There are people who make hasty decisions trying to buy Bitcoin when the currency is approaching its top price. It’s believed they do it because of the fear of missing out (aka FOMO). But the funny thing is that it’s never too late to invest in crypto, especially if you adopt the right strategy.
Price spikes are normal for crypto – there are probably more changes to take place and you can still make a profitable investment by buying your first coins. Explore different ways to buy crypto, find one that suits you best, and learn how to protect the purchase.
As crypto exists on the Internet, it seems logical to buy it online. Anybody can get BTC or other coins just in a few clicks. You can choose either crypto exchange service or a peer-to-peer network.
You can register an account on the website, load fiat money, and exchange them for crypto, or vice versa. Most of these exchanges are centralized, which gives some guarantees of protection but, on the other hand, leaves all funds controlled by websites’ owners. For that reason, it’s always better to transfer all your crypto from the exchange’s account to a private wallet secured by two-factor authentication.
Websites of this type are divided into two groups:
- Cryptocurrency-only exchange. These are crypto-to-crypto platforms that don’t allow buying coins for fiat money. Usually, they provide a slightly cumbersome interface, support multiple cryptocurrencies, and have a rather active market.
- Fiat exchange. They allow buying and selling crypto for fiat money or other coins. People can make their entry into crypto via this type of exchange easily because it deals with traditional payment methods.
Generally, the most user-friendly and hustle-free method to buy your first crypto is actually via fiat-to-crypto exchanges. One of the prominent examples of such exchanges is CEX.IO that allows purchasing Bitcoin and numerous altcoins with a credit card as well as via a bank transfer. Legit and simple in use, this website is a good place to start. Moreover, CEX.IO operates worldwide and enjoys the loyalty of over 2,5 million customers, which makes it one of the largest and the most trustworthy exchanges. CEX.IO is also considered a platform of robust security. It encrypts all sensitive data, possesses certificates of incorporation and PCI DSS license, encourages users to activate 2fa option, and, what is more important, has never been hacked.
However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and keep in mind that online exchanges are still vulnerable. So, remember to send the coins to your own wallet after purchasing, especially if you plan on holding.
Unlike traditional cryptocurrency exchanges, peer-to-peer platforms don’t store money on their servers and don’t control the deals. Instead, they just match individual sellers and buyers. Thus, the supported payment methods, fees, and other details vary from one merchant to another. Before choosing a person to make a deal with, read the comment section and reviews on this particular seller, because there are a lot of scammers in uncontrolled markets.
LocalBitcoins, Paxful, and Wall of Coins are among the most popular peer-to-peer systems that work almost everywhere in the world. Anybody can place a buy or sell order with detailed terms and conditions under which the transaction is to be made. Networks like BitQuick operate on another principle – buyers send money to sellers using bank deposits. All peer-to-peer networks charge a minimum system fee of 1-2% in addition to traders’ fees.
Buying in real life
If you are ready to buy crypto offline, explore land-based places that offer such services. There are already hundreds of stores and ATMs, but most of them support Bitcoin only. Offline purchases are safer but take more time.
At the moment, the only legit retail system which sells BTC is LibertyX. It covers about 19,000 stores in the USA. You can find the one nearby and buy crypto with cash there. To accomplish that, you need to have an identity document and provide your wallet’s address to transfer the coins to. LibertyX has limits of $1,000 per deal and charges a standard fee of 1%, while other different stores may have extra fees. Generally, this way of buying crypto implies higher prices.
Unlike stores, ATMs sell different currencies, work in different countries, and are powered by different providers. The principle is similar to regular cash machines: you should specify the amount of crypto you want to get, scan your wallet’s address, and insert cash in the ATM. The procedure is totally anonymous.
Exchange rates are somewhere better than in stores but fees are higher and can reach up to 10%. Always save the receipts as they may be needed to verify the payment. Currently, ATMs are available in 73 countries and support BTC, BCH, ETH, DASH, LTC, ZEC, and XMR.
The main rules to remember
Here are several useful tips to stick to:
- Before buying your first cryptocurrency, set up a private wallet to store the coins safely.
- Decide whether you want to purchase it online or offline and choose from a variety of methods.
- Regardless of what service you’re going to opt for, use it reasonably and weight up all the risks.
And always remember the golden rule – Never invest more than you can afford to lose!