So you’re interested in buying Bitcoin, the digital currency that everyone’s talking about. Maybe you heard of the people who have made fortunes investing in it, or maybe you’re just a technology junkie who’s interested in this new aspect of technology. Whatever the reason behind your choice, you want to know where and how to buy bitcoin. But before buying Bitcoin, you may be interested in guides:
- Bitcoin Explained
- Bitcoin Mining Explained
- Bitcoin Investment Tips
- Who Accepts Bitcoin
- What World Leaders Say About Bitcoin
Earlier, the only way to get Bitcoins was to mine them, but soon enough, exchanges opened, allowing people to buy and sell Bitcoins as per their desires.
Exactly as designed, this decentralized currency has spread across the world. Hundreds of Bitcoin Exchanges now operate across the world, serving millions of buyers and sellers every day. The power of Bitcoin refuses to stop growing.
No matter where you are in the world, there is a method available to buy Bitcoins. Choosing which is the best method, however, depends on three factors.
The three factors are:
- KYC Requirement or Information to be Provided to Exchanges (Privacy)
- Payment Method
Depending on these three factors, you can choose the perfect method for you to Buy bitcoins. You simply need to gauge how much risk you want to take on.
KYV Requirements and Privacy Risks
Since Bitcoins act as a currency, they are subject to financial regulations. What this means is that rules have been set in place by most exchanges to stop money laundering. One of the ways these exchanges confirm who is trading Bitcoins is by instituting Know Your Customer (KYC) rules to confirm user identities.
One of the main aspects of the Blockchain is that all transactions can be traced back, all the way to the first transaction ever made on that chain. If someone learns a user’s identity, they can find out every single transaction that person has ever made. This has major implications for privacy.
Therefore, choosing the correct level of KYC for your needs is vitally important. Depending on how much privacy you require, you can choose the kinds of protections you want. There are three levels of privacy you can choose from. Make sure you use the correct level of identification for your purposes.
Level 1 – Zero KYC
Zero KYC means that the exchange, platform or seller of Bitcoins has no idea who you are. No documentation is necessary. Payment is usually done via cash transfer, using services like Western Union, Moneygram or Paysafecard. Buying bitcoins without KYC is usually done in peer-to-peer marketplaces, and it’s usually more expensive than other options. There is a risk of getting scammed too, whether you are buying or selling. These kinds of transactions are only done for small quantities of Bitcoins.
Level 2 – KYC Light
At this level, you are identified by your phone number or your payment channel. When paying for Bitcoin, you have to provide your bank account details, credit card details, Paypal details or the details of whichever system you are using. This means that the payment providers know your identity. This system is more secure than most, and it is less expensive than pure cash transactions. With KYC light you can buy limited amounts of Bitcoins in any exchange or Marketplace.
Level 3 – Full KYC
This method of verification is used when you want to trade on exchanges or invest large amounts of money. After verifying your identity with your phone number and bank account, you need to provide documents that prove your identity. This means submitting anything from a passport to a driver’s license to the exchange. Certain exchanges also require you to provide confirmation of your identity documents by a trusted third party like a notary or a bank. This degree of KYC is only used for larger trades. Therefore beginners will not need to use all of this.
Buying Bitcoin – Payment Options
Bitcoins may act like money, but they are not a fiat currency. That is to say, they cannot be used as legal tender. However, they do need to be bought with money. Depending on the quality of the financial system, Bitcoin transactions can be easy or hard. The more options there are for digital payment, in general, the easier the transactions can be.
Here are a few payment methods you can use to buy Bitcoins, ranging from the old to the new.
Buy Bitcoin with Bank Transfer
One of the oldest methods of buying Bitcoins, bank transfers have long been used to buy Bitcoins. All you need to do is send money to a seller, and you will receive the Bitcoins when the money is transferred. Most exchange platforms tend to use bank transfers.
Buy Bitcoin with Credit Cards or Debit Cards
Credit cards are not commonly used to pay for Bitcoin, as there is a risk for the seller of Bitcoins. Credit card transactions can be reversed, so scammers used them to buy bitcoins, reversed the transactions and moved the money to another wallet. Very few exchanges support credit cards. We have already covered a detailed guide on “Buying Bitcoins with Credit Card’, you can find it here – How to Buy Bitcoin With Credit Card
Buy Bitcoin with Paypal
The same problem that affects the usage of credit cards also affects Paypal. Namely, the transactions can be reversed easily. Very few exchanges take Paypal.
Buy Bitcoin with Cash Transfer Services
Direct cash transfer is no longer used by most exchanges. However, smaller, peer-to-peer sellers still use services like Western Union.
How to Buy Bitcoin Around the World (Ultimate Guide)
Buy Bitcoins in United States of America (USA)
The world biggest exchanges and brokerage firms came up in America.
