If you haven't been paying much attention to cryptocurrency, you may think it's still a technically challenging investment to make. While purchasing bitcoin may have been an issue several years ago, it's now a much more straightforward process. Depending on your specific goals, you can probably even make your first bitcoin investment before you finish reading this article.
While there are many options for purchasing bitcoin (along with other cryptocurrencies), this article will outline a few of the most common methods. The one that's best for you will depend on your budget, location, and specific goals.
1. Online Brokerages
Most traditional online brokerages now offer options for purchasing cryptocurrencies, and nearly all of them have bitcoin as part of their stable. If you already have an account with one of these brokerages, you can likely begin investing in cryptocurrency right now. However, it's critical to read the fine print when choosing one of these brokers for your crypto investments.
Although many brokers allow cryptocurrency trading, they typically deal in futures. Cryptocurrency futures work well if your goal is to buy and sell bitcoin as an investment, but you won't necessarily have access to the underlying currency. These brokerages are an excellent option for investors, but read the fine print if your goal is to access your cryptocurrency wallet.
2. Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Exchanges have been the traditional centralized method for purchasing bitcoin for many years. You can think of exchanges like a cryptocurrency marketplace that connects with other users buying and selling bitcoins or other digital tokens. The more popular exchanges work much like a traditional online brokerage account and are just as easy to use from an end-user perspective.
The primary advantage to bitcoin exchanges is ownership. You'll have direct access to your bitcoin, and you can typically download (or "withdraw") your personal wallet. Using an exchange might be the right option for you if you're comfortable moving beyond traditional brokerages or if you want to use your coins as currency later.
3. Bitcoin ATMs
Bitcoin ATMs are becoming more popular, and they may be a good way to dip your toes into the cryptocurrency waters. Although these machines will vary from vendor to vendor, they usually allow you to purchase bitcoin using cash and add it to a wallet using your preferred mobile bitcoin app. If you haven't set yourself up with a wallet yet, most machines can print a receipt you can use later.
ATMs allow you to make purchases in cash, and they don't require you to enter any personal information. If you want to get started with bitcoin in the most anonymous way possible, then these machines might be a good fit for you. Many bitcoin ATM locators exist, so finding one near you shouldn't be too challenging.
If you are interested in learning more about how to buy bitcoin, try these suggestions.
When a salesperson asks if you're interested in financing a purchase, how do you respond? If you're financially educated, you probably ask to learn a bit more about the financing offer. What is the interest rate? Does the vendor have to pull your credit score for you to apply? It's a good idea to have a basic financial education so you know what questions to ask in situations like this. No, this does not mean everyone has to go to school for finance. Just reading a few blogs, like this one, can get you off to a good start in the money world.