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How to buy bitcoin in Portugal

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

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With Bitcoin reaching new all-time-highs in 2021, many buyers 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. 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.

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 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 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.



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 Portugal

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

263
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.
Bitpanda Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cash, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Neteller, Bank transfer (SEPA), SOFORT
EUR, GBP, CHF, USD

82
cryptocurrencies

A European exchange which enables users to pay in EUR, GBP, CHF and USD through a variety of payment platforms.
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
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.
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.
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Compare up to 4 providers

A step-by-step guide to buying Bitcoin

You can buy Bitcoin in Portugal in two simple steps:

Step 1. Choose a cryptocurrency exchange

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

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 EUR 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.

Cryptocurrency trading platforms

Platforms, such as Binance, 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.

Step 2. Buy Bitcoin

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 euro, you’d go to the BTC/EUR 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.


Start comparing exchanges

Must read: How to store Bitcoin

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.

How to pay for your Bitcoin

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.


Buying Bitcoin with your bank account

Locally based cryptocurrency exchanges may accept bank transfers and related payment services. These transfers are often free and near-instant, so they can be an excellent choice where available.

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.

Compare Portuguese cryptocurrency exchanges to find one that supports local bank transfers.


Buying Bitcoin with a credit card or debit card

Many Bitcoin brokers 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 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.

Find an exchange where you can pay for Bitcoin with your credit/debit card.


Buy Bitcoin with cash

Buy bitcoin with cash

The most direct way to buy Bitcoin with cash in Portugal is to use a peer-to-peer exchange, 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.


Buy Bitcoin with PayPal

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.

Head to our full list of exchanges that support PayPal to learn more.


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 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.

Compare crypto-to-crypto exchanges to find one that’s right for you.


Buy Bitcoin anonymously

As a rule of thumb, cryptocurrency exchanges will always verify your identity if you are exchanging between fiat currency and cryptocurrency. As such, one of the most reliable ways of buying Bitcoin anonymously is by paying with another cryptocurrency on an exchange that doesn’t require user verification. But this isn’t much help if you’re trying to convert fiat currency to cryptocurrency.

In that case, the most reliably anonymous way of buying Bitcoin is to pay with cash or another untraceable payment method, such as prepaid gift cards, on a peer-to-peer exchange.

Other methods, even if they don’t involve identity verification, are only partially anonymous. Bitcoin ATMs have different compliance requirements in different countries, but they will often photograph their users or require them to present ID to a camera in the machine.

And while you can use exchanges such as Changelly to buy cryptocurrency with a credit card, without going through a formal identity verification process on the exchange, these purchases aren’t anonymous. They typically require a 3D Secure card, which means buyers are still being identified.


How to choose a Bitcoin exchange

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:

  • Where the exchange is based and how it is regulated. Using local exchanges can be a good idea where possible. They’re more likely to accept the local currency and local payment methods, which makes it easier to avoid expensive international transfers and exchange fees that may be incurred when making a deposit to an overseas exchange. It may also give you more recourse in case something goes wrong as well as additional protections under specific exchange or financial services regulations and any applicable consumer rights laws in your country.
  • 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 enquiries.
  • 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

Choose a Bitcoin exchange


Buying from an Portuguese Bitcoin exchange: Pros and cons

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

Pros

  • Portuguese exchanges are regulated and must comply with the government’s reporting obligations.
  • You can usually buy Bitcoin with EUR.
  • Portuguese exchanges support local payment methods.
  • 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.
  • Some bigger platforms based overseas offer much better liquidity.
  • EUR to crypto prices are often higher than USD to crypto prices, meaning you sometimes pay a premium for buying directly with EUR.
  • Some things are simply not available on Portuguese exchanges. For example, 100x leverage margin trading, staking features and many altcoins.

Regardless of whether you choose a Portuguese 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 essential facts 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 your responsibility. One of the core ideas behind Bitcoin is to remove intermediaries and middlemen from finance. It does this quite well, but this means that at the end of the day, you’re solely responsible for the security of your Bitcoin. If you lose your private keys or get hacked, there’s probably no one to help you and there’s probably no way of getting your money back.
  • Bitcoin transactions can’t be cancelled. Once you’ve submitted a transaction to the Bitcoin network, it cannot 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, such as Monero.
  • 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.” If you’re looking for a place to begin, try bookmarking our cryptocurrency hub for future reference.
  • 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 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.

Must read: Bitcoin in brief

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.

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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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 here.
  • Earn free Bitcoin. Although time-consuming, there are a handful of legitimate ways to earn small amounts of free Bitcoin through online games and Bitcoin faucets.

Next steps

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.

Compare Bitcoin exchanges

FAQs

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.

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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