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How to buy Bitcoin in Germany

Step-by-step instructions for getting started with Bitcoin (BTC) in Germany.

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With Bitcoin reaching new all-time-highs in 2021, many buyers in Germany are looking to enter the market for the first time. We’ve put together this simple guide to help you do so safely and securely.

1. Compare crypto exchanges

The easiest way to buy Bitcoin is from a cryptocurrency exchange. Use the comparison table below to find one with the features you want such as low fees, ease of use or 24-hour customer support.

2. Create an account

To create an account on an exchange you will need to verify your email address and identity. Have some photo ID and your phone ready.

3. Make a deposit

Once verified, you can deposit EUR using the payment method that best suits you – bank transfer, debit card, wire transfer and credit cards are all widely accepted.

4. Buy Bitcoin

You can now exchange your funds for Bitcoin. On easier-to-use exchanges, this is as convenient as entering the amount you want to purchase and clicking “buy.” If you like you can now withdraw your Bitcoin to your personal wallet.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

Where to buy Bitcoin in Germany

You can compare Bitcoin exchanges and brokers available in Germany here.

1 - 15 of 15
Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies
FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange
FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Wire transfer, Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), Signature SIGNET
USD,EUR,GBP,AUD,HKD,SGD,TRY,ZAR,CAD,CHF,BRL

264
cryptocurrencies

Sign up through Finder for a 5% discount on all trading fees. T&Cs apply.
FTX is an exchange built by traders for traders, with a range of derivatives markets such as options and futures with deep leverage, in addition to standard spot markets. Note: Not available for US customers.
Bit.com Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bit.com Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
USD

29
cryptocurrencies

Start trading options, futures and perpetual contracts now! New users get up to $245 in trading coupons.
Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH, PHP, CZK & 20+ more

371
cryptocurrencies

Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: As of September 2019, US-based users can only trade USD on the American dollar onramp of Binance, Binance.US.
UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading services, Binance offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
eToro Cryptocurrency Trading
Bank transfer, Debit card, Neteller, PayPal, Online banking, Skrill
EUR, GBP, NZD, USD, AUD, CAD, HKD, SGD, CHF, NOK & 5+ more

74
cryptocurrencies

Disclaimer: Volatile investment product. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Copy the trades of leading cryptocurrency investors on this unique social investment platform. $50 minimum deposit.
Uphold Digital Money Platform
Bank transfer (ACH), Credit card, Debit card
USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, CAD, CNY, JPY, SGD, INR, NZD & 10+ more

125
cryptocurrencies

Buy, send and convert from 27 currencies in seconds, all on one platform.
Changelly Crypto-to-Crypto Exchange
Changelly Crypto-to-Crypto Exchange
Credit card, Cryptocurrency
USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, MXN, HKD, RUB, NZD, SGD, JPY & 40+ more

156
cryptocurrencies

Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for 150+ cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.
Okcoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Okcoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Epay, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA, Prime X
USD, EUR, SGD

70
cryptocurrencies

Get $50 worth of BTC when you buy $3000 or more in crypto.
Buy, sell and earn cryptocurrency with this user-friendly exchange and smartphone app.
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA, Faster Payments (FPS)
USD, EUR, GBP

61
cryptocurrencies

A global cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates crypto to fiat transactions, where you can use EUR or USD to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins.
Gate.io Cryptocurrency Exchange
Gate.io Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, GBP, HKD, SGD, AUD, CHF, MXN

1102
cryptocurrencies

Finder exclusive: New users get $90 worth of Gate.IO points and an airdrop of $5 in GateTokens if trade volume exceeds $100 in their first week. T&Cs apply.
A feature-rich exchange with over 1,000 tokens including derivatives, yield farming and lending products. Eligible countries only.
Bybit Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bybit Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Simplex, Banxa, XanPool, MoonPay, Mercuryo, E-check, Legend Trading, Capitual
USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, NZD, HKD, JPY, SGD, PHP and more

