How does Bitcoin feel at the market? At the moment of writing this article, not so hot. However, it’s both frustrating and good thing about Bitcoin: the market has collapsed before and has recovered again. It’s always a problem to realize, when is the best time to buy Bitcoin. The right decision depends on your personal interest in cryptocurrency and your understanding the sense of Bitcoin.
It’s worth noting, that this guide is not a call to buy cryptocurrency. This is informative article for those people, who have already decided to own BTC and want to know where they can purchase it. You must have heard about all the risks of this decision – crypto sphere is incredibly changeable. It’s not accepted in many countries, what is more, some banks are fiercely opposed to its existence. All other cryptocurrencies have been created on Bitcoin`s base and one day new altcoin may replace the ancestor.
Though, if you are going to buy Bitcoin today, it’s still a variant number one at the market. And this has never been so easy and convenient to buy BTC. You don’t need anymore to spend months mining and wasting thousands dollars for electricity – unless you want to mine Bitcoins, surely. For the time of its existence Bitcoin has greatly developed as an industry, and now users have an opportunity to buy cryptocurrency within a few minutes, onwards it can be used as money or investment.
Anyway, before purchasing Bitcoins you need to have access to them. And here Bitcoin-wallet comes to the rescue.
Finding the Best Bitcoin Wallet for You
In fact, Bitcoin isn’t a tangible “coin” and it’s technically impossible to hold it. In such a way, a Bitcoin wallet is not an actual wallet, where you can keep your BTC and put it to your jeans.
What is Bitcoin wallet? Essentially, it’s a private key and public key, each of them allows buying and selling Bitcoins. Because it’s substantially the collection of keys, there are a lot of BTC wallet types with different security levels. Every type has its advantages and disadvantages. We will help you to find your best Bitcoin wallet.
Online and Mobile Bitcoin Wallets
Online and mobile wallets are the most convenient variant for accident buyers. They let quickly and simply get access to Bitcoins, also they provide your money to a third party and store it in cloud-based system. The best online wallets are very secure, but don`t forget to be cautious regardless.
Coinbase is considered being the most popular Bitcoin wallet. An online wallet with a mobile app seems to be the most convenient one, because it’s directly connected to a Bitcoin exchange and this factor simplifies selling and purchasing process. These features also concern another popular wallet – Blockchain.info. In addition, Coinbase offers an offline storage for extra security.
These and other online wallets also have mobile apps, however, there are many wallets developed specially for smartphones. On the one hand, with a mobile wallet you have the access to your Bitcoins any time in any place, on the other hand, if you mislay your gadget or it’s hacked, you will lose your money forever.
Nevertheless, mobile applications are very convenient and the most prosperous representatives have their own means of information security. Mycelium and Airbitz are the most successful mobile wallets, whose priority is data protection.
Hardware and Software Bitcoin Wallets
Bitcoin Hardware wallet is a more secure storage for your cryptocurrency, especially, if you are going to use them as an investment, instead of wasting your funds. Hardware wallets represent wallets on a protected device and are the safest variant; the only disadvantage, unlike popular software and apps, is that hardware types cost money.
Notwithstanding, if you own money reserve and want to do everything possible for their security, hardware will become a reliable bet. For example, Trezor is a hardcore wallet, which offers two-factor authentication and a password manager, while popular Ledger wallets ask pin-code to make access.
Software wallet doesn’t have the same level of security, and if a hacker receives access to your computer or other gadget, he will steal your Bitcoins. But if you neglect the safety of your computer and don`t monitor malware, you could do even worse than a software wallet right on your desktop. The most popular variants include Electrum (which has decentralized servers), Copay (which allows keeping several wallets) and Jaxx (which can be used with a lot of various cryptocurrencies).
Paper Bitcoin Wallets
Paper wallets are interesting enough. In theory, they should be safer than any other wallet – it has a form of a paper list that contains your public and private keys, so it couldn`t be hacked. You have to scan the printed QR codes into an online or software wallets, and now you can use it. But there are some risks in this wallet type: you may simply lost this paper list or somebody can steal it, there are many awful variants to stay without vital information.
Be careful with paper wallets. Keep them in extremely safe place. Fold the piece of paper in such a way that private key can`t be seen. Print it in secure way, for example, via a USB on a printer that is not connected to the Internet. There are some services, which generate a paper wallet for you to print.
None of mentioned wallets can`t be treated as a recommendation to act, we just provide you with examples of existing Bitcoin wallets. You should analyse read information and make your own choice.
How to Buy Bitcoins with a Credit/Debit Card
When you have a wallet, you have a place, where your Bitcoins can appear after a purchase. Being able to connect your credit or debit card to your wallet is a convenient way to buy bitcoins quickly. But it may depend on what bank or card you use for determining, if you are able to do this.
