In recent years, the popularity of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency has taken over the world. This immensely volatile digital asset has earned numerous people extremely high profits over time, helping them gain ample wealth as they delved into the world of cryptocurrency investments.
For people who seek to jump on to this bandwagon of Bitcoin investment, the first and foremost step to take is to find out where you can buy Bitcoin. To keep you from having to wander cluelessly, seeking an adequate answer, we have compiled an in-depth list of the best options to go for.
To purchase Bitcoin, you need to find a Bitcoin exchange that acts as a trading platform for buying and selling cryptocurrency, and choose one that caters to all of your needs when it comes to the art of trading. These needs may include affordability, reliability, ease of use, range of options, and much more. So, keep reading to find out which platform suits you the best.
Top 5 Places for Buying Bitcoin & Crypto Currency
- etoro: Editor’s Pick for Buying Bitcoin
- Coinmama: Top Rated Platform for Bitcoin Mining
- BlockFi: Best for Beginners to Invest in Bitcoin
- Coinbase: Best Bitcoin Wallet Services
- Bisq: Safest Platform for Crypto Exchanges
Best Places to Buy Bitcoin Today
Keeping security, safety, affordability, and many other factors in mind, the following Bitcoin exchanges seemed to fulfill most major requirements by users or potential traders:
#1. eToro: Editor’s Pick for Buying Bitcoin
eToro was established in 2007 as a broker and now has more than 13 million users in over 140 countries all over the globe, with the U.S. being an addition to the list. Initially, its social investing feature was the cause of popularity, as it allowed users to copy trades from other investors.
eToro acts as a multi-asset exchange where it deals in Forex, stock, and other digital currencies commodities. However, this feature is restricted in its U.S. market, as users based there can only benefit from cryptocurrency trading. However, eToro plans to expand more of its services to the U.S. shortly.
eToro is regulated under Cyprus, a Financial Conduct Authority regulation based in the U.K., and operates across other European countries due to its cross-border license. However, it is important to note that eToro is not regulated under any U.S.-based regulation, such as Securities Investor Protection Corporation or SIPC.
- eToro offers many features, with the most unique one being the CopyTrader feature. This allows traders to copy the moves made by other successful traders instead of coming up with trading strategies independently.
- It allows its users to view other trade histories and other traders’ portfolios, statistics, and risk scores.
- It offers a total of 18 cryptocurrencies for its users to trade. However, this might be a low number in comparison to most Bitcoin exchanges, which offer more than 50 cryptocurrencies.
- eToro charges its users trading fees via spreads, which vary based on the market conditions. Unlike some other Bitcoin exchanges, eToro charges one spread to buy and sell crypto assets. Spreads normally range from 0.75% for Bitcoin trades to 5% for Tezos trades. All in all, most cryptocurrency spreads fall in the range of 1.9% to 2.9%.
- It offers its users access to a free digital wallet to store cryptocurrency, which is known as the eToro wallet and is available on both iOS and Android devices. The cost of conversion from crypto-to-fiat currency is 5%, which may be rather steep for some.
- Users are allowed to transfer cryptocurrency directly to their digital wallet from the eToro exchange. However, this operates in a limited way, where coins transferred cannot be transferred back to eToro.
- eToro offers its services to 43 states in the U.S., leaving out users located in Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, and Tennessee the opportunity to sign-up to eToro.
- 15 different cryptocurrencies offered
- Low minimum requirement
- CopyTrader tool offered
- No available in all U.S. states
- U.S.-based users can only conduct cryptocurrency trading
#2. Coinmama: Top Rated Platform for Bitcoin Mining
Coinmama is an online Bitcoin exchange that was established in 2013 to make digital purchasing currency using fiat currency fast and simple. This successful exchange has largely expanded since its launch, with three million users all over the globe who are spread over 190 countries.