198
cryptocurrencies

Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Buy, sell, trade and earn hundreds of cryptos on this full-featured global trading platform.
justTrade
Sutor Bank
EUR

12
cryptocurrencies

Trade 10+ cryptocurrencies without any third-party fees and wallet fees.
Vivid Money Cryptocurrency Exchange
Apple Pay, Google Pay
EUR

11
cryptocurrencies

Instantly purchase 50+ cryptocurrencies from as little as 0.01 EUR from this all-in-one digital bank.
Wirex Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, PayPal
EUR, GBP, CAD, CZK, HUF, PLN, RON, HRK, USD

58
cryptocurrencies

Get a Welcome Bonus of USD 15 in WXT when you sign up with Wirex through Finder. T&Cs apply.
Spend a range of cryptocurrencies anywhere Visa is accepted with the Wirex Crypto Card and earn rewards.
Nuri Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Debit card, SEPA
EUR

2
cryptocurrencies

Nuri offers crypto-friendly German bank accounts, letting you buy, sell and earn interest on cryptocurrencies and spend it around the world with the Nuri debit card. Euro deposits are guaranteed under the DGS.
Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK, DKK, CLP, BGN & 10+ more

174
cryptocurrencies

Get £5 free with your first trade. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell major cryptocurrencies on one of the world's most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges.
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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the world’s oldest and biggest digital currency by market cap. Created in 2009 by an unknown person (or persons) using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is a form of decentralised electronic cash designed to provide a viable alternative to traditional fiat currency.

Rather than having to deal with a centralised authority such as a bank to process transactions, Bitcoin holders in Germany can transfer their coins directly to one another on a peer-to-peer network. All Bitcoin transactions are tracked on a public ledger known as the blockchain, and people working as miners verify transactions and update the blockchain.

bitcoin

The maximum coin supply of Bitcoin is limited to 21 million, but it’s possible to buy a small fraction of a coin – each individual coin can be divided down to 0.00000001 BTC.

Find out more about how Bitcoin works in our comprehensive beginner’s guide.

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A step-by-step guide to buying Bitcoin in Germany

You can buy Bitcoin in Germany in three simple steps:

Step 1. Choose a Bitcoin wallet

Before you can buy Bitcoin in Geramany, you’ll need to set up a digital wallet where you can safely store your coins. Bitcoin wallets don’t actually hold any coins, but instead, store the private keys you need to access your public Bitcoin address and sign transactions.

There are dozens of options to choose from, including the following:

  • Hardware wallets which provide offline storage for your private keys.
  • Desktop wallets that can be downloaded to your computer and used to store private keys on your hard drive.
  • Mobile wallets which allow you to manage your BTC from your Android or iOS device.
  • Web wallets that offer convenient online access to your Bitcoin.
  • Paper wallets which allow you to print out your Bitcoin public and private keys and use this piece of paper as your wallet.

Step 2. Choose a cryptocurrency exchange

The next step is to decide how and where you will buy Bitcoin. There are hundreds of platforms to choose from, and they can be separated into three main categories:

Bitcoin brokers

Brokers offer the quickest and easiest way to buy Bitcoin, allowing you to pay for your digital coins using fiat currency (like EUR or USD). Brokers offer user-friendly platforms and allow you to buy Bitcoin using familiar payment methods like a credit card or a bank transfer. Their main downside is that they often charge higher fees than other options.

Cryptocurrency trading platforms

These platforms allow you to buy Bitcoin using other cryptocurrencies. They tend to offer lower fees than brokers and provide access to a more diverse range of coins. However, you’ll usually need to already own another cryptocurrency in order to use this type of exchange, so they’re not suited to beginners.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin exchanges

Peer-to-peer exchanges cut out the middleman and allow users to trade directly with one another. The seller has the freedom to specify the price they want and their accepted payment methods, and this method allows you to trade with increased privacy. However, you may have to settle for a price higher than the market exchange rate.

