The Best Way to Buy Bitcoin in 2019, Based on Your Preference

60% of Americans have heard of bitcoin at least once. Only 5% hold the digital currency.

If only 5% hold it -- does that mean a lot of people are lost and don’t know the best way to buy bitcoin?

After all, the statistics don’t lie. They were conducted by the Global Blockchain Council and SurveyMonkey. They found that most people think buying Bitcoin is difficult.

And maybe you think so too.

But the truth is: It’s EASY to buy Bitcoin.

By reading this article, you will be one of the lucky few to discover the best way to buy bitcoin and to have clear guidance on how to get started, based on your preference.

So read on, take action, and be part of this financial revolution.

  • Clearing The Confusion

    People mix up Bitcoin with Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, Exchanges (like Coinbase), Wallets (like Blockchain.com) and others. Some basic knowledge is mandatory before you get started.

    • There are thousands of cryptocurrencies. But all cryptocurrencies are not Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the first and most important cryptocurrency.
    • You don’t have to buy 1 whole Bitcoin. Bitcoin is divisible. It’s even more divisible than the dollar. $1 can be divided to 2 decimal points: $1.00 -- while Bitcoin can be divided into 8: 1.0000000 This means you could own 0.00000001 BTC (short for Bitcoin).
    • Bitcoin is built on Blockchain Technology. If Bitcoin was a car, imagine Blockchain as the roads that allow Bitcoin to travel from one user to another.
    • Exchanges, like Coinbase, are independent websites that allow you to exchange fiat money (like the US dollar) for cryptocurrencies.
    • Wallet, like Blockchain.com, is a software that facilitates access to the blockchain. It is used to transfer and store Bitcoin securely - but we’ll get there.
  • Finding the Right Site for your Needs

    There are plenty of exchanges and ways to buy Bitcoin. Some are better than others, but most of all, each of them have different characteristics.

    Before I reveal the best ways to buy Bitcoin based on your needs, you first need to know what YOU want.

    Here’s what you should take into account:

    1. Anonymity
      Exchanges, especially the large ones, are required by law to only accept users who comply with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) requirements. Such legal requirements are useful to prevent money laundering and funds being used to finance terrorism. This means that though one exchange may be one of the best ways to buy bitcoin, you do need to provide and verify your identity to do so.
    2. Fees
      Different exchanges charge different fees. Goes without saying. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to buy bitcoin vs. the fastest way to buy bitcoin -- then fees will come into effect.
    3. Ease of use
      Some exchanges are simpler to use. The ease of verifying your identity, the user interface, the customer service. These factors play a role.
    4. Payment methods
      Did you know you can buy bitcoin with credit and debit card? Then there’s the standard methods: bank account transfer, cash. You can even work for some Bitcoin.
    5. Regulatory compliance
      Making sure your exchange complies with regulations is a smart idea. If the exchange is asking for KYC and AML checks, you can rest assured you’re on the right path.
    6. Security
      Identity theft is no joke. Passwords get stolen, identities impersonated, and more. Make sure your exchange offers 2FA and other security features so that you stay secure.
    Want More Awesome Knowledge? Check out: The 25 Common Mistakes Cryptocurrency Investors Make!
    1. Limits
      Exchanges act like banks sometimes. In this case, it’s withdrawal limits. Your withdrawal limits will often be based on your level of identity verification. Still, some exchanges offer higher withdrawal limits than some others.
    2. Liquidity
      Trading volume is an essential factor. Larger exchanges will have more liquidity, which means you’ll be able to buy and sell a high amount of bitcoin at better, more even and fair prices.
    3. Speed
      The speed at which an exchange can process your order can be quite important. After all, you don’t want your Bitcoin order stuck on a waiting list while its value jumps all over the charts.
    4. Are your funds insured?
      Arguably one of the most critical factors on this list. Your exchange should carry insurance. What if the exchange goes down, is hacked, or the founder makes off with the money? Make sure to choose an exchange that protects you when deciding where to buy bitcoin online.
    5. Reputation
      Does your exchange have a bad reputation? It’s easy to google ‘X exchange reviews’ and see what people have gone through.
      Do beware of the ratings though: Most exchanges have bad reviews on public sites. This is because people rate them mostly when they're experiencing serious issues.
      When checking on an exchange's reputation, check the negative comments individually. You will often notice patterns (bad customer services, locked out of their account, etc.). This will give you a more accurate view than the global rating.
    6. Customer service
      A factor that doesn’t seem important until something goes wrong and you need it. Customer service response times, support levels, and languages are all good to consider when wondering where to buy bitcoin.
    7. Geo-restriction
      Some exchanges might also not be fully available in your country. You’ll find a link for each of my picks to help you determine if you can use the exchange or not in your area.