Coinbase is one of the best places to get Bitcoins quickly in the USA. They allow payments by debit and credit cards.
GDAX is one of the largest exchanges in the United States. Depending on volume, buyers can buy bitcoins at 0% fees.
BitQuick is one of the fastest ways to buy bitcoins in the United States. Users can browse a wide range of offers and only pick the one they wish to buy. However, rates are often much higher or lower than the market price.
Buy Bitcoins in Australia
There are several major bitcoin platforms in Australia. They are fairly user-friendly and are in heavy use.
CoinJar is the most famous Australian bitcoin platform and broker. It is easy to use for beginners and supports several fiat currencies. It charges a low fee of 1% per transaction. However, buyers are recommended to use their own bitcoin wallets and not use the one provided by CoinJar.
BuyaBitcoin is an Australian broker of bitcoins. BuyaBitcoin charges relatively high fees of 4.9%, but the level of privacy is very high. The only thing you need to buy bitcoins from them is a phone number. Their delivery of bitcoins is quite fast too, and after a purchase, they deliver within the hour.
Independent Reserve is an Australian Bitcoin exchange, mostly used by large-scale traders and corporations. Payments can be made via EFT, SWIFT, POLi or Crypto Capital. Large amounts can be traded on this exchange, and the fee structure reflects that. Fees start at 0.5%, and can drop to as low as 0.1%, depending on how much is being traded. However, Independent reserve is not good for beginners, as the user interface is very complex.
CoinLoft is a broker with a wide range of payment options, ranging from cash deposit to Flexepin to POLi. The cash deposit option makes things easier for a large number of buyers, but their fees are extremely high. They charge 4% per cash purchase, and credit card payments carry a fee of 9%. The level of privacy is low, as they require ID verification to make even cash purchases.
Buy Cryptocurrency in Canada
A large number of Bitcoin exchanges have been set up in Canada. They generally charge low fees, have a wide variety of payment methods, and are quite reputable. Due to a large amount of competition, there is a lot of overlap in the services these exchanges provide, and they are all of high quality.
The top Crypto exchanges in Canada:
- Canadian Bitcoins
- Satoshi Counter – Good for trades up to $1 million
Buy Bitcoins in Japan
Bitflyer is the largest broker and exchange in Japan. While it has limited payment options and requires ID verification to unlock higher monthly limits, it has excellent liquidity and extremely low fees. It is good for both small buyers and traders.
Coincheck, on the other hand, is better for traders, and requires very little in the way of ID. It is completely private for Japanese citizens who wish to buy less than $500 worth of bitcoin.
Buy Bitcoins in United Kingdom (U.K.)
Coinfloor is the premier exchange in the UK, offering users a range of services. If people wish to buy bitcoins, they can use Coinbase, one of the world’s biggest bitcoin sellers. Coinbase allows UK citizens to buy bitcoins with bank transfers as well as credit cards
Buy Bitcoins in Brazil
There are several bitcoin exchanges and brokers serving Brazil. Along with Ripio and SatoshiTango, there are several exchanges that are exclusive to Brazil, namely –
Mercado Bitcoin is the largest bitcoin exchange in Brazil and South America. It has excellent liquidity, so you will get the fair market price if you choose to buy from here. It is not very private since you need ID verification to use bank transfers or exceed daily limits.
FOXBIT is one of the fastest exchanges in Brazil, with deposits and withdrawals taking just a minute or two. The bitcoins are bought and sold here at market rate.
FlowBTC is a minor Brazilian bitcoin exchange. You can buy bitcoins via bank transfer, at relatively low fees of 0.5%. It has high trading limits, allowing you to trade large sums as per your necessity.
Bitcoin To You is the first Bitcoin broker established in Brazil. They are very easy to use, especially for beginners, and they charge reasonable fees when buying or selling.
Buy Bitcoins in Chile
Apart from international vendors, there is only one exchange in Chile, called SURBTC. It is officially endorsed by the Chilean government, and it allows people to buy bitcoins in pesos.
Buy Bitcoins in China
Update: In 2017, Chinese Government banned cryptocurrency trading in China and decided to shut down its cryptocurrency exchanges. Now its very difficult to buy Bitcoins in China
Buy Bitcoins in Denmark
Only one exchange named “Coinify” handles Denmark’s Bitcoin demand.
Buy Bitcoins in India
Update: The Reserve Bank of India has banned the crypto transaction in India. Now you can’t trade any cryptocurrency in India
Buy Bitcoins in Germany
There are many places German citizens can buy Bitcoins. Due to the liberal economic laws in the European Union, Germans can buy and sell bitcoins with companies from all over Europe. Bitcoin.de and Kraken are the best places for German citizens to trade bitcoins. Bitcoin.de has partnered with the Fidor Bank, allowing citizens to complete their KYC and start trading in Bitcoins immediately. There are no real limits on trading, so traders can invest as much as they like in bitcoin.
