There are a variety of cryptocurrency exchanges, some of which allow traditional fiat currencies to be deposited/withdrawn. High-volume exchanges are suited if you need to change a large amount of tokens or require special functionality such as limit orders or margin trades. Some of the higher volume exchanges include Gdax, Gemini, Kraken, Bitstamp, and Poloniex. Some cryptocurrencies are more popular on certain exchanges than others. They also frequently have a difference in price,so it can pay to shop around and compare fees.
Working for cryptocurrency
“Hire or work for Ether Cryptocurrency” is the tagline over at Ethlance. Freelancers can find work and employers can find candidates! One thing that is great about Ethlance is that it offers another way to get cryptocurrency besides simply buying and selling for cash.