How to buy Bitcoin

The ultimate guide For Beginners
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It has been over a decade since the Satoshi Nakamoto gifted us with Bitcoin, a new revolutionary way of exchanging value without depending on centralized entities. Giving as the power of true ownership of our money and emancipating us from the often restrictive and unfair monetary policies designed to preserve the influence of the powerful few. Wondering how you can own some Bitcoin of your own? Read below to find out!

Topics you'll learn in this guide

Introduction

This served as a catalyst on an ongoing revolution on how we move, distribute and use wealth. Despite being the center of attention on several occasions, not many people know how to get access to these cryptocurrencies in general.

Fortunately, through awareness and education campaigns, they are slowly becoming recognized as a legitimate asset class. In addition to this, venues, where people can procure cryptocurrencies, are increasing by the day. This article will discuss the different ways how to buy this emerging asset class, giving special attention to bitcoin since it is the leading, most popular and most liquid asset in the crypto space. But before that, let us explore the different wallets where we can store them. There are quite a number of them so Let’s get on to it.

The easiest way to get a crypto wallet is by registering in one of the many online cryptocurrency wallets available. Online wallets like Coinbase, Blockchain.com wallet and Bitcoin.com Wallet are among the most trusted and feature-packed wallets in the crypto industry. Coinbase features a pure online wallet where users can just use register using their email address. 

You do not even have to undergo KYC procedures in order to gain access to the most basic functionality of the wallet like receiving and sending cryptocurrencies. There are however fo the wallets features that require KYC like in-wallet conversion, fiat deposits, and withdrawals. 

Custodial wallets vs non-custodial wallets

Before proceeding further let me explain the difference between these two types of wallets. The first one are custodial wallets. This means that your digital currencies like bitcoin are stored in a wallet that a trusted third party has access to. They also keep the private keys of the wallet you are issued with this means you cannot recover or restore your account using other applications or devices. This means if there are new assets generated from contentious forks, they will not be accessible not until the wallet custodial service provider decides to release it. 

 

In addition to this, cryptocurrencies created using smart contracts, especially the new ones will remain inaccessible not until they are officially supported by the wallet services provider. A good example of a custodial wallet is the Coinbase online wallet we have described earlier. Users of the said wallet will be able to create various cryptocurrency addresses but will have no access to its private keys nor to its mnemonic passphrase. If you don’t know what is a private key or mnemonic passphrase don’t worry we will discuss them later. For the time being, just think of them as special combinations of numbers and letters or groups of words that unlock your crypto wallet.

Non-custodial wallets are those wallets whose service providers do not have access to your private keys. Users who created their wallets have sole custody of their private key or mnemonic passphrase and ultimately responsible for keeping them safe. Blockchain.com wallets and Bitcoin.com wallets are examples of non-custodial wallets. These two wallet providers do not have access to their user’s private keys. If the user loses them it will be impossible to recover them.  Hence, it is highly recommended that a copy of the private keys and mnemonic passphrases are immediately kept in a safe place after they are created.

 

Pros and Cons of custodial and con-custodial wallets

Custodial wallets

Non-Custodial wallets

Setting up a custodial wallet

There are many custodial wallets out there. Most of them follow the same process in setting them up. To give you a concrete example we will show you how easy it is to set up a Coinbase custodial wallet. First, let’s head over to Coinbase sign up [page](https://www.coinbase.com/signup) to start registering a new account. Once you are there you will see this page:

Just enter your name, e-mail and desired password. Fo r extra security make sure that your password is strong which is indicated by a green circle. When you are done filling up all the required fields press the “create account button” After pressing the button you will be asked to verify your email. All you have to do is go to your email account, find the email sent by Coinbase.

Once you have found the email sent to open it and you should see a Verify Email Address button. Click or tap on this button this should bring you back to the Coinbase.com website where you will be asked to set up two-step verification. In this step, you will be asked to input the complete international number of your mobile phone. Once you have filled out the required field just click or tap the “Send code” button to send a numeric code to confirm that indeed the number you inputted is yours.

When you receive the numeric authentication code input it on the page shown above. Just in case you did not receive the code you can try to resend the text message. If no code reaches you still you can press the use another phone number option to check if you have inputted the correct mobile number. Press the submit button to proceed to the main dashboard of the Coinbase online wallet. Once there we suggest immediately setting up your profile information. You can do this by clicking on the Top right corner empty avatar. This should show you a drop-down menu where you can pick “settings”

The setting page will show you several options. The first one we need to set up is your profile details. The profile page is pretty straight forward. All you have to do is to input all the required details on the different fields. Makes sure that all the details in the My Profile menu are accurate so that you do not need to redo them when you choose to undergo KYC.

Preferences menu lets you choose the currency it will show all balances in the site as well as the default time zone it will use.

