How to Buy Bitcoin

Mario Dian Sep 28, 2016 11 min read

If you are not interested in mining Bitcoin, there are many convenient alternatives for acquiring the cryptocurrency, such as purchasing it with fiat currency or another cryptocurrency. Let's explore some of the most common options available:

When selecting the most suitable option, it's essential to consider factors like fees, security measures, user verification requirements, available payment methods, and local regulations. Consulting trusted sources and doing thorough research before engaging in any transactions will help ensure a smooth and secure process.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Cryptocurrency exchanges play a crucial role in the world of digital currencies by providing a bridge between traditional fiat money and Bitcoin. These platforms serve as intermediaries, enabling users to buy and sell a wide range of cryptocurrencies in exchange for either fiat currency (such as US dollars, euros, or yen) or other digital assets.

Popular exchanges, such as Bitfinex, Kraken, Bitstamp, and Binance, have established themselves as trusted platforms within the cryptocurrency community. They offer user-friendly interfaces and intuitive trading features, catering to both novice and seasoned traders. This accessibility makes it easier for beginners to enter the cryptocurrency market and start investing.

One of the key advantages of these exchanges is their ability to facilitate transactions in various payment methods. Users can choose to fund their accounts using traditional bank transfers, credit cards, or even other cryptocurrencies. These multiple payment options provide flexibility and convenience to users, empowering them to engage in cryptocurrency trading according to their preferences.

Furthermore, cryptocurrency exchanges often offer additional services and features to enhance users' trading experience. These can include advanced trading options like margin trading and futures contracts, as well as secure storage solutions such as cold wallets for safeguarding digital assets. By combining these offerings with user-friendly interfaces, exchanges create an environment that caters to both beginners and experienced traders.

However, it's important to note that while exchanges provide a convenient way to trade cryptocurrencies, they also come with certain risks. Security vulnerabilities, potential hacking threats, and market volatility are aspects that users need to consider and take precautions against. It's recommended to exercise caution, conduct thorough research, and adhere to best security practices when engaging with cryptocurrency exchanges.

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Buy bitcoin with fiat

Buying bitcoin with government-issued paper money can indeed be an accessible and convenient avenue for many individuals. It serves as the primary route for those seeking to venture into the world of Bitcoin. However, it is important to note that this convenience may sometimes come at the cost of relinquishing privacy and undergoing potentially intrusive Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures.

It is worth noting that the level of invasiveness can vary depending on the cryptocurrency platform or exchange and the jurisdiction in which it operates. Some platforms prioritize privacy and offer solutions for anonymous transactions, but these options may come with certain limitations or higher fees.

Ultimately, the decision to engage in cryptocurrency transactions using government-issued money is a personal choice that should be made with a thorough understanding of the potential trade-offs involved. Individuals should consider striking a balance between their desire for convenience and the importance they place on maintaining their privacy in the digital world.


Bitfinex is one of the largest crypto exchange markets and trading platforms by volume.

  • KYC required: Yes (photo ID, proof of address)
  • SEPA: Yes
  • Card payment: No
  • International payment: Yes
  • Buy fee: 0.10 - 0.20%
  • Supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Monero, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Bitcoin Cash (Bcash) and more
Buy Bitcoin on Bitfinex


Kraken is the US-based exchange markets with the largest EUR exchange volume.

  • KYC required: Yes (photo ID, proof of address)
  • SEPA: Yes ($2000 daily/$10000 monthly limit)
  • Card payment: No
  • International payment: Yes
  • Buy fee: 0.16 - 0.26%
  • Supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Monero, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Bitcoin Cash (Bcash) and more
Buy BTC on Kraken


Bitpanda is a European crypto exchange market that supports many different payment options.

  • KYC required: Yes (phone number, photo ID, proof of address depending on the tier)
  • SEPA: Yes
  • Card payment: Yes
  • International payment: Yes
  • Buy fee: 5% with a credit/debit card
  • Supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Bitcoin Cash (Bcash) and Ripple
Buy BTC on Bitpanda


Bitstamp is one of the oldest and most reputed Bitcoin exchange markets with customers mainly from the European Union.

  • KYC required: Yes (photo ID, proof of address)
  • SEPA: Yes
  • Card payment: Yes (5000 EUR daily/20000 EUR monthly limit)
  • International payment: Yes
  • Buy fee: 0.25%
  • Supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash (Bcash), Ripple (not really a crypto)
Buy BTC on Bitstamp


Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange market by volume. They are popular mainly because of low fees, high liquidity and low-latency platform.

