Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, has grown astronomically in value over the past decade. Colombia has maintained a very cautious approach towards cryptocurrencies all this while, having implemented no particular law for their regulation. Nevertheless, it’s fairly easy to buy Bitcoin in the country today, through a wide network of Bitcoin ATMs, crypto exchanges and broker platforms. You can buy Bitcoin in Colombia using different payment methods including, bank transfer, credit/debit cards, and Paypal. This guide will go through the various aspects of buying Bitcoin in the country.
If you wish to buy Bitcoin, there are multiple options.
Exchanges are platforms that allow you to purchase coins and tokens directly. In other words, you will buy actual Bitcoins that you can withdraw to your Bitcoin wallet and use with online merchants. The downside of doing this is that, if the coins’ price drops, you will experience losses, unless you sell quickly. However, the main point of buying coins is to invest in them, store them for long term, or use them.
Brokers, on the other hand, are a better option if you wish to trade. Bitcoin’s volatile price has excellent trading potential. After all, the point of trading is to use price changes to make a quick profit. Since cryptos are so volatile, using this quality of theirs has attracted many to the crypto industry. But, instead of buying coins and tokens, learning how to safely store them, and alike — traders usually go to brokers and trade crypto derivatives.
This comes with several advantages. For example, you get to trade with leverage, meaning that you can invest a small amount of your own money, and buy a large amount of tokens. This can secure massive rewards, although the risks of losing your investment are also increased. Another advantage is that you don’t have to deal with the coins themselves, store them, or worry about them being stolen, or lost. Finally, you don’t have to worry about dropping prices.
You see, if you buy coins, and the price drops, you will only own coins whose value is lower than when you bought them. If you trade derivatives, the goal is to predict the price movement, whether positive or negative. As long as your prediction is correct, you will earn money, even if the price goes down. With all of that in mind, here are some of the best platforms for trading and investing that we could find.
As per Coin ATM Radar, there are a total of 38 Bitcoin ATMs installed in Colombia, with 26 of them present in the Colombian capital of Bogotá alone. These ATMs are the easiest and best places to buy Bitcoin in the country. Not only do most of them let you conveniently buy the cryptocurrency using cash, but you can also sell your Bitcoin through them. Besides these, it’s also possible to buy Bitcoin from reputed trading platforms operating in the country, with quite a few dedicated to the Latin American region.
Cryptocurrency brokers perform the task of connecting Bitcoin buyers with the rest of the crypto market and charge a small fee for their service. Colombia has various international and local Bitcoin brokers operating in the country. Seasoned professionals with multiple years of brokerage experience under their belts, specifically in the Latin American market, are at the helm of affairs at these platforms. Read below to learn more on how to use these brokers to successfully buy Bitcoin in Colombia.
You should select a broker in Colombia after having compared different platforms based on their payment methods, supported currencies, rates, safety measures, transaction limits, customer support, reputation and regulatory status. Registration is easy and usually involves the input of some basic information such as your address, full name, valid email ID and contact number.
Identity verification is the next important step after registering with the broker and normally involves uploading a government-issued photo ID card, for instance, a passport, national ID card or a driving license, to the platform. Some brokers may even ask you to upload a separate proof of address, usually in the form of a utility bill. Please note, regulated brokers that make such verifications mandatory, in compliance with their KYC norms, are far safer to transact with than unregulated portals.
There are many different ways in which you can deposit funds into your account with a crypto brokerage platform in Colombia. Regulated service providers are usually receptive to more payment options including credit/debit cards, prepaid cards, bank transfers and third-party platforms such as PayPal. Some of them even permit deposits made in the local Colombian Pesos (COPs).
Trading Bitcoin through a brokerage platform generally entails opening long and short positions using either the actual BTC or a derivative product like CFD. You open a long position if you expect the Bitcoin price to increase, and a short position if you believe that its price will drop instead, in the near future.
Trading through a platform like eToro for example, you buy the actual Bitcoin when you open a long position without leverage. If Bitcoin’s price increases, you close your position at an appropriate time, making some profit for yourself.
On the other hand, taking a short position involves using a derivative product like a CFD to bet on the cryptocurrency’s price drop, with no actual Bitcoin exchange involved. Your profit/loss is the price difference between the opening and closing Bitcoin CFD trades.
There are various order types like trailing stop-loss order, limit order, stop-loss order and market order that can be used for manually/automatically entering and exiting the trades at strategic moments, thus booking profits and restricting losses just at the right time.
