You keep hearing about it, but what exactly is bitcoin and how do you buy it? Read on for finder’s definitive guide.
There are two main ways to buy bitcoin in India.
Use a bitcoin broker. This is probably the easiest way to buy bitcoin. If you just want to get it done quickly and easily, and have no plans to become a cryptocurrency trader, then this might be the way to go. The downside is that convenience comes at a cost, and you pay a bit more for the brokerage services.
Buy from an exchange. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are traded on exchanges. If you want to buy bitcoin as cost-effectively as possible, or plan on doing more trading in future, then choosing a reliable exchange might be what you want to do.
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.
Want to do it as fast as possible? You might be able to go from zero to bitcoin in less than an hour.
Get a wallet. This can be done as easily as downloading it to your computer or phone.
Use a no-verification-required bitcoin service, such as LocalBitcoins.
You need to make sure it’s a reliable and trustworthy though. Even if you’re in a rush, it’s worth taking the time to pick out a reputable seller.
Before getting started, you need a place to put your bitcoin. That means either getting a wallet or looking for a broker/exchange that offers you a wallet as part of its service.
Cryptocurrency wallets: How to choose
If you’re a cryptocurrency beginner, there are probably three basic types of wallets you might consider.
Desktop – Simple, secure, easy to use and popular, this wallet is in the form of a program you download to your computer. It’s quick and easy, but you want to be sure that your computer is free of viruses or malware.
Smartphone – The same as above, but it’s an app for your phone instead.
Hardware – An option for holding your currency securely offline in a more physical form. These wallets are like USBs or hard drives that hold your cryptocurrency.
You can compare hardware wallets here. They can be a good combination of security and familiarity for anyone who’s not entirely confident with new technology, and they can also be a good physical backup to have on hand.
How to choose a broker or exchange
Decide whether you’re happy to pay premium prices for a reliable bitcoin seller, or if you’re happy to go on the exchanges and hunt for a bargain instead.
To pick one, you should look at:
Whether they are exchanges or buying/selling services. At an exchange, you’ll be trading with other users while a buying/selling service, or broker, can simply sell you bitcoin.
Whether you need your own wallet. If you have your own wallet, then you don’t need to worry about it. If you don’t, then you might want to start with a provider that offers its own in-built wallet.
Whether they require verification. Most reputable services will require you to verify your identity, but some will still let you conduct smaller transfers without verifying your identity. Verification can take a day or two, so if you’re in a hurry or want to transact anonymously, you might want to look for the no-verification providers. Otherwise, simply be ready to provide some identification after signup.
We’ve assembled here a list of some legitimate services for your consideration. All you have to do is pick one that suits your needs, follow the steps provided and transfer some INR, other supported fiat currency or cryptocurrency for bitcoin.
There isn’t a catch. Now that cryptocurrencies have been around for a while, you can simply buy bitcoin almost like anything else. It really is as easy as that.
But make sure you’re using a well-known and reputable provider. Just like any other business, there will always be some shady operators.
Compare bitcoin brokers and exchanges
How to get bitcoin without buying it
There are other ways to get bitcoin as well.
The following are the main ones:
Charge bitcoin for goods and services. You can request payment in bitcoin instead of INR.
If you’re interested in getting more involved in trading cryptocurrencies, then the exchanges, rather than the brokers, might be where you want to be.
You’ll find brokers willing to buy bitcoin from you, but typically you’ll probably be able to find better prices by selling to other users on an exchange instead.
A full-feature exchange that lets you set limit orders and do more all round than simply trade at current market value can also be worth exploring with an asset as volatile as bitcoin.
What’s the cheapest way to buy bitcoin?
The cheapest way is probably to charge bitcoin for goods or services, or receive bitcoin donations. But the most cost-effective way to buy bitcoin might be to purchase them from an exchange during a slump in the market.
What’s the quickest way to buy bitcoin?
The fastest way is probably to use a service like paxful.com.
On platforms like this, people can buy the equivalent of up to US$5,000 in bitcoin as easily as entering their email address, their wallet info and transferring funds.
And getting a wallet can be as quick as going online and downloading one.
What’s the easiest way to buy bitcoin?
The easiest way to buy bitcoin is probably to use a reliable and simple bitcoin broker service. Some will even let you pay cash over the counter in a bank, or at a Smart ATM.
For users, bitcoin works the same as any other currency. Just like using your credit card or making a transfer for an international transaction, using a bitcoin exchange allows you to send a certain currency digitally to someone else. Bitcoin.com gives each user a digital wallet to store, send and receive bitcoin.
The bitcoin network works by using a public ledger called the blockchain. This ledger contains all processed transactions and is used to check a transaction’s validity by using digital signatures.
The value of bitcoin is established much the same as any other currency, with the exact value depending on the number of people using bitcoin and the number of bitcoin in circulation. The value of bitcoin can also be affected by relatively small events, trades or business activities.
Historical rate chart of BTC and INR
Updated: 15 Dec 2019 12:48:14 UTC
Who uses bitcoin?
Although it’s a digital currency, a wide range of businesses who exist both online and offline use and accept bitcoin. Bitcoin can be used to make payments online and in physical stores and any user can make these payments as long as they have the recipient’s address. There is also no need for a merchant account to be set up in order to receive payments.
The table below outlines global platforms which facilitate the purchase, exchange and sale of bitcoin.
Uses over the counter transfers for bitcoin purchases.
Bitcoin exchange based in Norway that supports euros, Litecoin and Ripple.
Connect with bitcoin buyers and sellers through this peer-to-peer network.
Use a credit/debit card to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without having to verify your identity.
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.
Andrew Munro is the global cryptocurrency editor at Finder. After previously writing about insurance and other areas, he now covers the latest developments in digital assets and blockchain and works on Finder's comprehensive range of guides to help people understand cryptocurrency.
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