  • KYC required: No, but limits apply
  • Sign up required: Yes
  • Fee: 0.1%
Buy BTC on Binance


Trade Tokenized Stocks: Buy fractional shares of stocks like Apple, Tesla and more

  • KYC required: Yes
  • Sign up required: Yes
  • Fee: 0.25%
Buy BTC on Bittrex

Buy BTC with Altcoins aka Shitcoins

Once individuals have explored the world of cryptocurrencies and gained sufficient knowledge, they will find it quite straightforward to acquire Bitcoin using other digital currencies. However, it is imperative to exercise caution when selecting a crypto-only exchange marketplace, as some of them can be unreliable or untrustworthy. Unfortunately, there have been several instances of exit scams, where fraudulent platforms abruptly shut down, taking users' funds with them.

To ensure a safe and secure experience in the crypto space, it is highly recommended to thoroughly research and choose reputable and well-established exchanges. Look for platforms that have a long-standing reputation, robust security measures, and a transparent track record. It is also advisable to read reviews and seek recommendations from reliable sources.


Exchange anonymously any volume with guaranteed fixed rate

  • KYC required: No
  • Sign up required: No
  • Fee: $0 (the exchange rate may differ from other markets)
Buy BTC without KYC enables HUMANS and AI to shift between 30+ cryptocurrencies. Swap between coins with fast and easy user experience, no sign-up required.

  • KYC required: No
  • Sign up required: No
  • Fee: 0.5%
Buy BTC without KYC


Fast and secure way to exchange and purchase 150+ cryptocurrencies.

  • KYC required: No
  • Sign up required: No, but available
  • Fee: 0.5%
Buy BTC without KYC


Instantly exchange Bitcoin free of limits, accounts, and worries.

  • KYC required: Depends
  • Sign up required: No
  • Fee: $0 (the exchange rate may differ from other markets)
Buy BTC without KYC

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Trading

Peer-to-peer (P2P) trading has gained significant popularity in recent years, with platforms like Bisq, LocalBitcoins, and Paxful leading the way.  

One of the primary advantages of P2P trading is the flexibility it offers. Users have the freedom to choose from a wide range of sellers who are willing to accept various payment methods. Whether it's bank transfers, PayPal, or even cash transactions in person, P2P platforms provide a marketplace where buyers can find sellers accepting the payment method that suits them best.

Additionally, P2P trading often results in buyers finding competitive prices. Since the transactions occur directly between individuals, there is a direct negotiation process where buyers can discuss prices and potentially secure a better deal for the desired goods or services. By eliminating the involvement of intermediaries, P2P trading allows for more dynamic and potentially cost-efficient transactions.

Moreover, P2P trading can offer a higher level of privacy and security for participants. With direct interaction between buyers and sellers, there are fewer opportunities for sensitive information to be exposed. This decentralized nature of P2P platforms can enhance trust and mitigate the risks associated with traditional centralized exchanges.

However, it's important to acknowledge that P2P trading may also come with some potential risks. Due to the reliance on individual negotiations, there is a potential for scams or fraudulent activities. Users must exercise caution and conduct thorough research when transacting through P2P platforms to mitigate these risks.


Decentralized bitcoin trading network: trade bitcoin for fiat or other cryptocurrencies. Private by default, secure by design, and free as in freedom.

  • KYC required: No
  • SEPA: Yes
  • Card payment: Yes
  • International payment: Yes
  • Buy fee: 0.1-0.7%
Buy BTC on Bisq


LocalBitcoins is the largest peer-to-peer exchange market that offers the most payment options (including cash) with users all over the world.
If there's no traditional exchange market in your country, there will likely be at least one seller on LocalBitcoins.

  • KYC required: Yes
  • SEPA: Yes
  • Card payment: Yes
  • International payment: Yes
  • Buy fee: 1%
Buy BTC on LocalBitcoins


Paxful is changing the way the world moves money and embraces crypto - allowing transfers with anyone, anywhere, at any time.

No bank account? No problem. We have over 300 payment methods to choose from, making it easy for you to move your money the way you like.

  • KYC required: Yes, but limited
  • SEPA: Yes
  • Card payment: Yes
  • International payment: Yes
  • Sell fee: 1%
Buy BTC on Paxful

Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs, also known as BTMs, are physical kiosks strategically placed in public locations, providing users with a seamless and accessible way to buy Bitcoin. These machines allow individuals to convert their cash or use their debit/credit cards to acquire Bitcoin swiftly and effortlessly.