On the other hand, the Security menu allows you to set a 2-step verification such as through text message, 3rd party Authenticator or through a Security Key. Setting up your security cannot be overstated. Remember holding a cryptocurrency wallet is like having access to your bank account 24/7. Having multiple layers of security might be cumbersome initially but due to the growing sophistication of hackers today this has become a necessity. Of all the processes we have discussed earlier, this is perhaps the most important part.

Once you are done with your security setting we skip the other menus and go straight to the Account levels menu. Initially, you will be verified to level 1 this means that you can send and receive cryptocurrencies. If you just need these functionalities then you don’t need to undergo the second-level verification for Coinbase, you can skip to the wallet address creation section below. However, if you want to be able to trade your existing token to other tokens then you have to undergo the KYC. To initiate the verification process just click on the green “Verify personal information” button as shown below.

Once you click on the said button a window will pop out asking you to input some personal information as well as your employment status and where the funds will be coming from. From the information, they are asking this is obviously for AML compliance. Once you are done just press on the blue button with the label “continue button” to proceed with the KYC process.

Clicking the button will bring you to a window shown below. Choose from the different types of accepted identification. Currently they Coinbase accepts Passport, Driver’s License, and National ID Card as shown below. Just click on any of these to continue the KYC process.

When you have selected which identification document you are doing to use the Coinbase website will bring you to a window to choose which method you would like to submit your documents. There are three options: Webcam, Mobile Camera and File Upload. They recommend you using a mobile camera phone since it generally captures better images than those of the webcam. If you have a scanned copy you can also upload it.

Approval for your identity can take up to 24 hours or just a couple of minutes. However, rest assured that your verification will eventually be processed which will expand the products and services that you will be able to access. While waiting for your verification you can head over to the portfolio page where you can see the list of currently supported cryptocurrencies.

Wallet address creation

The portfolio page shows you the total balance of your portfolio as well as the itemized balance of all the supported cryptocurrencies. Clicking on any of these cryptocurrencies will bring you to the specific balance page of that cryptocurrency. In our case, we want to see the wallet address of Bitcoin (BTC). Just scroll down and look for Bitcoin and click on its row.

Once you click on its row it will bring you to its page where you can do transactions using the specific coin or token you have selected. We can “create” or “retrieve” the address of the coin by clicking on the “Receive BTC” button since we are retrieving it for the very first time it actually generates a unique address for you. The system also reminds as to make sure that the only cryptocurrency we will send to this address is Bitcoin BTC. This is important to remember because some cryptocurrencies have similar addresses. Take for example the classic addresses of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), it looks like a BTC address as well as those used by the Waves blockchain (WAVES).

As you can see Bitcoin addresses are extremely hard to remember and input you can screenshot the QR code for easier access. However, Coinbase allows the usage of email addresses in lieu of BTC addresses.

When your account has been verified you will now be allowed trade cryptocurrencies within the platform. While it is not the ideal way of trading cryptocurrencies it allows users a convenient and fast way of instantly converting one crypto to another. In some territories Coinbase also allows users to buy cryptocurrencies using their bank accounts or credit/debit cards once they have been verified. A screenshot below shows you how conversion is made. As you can observe below there are no order books like typical exchange since it is an instant exchange or just plan conversion where the rate is dictated by Coinbase. We will know more about order books when we discuss buying cryptos through cryptocurrency exchanges later.

Setting up a non-custodial wallet

Like custodial wallets, there is a variety of non-custodial wallet depending on the blockchain you want to use. Since our main focus is on how to buy bitcoin we will feature the two most commonly used non-custodial wallets. We will demonstrate first how to set up the Blockchain.com wallet and then demonstrate setting up the Bitcoin.com non-custodial wallet.

Blockchain.com non-custodial wallet

To demonstrate how to create a non-custodial wallet we will be using or setting up a blochchain.com wallet. Non-custodial wallet set up usually follows the same process and once you have seen one it should give you a good idea of how to set up a non-custodial wallet in other platforms. This is a bit more complicated than setting up a custodial wallet. Let’s start by going to the website of blockchain.com. Once there go click on the sign up” button located at the top right of the website as shown below

When you do this a pop-out window will appear where you need to indicate your email and a strong password. Then you have to tick on the tick box then press the “Create My Wallet” button.

Once clicked you will immediately log in to the Blockchain.com Wallet Dashboard where you will be greeted with a pop-out window inviting you to explore the many tools and functions of the wallet. Close the window as we can do this later on.

What is important now is to verify the email address you have indicated during the registration process. Make sure to do it as soon as possible. Log in to your email and find the email from Blockchain. The email will show you a button that is labeled “Yes, This is My Email” you need to click that to verify your email. More importantly, you need to take note of your Wallet ID. It must be noted that when you log in you don’t use the email address that you used to register. Instead, you use your Wallet ID. When you click on the button to verify you will login un using the Wallet ID paired with the password you use to register the blockchain.wallet.