An open long/short Bitcoin position can be closed either manually or automatically once the target price has been achieved. Manual closure is done directly on the trading platform but it can also be automated by defining some price points during the trade setup such as stop-loss and take-profit points. To explain with an example, if you go long on Bitcoin, you could specify a stop-loss point to close the trade as soon as the BTC price drops down to the stop-loss level, protecting you from a bigger loss. A take-profit point can be set too, at which the trade will automatically close once the Bitcoin price appreciates to that level, thus securing your profit.
With so many different local and global crypto exchanges operating in Colombia, it can get overwhelming to pick the right one for your needs. If you’d like to buy Bitcoin with the Colombian Peso, you should select a local portal that offers a BTC/COP trading pair. Let's discuss how you can use crypto exchanges in Colombia to make an easy purchase of Bitcoin.
While many regular Bitcoin traders save their coins in exchange-provided web wallets, it is always advisable to move your cryptocurrencies to an external wallet. Below are two major cryptocurrency wallet types that you can use:
Software wallets – Available as software applications run on laptops, desktop computers and mobile phones, these are compatible with all well-known operating systems like Windows, iOS and Android. Their constant internet connectivity makes them a type of a hot wallet, and exposes them to hacking attempts.
Hardware wallets – These cryptocurrency wallets come in the form of small USB-sized physical devices, capable of storing Bitcoin and other digital assets in an off-line environment. You can even connect them to the internet whenever required and move funds comfortably.
You can choose from various local and international cryptocurrency exchanges in Colombia. However, they all differ based on their fee structure, security measures, user-interfaces, available trading pairs, regulatory aspect, customer care and offered payment options. Make sure that the one you choose is a well-regulated portal, licensed by a leading authority. This will ensure the safety of your funds.
Your choice of payment method on a crypto exchange will depend on multiple factors including its availability, speed, cost and convenience. Most Colombian crypto exchanges allow you to buy Bitcoin with a credit card, debit card, bank transfers, and PayPal. There are certain pros and cons associated with each payment method. For example, bank transfers are cheap but have a longer processing time, whereas credit/debit card transactions are swift, but involve a higher fee.
It’s quite easy to place an order to buy Bitcoin on a crypto exchange. Simply locate a trading pair like BTC/COP, BTC/USD, BTC/ETH and BTC/XRP that best suits your requirements, review the current exchange rate, enter the amount of BTC you’d like to buy, and click the ‘Buy’ button to execute the trade. It’s possible to buy Bitcoin instantly at the existing market rate, using a ‘Market Order’ or at a rate specified by you using a ‘Limit Order’.
Frequent Bitcoin traders prefer keeping their BTC in exchange wallets to ensure their ready availability, for regular trading needs. However, long-term investors often transfer their purchased BTC from the exchange to an external wallet. While it’s preferred for security reasons to move BTC from exchange to an independent crypto wallet, doing so is optional and entirely up to you. Such a transfer can be done using the withdrawal option on the exchange platform’s dashboard. Enter the amount of BTC to be transferred and the recipient wallet address, and you’re all set.
A large number of people opt to buy Bitcoin with cash in Colombia. This can be done either through any of the 49 Bitcoin ATMs installed across the country, or through P2P trading platforms that accept deposits in cash. We’d like to stress here that dealing with unknown platforms for cash purchases of Bitcoin can prove to be very risky. It’s always better to buy through a regulated portal. There are several Peer to Peer (P2P) exchanges serving the country that accept cash deposits and hold funds in an escrow account. The funds are released only after confirmation of the Bitcoin transaction by both the parties (buyer and seller).
All businesses engaged in crypto-related businesses in Colombia need to abide by the rules laid out by one of Colombia’s top financial regulators called the Financial Superintendence of Colombia (SFC). In a fresh move to create a regulated environment for trading of cryptocurrencies in the country, SFC initiated a crypto-asset transactions pilot programme in 2021. As per this programme, some of the most prominent Colombian banks are working in alliance with the nation’s biggest crypto exchanges, inside a newly constructed regulatory sandbox, for a trial period of one year. The step is believed to be in the right direction, and is expected to create a more transparent crypto trading environment for everyone.
Below are 3 useful tips that if followed correctly can help to ensure a cost-efficient, timely and safe Bitcoin purchase in Colombia.
Doing your share of due diligence is critical to entering the market at the right time and buying BTC at the best possible price. This can be done by studying the historical price movements of Bitcoin, and factoring in the various fundamental & technical factors capable of impacting its future price.
Transacting on any cryptocurrency exchange or broker will involve some charges like deposit fees, withdrawal fees, commissions, spreads and transaction charges, that will vary from platform to platform. You must compare all such costs before selecting a specific online exchange for your Bitcoin purchase. Select an exchange that offers you the best service and suits your budget.
