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Buying Bitcoin is straight forward, similar to purchasing shares. You can purchase it through a broker for a set price, or use a cryptocurrency exchange to buy it on the open market and choose your own price. A cryptocurrency exchange is a website that lets you buy or trade cryptocurrencies, which also stores them for you.
Get started quickly with one of our top picks, or keep reading for a full list of exchanges and step-by-step instructions.
The easiest way to buy Bitcoin is from a cryptocurrency exchange. Comparing in the table below lets you 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 MYR using the payment method that best suits you – bank transfer, credit and debit cards are all widely accepted.
You can now exchange your funds for Bitcoin. On easier-to-use exchanges, this is as easy as entering the amount you want to purchase and clicking “buy.” If you like you can now withdraw your Bitcoin to your personal wallet.
Fully licensed by the Securities Commission Malaysia, Luno is the first regulated cryptocurrency exchange in the country for local residents to buy, sell, store and trade popular cryptocurrencies.
Malaysian customers can deposit MYR into their Luno wallet through FPX or a direct bank transfer (verified users only) so there are no currency exchange fees, but there may be some costs depending on the amount of the deposit.
In addition, Luno also offers competitive interest on your deposits in crypto with no fixed terms or hidden fees.
Binance is popular for a reason, with a wide selection of cryptocurrencies, a wide range of features and low trading fees. You’ll simply pay a flat 0.1% trading fee at most when trading crypto to crypto, free AUD deposits are available and it’s possible to reduce trading fees even further by taking advantage of the exchange’s native cryptocurrency, Binance Coin (BNB), and simply paying your trading fees with BNB held in your exchange account.
There are different trading fee tiers, with lower fees for users who hold enough BNB coins and maintain certain monthly trading volumes.
eToro offers both crypto and non-crypto assets so you can trade various stocks and commodities on the same platform as your crypto.
It can be used by both beginner and advanced traders, and frequent and infrequent traders. eToro also offers margin trading, CFDs and advanced trade types. Notably, it also offers a copy trade feature that lets users copy the trades of other users.
AFSL 491139. OTC Derivatives are highly leveraged and risky. You may lose substantially more than your initial investment.
You can buy Bitcoin in Malaysia in two simple steps:
The first step, if you’ve decided that buying Bitcoin is right for you, is to decide how and where you’ll make the purchase. There are hundreds of platforms to choose from, but they can be separated into three main categories:
Bitcoin brokers are retailers that sell Bitcoin and other digital currencies. They offer user-friendly platforms and are the quickest and easiest way to buy Bitcoin. Brokers let you pay with fiat currencies (like MYR or USD) 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. Luno is one of the well-known cryptocurrency brokers.
Cryptocurrency trading platforms
These platforms, such as Huobi, let you buy Bitcoin from other traders on the open market. Some exchanges let you buy with fiat currency, while others are for trading cryptocurrencies only and don’t accept fiat deposits. They tend to offer lower fees and better rates than brokers, provide access to a more diverse range of coins and can also be used to actively trade cryptocurrencies. However, they’re more complicated to use and require some basic familiarity with trading concepts, like the difference between limit and market orders.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges
Peer-to-peer exchanges are like noticeboards where people can post notices saying whether they’re buying or selling Bitcoin, and what their price is. Buyers and sellers on peer-to-peer exchanges directly contact each other and make their own arrangements. This makes it possible to access a wider range of payment methods, such as cash, and trade with increased privacy. The downsides are that prices on peer-to-peer exchanges are often higher than the market exchange rate, and users need to be wary of scammers on these platforms. Examples of peer-to-peer exchanges include LocalBitcoins and Paxful.
In most cases, the first step after choosing an exchange is to create an account by providing your email address. Depending on the exchange you use and the regulatory requirements it is subject to, you may also be required to provide your full name, contact information and proof of ID before being allowed to trade.
Once your account has been verified, you can make your purchase and pay for it. This looks different depending on whether you’re using a broker, a trading platform or a peer-to-peer exchange.
When using a broker
Simply enter the amount of Bitcoin you want to buy, and the broker’s website tells you how much it costs and what the available payment options are. Once you make your payment, the broker sends the Bitcoin to your account. From there, you can withdraw the Bitcoin to your personal wallet or send it anywhere else you want.
When using a trading platform
First, you need to deposit funds into your account. Once you’ve made the deposit, go to the market for the currency pair you want to trade. For example, if you want to buy Bitcoin with Malaysian ringgit, you’d go to the BTC/MYR section of the exchange website. To buy Bitcoin in that market, place a buy order. There are different order types, but if you simply want to buy at current market prices, you can place a market order.
