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Bitcoin is an increasingly popular cryptocurrency that has seen some wild changes in its price over the decade.
If you consider this decentralized version of digital money, you have a few different ways to buy bitcoins.
You can buy it directly or indirectly from some traditional brokers as well as some beginners.
In fact, buying bitcoins is easier than ever and you can also do it at a lower cost than before.
Here are five ways to buy bitcoin and some of the key factors you should pay attention to. But before moving on to the main discussion, it is good that you know in advance what Bitcoin is.
What are Bitcoins?
Bitcoin is a type of digital currency or cryptocurrency, a way to pay for things that only exist virtually.
The coin debuted in 2009 and really entered the general consciousness in 2017 with that year’s boom.
Coins are created, or “mined”, when computers that manage currency processes and legitimize currency transactions.
Bitcoin uses a decentralized network of computers to manage everything. A distributed ledger called blockchain that tracks transactions in currencies.
It’s like a huge public record of all currency transactions. And the network monitors everything, ensuring the integrity of the currency and bitcoin holdings.
5 ways to buy bitcoin
If you want to trade Bitcoin, the good news is that you now have several options. You may not even need to open a separate dedicated account to do this, as many of the top brokers offer a way to buy one.
These are some of the top brokers for cryptocurrency trading. Each of the methods below offers a different combination of cost, security and potential advantages/disadvantages.
PayPal makes it super easy to buy or sell bitcoins directly using the same apps you trust for your online payments.
You will pay $0.50 for trades that involve less than $25 and from there PayPal uses a sliding commission scale that starts at 2.30% for trades over $25 and drops to 1.50 % for operations above US$ 1,000.
Even though there is a markup margin, you will not pay a fee to store cryptocurrency in your account and you will be able to trade for as little as $1 at a time. Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash can also be traded here.
2. Basic Koin
Coinbase is a dedicated cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to own digital currency directly.
You will be able to trade dozens of the most popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum. For added security, Coinbase also allows you to store your coins in a vault with pending withdrawals.
It charges a 0.50% spread fee and then adds a transaction fee that varies depending on the funding source and transaction size. Typically, these fees add 1.49% or more to your costs.
The fee structure is confusing, to say the least, although Coinbase promises to show you what you’re paying before you actually need to make a payment.
3. Commercial applications
You can grab some commission-free bitcoins right away using a trading app like Webull or Robinhood, although you will eventually make up for it with a margin markup.
Robinhood takes their best commission-free tricks and applies them to cryptocurrencies. You will be able to buy bitcoins directly and you will also have access to more than a dozen other digital currencies, features that are not offered by other exchanges.
Of course, you can buy stocks, ETFs and options using the easy-to-use platform.
Webull allows you to trade various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. However, you will pay a 1% profit margin on each transaction. You can also trade stocks, ETFs and options.
4. Interactive corridor
At Interactive Brokers, you can buy futures contracts with Bitcoin, but you cannot own the currency directly. The broker charges $15.01 per contract, which gives you exposure to five bitcoins.
Interactive Brokers also offers a wide range of other tradable securities, giving you access to securities worldwide. Read more about Interactive Brokers.
5. Bitcoin ATM
Another option is to buy bitcoins directly through Bitcoin ATMs, although they tend to pay more fees than elsewhere.
You will be able to buy bitcoins and some ATMs allow you to sell them too, using cash or debit card.
But you may need a Bitcoin wallet to carry out transactions. Fees can be expensive, with some ATMs charging around 7% per transaction, while fees at other ATMs can reach teenagers.
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