Coinmama offers its users the incentive to purchase Bitcoin instantly, adding the coins to the user’s crypto wallet straight away. This exchange makes it immensely easy to sell crypto even if the user initially purchased it through a different exchange. The payment from selling their crypto is transferred directly to the user’s bank account.
Known as one of the safest Bitcoin exchanges, Coinmama is not responsible for holding its customer’s funds or payment information. Therefore, it grants its users complete control of their digital and fiat funds. So, even if Coinmama is hacked, the user’s funds are not at stake.
- It offers an easy and user-friendly interface that is convenient and immensely simple to navigate. This feature caters to beginner-level investors in the cryptocurrency industry as well.
- Coinmama speeds up the process of purchasing Bitcoin. Most Bitcoin exchanges require pre-funding, fiat currency deposit, then Bitcoin purchase. Finally, the funds are transferred from the online Bitcoin exchange wallet to the external wallet. Instead, Coinmama helps the customer by cutting down the process through direct payment when purchasing, and Bitcoin is sent to the user’s personal hot wallet or cold wallet directly.
- It gives its users the option to purchase ten of the most popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dogecoin, Cardano, Tezos, Chainlink, and Uniswap.
- Coinmama has a non-custodial feature, which means users have complete control over their accounts and assets at all times. This promises that in case Coinmama gets hacked, the user’s funds will not be at risk.
- Unlike some Bitcoin exchanges, Coinmama caters to its users by offering them an accommodating payment method, as it accepts credit and debit cards.
- Coinmama offers its users the incentive of a loyalty program, which largely contributes to bringing down fees and helping them save money. This loyalty program’s enrollment process is free and automatic for its three levels — crypto curious, crypto enthusiast, and crypto believer.
- It offers a customer support service that includes a live chat and email assistance. If an agent is online, they will instantly cater to the user’s query through the live chat, and if not, the user can drop in an email, which they can respond to as soon as possible.
- Coinmama allows high spending limits, which reach up to 30,000 USD. Some other Bitcoin exchanges might restrict users from placing a high order due to liquidity issues. However, Coinmama does not have this issue.
- User-friendly website
- Instant trading of Bitcoin or crypto
- Ten of the most popular cryptocurrencies offered
- Non-custodial feature that protects its user’s assets by giving them complete control of their funds
- Accommodating mode of payment offered
- Loyalty program available
- Customer service via live chat or email available
- High spending limits offered
- Limited number of cryptocurrencies
- Relatively higher transaction fees charged
- Services not available in all U.S. states
- No access to price charts to show the history of various coins
#3. BlockFi: Best for Beginners to Invest in Bitcoin
BlockFi was established in 2017 in Jersey City to offer various services, including credit loans to markets or individuals who lack access to savings accounts. BlockFi then expanded its services and eventually began offering cryptocurrency interest accounts and various other asset services.
This cryptocurrency custodian now gives its customers the incentive to acquire U.S. dollar loans against their existing cryptocurrencies and has raised a total of 158 million dollars since its launch. Therefore, for users who seek long-term investment and hope to earn interest on their crypto assets, BlockFi is the ideal Bitcoin exchange, as they use existing crypto assets as collateral to safeguard investments.
In addition, BlockFi also removes the users’ worry about paying a transaction fee each time they trade Bitcoin or crypto. In addition, it lets its users opt for credit or debit card payments to add funds to their Bitcoin wallet within 24 hours.
- BlockFi offers various security measures to secure its users’ funds, such as keeping most funds in offline cold storage. BlockFi also reportedly prioritizes its user’s funds over all other funds in case a loss occurs. Moreover, its custodian, Gemini, is regulated under the New York State Department of Financial Services and a licensed depository trust.
- Making a BlockFi exchange account is fairly simple and involves uploading a clear picture of an identification document to verify the user’s identity, followed by a quick approval.
- BlockFi’s deposits normally take five business days to go through.
- It involves lower risk than most other Bitcoin exchanges, as their payout stack policy prioritizes the customer’s funds over any company equity or employee funds.