Start comparing exchanges

Step 3. Buy Bitcoin

The final step is to submit an order through your chosen platform. For most first-timers in Germany, the most convenient option is to use a Bitcoin broker.

No matter which type of exchange you choose, you’ll usually need to sign up for an account first. Depending on the exchange you use and the regulatory requirements it is subject to, you may be able to sign up simply by providing your email address or you may need to provide your full name, contact information and proof of ID before being allowed to trade.

Once your account has been verified, you’ll need to enter the amount of BTC you want to buy, choose your payment method, review the fees and the total cost of the transaction and then finalise your purchase.

The exact steps you’ll need to follow vary depending on the payment method and type of platform you choose, so keep reading for more details on the different ways you can buy Bitcoin.

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How to pay for your Bitcoin

There are many different ways you can purchase Bitcoin in Germany, each of which has its own pros and cons.


Buy Bitcoin with cash

Buy bitcoin with cash

Want to turn your cash into cryptocurrency? There are several ways to buy Bitcoin with cash in Germany, including the following:

  • Use a peer-to-peer exchange to find a seller who accepts cash.
  • Load a prepaid card with cash and then use it to buy Bitcoin on a platform that accepts prepaid cards.
  • Find a Bitcoin ATM and deposit cash, which can then be converted into BTC.
  • Use a crypto broker that accepts cash deposits.
  • Use an exchange that allows you to deposit funds into your account using a money transfer service in Germany, such as Western Union, and pay for your transaction with cash.

Buying Bitcoin with cash is quick and convenient but is usually more expensive than other options.

Get a complete list of exchanges that let you buy crypto with cash.


Buy Bitcoin with a credit card or debit card

Many Bitcoin brokers in Germany let you buy Bitcoin using your credit card. Trading platforms have also started letting customers in Germany directly buy cryptocurrency with a credit card via third-party payment integrations.

However, in all cases, credit card transactions attract relatively high fees. On top of that, they can also incur cash advance fees. Banks often don’t look too favourably on these transactions either, and some have blocked customers from buying crypto with plastic. Debit cards aren’t as widely accepted as credit cards but can still be used to buy cryptocurrency on some platforms.

Credit cards aren’t typically accepted on peer-to-peer exchanges due to the risk of chargeback fraud.


Buy Bitcoin with PayPal

Got a PayPal account and want to use it to buy Bitcoin? The good news is that you can definitely do this; the bad news is that only a limited number of platforms accept PayPal.

The biggest advantage of buying Bitcoin with PayPal is that it’s quick and easy to do as you’ll no doubt be aware if you’ve ever used PayPal to purchase anything else online. The downside is that PayPal is rarely accepted by cryptocurrency exchanges or other sellers, given the risk of chargeback fraud. This is when someone buys Bitcoin, but then requests PayPal reverse their transaction after they get the Bitcoin, so they get their money back and get to keep the Bitcoin.

If you’ve got your heart set on using PayPal, you may need to hunt around for the right platform — and if the platform you choose doesn’t accept EUR, then you’ll need to be fully aware of the fees that apply.


Buy Bitcoin with your bank account

One way to buy Bitcoin with EUR is to choose a platform that accepts bank transfer deposits. Depositing funds using your bank account usually doesn’t attract any fees, but it does mean you may have to wait for one to two business days until the funds are cleared into your exchange account.

Whichever bank account payment method you select, make sure you consider the following:

  • Any transaction limits that apply
  • The fees charged by the Bitcoin exchange or broker
  • How long it will take for your funds to arrive

Buy Bitcoin with another crypto

Buy bitcoin with crypto

It’s easy to swap other cryptocurrencies for Bitcoin since BTC is listed on almost all crypto exchanges in Germany with a huge range of trading pairs.