It is very crucial that you carefully study the safety and security measures taken by the crypto exchange or broker, before signing up with it, for your Bitcoin purchase. Regulated service providers are preferred in this regard as it’s compulsory for them to comprehensively secure their platforms, to maintain their licences. If required, add additional security layers such as 2FA to further protect your funds.
While most trading platforms will accept major international fiat currency including USD, GBP and EUR, the local ones will also facilitate easy Colombian Peso deposits. However, it’s important to remember that these platforms may later convert your deposited COP into USD or some stablecoin like USDT, for easy trading. But by doing so, they may also bring the prevailing exchange rates into consideration. Though negligible, these charges must still be factored into your overall Bitcoin investment.
One thing to note is that payment options are different from platform to platform, so it pays to learn what options are available on your platform of choice before engaging with it. Some of the most popular methods of buying Bitcoin include the following:
Buy Bitcoin with Cash — This is a popular method, but only possible through Bitcoin ATMs or peer-to-peer platforms.
Buy Bitcoin with Credit Card — This is typically the most common method of buying Bitcoin, but also the most expensive due to high credit card fees.
Buy Bitcoin with Bank Transfer — Bank transfers are also a very popular method as they are very cheap, but they can take a while to be processed.
Buy Bitcoin with PayPal — Since PayPal doesn’t support exchanges, you can only use it on P2P platforms, where you pay to another user directly, and they use the platform to send you coins.
Buy Bitcoin with Crypto — The fastest and easiest way to buy Bitcoin is to exchange another crypto for it, but this requires having another coin beforehand.
Use a Bitcoin ATM to Buy BTC: As highlighted earlier, there are 49 Bitcoin ATMs in Colombia, where you can easily Buy BTC whenever you need. Of these, 29 are in Bogota, 6 in Medelin, 3 in Pereira, and 3 in Bucaramanga.
Other Ways to Get Bitcoin: You can also obtain BTC through Bitcoin mining in Colombia. It’s possible to indirectly invest in Bitcoin as well, using Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that track BTC’s price movements. Other ways to acquire the cryptocurrency are to accept it as payment for goods & services.
Colombia is gradually opening up to cryptocurrencies, and is in the process of setting up a regulatory framework for their easy trading in the country. Crypto operators are allowed to offer services as long as they follow guidelines laid out by the SFC. You can easily buy and sell Bitcoin in Colombia today by using the detailed information provided in this article.
Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency, and the largest crypto brand in the world. When it was created, it was with the idea of it becoming the decentralised currency that the whole world would someday switch to and potentially fully abandon fiat currencies. Of course, its limited technology makes this impossible. It is slow and unable to scale, so being a currency of the future is likely not something that should be expected.
But, Bitcoin can still take up the role of gold, and become the store of value. In fact, it is perfect for this role due to its scarcity, ease of use and transfer, decentralisation, transparency, and other beneficial features. With that in mind, it would definitely be profitable to buy it now, when its price is barely above $30,000.
In Colombia, individuals are allowed to buy and own Bitcoin. However, businesses, institutions, banks, and alike, are not permitted to use BTC. Colombia has had a rather negative stance towards crypto businesses for a better part of a decade now.
It has prohibited banks from offering services to crypto businesses all the way back in 2014. This negative position makes it a bit difficult to run a crypto business in the country, and some of them were forced to close over the years. The country has also warned its retail investors and traders against crypto, but it doesn’t have a law that makes crypto illegal. Instead, regulators are coming up with KYC procedures that will make the industry in the country more transparent by allowing the authorities to know who crypto users are. That way, the government aims to discourage using cryptocurrencies for any illicit activities without eliminating their use for its entire population.
Unfortunately, there are no real options other than investing and trading. As mentioned, Colombia has had a negative stance towards cryptocurrency businesses, and local merchants would likely not be able to accept crypto even if they wanted to.
But, you can still use Bitcoin ATMs in Colombia to buy and sell BTC with cash. There are ATMs in multiple locations in Colombia, so you might find them easier to access than you expected.
This depends on what you wish to do. If you want to trade Bitcoin, you should use a broker since they allow you to trade derivatives, so you get to earn whether the price is dropping or rising. But, if you want to buy actual coins and store them for the long-term, then it is better to do that on exchanges.
It is for some people. If you have the discipline and patience to wait for years in order for your investment to pay off, then by all means, go for it. If you wish to see quick but smaller profits, then trading is a better option.
Ideally, your goal is to buy Bitcoin when its price is low, and sell when it goes back up. That way, you stand to make a profit. Of course, the trick is discovering when the price will reach its lowest point, and to do that, you need to make use of various price prediction tools, and combine the data with crypto trading and investment strategies.