Using a Bitcoin ATM is straightforward. To initiate the purchase process, users can either deposit cash directly into the machine or scan a QR code generated by their digital wallet. This versatility accommodates different preferences and ensures a seamless experience for all users.

One of the primary advantages of Bitcoin ATMs is the convenience and speed they offer. Rather than relying solely on online exchanges or peer-to-peer transactions, these machines allow users to acquire Bitcoin instantly. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who prefer the anonymity and simplicity of cash transactions.

Bitcoin ATMs also provide a practical solution for those who may not have access to traditional banking services. By accepting cash, these machines provide an opportunity for unbanked or underbanked individuals to participate in the world of cryptocurrencies.

Once the transaction is completed, the Bitcoin purchased is typically transferred directly to the user's digital wallet. This enables individuals to retain full control over their funds and eliminates the need for a centralized intermediary.

However, it's important for users to be aware that Bitcoin ATMs may come with certain limitations. Transaction fees at these machines can be higher compared to online exchanges, owing to the convenience and immediacy they offer. Additionally, the availability of Bitcoin ATMs may vary across different regions, with some areas having a greater concentration of these kiosks than others.

Coin ATM Rada

Find where to buy or sell bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies for cash.

Find the nearest Bitcoin ATM

Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms

Peer-to-peer lending platforms have emerged as a popular avenue for borrowers and lenders to engage directly in Bitcoin transactions. These platforms enable users to either borrow or lend Bitcoin, while offering fiat currency as collateral. This provides individuals with an opportunity to acquire Bitcoin by either obtaining a loan or providing loans and earning interest payments in return.

For those looking to enter the Bitcoin market, these lending platforms offer an alternative to traditional methods of acquiring the cryptocurrency. Instead of purchasing Bitcoin outright using fiat currency, users can borrow it and gain exposure to the digital asset. This can be appealing to individuals who might not have the financial means to invest directly or prefer to test the waters before committing significant funds.

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On the other hand, lending Bitcoin on these platforms allows users to earn interest by providing their holdings to borrowers. By lending their Bitcoin, individuals can potentially increase their crypto holdings without actively trading or investing in other assets. As interest payments are made, lenders can accumulate more Bitcoin over time, providing a passive income stream.

The use of fiat currency as collateral adds an extra layer of security to these lending platforms. Borrowers who need Bitcoin can offer their fiat currency as collateral, which serves as protection to lenders in case of default. This collateralization reduces the risk for lenders, making the lending market more attractive and providing peace of mind to those lending their Bitcoin.


Global P2P Bitcoin lending & trading platform that doesn't hold funds.

  • KYC required: Depends on the seller
  • SEPA: Yes
  • Card payment: Yes
  • International payment: Yes
  • Buy fee: 0.6%
Buy BTC on HodlHodl

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Trading

OTC trading, also known as over-the-counter trading, offers a unique alternative to traditional exchanges for individuals or institutions dealing with large volumes of Bitcoin or requiring specific trading conditions. Unlike regular exchanges where trading occurs on a public platform, OTC markets facilitate direct bitcoin transactions between two parties.

OTC trading provides a more tailored and personalized experience for buyers and sellers. It allows them to negotiate individualized terms such as pricing, settlement methods, and transaction sizes that may not be easily accommodated on traditional exchanges with standard order books. This flexibility makes OTC trading ideal for those dealing with significant amounts of Bitcoin or with specific trading needs.

To engage in OTC trading, participants can work with brokers who act as intermediaries, connecting buyers and sellers and facilitating the trade on their behalf. These trusted brokers help negotiate terms, find counterparties, and ensure a smooth transaction process. Alternatively, specialized OTC trading platforms provide online marketplaces where individuals or institutions can connect and trade directly.

The benefits of OTC trading go beyond flexibility and personalization. It can also provide enhanced privacy for participants since transactions are conducted privately between the involved parties. Additionally, OTC trades do not impact the liquidity of the broader market, allowing participants to execute trades without causing significant price fluctuations.

OTC trading is particularly attractive for institutional investors, high-net-worth individuals, and businesses seeking to acquire or sell significant amounts of Bitcoin, as it allows them to avoid the potential slippage and market impact that can occur when executing large orders on conventional exchanges.


AgoraDesk is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency OTC desk.

  • KYC required: Depends on the seller
  • SEPA: Yes
  • Card payment: Yes
  • International payment: Yes
  • Buy fee: 0% (1% fee paid by the seller)
Buy BTC on AgoraDesk

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