- It does not have a minimum deposit or balance requirement, which is convenient for users who wish to start with small investments.
- BlockFi offers an interest rate of 8.5% on the customer’s deposits.
- It has a mobile application compatible with both iOS and Android devices, making on-the-go trading fairly easy.
- New BlockFi users have the opportunity to earn up to $250 worth of Bitcoin as a bonus if they make qualifying deposits in the first 30 days of signing up. This offer comes without an expiry date, and users can start by opting for this bonus with only $25.
- BlockFi has successfully launched a rewards Visa credit card, which allows users to earn rewards of a rate of 1.5% in Bitcoin on credit card purchases without any annual fee.
- Fees include withdrawal fees, origination fees, and interest incurred on crypto-based loans that the users borrow via the company. It does not charge transaction fees on its trades.
- BlockFi offers its users a phone number and an email address as far as its customer service is concerned, which is rated quite well by its customers.
- One of the few U.S.-based Bitcoin exchanges
- Its custodian is regulated
- Conducts fast trades
- No commission fee
- No minimum deposit requirements
- No monthly or transaction fees
- Services offered all over the globe, except for a few sanctioned countries
- No joint or custodial accounts offered
- Limited number of withdrawals from interest accounts
- Large variations and volatility when it comes to the annual percentage yield or loan rate
- In case of failure in the bank transfer, BlockFi does not offer protection for its savings
#4. Coinbase: Best Bitcoin Wallet Services
Coinbase was established in 2012 and is a fully licensed and regulated Bitcoin exchange. It supports all U.S. states except Hawaii and has consistently progressed since its launch. Initially, Coinbase only offered Bitcoin trading, but it now offers multiple cryptocurrencies for its users to trade, fulfilling its decentralized criteria.
Coinbase is one of the top Bitcoin exchanges based in the United States and, therefore, continues to be a standard on-ramp for various new crypto investors. The features offered by Coinbase are immense, as they include cryptocurrency investing, an advanced trading platform, custodial accounts for various markets, digital wallets for storage of funds by retail investors, and its own U.S. dollar stable-coin.
Over time, Coinbase has continued to expand on the variety of cryptocurrency coins available, which now include Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, and many others. Coinbase also promises its users to add more to the list of cryptocurrency coins available, provided they meet its basic requirements.
- Coinbase has many options when it comes to the variety of cryptocurrency coins it offers to invest and trade in and continues to promise more additions to this list.
- It offers an immensely easy trading experience and focuses on catering to beginners.
- Coinbase can easily be accessed through both iOS and Android devices and does not offer any mobile application. Instead, it is completely browser-based, which saves its users the headache of storage issues.
- It comes with an advanced version called Coinbase Pro, which mainly caters to experienced traders and investors.
- Coinbase Pro offers users the opportunity to place market, limit, and stop orders with the promise of low commission fees.
- Coinbase Pro also offers the feature of margin trading, and it comes with more advanced and high-tech charting.
- Coinbase Pro has more than 100 trading pairs available all over the globe, which include up to 40 trading pairs with U.S. dollars.
- Coinbase Pro also has more than 40 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs in 42 regions.
- The standard Coinbase platform is mainly ideal for beginners and, therefore, is a great feature to aid users in comprehending the ease of purchasing, storing, and trading cryptocurrency. On the other hand, Coinbase Pro works better for those who already have prior experience trading cryptocurrency or Bitcoin and wish to trade with lower fees and more advanced features.
- It offers its users several security measures, including a two-step verification process when signing in, biometric fingerprint logins, private insurance for the exchange itself, and the duty of storing 98% of the users’ funds in offline cold storage.
- However, it is important to note that Coinbase’s insurance only comes into play when the exchange is breached instead of when individual profiles are hacked due to a lack of security, such as weak passwords.
- Coinbase also has a rather straightforward signing up process.