You’ll need to search for exchanges that list your desired trading pair. For example, if you want to trade Ether for Bitcoin, you’d look for an exchange with a BTC/ETH pair. Once you’ve found a suitable exchange, you can buy Bitcoin by following a few simple steps.

Simply create an account, and deposit the cryptocurrency (such as ETH) into your exchange wallet. Then go to the market (such as BTC/ETH) and look for where it says “Buy BTC” or “Sell ETH” as the case may be.

Enter the amount you want to buy or sell and create a new order. If you want to aim for a specific exchange rate, you can create a limit order which may be executed when the market shifts enough that it’s a good offer. If you just want to swap at current market prices, you can create a market order.

The process may vary slightly from one platform to the next, so look for a how-to guide on your chosen exchange or contact its customer support team if you’re unsure of what to do.


Buy Bitcoin anonymously


If you want to buy Bitcoin in Germany, most exchanges will require you to verify your identity first. However, if you value your privacy, it’s still possible to buy Bitcoin anonymously.

The following are some of the available options:

  • Using a peer-to-peer platform to trade directly with a Bitcoin seller.
  • Using a Bitcoin ATM to anonymously deposit cash, have it converted to BTC and then transferred to your Bitcoin wallet.
  • Buying Bitcoin with a prepaid credit card or cash via a platform that doesn’t require ID.
  • Trading altcoins for Bitcoin on an exchange that doesn’t require proof of ID.

How to choose a Bitcoin exchange

With hundreds of platforms to choose from in Germany, finding the best Bitcoin exchange for your needs is a challenging task. To make your choice easier, consider these key factors when comparing exchanges:

  • Where the exchange is based and how it is regulated. While the regulatory environment surrounding some digital currency exchanges is becoming clearer all the time, the same can’t be said for all exchanges. Do some research to find out where an exchange is based, the regulatory requirements that apply in that country, and whether the exchange complies with those requirements. This will help you work out if you’re dealing with a reputable platform.
  • Security. Look at the security features a platform has to offer, such as 2-factor authentication and PGP encrypted emails. Has it ever been hacked or linked to any suspicious activity?
  • Fees. Check the fine print to find out exactly how much your transaction will cost. Depending on the platform you choose, these could include trading fees and transaction fees as well as deposit and withdrawal charges.
  • Transaction limits. Are there any minimum or maximum limits on the amount of Bitcoin you can purchase? Does the exchange restrict the amount of funds you can withdraw from your account in any one transaction or 24-hour period?
  • Supported currencies. As the biggest digital currency in the world by some margin, Bitcoin can be bought and sold on a huge range of platforms. However, if you’re looking to acquire other cryptocurrencies as well as Bitcoin, check to see what other coins you can buy through the platform.
  • Customer support. If you ever have a problem with a transaction, will you be able to quickly and easily get in touch with the customer support team? Check what contact methods are available and find out how quick the team is at responding to inquiries.
  • Reputation. Finder’s review pages include user reviews, which help you get a better idea of what the exchange is like to use for other people starting out just like you.

Learn more about how to choose an exchange in our cryptocurrency exchange guide


Buying from a European Bitcoin exchange: Pros and cons

There’s plenty of choices when selecting a Bitcoin exchange, and users can choose from platforms based here or in countries all around the world. So, should you buy Bitcoin from a foreign platform or one closer to home? To help you decide, consider the pros and cons of buying on a European exchange.

Pros

  • You can usually buy Bitcoin with EUR.
  • You can access local customer support.
  • You get better consumer protection if your funds go missing.

Cons

  • You’ll need to provide your personal details and proof of ID – a disadvantage for people who want to trade anonymously.
  • The registration process takes longer than on those platforms that don’t require ID verification.
  • Some bigger platforms based overseas offer much better liquidity.
  • Some things are simply not available on German exchanges. For example, 100x leverage margin trading, staking features and many altcoins.

Regardless of whether you choose a European or overseas-based crypto exchange, make sure you compare a range of options before deciding which platform to use.