Once you click on the verify you are shown a web page stating that your email has been verified. It will ask you to go back to the previous ta to access your blockchain wallet. Just in case you close it just go to Blockchain.com and log in using the wallet ID that was sent through the email and the password you used to register into Blockchain.com.

When you log in another security feature kicks in.This time we need to authenticate the device you are using to log in. All you have to do is go to your email again and look for the latest email sent by Blockchain. It should look like the screenshot below. All you have to do is to click on the “Authorize log in” button. Once you do this it will show that your login has been approved.

Once you log in again the very first thing you might want to do is to secure your wallet. You can do this by clicking on the security link located at the top right-hand corner of the dashboard as shown on the screen capture below.

This will bring you many of the security features of the wallet which includes turning on Two-step verification as well as getting your backup phrase or what we like to call your mnemonic phrase. Let us first enable the two-step verification by clicking the enable button as shown below.

When you click on this button you will be given the option to choose which Two-step authentication to use. You can use an authenticator app or a Yubikey or SMS as two-step authentication. The easiest one to use is SMS as you just need to verify your number through a verification code that will be sent to the said number. If you want to use an authenticator app you can use the google authenticate which you can download via google play or you might want to use Authy which can be used via desktop, chrome extension and though smartphones.

Setting up your authenticator app is pretty straight forward. You just need the two-step authenticator code from Blockchain.com and add it to the app. When it is added it will generate random numbers that have a lifetime of around 30 seconds. You need to input and submit it before it expires to successfully activate the two-step authenticator.

The next thing we needed to do is to back up the wallet by getting the Backup Phrase of your account. You can do this on the security center page and clicking on the “Backup Funds” button as shown on the screenshot below.

Once you initiate this you will be reminded to keep the backup phrase safe and secure as it contains all the private keys of the wallets in the Blockchain.com wallet.  The backup phrase is just a sequence of 12 words arranged in a particular order. To back up the funds you need to save these sequenced words. To make sure that you have copied the correct words you will be asked to input them in a sequence when if you are successful this means you have the correct copy of the backup phrase. Store and secure it in a safe place where you can access it when the need arises. 

Now that you have a back up of your wallet we will explore the different settings of the wallet. There are four sections on this page: General, Profile, Preferences, and Wallet and Addresses. The general section contains your Wallet ID and the Mobile App Pairing Code.  The former is used to log in the wallet and is recommended not to be shared with anyone, the latter is a QR code which you will need to scan try to sync your blockchain.com wallet to its mobile version.

The next section profile just shows you your current account level. There are two account levels, Silver and Gold. Silver means you have a swap limit of $1,000 USD and have verified your email and given information about your name, date of birth and address. Gold Level means you have submitted proof of your identity and a photo of yourself. It has a limit if $25,000 USD Daily swap limit.

Bitcoin.com wallet is not as complicated to set up as that of Blockchain.com. All you have to do is go to its website and install your preferred version of either desktop or mobile. They basically operate the same way. It must be noted that Bitcoin.com is an ardent supporter of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) which is why they call Bitcoin (BTC) Bitcoin Core. Nonetheless, the rest of the world calls BTC as Bitcoin and we will continue to refer to it as Bitcoin and BCH as Bitcoin Cash.

We chose to install the desktop application of Bitcoin.com which is identical to the mobile wallet. When the installation is done you will be greeted with the main dashboard of the wallet showing the different wallets you currently have. By default, it should show Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin (BTC). If you click on one of them it should bring you to a specific wallet page where you can do transactions on that specific wallet.

Here we go check our BTC wallet. When we click on it we are brought to its page with buttons showing “receive” and “buy bitcoin” (note that this should be “send” if there is available balance). This means that you can buy bitcoin through this application. Like all non-custodial wallet, the very first thing you would like to do is to back up or wallet.  You can do this by clicking on the gear icon. 

This should bring you to the different options you can do with the wallet like backing up the mnemonic passphrase. Once you have click on “Back Up” the app reminds you to make sure no one is able to see you back up a phrase or mnemonic passphrase as they will gain access to your cryptocurrencies when they get a copy of your secret phrase. The application also discourages to use a screenshot as other applications might be able to read them. 

Once you proceed the application will show you 12 words that are arranged in order to serve as your mnemonic passphrase. Then the app asks you to make a copy of them and secure them in a safe location. But before you do that confirm that you have a copy by verifying the mnemonic phrase you have.  As you can observe that we are calling the backup phrase as the mnemonic phrase they are basically the same, sometimes they are also called backup seeds. They are also called the recovery phrase. Basically, they are all the same combination of 12 words. Other blockchains can use 15 or even 24 words, but they all function the same way.

When you are done the screen will say that you have already backed up the wallet. It does not mean that there is a copy of the backup anywhere on the computer of your smartphone. The backup is the one you wrote down. Make sure you secure this as it is very imported to restore your wallet if the need arises. Not even Bitcoin.com has the ability to recover your wallet. Hence, it is of paramount importance to keep your recovery phrase. 

