How to buy crypto

It’s high time to increase your financial literacy and learn how to deal with crypto assets. Let’s start with a purchase process

how to buy crypto

How to buy crypto. Source: unsplash.com

While crypto is one of the buzzwords of the 21st century, many of us still encounter digital currencies only in the mass media. Among 65 countries covered by the Statista Global Consumer Survey, the rates of crypto adoption ranged from 4% to 32%, with European countries scoring below 11%. At the same time, all the major financial institutions are working on crypto payments infrastructure. It means that the best-performing assets of the last decade finally have a chance to become mainstream.

Places to buy

Crypto exchanges are the most popular and convenient resources to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. With Coinbase and Coinbase Pro leading the competition, there are dozens of other crypto marketplaces for any taste and occasion. We have already described the top 10 crypto exchanges globally, so the choice is up to you.

However, specialized crypto platforms are not the only possible solution. Many trading and investment websites also offer cryptocurrencies to buy. Thus, Robinhood doesn’t charge any commission fees on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other crypto purchases. TradeStation has also rolled out direct currency trading via TradeStation Crypto. Its commission for traders ranges between 0,25%-1%. The advantage is that you can easily move between all trading platforms offered by TradeStation companies. For instance, you may combine crypto investments with stocks, ETFs, options, and futures using TradeStation Securities.

TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Interactive Brokers are the top full-service brokers on the market. They don’t only offer access to traditional products such as stocks and bonds but have expanded their offering to include Bitcoin futures. Bitcoin futures allow investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without having to hold the underlying cryptocurrency. These derivative financial products enable traders to wager upon the future price of an asset before agreeing to buy it on a specified date.

The users of the PayPal app in the US must have already noticed the recently added Crypto section. Users can now buy cryptocurrencies using their PayPal Cash or Cash Plus balance, or a PayPal-linked debit card or bank account. The newest update features Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. The company also plans to let customers use crypto to make daily purchases from its partner network of 26 million retailers.

Square enabled crypto trading back in mid-2018. The users of Square’s Cash App can buy, sell, withdraw, and deposit Bitcoin. This move was an excellent decision of the corporate management. The revenue generated from Cash App’s Bitcoin segment accounted for 80% of the app’s total revenue in 2020.

Those who prefer cash transactions can exchange national currencies for Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and other popular cryptos at Bitcoin ATMs. Though they aren’t omnipresent, chances are you have one in your city. You can locate the nearest Bitcoin ATM at Coinatmradar. Other variants of crypto-for-cash exchange services are also described there in detail.

Finally, some digital banks like Wirex, Ally Bank, or Simple bank allow making Bitcoin purchases either directly or via third-party partners. As for traditional banks, crypto services are only starting to show on the horizon. Namely, a few days ago, Visa announced it is piloting a suite of APIs that will allow banks to offer Bitcoin services. The trading will occur via its partner, Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank. Digital bank First Boulevard is the first bank involved in the pilot; whereas Visa issued a waitlist for other banks eager to join.

Buying on crypto exchanges

Buying on crypto exchanges. Source: pixabay.com

In order to make legit purchases on crypto exchanges, you need to register first. Creating an account usually requires personal data (Name, DOB, address, etc.), contact details, a copy of ID for verification, and answering a few KYC questions about your income, employment, etc. At the registration stage, you’ll be also prompted to link valid payment means (those would differ for every exchange and be region-specific).

The next step-by-step instructions are based on the Coinbase interface. However, with most crypto exchanges the process would be similar.

  • After you sign in, look for the Buy/Sell button. For instance, on Coinbase it’s situated on the upper right-hand side. In its mobile app, the exchange sign with two reverse arrows on the blue background is found at the bottom.
  • Select the asset you’d like to purchase in the dropdown field.
  • Enter the amount you’d like to buy denominated either in crypto or your local currency.
  • Select your payment method.
  • Click Preview Buy to check the details and confirm your purchase or go back to correct the order.
  • Click Buy to complete your purchase.

Some crypto exchanges also allow choosing between a one-time purchase and recurring crypto purchases with a set schedule.

Buying crypto from full-service brokers

When you deal with fintech solutions like Robinhood, registration is also needed for starters. Since full-service brokers offer various types of assets, after signing in you’ll need to look for the Crypto section or find the name of a crypto asset you’d like to purchase in the common list.

To buy crypto on Robinhood,

  • Navigate to the cryptocurrency’s Detail page.
  • In mobile versions: tap Trade – Buy – Order Types. Select your preferred order type. Confirm your order. Swipe up to submit it.
  • On the webpage: enter the amount you’d like to purchase into the order window on the right side of the screen, click Review, and confirm your order.

Buy crypto at ATMs

Before you buy cryptocurrencies at Bitcoin ATMs, you need to set up a dedicated crypto wallet to store your assets. Free bitcoin wallets are available for all major operating systems and devices. A simple test from Bitcoin.org will help you find the one that suits your needs.

Once you have it installed, walk to the nearest crypto ATM, and look for an icon representing the cryptocurrency you would like to purchase. Select the purchase amount. Most ATMs would have certain purchase limits. If you go over the limitations, you are required to register for an ATM account.

Next, open your digital wallet, and scan the QR code for your wallet address destination. Check it after scanning. If everything is correct, insert cash and press Buy.

Buy crypto with banking apps

If you use Square’s Cash App, the process of buying bitcoin is the following:

  • Tap the Investing tab on your Cash App home screen.
  • Tap Bitcoin.
  • Press Buy.
  • Select an amount or tap … to enter a custom amount.
  • Enter your PIN and select Confirm.

In some cases, you may also need to enter additional geographical information.

It is possible to buy, sell and transfer Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and XRP on Wirex. These four supported cryptocurrencies can be bought using GBP via bank transfers and PayPal and stored in a Wirex web-based crypto wallet. Wirex users can also attach a 3DS debit or credit card to their account in-app.

Then they need to place an order for how much money they want to convert into Bitcoin or Litecoin. On clicking the confirmation button, the BTC/LTC transfer goes to the customer’s unique crypto wallet accounts.

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