The risks of buying Bitcoin

You wouldn’t invest in shares without doing your research first, so make sure you understand the following essentials about Bitcoin before you buy:

  • It’s volatile. Take a look at a graph charting the price history of Bitcoin and you’ll see straight away that its value is capable of rising and falling sharply in a relatively short space of time. Not only is Bitcoin volatile but, as a very new asset class, it’s also highly unpredictable. This means there’s a high level of risk associated with buying Bitcoin.
  • Security is vital. Have you ever heard the saying that if you don’t own your private key, you don’t own your Bitcoin? Understanding the difference between your public and private key as well as the importance of safely storing your private key is crucial to securing your BTC.
  • Bitcoin transactions can’t be cancelled. Once you’ve submitted a transaction to the Bitcoin network, it can’t be cancelled. With this in mind, make sure you double-check the receiving address before sending a Bitcoin payment.
  • Bitcoin is not anonymous. There’s a widespread misconception that all Bitcoin transactions are anonymous. This isn’t the case as your public address and the details of your transactions are visible to everyone. If anonymous transactions are an important feature for you, it may be worth researching privacy-focused coins.
  • There are tax implications. If you hold Bitcoin as an investment, you’ll be taxed on any capital gains you make when you sell it for EUR or another cryptocurrency. Tax obligations also apply to Bitcoin mining, professional Bitcoin traders and in a range of other scenarios, so make sure you’re fully aware of what you need to report to Germany’s Federal Central Tax Office.
  • You need to do your homework. To buy, sell and hold Bitcoin safely, it helps to do your homework. It’s good to know how to spot scams, what the difference between private and public keys is, what it means when you “fat finger” an order on an exchange and whether it’s called “the blockchain” or just “blockchain.”
  • Regulation. The regulatory environment for Bitcoin is constantly changing. The bull market of 2021 caused many regulators and financial bodies around the world to reconsider how they treat Bitcoin, whether in regards to purchasing, taxing, or outright banning it. Even if you live in a country with a supportive regulatory environment for Bitcoin, it is still important to understand how events in other nations have the potential to impact this borderless currency – for both good and bad.

Finally, it’s also worth remembering that Bitcoin is far from the only fish in the cryptocurrency sea. While it may be the biggest and best-known, there are more than 4,000 other cryptocurrencies available as of January 2021 (and growing). While the value of some of these coins is questionable, there are plenty of other digital currencies worth considering as alternatives to Bitcoin.


Other ways to get Bitcoin

Want to get your hands on some Bitcoin without actually buying it? There are a few options available:

  • Charge Bitcoin for goods and services. You can request payment in Bitcoin instead of EUR.
  • Mine Bitcoin. It’s now extremely hard for any individual to make money from mining Bitcoin. However, if you’re still interested, learn more about Bitcoin mining.
  • Earn free Bitcoin. Although it takes time, you’ll find legitimate ways to earn small amounts of free Bitcoin through online games and Bitcoin faucets.

Buying Bitcoin OTC

If you want to buy a large amount of Bitcoin, for example, €50,000 or more, you may want to think twice before placing your trade on a traditional exchange. Not only will you be exposed to slippage, which can substantially increase the cost of your trade, but you’ll also need to accept the risks of hacking and theft associated with traditional exchanges.

Over-the-counter (OTC) brokers in Germany can offer better prices, increased transaction limits and faster processing times to large-volume traders.


Next steps

If you want to buy Bitcoin in Germany, start comparing a range of cryptocurrency brokers and exchanges. Look at their features, fees, security and overall reputation to decide which platform is the right fit for you.

You can then sign up for an account and get ready to start trading. However, make sure you research your purchase thoroughly and are fully aware of the risks involved before you buy.

Compare Bitcoin exchanges

FAQs

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Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Images: Shutterstock

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ADA, ICX, IOTA and XLM.

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