    Takeaway: there are hundreds of exchanges from which you can buy bitcoin. Going forward, I’ll present you only those that we trust and use.

    You should choose your favorite option based on your personal preferences. In any case, I suggest you sign up to all of these exchanges (it should only take you a few minutes).

  • Our Favorite Exchanges to Buy Bitcoin

    Each of us at CryptoManiaks has been in the crypto sphere for a good long while. We experienced countless issues with liquidity, security, and customer service.

    As we’ve made mistakes, we’ve also learned. Here is the sum of our knowledge: a list of exchanges we use and trust.
     

    Coinbase

    By Coinbase, I mean Coinbase Pro. A LOT of people buy from Coinbase, but the main difference is the fee: 0.15% instead of 4%! That’s a big difference, especially if you end up buying and selling a lot of bitcoin, or if you trade bitcoin frequently.

    Coinbase Pro is a must-use exchange for anyone looking for an option to buy Bitcoin

    Pros:

    • Coinbase Pro is insured. FDIC insured in fact, up to $250,000 per individual. This brings an incredible peace of mind.
    • Coinbase offers an incredible level of security. Your cryptocurrencies are safe even in the event of a hack. Rest easy.
    • The fees are the lowest among the top exchanges.
    • Legal and regulated in every country they operate from.
    • Open to US residents and a lot more, including the UK and EU states.
    • Easy to use Interface. The site and mobile app are quick to understand and use.

    Cons:

    • You cannot use Coinbase Pro to its full potential from certain countries. Canadians, for example, cannot perform bank transfers -- only credit and debit cards with 4% fees are accessible.
    • No anonymity. Coinbase Pro is registered in the U.S.A. and therefore holds strictly to all AML and KYC laws. Even basic accounts need ID verification.
    Register an Account on Coinbase Today and receive $10 if you buy $100 or more worth of Bitcoin.

    More information

    • Check this article for information about fees.
    • Check this page for restricted countries and payment methods.
    • Check this guide to find out how to buy Bitcoin with the lowest fees possible.


    LocalBitcoins.com

    During my travels (I traveled around the world for 1 year on 1 Bitcoin), my favorite and best way to buy bitcoin -- and sell it too -- was through Localbitcoins. I was able to be anonymous, trade small to large amounts, and use local fiat currency. In Shenzhen, China (where BTC exchanges were and are illegal) for instance, I used localbitcoins to trade my BTC for local Yuan -- then paid freely for burgers and Biju (rice alcohol drink).

    Pros:

    • No need for ID verification. Preserve your anonymity.
    • Multiple payment methods: wire transfer, credit card, cash, etc.
    • Fast. You can buy online or meet a seller the same day.

    Cons

    • Stay safe. If buying in person -- meet at a public spot. If buying online, check the seller's reputation and reviews.
    • The prices fluctuate often, and there can be big markups depending on how you pay (cash vs. credit card).
    • Not insured. Since all transactions are person to person -- no one offers or can offer insurance.
    Register an account on LocalBitcoins Today to enjoy anonymous Bitcoin purchases


    Kraken

    190 countries and growing. 4 million clients. $140 billion in trades since 2011. Kraken has been around quite a while. They’ve dealt with their share of attempted hacks, and they’ve learned and grown -- always customer centric and focused. When looking for where to buy bitcoin -- this is also one of the best.

    Pros:

    • Secure. They offer 2FA and other measures of securing your account.
    • Higher fees than Coinbase Pro -- but only by a fraction. 0.16% rather than Coinbase’s 0.15%. Though they do have lower deposit fees ($5) vs. Coinbase ($10)
    • Kraken also serves users around the world. You can deposit and withdraw many fiat currencies (USD, CAD, EUR).

    Cons:

    • The user experience isn't for beginners. Kraken is geared more towards intermediate and advanced users with their layout and trading platforms.
    • Though Kraken is one of the most secure exchanges, they are not FDIC insured.

    More information

    Robinhood

    A fun name and a solid company overall. Robinhood are rather new to the cryptocurrency space, but they’ve been in traditional trading markets for a while. If you’re looking for the fastest way to buy bitcoin, this may be one of the top picks.

    Pros:

    • Trade crypto and traditional assets (Stocks, bonds, ETFs).
    • Trade crypto without commission fees! This may change in the future, but for now, this is a great promotional deal they offer.
    • Use the convenient Robinhood App. You can trade straight from your phone.

    Cons:

    • Limited to the top cryptocurrencies. Not as wide of a selection as many of the top exchanges.
    • They are not FDIC insured.
    • Available only for U.S. residents.
       

    Revolut

    Revolut has been taking Europe and the financial world by storm. They offer easy KYC checks, fast processing, low fees. They’re young but poised for great things.

