How to buy a cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency has been around for quite some time, but it’s safe to say that they made headlines in 2017 with their unprecedented rally. Here’s a guide trying to purchase Bitcoin or any other popular cryptocurrency.
Are you looking to buy coins with a credit or debit card, or do you want to trade coins for other coins? Do you want to interact with an exchange, who will hold the coins on your behalf, or are you happy to configure wallets and negotiate the deal yourself?
And here are a few more things to consider:
Reputation. Before anything else, is the cryptocurrency exchange reputable? Does it have a solid history without bungling payments, withholding user funds, or stealing everyone’s currency? The big exchanges listed below may have occasional minor issues, but they have generally proven themselves to be trustworthy and reliable.
Fees. Next up, how much is it going to cost you to use the exchange? The vast majority of exchanges charge a nominal percentage of your transaction, varying between exchanges. You don’t want to pay over the odds. But sometimes paying more secures a better overall experience, so it is about finding a happy balance.
Payment Types. How many different ways can you purchase cryptocurrencies on the exchange? Do they accept bank transfers? Debit and credit cards? Few sites accept PayPal as a valid payment type due to the high risk of fraudulent transactions (stolen accounts and so on).
Verification The vast majority of sites require at least some form of user identification. Verification varies between sites but usually involves a driver’s license, passport, or similar. Some sites require multiple forms of user identification before allowing access.
Geography. Does the exchange have any geographical limitations? Some cryptocurrency exchanges only serve customers in certain locations.
The most popular cryptocurrencies
What is the most popular cryptocurrency besides Bitcoin? Well, there are over 2,000 cryptocurrencies currently in existence and their market cap rankings can change day to day. There are also plenty of ways you can buy or sell them.
However, in terms of popular cryptocurrency that have shown staying power, it’s safe to say that the top digital currencies by market capitalization are also those which people are most aware of. These include, but are not limited to Bitcoin, Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Stellar (XLM), EOS (EOS), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Litecoin (LTC), TRON (TRX), Cardano (ADA), Monero (XRM), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and others.
How to buy a cryptocurrency?
There are many ways in which you can buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Some of these popular ways are:
- Buying BTC or Altcoins using credit/debit cards
- Purchasing BTC or Altcoins for Cash
- Buying BTC using Bank deposits or wire transfers
- Exchanging BTC for other cryptos
- Buying BTC for gift cards
- Buying Altcoins using BTC/ETH or USDT
- Buying cryptos from decentralized exchanges
- Buying cryptos using peer-to-peer sources
Where to buy a cryptocurrency?
For most people in the U.S., Coinbase would be the easiest option to buy Ethereum, Bitcoin, or Litecoin (it doesn't support any others yet). After verifying your account, you can add a number of payment methods including credit or debit cards, U.S. bank accounts, or even wire transfers of funds. Other options for exchanges that will take U.S. dollars for coins are Kraken, and Gemini in the U.S. Typically you will need to verify your account with a driver's license and add other details to expand your buy limits. Since cryptocurrencies are "hard currencies," the exchanges don't want to risk getting ripped off, since you can't reverse a cryptocurrency transaction once it's done.
If you are looking for some of the newer coins like NEO that are making big movement but haven't made their way to the aforementioned exchange sites, you can look into Bittrex, Poloniex or Livecoin. You can transfer Bitcoin or Ethereum to these platforms from Coinbase and then exchange it for any other digital currency that you want.
If you are outside the U.S., here are a few options for exchanges that take your local currency: BTC Markets (Australia), Bitthumb or Coinone (Korea), CHBTC or Huobi (China), and QuadrigaCX (Canada.) You can find a full list on this page of where to buy Ethereum for your local currency.