After learning about Bitcoin for the first time, the next thing a person usually wants to do is learn how to buy Bitcoin. Although a common misconception is that Bitcoin is some kind of company with stock available for trade online, the reality is bitcoins are nothing more than a digital currency. This means bitcoins can be purchased or earned in ways similar to any other currency in the world. Here are some common ways you can buy bitcoins today.
How to Buy Bitcoin Locally
One of the best ways to gain access to the Bitcoin network is through other, local Bitcoin users. Certain apps, such as LocalBitcoins, allow buyers and sellers to find each other for the purpose of trading cash for bitcoins. This is the way bitcoins were intended to be traded. There is no need to store your bitcoins on a centralized server when you can simply meet up with someone in person who can fill the obligations of the other side of a trade.
In addition to trading in a P2P manner, you can also purchase bitcoins at different Bitcoin ATMs. There are already hundreds of these special ATMs in various countries around the world, and the number of them available to the general public is bound to increase over the next few years. The availability of these Bitcoin ATMs will usually depend on a country’s regulations on the digital currency, which means they may not be as plentiful in a place like the United States.
How to Buy Bitcoin from a Clearing House
For many individuals, purchasing bitcoins through a clearing house is going to be the most practical option. The best example of this method for purchasing bitcoins is Coinbase. This is a website that will always have bitcoins for sale, and they’ll even help you store them in a secure manner after the purchase has been made. Coinbase currently charges a 1% fee on every purchase of bitcoins through their website and mobile app, but this fee could drop as more competitors, such as Circle, enter the market.
One of the downsides of using a clearing house, such as Coinbase, to purchase bitcoins is that it removes the privacy and anonymity of Bitcoin that can be enjoyed at the protocol level. There are plenty of steps for identity verification that need to be taken before you can purchase bitcoins on this kind of website, so that’s something to keep in mind before blindly searching for the simplest website to purchase bitcoins.
How to Buy Bitcoin on a Bitcoin Exchange
Buying bitcoins on an exchange is usually going to be the most cost-effective method of entering the market, but it can also be a bit inconvenient. These exchanges are perfect for individuals who wish to day trade, but they may be impractical for individuals who are simply looking to buy and hold. Users who are looking to take advantage of some kind of Bitcoin discount at an online store may also find that exchanges are not fast enough for these kinds of Bitcoin purchases with deadlines.
Exchanges usually come with the same identity verification requirements as clearing houses, if not more. This is another factor to think about before opting for a Bitcoin exchange that seems to be offering the best rate on the market.
How to Earn Bitcoins
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that bitcoins are a currency. This means that they can be earned whenever you’re providing goods or services to another individual. While the above options make sense for someone who is looking to gain exposure to the Bitcoin price, the reality is that earning bitcoins may be the best option for anyone who is in this new age of cryptocurrency for the long haul.
Services such as BitWage make it easy to get paid in bitcoins by your current employer, but you’re usually going to have to go outside of your normal place of employment if you’re looking to earn bitcoins as income today. If you have a marketable skill or some old junk lying around the house, then the best way to get started with Bitcoin may be to sell those goods and services on the open market. When searching for a place to market the products you have for sale, there may be no better option than OpenBazaar.
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