- It can be quite expensive if users are not using the Coinbase Pro version, as this overall fee is much higher in comparison to its competitors. However, beginners may overlook this, as their priority may be ease of use and basic understanding of buying and selling bitcoin.
- More than 25 cryptocurrencies available
- Extremely user-friendly interface
- Educational tools in a learning program offered
- High liquidity to act as protection from high price falls
- Hgh fees charged with the standard version
- Has been at the receiving end of certain reports of hacks that have drained users’ funds from their accounts
- Limited variety of altcoins available
#5. Bisq: Safest Platform for Crypto Exchanges
Bisq was established in 2014 and was originally known as Bitsquare. It is a decentralized exchange and expands its services all over the globe, contrary to having a headquartered central building. This further adds to the security of this exchange, as it makes it impossible for anyone to steal the user’s money.
Bisq can be used to trade cryptocurrency peer-to-peer as opposed to via a third-party provider, and its most appealing feature is its decentralized nature, which makes it much safer than other Bitcoin exchanges.
Unlike most Bitcoin exchanges, Bisq does not require personal information from the user, as it does not require verification. This especially works well for users who prefer anonymity regarding their personal information for fear of stealing.
The process is fairly simple, as a crypto trader orders another crypto trader, and the purchase occurs. However, Bisq also offers many different payment options, and therefore, traders need to agree upon the desired mode of payment.
- One of the main features of Bisq is its decentralized nature. This comes with numerous advantages, including increased anonymity, low fees, and complete control over crypto-assets and funds. The exchange remains open to unbanked users as well.
- Bisq allows its users to make payments in several ways. It allows purchasing Bitcoin or crypto through U.S. dollars in many ways, including cash deposits to the user’s bank, Zelle payment system, an electronic transfer, etc. However, credit card payments are not an option, and having Bitcoin as a security deposit is necessary.
- Most Bitcoin exchanges are centralized and, therefore, require the user to share their private information. This is unnecessary when the user opts for Bisq, as the time required to validate a photo I.D. is saved. There are also no glitches attached when users fund their accounts.
- Through Bisq, users pay the seller of Bitcoin directly, and therefore, there is no possibility of money getting stuck in the system.
- There are certain limitations regarding the amount of trading the users can conduct in the first two months. These restrictions exist so that fraud is minimized.
- Another benefit of using Bisq is that the service is accessible to everyone, unlike other Bitcoin exchanges, which expand their services to specific countries or U.S. states. On the contrary, users can access Bisq, provided they meet one requirement — access to a computer.
- Although the decentralized nature promises complete control of the user’s assets and funds, this is a responsibility in itself. Therefore, if the user forgets their password, they are likely to lose their cryptocurrency wallets and funds.
- Bisq’s security is unmatched. This is because the user’s personal information is stored in their decentralized system and, therefore, cannot be hacked since it does not go to one central point, such as a headquarter.
- Decentralized exchange with various advantages
- Several payment options offered
- Instant approval
- Accessible worldwide
- Users are in control of their assets and funds
- Prioritizes security and implements it through its decentralized structure
- Decentralized structure may not feel familiar or convenient for some users
- Basic trading process
- May have the potential for fraud
How We Compiled This Bitcoin Trading List for You
There are numerous factors to keep in mind when coming up with the right place to purchase Bitcoin, especially since there are several Bitcoin exchanges available online with their own set of features and security measures.
Therefore, we analyzed each Bitcoin exchange based on various aspects to ensure our final list covers all factors necessary to analyze when choosing the best trading platform to buy Bitcoin. These included:
- When was the exchange launched?
- What has its level of expansion and success rate been since it was established?
- What are the security measures offered by the exchange?
- What are the various features it offers for beginner-level traders?
- What are the various features it offers for the intermediate-level to expert-level traders?
- Does the exchange have its mobile application, or does it offer a web-based website?
- How user-friendly is the site’s design?
- What are the different educational sources offered by the exchange?
