Buy Bitcoin: Basic Information on Bitcoins

Probably you have heard of bitcoins and you want to use the new digital currency. And you want to buy bitcoin. Your options depend on your location and on the sellers.

Buy bitcoin at an exchange or from individuals who sell bitcoins. There are many options to pay: cash, wire transfers, debit cards, credit cards, you can convert bitcoin to local currency or use cryptocurrencies.

You can use a credit card or your PayPal account to buy bitcoin, however, its purchase is not a smooth process, exchanges and lots of private sellers do not offer this alternative. It is because of the chargeback options of these payment methods: once you pay, you can still call the card company or PayPal, asking for a refund.

In the United States, the credit card can be used with Exmo.Com, Coinbase, Coin.mx and Circle. Expresscoin accepts checks, money orders and wire transfers, too. In the United Kingdom, there is Bittylicious and CoinCorner that deal with 3D secure-enabled MasterCard and Visa cards.

Wallets

Bitcoin has digital bank accounts called wallets. There exist a range of such accounts and they offer different security levels.

  • Get a software wallet for the hard drive of your laptop or desktop. Make sure that your wallet remains safe in case your laptop or PC gets infected.
  • You may select an online wallet; multi-step verification can protect your bitcoins from electronic thieves.
  • A vault is an offline wallet.
  • A multisig wallet has different keys.

If you are interested in bitcoin trading and speculation and your activity does not require anonymity, exchanges and wallets are good alternatives for you. If you choose this option, you can count on a long registration process and many questions on your identity and contact information.

Bitstamp and Kraken are large exchanges in the United States. Bitfinex and Huobi are for those who live in Hong Kong. Huobi, OKCoin and BTC China are available from China. Unocoin is for Indian bitcoin users.

At CoinBase, you can trade US dollars and euros for bitcoins. The site is available from your laptop or mobile devices. It is available from the United Kingdom, most states of the U.S. and many European countries.

Keep in mind that when you use a wallet, it offers less protection from hackers than a traditional bank.

If you are a resident of a large city and you want to remain unidentified, you may want to use face to face or over the counter trades with local sellers, for example, using LocalBitcoins. Always remember some reasonable basic safety rules: meet at frequented public places, avoid private homes or desolate, unknown neighborhoods.

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