    Pros:

    • Trade crypto while performing regular banking (transfers, payments, etc.)
    • Another company with a great, easy to use app.
    • Send crypto and fiat payments between Revolut users for free.
    • World-class customer service. They are a modern company and firmly believe in good customer service.
    • Low fees. Revolut does not charge commission. But be aware that they still make money by increasing the price above the market. Though they are great for buying Bitcoin with a credit card, they end up costing more than when you buy it through bank transfer.

    Cons:

    • Crypto limited to the top 5 currencies. Not as wide of a selection as many of the top exchanges, and even fewer than Robinhood. But for those who want to keep it simple -- it’s excellent.
    • Not insured.
    • Geo-restricted. They currently only support countries in the European Economic Area (EEA). But they say they'll be opening around the world soon!

    Even though you decide not to use Revolut to buy Bitcoin, I strongly suggest you try them for conventional banking -- you will not regret it.
     

    Honorable Mentions

    If you’re looking for more ways to buy Bitcoin than the 5 presented above, these are also good options:

  • Payment Methods Compared

    There's no such thing as 'one size fits all’ -- not in shirts, not in pants, and not in Bitcoin payments.

    So here is a short comparison of payment methods to help you determine which one fits your needs best.

    • Credit/Debit Card
      The easiest and fastest method. Easiest because you don't need to get up (except maybe to get your card to read the numbers). Fastest because it's like buying anything else with a credit card. Keep in mind the amount you can buy is relatively low (to prevent fraud), and the fees are high too (since credit card payments can be reversed and that's a risk for sellers).
    • Bank transfers
      A bit slow, but the amount you can buy is quite high. The fees are very low, especially on exchanges. Overall, one of the best methods to be a profitable cryptocurrency investor.
    • Cash
      The only way to buy Bitcoin anonymously. Credit cards and bank accounts are linked to your identity. Cash isn't. Using cash on a Bitcoin ATM can be relatively quick and easy. So can buying from someone on LocalBitcoins -- but neither are insured, and fees vary greatly.
    • PayPal
      It's probably the worst way to buy Bitcoin, quite frankly. The fees are high, the risk is high, no anonymity, and it can take longer. If you want to buy Bitcoin with Paypal, trade your Paypal money for cash or money into your bank, and use one of the other options.
  • The cheapest places to buy bitcoin

    Coinbase Pro is the way to go. They’re based in the U.S. but charge Asia prices when you buy Bitcoin with your bank account.

    After verifying your ID and linking your bank account, you can transfer funds back and forth, buy and sell, and generally use and experiment with Bitcoin for almost nothing.

    Don’t know how to use Coinbase Pro? Check out our guide to enjoy the lowest fees!

    Takeaway: If you want to buy Bitcoin with the cheapest fees possible, using your bank account to deposit funds is the way to go.

  • The safest way to buy bitcoin

    Once again, I must mention Coinbase Pro. Honestly. I’ve been a satisfied customer for a couple of years now.

    They keep my ID safe, my cryptocurrencies are secure, and their 2FA options are only one of the many security factors they offer. The exchange is licensed and regulated by U.S. laws, and my funds are insured. No hacks, no data breaches.

    If you want to buy Bitcoin safely, make sure the platform you choose is fully regulated and offers sufficient built-in security features.

  • The easiest way to buy bitcoin

    This depends on your situation. When all I have is a mobile phone around me, then I use Revolut (in Europe) and Robinhood (when I'm in the states).

    But when I'm at my desktop -- then Coinbase Pro is the easiest way to buy bitcoin.

  • The fastest way to buy Bitcoin

    What’s the fastest way to buy Bitcoin? An app that accepts payment in debit and credit cards. That way you can buy from your phone. Robinhood and Revolut answer that need.

    Another option is a BTM (short for ‘Bitcoin ATM’). Bitcoin ATMs are popping up in countries around the world. Even medium cities like Portland, Oregon (population 720,000) have a handful of BTM’s. These machines enable you to walk up, insert cash, and take out BTC.

    Cryptocurrency ATM Map
     
    Source: ForexNewsNow.com

     

  • How do I buy Bitcoin near me?

    BTMs are popping up across cities and countries worldwide. The easiest way to find them is by Coin ATM Radar.

    Some BTMs do require ID verification, however. Not all but some. This varies depending on state laws (in the US) and country or even city laws (outside the US). Be sure to Google your local BTM laws, or when you visit a BTM, read their guide before buying.

    Bitcoin ATMs

    Source: Coin ATM Radar
  • Buy Bitcoin Anonymously

    The days of buying Bitcoin anonymously are dwindling. People could go to Shapeshift or Changelly to purchase BTC anonymously -- once upon a time. These days, governments have begun to crack down, enforcing KYC and AML laws on most bitcoin buying platforms.

