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With Bitcoin reaching new all-time-highs in 2021, many buyers in Ireland 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is our quick guide to just one way to buy Bitcoin. Compare some other options in the table below.
You can compare Bitcoin exchanges and brokers available in Ireland here.
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 Ireland 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.
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.
You can buy Bitcoin in Ireland in three simple steps:
Before you can buy Bitcoin in Ireland, 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:
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:
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, such as Binance 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. Examples of peer-to-peer exchanges include LocalBitcoins and Paxful.
The final step is to submit an order through your chosen platform. For most first-timers in Ireland, 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.
There are many different ways you can purchase Bitcoin in Ireland, each of which has its own pros and cons.
Want to turn your cash into cryptocurrency? There are several ways to buy Bitcoin with cash in Ireland, including the following:
Buying Bitcoin with cash is quick and convenient but is usually more expensive than other options.
Many Bitcoin brokers in Ireland let you buy Bitcoin using your credit card, including platforms like Coinbase and Coinmama, and using your credit card allows you to make quick and convenient purchases. Trading platforms such as Binance have also started letting customers in Ireland directly buy cryptocurrency with a credit card via third-party payment integrations.
However, in all cases, credit card transactions attract relatively high fees, typically in the 1.5% to 3% range. 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.
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. VirWox and Paxful are two of the better-known platforms that accept PayPal at the time of writing.
One way to buy Bitcoin with EUR is to choose a platform that accepts bank transfer deposits. This list of platforms that allow bank transfers is an extensive one and includes sites like Independent Reserve, BTC Markets, Cointree and more.
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:
It’s easy to swap other cryptocurrencies for Bitcoin since BTC is listed on almost all crypto exchanges in Ireland 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.
If you want to buy Bitcoin in Ireland, 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:
With hundreds of platforms to choose from in Ireland, finding the best Bitcoin exchange for your needs is a challenging task. To make your choice easier, consider these key factors when comparing exchanges:
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.
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.
You can sign up for a Coinbase account by providing your email address and creating a password. Before you can trade, you’ll need to verify your account by doing the following:
Remember to also enable 2-factor authentication on your account for extra security.
From your Coinbase account dashboard, click the “Deposit EUR” link. You’ll then be able to access the necessary details to transfer funds into your account via your credit or debit card.
Click on the “Buy/Sell” tab at the top of the screen before clicking on the “Buy BTC” button. Specify how much Bitcoin you want to buy or how much EURD you want to spend, then take a moment to review the full details of the transaction before you click “Buy”.
You wouldn’t invest in shares without doing your research first, so make sure you understand the following essentials about Bitcoin before you buy:
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.
Want to get your hands on some Bitcoin without actually buying it? There are a few options available:
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 can offer better prices, increased transaction limits and faster processing times to large-volume traders. Check out our OTC cryptocurrency trading guide to find out how buying OTC works in Ireland as well as the benefits and risks you should be aware of.
If you want to buy Bitcoin in Ireland, 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.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ADA, ICX, IOTA and XLM.
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