Now that you have backup your wallet you wallet let us show you how to import or recover wallets with your recovery phrase or back up phrase. In the main dashboard, you can import BTC by clicking or tapping on the “+”  symbol located. It will bring you to a window called add wallet. You can create a new wallet here as well as import an old one. Importing an old wallet is easy. You just have to input the correct backup phrase in order. When it is done properly you will be able to access your old wallet using Bitcoin.com.

As you can see below we have imported a wallet from universal crypto wallet Coinomi into Bitcoin.com. Since we have the backup phrase we can essentially move our wallets from one non-custodian wallet to another. There are also a number of buttons around the application that says “Buy Bitcoins” when you click on this it will bring you to an external site where you can buy bitcoins. However, this depends on the jurisdiction where you are located. 

Buying Bitcoin

Buying cryptos using wallet service providers

Coinbase, Blockckhain.com, and Bitcoin.com have integrated ways to buy Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies from their wallets. In most cases these custody service providers allow you to buy using your credit cards and bank accounts. All you have to do is to input the number of Bitcoins you want to purchase and select the preferred or available payment method in your jurisdiction. This is assuming that you have undergone all the KYC requirements of the platforms. Coinbase and Blockchain.com require their customers to undergo such procedures before they can purchase. Bitcoin.com however, does not but is restricted in some jurisdictions.

It must be noted that purchasing cryptocurrencies directly from these wallet providers are sometimes restricted due to the different regulatory environment of their users. Some users from Asia might not be allowed to use their banks and credit cards, on the other hand, some cryptocurrencies might not be available for purchase for U.S. customers due to restrictions from the wallet services provider. Nonetheless, if all conditions are met (KYC and  “Accounts Linking”) then purchasing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin should be as easy as making an ordinary purchase online. The gif below shows how easy it is done in Coinbase.

 

It must also be noted that each of these wallet providers has different exchange rates and charges when processing cryptocurrency purchases. The amount of the BTC or crypto bought will depend on the prevailing market prices when the transaction was consummated, less their platform charges. Charges and lead time for delivery of the cryptocurrencies depend on the method of payment the buyer selected. Debit Cards purchasers have a weekly limit of $7,500 and instantly receive their digital assets once the debit card clears. Wire transfers are the same but there are no limits to the amount of purchase they are allowed to execute. Accounts Clearing House (ACH) has a $25K daily limit and receives their tokens within 5 days.

The process of buying Bitcoins using the Blockchain.com wallet is almost the same as can be seen in the following screenshots below. Card purchases require purchasers to buy at least $55 worth of bitcoin and are required to pay for the Transaction Fee for the Bitcoin transfer as well as trading fees when trading USD. The transaction is estimated to be consummated no longer than two hours as shown in one of the screenshots below. When the transaction pushes through the cryptocurrencies bought should be reflected on the wallet balance in your BLockchain.com wallet.

 

To initiate a Blockchain.com wallet purchase you have to click or tap on the “Buy & Sell” menu of the main dashboard of the wallet. The location of the menu is shown above. Once clicked it should bring you to the Buy & Sell page of the wallet. The screenshot below shows the Buy section of the page. This section will ask you to indicate the currency and the worth of cryptocurrencies you want to buy. In this particular case, we have chosen to buy $56 USD worth of BTC which at the time of this writing is roughly equivalent to 0.00803881 BTC. Once the amount is set we click on the “Continue” button to proceed with the purchase.

 

Once you have clicked on the “Continue” button the next page will ask you to select a payment method. Currently, Blockchain.com has two ways to allow users to buy bitcoin using fiat. The first one is by using Bank Transfer and the second one using debit or credit cards. Transactions using Cards are generally faster and delivery of cryptocurrencies are almost instantaneous. This is a whole lot faster than using a bank transfer which takes a couple of days to process. There is however a convenience fee of 3% when purchasing cryptocurrencies using this method. We just need to click on one of the options to proceed in this case we clicked on Credit/Debit.

 

Once you have chosen which method you want to process you will be taken in a confirmation page to allow you to review and double-check the details of your purchase. If you feel like changing anything about the project you are free to click on the back arrow. If everything is in order you may proceed to the next page by first ticking the ticker box that states that you are agreeing with the conditions of the trade that will be processed by a third-party payment partner of Blockchain.com Coinify then click on the “Submit” button to continue on the next procedure.

 

The last page will ask you to input your payment details. This is typical of any online purchases using credit or debit cards. You will be asked to input the Name of the card holder’s name, card number, date of validity which is usually the month and year and the Card Verification Value CVV code which is a 3 digit number located at the back of the card. When all the necessary information are inputted you may execute the order by clicking on the “Continue” button. In doing so you will trigger the purchase and should receive your order crypto no longer that the estimated transaction time.