When using a peer-to-peer exchange
Browse sell offers to find one with an acceptable price and a suitable payment method. Ideally, the seller will also have a good reputation score, and their notice won’t raise any red flags. Contact the seller, tell them you want to buy Bitcoin and make a deal. Peer-to-peer exchanges usually use escrow services to protect buyers and sellers, but you should still be wary of scammers when using them.
After buying Bitcoin, it usually gets sent to your account on the exchange. While some people keep their Bitcoin in exchange accounts indefinitely, it’s not the safest option. If the exchange goes out of business, gets hacked or if you somehow lose access to your exchange account, you could lose your Bitcoin.
That’s why it’s usually safer to store Bitcoin in a personal wallet.
To do this, you first need to create a personal Bitcoin wallet address. Then you can send Bitcoin from your exchange account to that personal wallet address.
Read the cryptocurrency wallets guide to learn how to create a personal Bitcoin wallet address, and what the types of wallet are.
Not all exchanges accept all payment methods, so if you have a specific payment method in mind, it can be helpful to specifically look for an exchange that accepts it.
Different payment methods have their own pros and cons.
Most Malaysian cryptocurrency exchanges will accept bank transfers from linked bank accounts and related payment services. These transfers are often free and near-instant, so they can be an excellent choice where available. Malaysian exchanges that accept these options include Luno, Sinegy and Tokenize.
When using an overseas cryptocurrency exchange, you may see bank transfer payment options referred to as wire transfer or SWIFT payment. These payments will usually be much slower (they can take up to a week) and will attract significantly higher fees than domestic bank transfers, including currency exchange fees. If you want to use a specific overseas exchange, it may be preferable to buy cryptocurrency domestically with local currency and then deposit cryptocurrency onto the exchange instead.
Many Bitcoin brokers let you buy Bitcoin using your credit card, including platforms like Coinmama, and using your credit card allows you to make quick and convenient purchases. Some trading platforms have also started letting customers 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.
There are two main ways of buying Bitcoin with cash in Malaysia.
The most direct way is to use a peer-to-peer exchange, such as Paxful, and arrange an in-person cash purchase with someone in your local area. Another way is to find a Bitcoin ATM near you, and deposit cash that can then be converted to BTC.
Buying Bitcoin with cash can be as quick and convenient as other payment methods, but it also tends to be among the most expensive payment methods.
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 buying Bitcoin with PayPal, there are still some options though.
It’s unlikely, but not impossible, to find sellers accepting PayPal on peer-to-peer exchanges like Paxful. And if you’re more interested in Bitcoin’s price action than the underlying asset, you can also fund an eToro account with PayPal.
A potentially riskier third option is a relatively obscure peer to peer platform called xCoins, which was specifically designed to facilitate PayPal for Bitcoin transactions. It’s a little vague on how it works though and doesn’t have the best security track record.
If you just want to draw down on your PayPal balance, you can also link your PayPal account to a credit card and then buy Bitcoin with that credit card.
Using PayPal can incur additional fees, and it can be difficult to find exchanges that allow it. But if you really want to use it, there are still a number of options.
If you want to exchange another cryptocurrency for Bitcoin, you’ll be pleased to learn that BTC is listed in a huge range of trading pairs on a wide variety of crypto exchanges. The key is finding the exchange that offers the right features and fees for you.
You’ll need to search for exchanges that list your desired trading pair, such as BTC/DASH, and then compare the pros and cons of each platform. Once you’ve found a suitable exchange, you can buy Bitcoin by following a few simple steps.
You’ll need to do the following:
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 Malaysia, 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:
You can sign up for a Luno 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 Luno account dashboard, click the “Deposit” button. You’ll then be able to access the necessary details to transfer funds into your account via Xfers or inter-bank transfer.
Click on the “Buy Bitcoin” button. Specify how much Bitcoin you want to buy or how much MYR you want to spend, then take a moment to review the full details of the transaction before you click “Buy”.
With hundreds of platforms to choose from, 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 Malaysian users can choose from platforms based here at home or in countries all around the world. So, should you buy Bitcoin from a Malaysian exchange or from a foreign platform? To help you decide, consider the pros and cons of buying on a local exchange.
Regardless of whether you choose a Malaysian or overseas-based crypto exchange, make sure you compare a range of options before deciding which platform to use.
You wouldn’t invest in shares without doing your research first, so make sure you understand the following essential facts 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 February 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.
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 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.
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 US$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 as well as the benefits and risks you should be aware of.
If you want to buy Bitcoin, 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.
Icons made by various artists on www.flaticon.com
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ADA, ICX, IOTA and XLM.
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