Buy Bitcoins in Korea
Coinplug and Korbit are the biggest exchanges in Korea. Coinplug has set up many ATMs all across Korea, and they also sell gift cards for people who wish to buy bitcoins
Buy Bitcoins in Mexico
Bitso and Volabit are the two main exchanges in Mexico. They require ID verification, but they are very easy to use for beginners. Bitso is backed by investors from the United States, and as such, has an excellent reputation.
Buy Bitcoins in Israel
Bits of Gold and B2C allow Israeli citizens to buy and sell Bitcoins. They are pretty quick, and accounts are usually credited within 24 hours of payment.
Buy Bitcoins in New Zealand
The two main exchanges for people from New Zealand are bitnz.com and nzbcx.com. They are fairly easy to use, but nzbcx.com has better liquidity, making transactions faster and easier.
Buy Bitcoins in Nigeria
NairaEx is the largest bitcoin exchange in Nigeria, with a decent reputation among buyers. However, it is mostly overshadowed by Luno, one of the most trusted bitcoin exchanges in Asia. Luno also has zero fees for market makers, i.e., if you place a buy order and wait for a seller to take it, you will not be charged any fees.
Buy Bitcoins in Norway
Bitcoinsnorway.com acts as the sole exchange for the Norwegian people, but the volume is low enough that users have to pay a premium. If people wish to simply buy Bitcoins, they can use cubits.com to buy bitcoins using NOK.
Buy Bitcoins in Poland
BitMarket.pl, BitBay.net, and bitmaszyna.pl are the three exchanges that serve Poland. Buyers can buy Bitcoins on those exchanges using zloty.
Buy Bitcoins in Philippines
BuyBitcoin.ph is the largest brokerage service in the Philippines. They allow beginners to purchase bitcoins easily, but the rates are often higher than those at the exchanges. BTCExchange.ph is the exchange to use in the Philippines. They have extremely low rates, with fees dropping to 0% with sufficient trading volume.
Buy Bitcoins in Russia
Matbea is one of the few exchanges based in Russia. While they use a variety of payment deposit methods, their rates are nowhere close to market price.
Buy Bitcoins in South Africa
Bit-X and ice3x.com are the two exchanges used in South Africa. Their volumes are low, as bitcoin usage in South Africa is not very widespread.
Buy Bitcoins in Spain
Bit2Me.com and chip-chap.com allow Spanish citizens to buy bitcoins from ATMs at very low rates.
Buy Bitcoins in Sweden
Bt.cx and fybse.se are the two exchanges where Swedes can buy and sell bitcoins.
Buy Bitcoins in Switzerland
While Switzerland is not a part of the EU, trade relations between them are good enough that EU exchanges and brokers also work for Swiss clients without any problems. Apart from that, bitcoinsuisse.ch has installed ATMs in every railway station, allowing people to buy bitcoins with cash or e-cash.
Buy Bitcoins in Thailand
Bitcoin.co.th is one of the easiest methods to buy bitcoins in Thailand. They accept a variety of payment methods, ranging from bank transfers to the cash deposit.
Buy Bitcoins in Tanzania
Bitpesa.co allows Tanzanians to buy bitcoins via bank transfers.
Buy Bitcoins in Austria
Unlike the rest of the world, Austria does not have any dedicated bitcoin exchanges or brokers. There are two ways available for Austrians to buy bitcoins.
Coinfinity is a company that has opened bitcoin ATMs all over Austria. Austrians can buy bitcoins with Euro at any of the Bitcoinbon ATMs.
The Post Office has also started selling Bitcoins, along with other cryptocurrencies. ID verification is required, but the prices are kept as close to market rate as possible.
Buy Bitcoins in Argentina
There are three major platforms that serve South America, namely Ripio, SatoshiTango and Wall of Coins.
Ripio is based in Argentina, and it accepts bank transfers from Argentina as well as Brazil. It is relatively hard to use, and not very private as it requires ID verification for bank transfers. However, it more than makes up for these shortcoming with its speed. Ripio is one of the fastest platforms to buy bitcoins in Argentina.
SatoshiTango is a bitcoin exchange, serving large numbers of people in South America. It covers twelve countries, including Argentina. Not only can you buy bitcoins on SatoshiTango, you can also pay utility bills via bitcoin. The level of privacy is low, since ID verification is required. Plus you need separate accounts for each fiat currency you wish to use. Satoshi Tango accepts USD, EUR and ARS.
Wall of Coins isn’t a bitcoin platform per se, it is more of an escrow service. You can send them money, which they will then hold on to. Once you receive the bitcoins you have bought, the money will be sent to the seller. Wall of Coins facilitates bitcoin transactions and is quite private. The only ID verification required is a phone number, and buying bitcoins is fairly simple.