 

Making a purchase using Blockchain.com using bank cards automatically signs you up for a Coinify account which is the fiat onramp platform used by Blockchain.com. According to Coinify by signing up with them Blockchain.com will now be able to buy BTC with both Bank Transfer and Credit/Debit Card and sell them to get paid directly to the user’s bank account. There was no need to sign up separately it seems that all necessary information for account activation of Coinify was automatically forwarded to fiat onramp partner.

 

Bitcoin.com also offers cryptocurrency purchases using bank cards but its service is limited to the region its credit card supplier support. To initiate a cryptocurrency purchase all we have to do is open our Bitcoin.com wallet app and look for the “Buy Bitcoin Now” button which is usually located on the button side of the wallet dashboard. Just click on the button and it should instantly bring you to Bitcoin.com’s bank card purchase portal with a domain name buy.bitcoin.com. 

 

When the location is not supported you will buy.bitcoin.com will flash a message stating that the region is unsupported and recommends to use local.bitcoin.com to buy bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The service is similar to local bitcoins as it facilitates over-the-counter peer-to-peer transactions where sellers and users can declare various ways of payment. This is an entirely different category of buying cryptocurrencies hence we will talk it in a different section when we discuss peer-to-peer services to buy cryptos.

 

Buying Bitcoin using instant exchanges

Another way of buying Bitcoin is by using instant exchanges. instant exchanges are simpler versions of a full-blown cryptocurrency exchange. One of the most glaring differences of instant exchanges to your regular exchange is the absence of an order book. Exchange rates are determined by the Instant Exchange using different market price sources. Three of the most popular instant exchanges are Shapeshift, Changelly, and ChangeNow. Shapeshift once dominated the instant exchange space but allegations of money laundering forced the owners of the platform to rethink its business model and have been struggling to regain its market share.

ShapeShift 

To be able to use Shapeshift one must register an account. In addition to this users are required to undergo KYC to be able to use all its features. ShapeShift is an all crypto instant exchange however there is a way to buy cryptocurrencies using fiat using its new non-custodial instant exchange variant. This requires you to connect a non-custodial wallet (software or hardware). It currently supports hardware wallets Keepkey, Trezor and soon Ledger. It currently supports Portis as a non-custodial software wallet. This is only available for U.S. residents and done through their fiat onramp gateway, Wyre.

According to ShapeShift, those who will be among the first 100,000 users to register will be rewarded 100 FOX token which can be used to pay for trade fees. The website is running two concurrent website— the classic Shapeshift.io and the new ShapeShift.com. We will be focusing on the newer version as it is the platform that allows fiat purchases. The newer version requires us to have a non-wallet connected to the new portal. Users can use hardware wallets such as Keepkey, Tezor and soon Ledger. However, new users are not likely to have them instead they can use Portis a software wallet. 

Hence we start by registering a Portis wallet.  Registering is quite straight forward you just have to go to its Portis wallet registration site and input your email address and a strong password. New users are reminded that password are not recoverable this means if you lose your password everything in the account will be inaccessible. Once you are ready to proceed, you may now click on the “Register” button to complete the task. Immediately after clicking the button you will be presented with the main dashboard showing you all the balances you have. You can close this and head over the email you used to register to verify the Portis wallet.

Now that we have a non-custodial wallet that is compatible with ShapeShift we can start registering for ShapeShift. The registration process of ShapeShift is almost the same as Portis. Registrants are required to give an email account and password then click on the “Sign Up” button to proceed with the registration. When you proceed you will be asked to verify your email. All you need to do is find the email of ShapeShift where you will find the confirmation link and click that to confirm your email. You will be brought to the web portal of ShapeShift.io. There you will see the exchange window with its button labeled “FInish account verification to continue” 

Just click on that button to bring you to the “Account Verification” page. This page will ask you for some personal information and your address. Make sure that the details you enter are the same details found in your ID that you will present later. When you are done filling out all the required information proceed to the next section by clicking on the “next” button. This section will ask what type of identification you will present as well at its number. You will then be asked to upload the front and back scanned or picture imaged of your ID. After uploading the images press submit to finish your account verification.

The verification team will inform the applicant within 24 hours if the verification was a success. If successful you will receive an email stating that you have been approved to ba a ShapeShift Member with all the benefits of being out. This includes the 100 Fox tokens that can be used for Trading Fees as well as higher transaction limits. Your transaction history will also be accessible now and full access to the new ShapeShift Platform (shapeshift.com). Since we have already registered a Portis wallet all we have to do is to link it up with the ShapeShift simply by choosing to connect Portis and using its login details.

Once it is connected we can finally start the process of buying cryptocurrencies using fiat. Like many other Instant exchanges ShapeShift relies on third party fiat onramp service. ShapeShift uses Wyre as its fiat onramp service provider and offers its US users a way to buy cryptocurrencies through bank transfers via ACH. Wyre has its own verification process the first time a user buys cryptocurrencies the user has to go through another verification process for Wyre, this similar to the verification process we have already discussed above and will not go through the process of discussing it here again.