- What are the various coins offered by the exchange, aside from Bitcoin?
- What is the level of customer service offered, and how effective is it?
- What are the pros and cons of opting for this particular exchange?
Based on the factors mentioned above, we could shortlist the top five places where you can trade for Bitcoin while ensuring your funds are kept safe.
Factors to Consider When Buying Bitcoin
There are numerous factors to consider when you decide to purchase Bitcoin and are looking for an appropriate Bitcoin exchange, which caters to all of your requirements and needs. Every customer has their own preferences, as some may prioritize affordability while others may prioritize ease of use.
However, all in all, there is a generic set of criteria that should be met when opting for a Bitcoin exchange to ensure a smooth process, whether you are a beginner-level trader or an experienced-level advanced trader. This includes the following factors:
When customers are looking for a product, they seek security in its quality and the return they will receive from purchasing that product.
Similarly, the first and foremost requirement for assessing the usefulness of a Bitcoin exchange is the security provided for the customer’s data and funds. Most Bitcoin exchanges have centralized fund storage or structure, and therefore, their security measures are the basis of the exchange’s reliability.
Therefore, it is important to ensure the exchange offers security measures, such as cold storage wallets, easy transfer between the exchange and wallet, a SSL Site Security Certificate, multiple verification processes for withdrawals, two-factor authentication, biometric fingerprint sign-in, etc. Otherwise, it is preferable to opt for a decentralized Bitcoin exchange, e.g., Bisq.
The Bitcoin exchange’s liquidity is an important factor to consider, as the more liquid the exchange, the more protection it provides in terms of the user’s funds. Normally, the main indicator of the liquidity of an exchange is that the higher the trading volume or number of customers buying or selling coins via the exchange, the more liquid it is likely to be.
When assessing a Bitcoin’s credibility, its reputation largely comes into play. A well-reputed Bitcoin exchange is likely to give you favorable results, as its customers have likely had good things to say about the reliability and the use of the exchange so far.
Exchanges involve a few different types of fees. Therefore, the overall cost of opting for a specific Bitcoin exchange is important. The types of fees can include trading fees, transaction fees, debit or credit card fees, commission fees, spreads, etc. The user should, therefore, opt for an exchange they can comfortably afford.
- Available Cryptocurrencies
The number of coins offered by the exchange is also an important factor. The higher the number of coins available, the better it is for the user’s trading portfolio to be diversified. Considering the volatility of this market, it is best to diversify the user’s investments across various coins to lower risk. Moreover, users need to consider what coins are being offered as well. The exchange must offer the most popular ones, e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.
Although most exchanges offer their services to the majority of countries worldwide, there are always exceptions due to the legal perspective. Therefore, users must choose a Bitcoin exchange that expands its services to their country or state. In addition, many exchanges also have exceptions in terms of certain U.S. states that have access to their services.
A user-friendly interface is always preferable when choosing a Bitcoin exchange. Regardless of the user being a beginner-level investor, an intermediate-level investor, or an experienced investor, it is always preferable to choose a website with an easy-to-navigate design to ensure a smooth and more informative trading process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency that is unregulated in terms of its operations, as it is free of any central control or oversight of banks or government. It is based on peer-to-peer software and cryptography. The process involves a public ledger recording all Bitcoin transactions, and copies of these records are held on servers all over the globe.
Q2. What is the minimum amount to invest while buying Bitcoin?
In essence, there is absolutely no minimum amount requirement of Bitcoin that users need to buy to get started. However, each Bitcoin exchange has its minimum requirement. For example, Coinbase allows a minimum Bitcoin investment of $2. On the contrary, BlockFi does not have a minimum amount requirement.
Q3. What is the difference between a centralized and a decentralized exchange?
A centralized Bitcoin exchange is a trading platform that involves the buying and selling of digital currencies. However, in this case, a third-party oversees the transaction and promises security to the assets on behalf of the buyer and seller. This third-party is normally the exchange itself.
