There is a growing number of individuals and businesses today that use cryptocurrency. This digital asset is not only seen as a new kind of money but also as a new innovation that paves the way to expanding possibilities in the payment and monetary ecosystem.
One of the most popular among the thousands of cryptocurrencies available today is bitcoin. It is currently the leading digital currency in terms of market capitalization. At the time of writing, bitcoin’s circulating supply is more than 17,900,000 BTC so you might be thinking of how you can buy bitcoin for your investment portfolio.
With its maximum supply of 21,000,000 BTC, this leading cryptocurrency is also considered as scarce. This unique characteristic also makes bitcoin very appealing to traders and crypto enthusiasts, for this affects bitcoin’s price or value.
If you are one of those folks who want to enter the crypto sphere and explore more about bitcoin, there are plenty of things to consider. One of these is knowing where to buy bitcoin. There are plenty of ways on how you can acquire bitcoins and one of these is through buying.
Purchasing bitcoin can be done through centralized exchanges, decentralized or peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges, bitcoin automated teller machines (ATMs), and bitcoin meetups.
Centralized exchanges are platforms where cryptocurrencies can be bought and sold. For investors, this platform is important, for this is where they buy, sell, and trade their cryptocurrencies.
Some might marvel on the concept of these exchanges being “centralized” while bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are known to be “decentralized.” Centralized exchanges function with the aid of a third party in conducting and processing cryptocurrency transactions.
This type of exchange platform provides monitoring and security for users who are not able to complete the transaction on their own. The third party or middle man connects one user to a network of users on the platform to find trading partners.
Decentralized or peer-to-peer exchanges
Unlike centralized exchanges that use a third party or middleman to conduct and process cryptocurrency transactions, peer-to-peer (P2P) or decentralized exchanges allow the users to scout for a trade that best suits their need. Users are free to choose their own trading partner and check whether or not the vendor or buyer’s offer and terms work for them.
Although these exchanges don’t use a third party or middleman service per se, they make use of an escrow service that acts as a third-party service—keeping the bitcoin safe. Escrow serves as a safe deposit account where bitcoin is placed during the trade. Bitcoins are released from escrow once the transaction is marked complete.
Users in P2P exchanges often interact with one another directly and process their trade on their chosen platform, with their own terms and conditions. During a trade, it is only the vendor and buyer who are involved inside the transaction. A moderator arbitrator will only enter the trade should there be any filed dispute that needs to be resolved.
This kind of platform also often offers a wide variety of payment options. If you want to buy bitcoin with Paypal, gift cards from hundreds of stores, and others, you can do so through P2P exchanges.
Like traditional or fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies also now make use of ATMs. It is now possible to acquire the leading cryptocurrency, not by going through the tough process of mining, but by using a bitcoin ATM.
Through a bitcoin ATM, users can buy bitcoins using either cash or debit card. Some also offer exchanges of bitcoin to cash. It functions just like the fiat ATMs and is now available in different parts of the world. The data from Statista.com shows that there are over 5,450 bitcoin ATMs globally as of September 2019.
This goes to show that it is widely used by bitcoin holders globally and is still expected to grow in number in the following years.
Just like any other meetups, bitcoin meetups are gathering or assembly of people who have the same interest in bitcoin. This is usually dubbed as a community where individuals aim not only to buy, sell, and trade, but also to know further the technology behind it.
Since the people who are attending the said meetup have the same interest for bitcoin, they do cryptocurrency and blockchain presentations.
These meetups have workshops on learning how to buy, sell, trade, hold, and mine bitcoin. This allows the opportunity to do actual cryptocurrency buying and selling, gain hands-on trading tips, and have a network of bitcoin traders.
Bitcoin meetups happen in different parts of the world. Some of the most active places for such assembly are in New York City, Toronto, San Francisco, Singapore, Argentina, Switzerland, and others.
Before you buy bitcoin
The cryptocurrency environment is fun and exciting to explore. If you plan to engage in the world of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you must get yourself familiar with its ways and processes, most especially in doing bitcoin transactions such as buying, selling, and trading.
While this list only has four ways, there are still more means on how you can buy bitcoin. The key is to know which among these ways is the most convenient and effective for you.