Changelly

Changelly is another Instant Exchange similar to the older version of ShapeShift before requiring users to have accounts. Changelly does not require account creation to process transactions. Users, however, can register their emails for an account which is totally optional. It uses Simplex as its fiat onramp service provider allowing fiat purchases using credit and debit cards.  However, verification is needed that the purchaser is the owner of the card, therefore purchases can only be made with the explicit permission of the card owner. 

While it is optional to register for an account we opted to show how it is done for the benefit of new users who wants an account. Hence we start by showing how to register. The very first thing that we need to do is go to the site and sign up for an account. You can do this by clicking on the “Sign Up” button located on the top right side of Changelly’s website. Once it is clicked users will be presented with an Email address field where users are asked to enter their email address. Once it is entered you can continue on the next procedure by clicking on the “Continue to exchange” button.

When the button is clicked you will be asked to check your email account for a verification email. The email is a message from the Changelly team welcoming you as a new user as well as a link that will allow the system to confirm your email address. Just click this link to continue on to the website with a verified email address.

Once the link is clicked you will be brought back to the Changelly website. Then you will have to set what asset will be exchanged, in this case, 50 USD will be exchanged for Ethereum using the prevailing exchange rate. The user is required to tick the tick box of the “terms of use, privacy policy, and AML/KYC”, then click on the “Next Step” button. 

When you click on the button you will be shown a safety notice.  Please read carefully the notice for your own safety. Once you have read the safety notice you can proceed by clicking on green button labeled “I understand.”

You will then be presented with a cryptocurrency address field where you have to input your wallet address where you want to receive the digital asset. Since you are buying Eth in this case you input an Ether address. Once done just click on the “Continue” button to proceed with the purchase.

The next window will ask you to input your credit card details as well as your billing address and contact address. Just input all the required information to proceed. You will also have to tick on the “Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy” ticker box to continue. Once done click on the “Pay Now” button to proceed where the site will take you to the last part of the purchase.

The last part of the process is for you to take a selfie together with your credit card. This is to ensure that you own the credit card or debit card you are using. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure that your purchase will be approved and at the same time maintain the safety of your credit card details. 

ChangeNow

Another great instant exchange we can use is ChangeNow. Like the previous two instant exchanges, it also offers Fiat purchases for Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. It also utilizes its own native tokens, NOW tokens, like ShapeShift and offers special benefits for token holders such as ash special exchange rates and better affiliate conditions. To start all you have to do is to to go to its website and click on the “Buy Crypto with VISA/Mastercard” icon as shown below.

Once you click on that icon it will initiate the purchase of crypto using your credit or debit card. The purchase process is divided into four steps: From, Send To, Confirmation and Sending. The first section “From” will ask you to input your email address. This will allow the exchange representative to contact you if anything goes wrong with your exchange.

The next step is “Send To.”  Since you are buying using your credit card you have to set USD as the currency you are sending the instant exchange website and declare how much you want to exchange, in this case, 50 USD. It will also show you how much you will receive in BTC. You will also have to indicate the Recipient Wallet or the wallet where you want the BTC will be sent when the transaction is consummated.  It will also ask you to type in again your Email. To proceed with the next step just click on the “Next” button.

The next procedure will ask you to check if all the information you have sent are correct. Please ensure that all the information are accurate as it will be the last time you will be able to make any revision to them. You will also be asked to tick on the two ticker boxes indicating that you are agreeing with the terms of use and privacy policy of the site as well as that you are aware they are using a third-party fiat onramp service provider or payment partner for the exchange. Once everything is in order click on the “Confirm” button to proceed or if you need to revise anything you can press the “Back” button.

Once you click on the “Confirm” button a pop-up window will show that you are being redirected to their partner payment provider page, Simplex, which is the same company that services fiat payments for Changelly. All you have to do is to furnish them with your credit card details, billing address, and contact address. You will also have to undergo verification process similar to that required by Changelly.

Buying Bitcoin using exchanges

One can also buy cryptocurrencies through regular exchanges like Kucoin, Binance, and Bithumb Global. Like the other wallet service providers and instant exchanges, they also rely on third-party services providers to process fiat transactions Hence we will only show you how to access these features in each of the exchanges let us start with Kucoins. Remember that we are already assuming that you have already registered and undergone verification with the aforementioned exchanges. If you are using cryptocurrency exchange for the first time we have indicated the usual procedure of creating an exchange account.

These procedures are the required activities to have a fully functional Crypto Exchange. It is also highly recommended to secure your account by enabling the different security features of exchange. These include two-factor authentication via email, SMS, authenticator software or hardware keys. You can also activate anti-phishing mechanisms to ensure that you are on the correct website. Finally, you can also enable the withdrawal address white list to ensure that you are only withdrawing to crypto addresses that you recognize or authorize to withdraw to.

