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How to Buy Bitcoin (BTC) in 3 Simple Steps

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Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency that showed us the benefits of a peer-to-peer digital currency. Although it has inspired thousands of other projects, Bitcoin is still the most popular cryptocurrency. This guide will take you through how to purchase BTC for yourself and why it has had such a huge impact.

3 Steps to Buy Bitcoin

1. Choose a broker or exchange

To start your Bitcoin buying journey, you will need to sign up with a broker or exchange that offers it. There are lots of these but select a regulated and reputable platform if you want to keep your coins safe. We’ve compared the best later in this guide but if you want to get started right away, you can sign up with our top choice here.

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2. Create and fund your account 

Once you have selected a platform, fill in your name and personal information on the registration form to create an account. Regulated platforms may also ask you for a photo ID before your account can be verified. After that, you can go to the deposit page and select one of the accepted payment method options to fund your account.

3. Buy Bitcoin

Search the platform for the Bitcoin trading pair relevant to you (this will be BTC/USD if you have just deposited US Dollars) and enter how much you wish to purchase in a buy order. A market order means buying BTC immediately at the current price, while a limit order means BTC will be bought automatically once it reaches your chosen price.

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What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a decentralised, peer-to-peer digital payment network that allows value to be transferred in the form of the world’s first cryptocurrency—BTC. It can be used to send money to anyone anywhere in the world, to facilitate online payments, and as a store of value for investors.

Bitcoin revolutionised finance through decentralisation, showing that central authorities that dictate what you can do and intermediaries like banks that charge you fees aren’t needed for a payment system to flourish. 

Instead, Bitcoin can be transacted directly between people, regardless of geographical borders, bank opening hours, or the amount transferred. Nobody owns or controls Bitcoin—the code is open-source, anyone can contribute, and the network collectively manages transactions and issues bitcoins.

This is because Bitcoin transactions are stored on a shared public ledger—the blockchain. The network verifies the transactions, with the integrity and security of the system guaranteed by cryptography.

For a more detailed look at what Bitcoin is and its invention visit our main Bitcoin Page.

Ways to Invest in Bitcoin

You can buy Bitcoin for the short term or the long term. Both options have the potential to be profitable and it is simply a matter of personal goals and preferences which you choose. We’ll explore both in more detail below.

Buy and hold Bitcoin

This is the most straightforward of all strategies—you simply buy some Bitcoin and hold it in the hope that it will become more valuable over time. 

There is no need to constantly monitor the market or learn technical analysis to succeed; hardly any time or effort is required to potentially make a profit from buying and holding.

Best Bitcoin wallets

When holding onto Bitcoin for the long term, it can be advantageous to transfer your coins to a private wallet. This means you have full control over your assets and it can provide a bit of extra security.

Hardware wallets like Trezor, BitBox, and Ledger are the most secure option, but they can be a bit expensive and may take some getting used to. Smaller investors may prefer the more user-friendly software wallets that can be downloaded for desktop or mobile for free.

Trade Bitcoin

The price of Bitcoin can be highly volatile. This is something that traders can take advantage of by buying and selling it much more frequently to generate regular profits. This requires more time and effort than investing, as well as skills such as technical analysis. 

In addition to the analysis, there is a choice of what to trade for Bitcoin. As well as using traditional fiat currency, like USD, traders can also use other cryptocurrencies to swap for BTC. Popular coins to trade for bitcoin include Ethereum, Litecoin and, Bitcoin Cash.

Bitcoin Traders often choose to use web wallets, which are provided for free by exchanges. Although web wallets are less secure than the aforementioned private wallets, they are much more convenient for those making regular trades.

Mine Bitcoin

As well as being able to buy Bitcoin instantly with a credit or debit card on cryptocurrency exchanges you can also mine Bitcoin. This process is how all Bitcoins are added to the network and it involves using computer hardware to solve cryptographic problems; these problems increase in difficulty over time. Investment in hardware and electricity makes mining Bitcoin far more difficult than to just simply purchase Bitcoin. If you're still interested take a look at our How to Mine Bitcoin Guide.

Should I Buy Bitcoin Now?

You will have to make this decision for yourself based on the information available. One of the most attractive aspects of Bitcoin for investors is its capped supply of 21 million BTC. Once all of these coins have entered circulation, no more will ever be created, which could make Bitcoin a better store of value than fiat currencies which are subject to inflation.

Governments may have some impact on the price of Bitcoin. While stifling crypto legislation may have adverse effects on Bitcoin’s value in the short term, a better-regulated crypto market could ultimately inspire confidence in Bitcoin among more investors.

The actions of large companies could also be important. Companies choosing to accept BTC payments provide more utility for and awareness of Bitcoin. Meanwhile, institutional Bitcoin investment results in large purchases of BTC and can drive more retail investment, as we saw following Tesla’s Bitcoin investment.

As Bitcoin awareness grows, ever more companies are getting involved and even whole countries such as El Salvador. All this enthusiasm would appear to suggest that Bitcoin will keep its crown as the top cryptocurrency for a long time to come.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Mining is how Bitcoin transactions are processed and the network kept secure. Miners use computers—usually computers that have been specially designed for Bitcoin mining called application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). These computers compete to process the next block of transactions by solving a cryptographic puzzle. The result can then be verified by the rest of the network. Miners are rewarded for their work with block rewards, which are new bitcoins emitted at each block.
  2. No. Staking is the means of securing a Proof of Stake blockchain, but Bitcoin is a Proof of Work blockchain and so is secured by mining.
  3. Initially, the block reward for Bitcoin miners was 50 BTC per block. Every 210,000 blocks (approximately four years), the block reward halves in an event known as a “halving”.
  4. The next Bitcoin halving is expected to take place in early 2024. The last halving happened in May 2020.
  5. All BTC are expected to have been mined by about 2140.

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