Coinbase accepts Mastercard and Visa, but not American Express. However, even these variants are not a guarantee – JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America have recently claimed that they would no longer allow buying cryptocurrency with the help of their credit cards (although Bank of America informs that this ban doesn’t apply to its debit cards). Discover hasn`t allowed their cardholders buying BTC for years. Before wasting time, make sure that you are able to use your card for this purpose.
Also, you`ll have to figure out with a Bitcoin exchange, which you’ll use for making a purchase. If you`re using Coinbase as a wallet, the decision has already been taken, because it provides its own exchange service, but there are other variants as well. These exchanges differ in the fee you pay for the transaction, the countries they are available in, and the limit of how much you can buy in one transaction.
We are going to provide you with two exchanges, as an example, and we begin with Coinbase. Its website informs that the company supports 32 countries and the fee makes 3,99%. Please, look through the steps of Bitcoins purchasing in Coinbase with your card usage:
- Sign up your account on the site. The process includes download the proof of identification and verify your credit card information;
- Once you have signed in, click “Buy/Sell” at the top of the page. Click “Buy” and specify “Bitcoin”;
- Enter the sum of money you want to spend. The built-in calculator will tell you how many BTC that makes;
- Click “Buy Bitcoin Instantly”. Confirm the correctness of information and the payment sum, then click “Confirm Buy”.
In addition, you may also select “Repeat this Buy” option and determine how many times you would like to repeat the current purchase.
Coinmama is the popular exchange that accepts credit and debit cards. This service allows doing large purchases, but it asks for 6%-fee and it’s a big sum enough. There are acts to buy Bitcoins in Coinmama with the help of your card:
- Create an account and fill it with your personal info;
- Click “Buy Bitcoin”, choose the sum you want to get and click “Credit/Debit Card” as the means of payment;
- Print the address of your Bitcoin-wallet, which is your public key version;
- Enter the information about payment, including billing info;
- Verify your personality – this includes verifying your phone number and e-mail, uploading a form of ID;
- Receive a confirmation e-mail after all the info is verified.
How to Buy Bitcoins with PayPal
While major part of banks have always been very cautious with cryptocurrencies, PayPal worked on Bitcoin integration into its paying system Braintree in far 2014. Today the company isn`t so well in cryptocurrency sphere as it was then, but still there are ways to buy Bitcoins with PayPal. The number of these ways is decreased, because Coinbase has stopped accepting BTC from PayPal, the company is trying to create its own electronic commerce platform.
Oddly enough, one of the most popular means to purchase Bitcoin with PayPal isn`t through Bitcoin exchange – but via virtual exchange VirWoX, which is used to gain currency for famous virtual world Second Life. You can transfer your currency to SLL (Second Life Lindens), and next transfer it to Bitcoins. This is roundabout way to do this, but it seems being quite coherent – rare thing in cryptocurrency sphere. The steps of buying Bitcoins in VirWoX with help of PayPal:
- Create an account and fill it with necessary data;
- Activate your account via e-mail confirmation and change your password immediately; a password given by the service is temporary;
- In the section “My Account” click on the left side “ Deposit”. Open the section “PayPal Express Checkout”, print desired sum and click “Checkout with PayPal”;
- Click “BTC/SLL” in the section “Exchange” and enter the amount of BTC you want to get in the section “Exchange SLL to BTC”;
- As soon as they have been converted to Bitcoins, click “Withdraw” in the section “My Account”. Print how much BTC you want to withdraw and your Bitcoin wallet address, where money will appear.
It’s difficult enough to find actual Bitcoin exchanges, which cooperate with PayPal. However, there are such websites like Local Bitcoins, where you have an opportunity to find BTC sellers, discuss conditions with them and exchange your money to Bitcoins. Be careful: you trust your funds to an unknown person, who can easily cheat you. Stay attentive
How to Buy Bitcoins with Cash
Those who are looking for a safe way to buy Bitcoin, will be happy to know that they can get cryptocurrency with cash. Perhaps, you will have to do your best for implementing this, but sometimes it’s necessary to do complicated things for ensuring security.
If you are in the right place, you can use Bitcoin ATM. Coin ATM Radar has Bitcoin ATMs all over the world. Large groups of machines are located in the US big cities – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and Philadelphia. There are some different brands of ATM with various methods of verifying your ID and Bitcoin address. Anyway, there is the list of standard usage steps:
- Click “Buy Bitcoins”;
- Verify your personality. This can be a confirmation code sent to your phone, for example;
- Enter your Bitcoin address by scanning QR code of your wallet;
- Input cash;
- Print a receipt after confirmation.
Previously listed Local Bitcoins also allow using cash, because you can meet with a seller in person and pay directly in cash. What is more, there are websites like Bitquick and Paxful, which connect buyer and seller in a way, where the seller provides bank details that let the buyer conduct a cash deposit at the bank. Keep the receipt to provide proof, and the seller can send you the bitcoins. But again: stay careful.
As soon as you’ve used any of mentioned methods, what you do with your new bitcoins is your own choice. Some want to spend them, but others look to turn them into a long-term investment.