While it is not recommended but many cryptocurrency traders and users use exchanges as their primary storage for cryptocurrencies since they offer a convenient and easy way of creating cryptocurrency specific addresses. Hence, securing your exchange is very important. One can liken cryptocurrency exchange as bank accounts. That being said let us start buying cryptocurrencies using these exchanges.

Kucoin Exchange

Kucoin is a relatively new cryptocurrency exchange which has always been compared to Binance. It has been dubbed as the people’s exchange and has become one of the most trusted exchanges in the crypto space. It allows users to create accounts using only email addresses but to avail all features one must undergo KYC procedures. It allows users to buy cryptocurrencies like BTC with fiat using bank cards through third-party payment processors such as Simplex and Banxa. To access this feature please follow the instruction below.

The first thing you need to do is log in to your Kucoin account. Once you are logged in click on the “Asset” menu located at the top right hand of the website next to your profile avatar. This should show a menu where you can find the “Buy crypto” selection. Click on this and this should bring you to the payment page as shown below.

Kucoin offers two fiat payment processors to enable its users to pay with their VISA or Mastercard. These are  Simplex and Banxa. We are already familiar with Simplex since this is the same company that is powering the fiat payments of some of the buyings options we have already discussed earlier. Banxa also offers credit/debit card payments but is only available for Australians and British users. Banxa also offers different ways to pay fiat such as Newsagents, cash payments through convenient stores and POLi, leading real-time online debit payment in Australia.

Kucoin Exchange

Bithumb is the global arm of Bithumb, one of the leading South Korean exchanges. Like Kucoins it allows its users to purchase cryptocurrencies using Credit Card. The process of purchasing with credit cards is exactly the same since they are basically using the same payment processor, Simplex. You can access this feature by following the following steps. First, go to the website and log in to reach the main dashboard as shown below.

Once you are in the main Bithumb Dashboard click on the profile button that is usually labeled with your email address. This would reveal a menu showing your account balance as well as several menu options. To access buying cryptocurrencies click on the deposit link. This should bring you to the page below. Once you reach this page just click on the link button that has the Visa/ Mastercard Logo.

Once you have clicked on this option this should bring you to the Simplex order page where you can indicate what crypto you want to buy and the worth in USD you want to buy. To initiate the transaction just indicate how much worth of tokens you want to buy in terms of USD this should compute automatically the number of cryptos you will receive. To proceed just click on “Buy now.”

The last page will ask you to confirm the order. It will show you the summary of the order as well as where it will be deposited, which will be the email address of your account. To complete the order you just have to tick on the ticker box and click on “Go to payment” to proceed to the payment of the order using Simplex. Just follow the same procedure already explained in this article in finishing a Simplex transaction.

Binance

Another exchange that we can use to buy cryptocurrencies is Binance. It is arguably the most popular and influential cryptocurrency currency in the world and it allows its users several to buy cryptos using fiat. In its bid to support multiple fiat onramps it has opened several local versions of its exchange in several continents. These local Binance offices will enable local customers to use their local banking services to buy cryptocurrencies.  This is on top of allowing their global customers to buy cryptocurrencies via credit or debit cards using Simplex and Koinal. You can access these services through its main dashboard in the fiat menu shown below.

Once you click on “Buy crypto” you will be brought to a page where you will be asked how much you want to spend to buy a cryptocurrency. Once you have indicated how much and what crypto to buy you need to click on the “Next” button to proceed with the payment options.

The next page will ask you to select which fiat payment processor you want to use. You will have to choose between SImplex and Koinal, both offer essentially the same service but may give you different exchange rates and charges. Chose which one you like better. Both will require you to undergo KYC procedures to ensure that the purchaser is the owner of the credit card being used.

Once the transaction is consummated the cryptocurrency you bought will be deposited to the wallet address assigned to you within the exchange. You can choose to keep it there or withdraw it paying accompanying withdrawal fees. Exchange withdrawal fees vary greatly depending on the digital asset you are withdrawing. You might have noticed also that Binance has C2C (Customer-to-customer) fiat which is basically peer-to-peer exchange which we will discuss in the next section.

Buying Bitcoin using peer-to-peer services

You can also buy cryptocurrencies using Peer-to-peer (P2P) services like LocalBitcoins and PAXFUL. These types of exchanges offer a lot of fiat payment options from bank transfers, remittances, gift certificates,  electronic payments and many more. This was once the bastion for private peer-to-peer transactions but has since then been forced by regulators to require its customers KYC verification to comply with AML laws.