    The best way to buy Bitcoin anonymously now is to buy it directly from someone. You can do this by attending a Bitcoin meetup, if there is one in your area, and asking if anyone wants to trade -- or by searching through Localbitcoins.com for a seller with a solid reputation.

    For more information:
    Changelly now requires KYC checks

  • Buy Bitcoin with Paypal?

    Personally, and I know I speak for my fellow Cryptomaniaks here, I do not advise buying BTC with Paypal. First of all, it’s not possible to buy BTC with Paypal directly. Secondly, because you need to go through intermediaries, the fee can go up to 10% per trade.

    If you want to buy Bitcoin with Paypal, trade your Paypal money for money into your bank, and use one of the other options.

  • Best way to buy Bitcoin with a Credit/Debit Card

    The best way to buy bitcoin with a credit or debit card is to find a platform that offers excellent security, acceptable fees and that is convenient to use.

    Revolut (for EU residents) and Robinhood (for US residents) stand out. They are fast, secure, and have some of the lowest fees of the market when buying with a credit/debit card.

    Coinbase is also an excellent option, considering it’s available in a lot of countries.  

    If you prefer anonymity, you can buy cryptocurrencies with credit cards and debit cards at LocalBitcoins -- but the rates will be much higher.

  • Best way to buy Bitcoin with your Bank Account

    Coinbase Pro is, once again, the place to go. Using your bank account requires verifying your identity. But exchanges know how to make this process smooth and easy.

    Good alternatives are Kraken and Bittrex.

  • How to buy more cryptocurrencies, or ‘Altcoins’

    Most platforms allowing you to buy Bitcoin with fiat have a limited number of cryptocurrencies available. If you want to buy more cryptocurrencies, you'll have to use platforms that allow you to trade your Bitcoin for other cryptocurrencies.

    To buy more cryptocurrencies, Binance is the best exchange - and one of the biggest in the world. When searching for the best way to buy cryptocurrencies in general, altcoins of all sorts -- this exchange stands out.

    Pros:

    • Basic accounts do not need ID verification. Preserve your anonymity.
    • Binance goes to great lengths to ensure your security  
    • 100+ of the best altcoins available
    • Binance regularly updates its list of cryptocurrency available to keep its offering as qualitative as possible.
    • Low fees - 0.1% and lower.
    • They innovate constantly. For example, Binance has created its token named Binance Coin (BNB). If you own some, then your fees can be further reduced.

    Cons:

    • Not the best customer service.
    • Not insured.
    Register an Account on Binance Today to enjoy hundreds of trading pairs.

    Read more:
    Binance fees.

  • Bonus: Are you Looking to Buy a Specific Cryptocurrency?

    Searching for a specific coin? Did you get a hot tip to buy a new privacy coin like BEAM, or an Internet-of-Things cryptocurrency like IOTA?

    The technique we crypto maniaks like to use is:

    1. Go to Coinmarketcap.com
    2. Find and select your coin using the search bar
    3. Click on the “markets” tab to see which exchanges list this coin
    4. Sign up at the biggest one and buy the coin you’re chasing. Note: You should always check an exchange’s reputation before using it.

  • See you on the other side!

    There you have it, a full and comprehensive list of the best way to buy Bitcoin in 2019 -- according to your preferences.

    If you want to fast track through cryptocurrency investing, we also offer a premium course on cryptocurrency investing. The course will guide from A to Z and includes all the knowledge you need to become a solid cryptocurrency investor in no time. And since you made it so far throughout this guide and proved you’re serious about investing in Bitcoin, here’s a reward: use the promo code “SeriousCrypto” to get $20 off the regular price!

    Take our Premium Course on How to Invest in Cryptocurrencies Today!

    Remember: buying Bitcoin is the fastest way to enter the fascinating cryptocurrency space and learn about it. Once you own some Bitcoin, you’ll discover a lot of new opportunities. So make sure to take action - I’m sure you won’t regret it.

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Posted by R.R. Hauxley

R.R. Hauxley traveled around the world ... on 1 Bitcoin. 18 countries, 12 months, 1 Bitcoin. Along the way he met and interviewed the sharpest, brightest minds in crypto today: Vitalik Buterin, Charlie Lee, and more. These travels solidified in him the truth: cryptocurrencies will set us free. Today Rafael educates the crypto curious and continues investing in refreshing, innovative, success driven projects.

Comments

Isaac Ojogwa
Thanks for sharing well enlighten and an eye opener to both newbie and pro. No one knows it all when it comes to cryptocurrency...crypto is a wild wild west. What i enjoy most is the takeaway using your bank account to deposit fund.

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