Moreover, these exchanges mostly have a central point or a headquarter, which leaves their services vulnerable to potential hacks. However, these exchanges can avoid these through security measures such as insurance funds, two-step verifications, offline cold storage, etc.
On the other hand, a decentralized exchange is responsible for connecting crypto traders via a peer-to-peer marketplace. Furthermore, unlike centralized exchanges, decentralized platforms are non-custodial, which means users are in complete control of their private information and own their private keys.
Moreover, a decentralized exchange uses smart contracts that execute independently under certain conditions when there is no central authority. These exchanges are spread all over the globe, and the only prerequisite to access such an exchange is to have access to a computer. This makes such an exchange immensely difficult to hack.
Q4. What are crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto exchanges?
Crypto-to-crypto exchanges are exchanges that involve buying and selling cryptocurrency in exchange for another cryptocurrency. This is because different coins have different values, i.e., 1 Bitcoin = 199.95 Litecoins (subject to change).
On the other hand, fiat-to-crypto exchanges involve buying and selling cryptocurrency in exchange for fiat money, e.g., U.S. dollars or Euros.
Q5. How do Bitcoin exchanges make their money?
Bitcoin trading platforms generate revenue from various sources such as commissions, market making, initial coin offerings, tokens, initial exchange offerings, fund collection, etc.
Q6. What are the best Bitcoin exchanges for beginners?
Although many Bitcoin exchanges have various features that may cater to beginners, Coinbase is probably one of the most popular ones and is ideal for beginners, having millions of users regularly.
Coinbase has a website design that allows new investors to easily navigate through the trading platform. In addition, it has an incredibly user-friendly interface and unmatched website performance with trading a mere click or two away.
Q7. How does Bitcoin work?
From a user’s point of view, Bitcoin may be as simple as a mobile application or a computer program which offers a personal Bitcoin wallet involving the sending and receiving of Bitcoins.
However, on the back end, the Bitcoin network shares a public ledger called the BlockChain technology. The blockchain consists of all transactions that have ever been processed in Bitcoin, allowing a user’s computer to verify the authenticity of each transaction.
Each transaction is authenticated by the protection of digital signatures next to the sending addresses, allowing all users to possess complete control over sending Bitcoins from their respective Bitcoin addresses.
Moreover, these transactions can easily be processed if someone uses the power of specialized hardware. This can earn them a reward in Bitcoins, which is referred to as “mining.”
Q8. How difficult is it to make a Bitcoin payment?
Bitcoin payments are much easier to make in comparison to credit or debit card purchases. Bitcoin payments can be received without a merchant account and are made from a wallet application either through the user’s computer or smartphone. The process is fairly simple and involves entering the recipient’s address and the payment amount and then pressing the send button. Many online wallets acquire the recipient’s address by a simple Q.R. code scan or through NFC technology.
As you must have realized by now, numerous platforms offer the buying and selling of Bitcoin. So, the true answer to where you can buy Bitcoin involves a detailed analytical approach towards all of these trading platforms, as there are multiple important factors to consider when landing on a decision.
These include the exchange’s fees, security, liquidity, features, and customer service. Therefore, you should make sure to align your expectations and needs with the features offered by the Bitcoin exchange to ensure a smooth trading process.
In addition, it is important to note that this digital asset is largely volatile and experiences large price rises and falls within a short time. Therefore, before buying Bitcoin, you should also conduct a risk analysis and see if this is the right trading medium for you.
With the popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rising, more and more people are looking for reliable platforms to buy and sell them. Here, we have featured five of the best Bitcoin exchange platforms for you to choose from. After providing a comprehensive overview of each of these, you should now be able to make a well-informed choice regarding the best one for your specific needs. However, we would recommend you to go for either BlockFi or Coinmama due to their user-friendly features. Overall, remember to keep in mind the factors we have mentioned to ensure you are choosing a safe and reliable platform.