Binance

Finland-based LocalBitcoins is the most popular P2P exchange in the world. It has users from around the globe and widely regarded as the premier  P2P exchange. It has great features, a simple yet powerful interface with a lot of payment methods to transact with. For the safety of its users, it has a reputation system and implemented KYC procedures. Creating a new account in LocalBitcoins is easy requiring new participants to register using an email and personal information.

Once you have registered all you need to do is confirm your email account. You can do this by clicking on the link that was sent to you when you registered. Once you have clicked this link it will bring you to the profile information page where you have to input your details for KYC for higher limits or other features.

The last step is to verify your SMS. Once this is done you will be tier 0 verified which means can trade up to 1000 EURO per year. Tier 0 requires you to have a verified email, phone number and declared your Full name and Country of residence.

There are 4 tiers in total, Tier 0 is the first level and each previous tier is a requirement for the following tier to be able to move up. The requirements of each are shown in the screenshot below. It also shows how much of the Trading limit you already consumed. 

Now that you are in Tier 0 you can start looking into the different trades in the platform. You can find the available “Buy” and “Sell” on the trade menu. You can find this link at the top left corner of the website. Click on this and it will show a drop-down menu of buy and sell orders for bitcoins as well as the option to post a trade. However, this feature is only available for higher than 0 tier participants.

LocalBitcoins features a lot of different ways to consummate transactions including a wide range of payment options from different fiat payment processors, making it ideal for those who like to buy and sell using fiat currencies.

Paxfull

An alternative to LocalBitcoins is Paxful which is based in the United States. It has been operating for almost 5 years now and supports many territories around the globe. Transactions can be made in bank transfers, online wallet transfers, gift cards, cash, bank cards, and cryptocurrencies. Creating an account for Paxful is similar to creating an account with LocalBitcoins. To get an account you have to register an account first by giving them your email and the username that you would like to use.

Once you are done registering you need to verify your Email address. You can do this by clicking on the verify button from the email sent by Paxful. Once this is clicked your email address will be verified and it will bring you to your profile page where you can set up your account by going to the settings menu. You will be able to set up your profile picture, set your bio, preferred currency and set your phone number and verify it. You can also verify your identity by submitting your personal details and supporting documents.

The setting page allows you to configure the following sections: Profile, Security, Developer, and Verification.  We already mentioned in the previous paragraph what we can set in Profile and Verification. Security allows you to manage 2FA security settings, Developer page deals with the API settings which we normally don’t need to fiddle with. 

Unlike LocalBitcoins, Paxful allows the creation of offers without undergoing KYC procedures. However, the option to verify your identity is available. Paxful is also available as a mobile app for iOS and Android.

Other ways to buy Bitcoin

Convenience Stores and Cashier Desk

Throughout the world there as been many initiatives to allow the masses access to cryptocurrencies, particularly means to buy Bitcoins. In France 5,2000 Tabacco Shops now are selling Bitcoins. This was made possible through the initiative of a French Startup Keplerk. The shops are called Tabacs located in and around Paris. Bitcoins are sold via a payment terminal by Keplerk’s partner Bimedia, a payment solution provider for Tabacs.

Binance launched the BinanceLite program in Australia. The initiative enables citizens to buy bitcoin with cash at 1300+ Newsagents Across Australia. There are indications that Binance will expand the program in other jurisdictions as well as offer other cryptocurrencies aside BTC.  For compliance prospective buyers are required to undergo KYC and Anti-Money Laundering procedures.

U.S.-based non-custodial wallet service provider Abra has partnered with ECpay Philippines to allow its customers to buy Bitcoins in more than 6,000 ECPay retail electronic kiosk terminals around the Philippines. These include all 711 outlets that are spread across the archipelago. Anyone with the Abra app can now buy bitcoins in any 711 outlets in the South East Asian Country. The minimum purchase is about $10 USD with a daily limit of $2,000 USD. No KYC and verification required.

The number of Bitcoin ATMs have steadily grown over the years in many jurisdictions. Leading the Bitcoin ATM race is the United States of America with over 67% of all Bitcoin ATMs are located. The total number of Bitcoin ATMs (BATM) in the U.S. is around 4,130 out of the 6017 Bitcoin ATMs around the world. This is despite the fact that the U.S. has been lagging behind other countries in terms of regulatory clarity. Nonetheless, the increasing number of venues to access bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies increases its chance for mass adoption. 

Conclusion

There had been an increasing number of ways how to buy bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. This is a good indication of the current health of the industry which is oftentimes equated to the price movement of the leading crypto asset, Bitcoin. However, despite the many setbacks the sector experienced throughout the years, the industry players believe that the future is still burning bright for this nascent space. They show this by building the necessary infrastructures to help attain mass adoption.

Technical challenges, regulatory uncertainties, and prevailing market conditions might have dampened the enthusiasm of many members in the cryptocurrency community. However, knowing that there is increasing numbers of ways Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies can intersect with the common people gives them hope for mass adoption. This also prepares the space to accommodate the deluge of demand that will come with this happens.

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