There are many easy ways to get bitcoin, by earning bitcoin, buying bitcoin or even mining cryptocurrency at home. One of the fastest ways to buy bitcoin directly is through Bitcoin Magazine’s "buy bitcoin" portal. Here are some of the other options for getting bitcoin:
1. Buy bitcoin through an exchange. Whether it’s through a beginner-friendly mobile app like Cash App or sophisticated peer-to-peer exchanges that don’t require know-your-customer information, like Bisq, one of the fastest ways to get bitcoin is simply to buy it with an exchange that utilizes bank transfers. Plus, online stores such as Bittylicious, BitPanda and LiteBit offer Europeans ways to purchase bitcoin online with their credit or debit cards.
2. Buy bitcoin using gift cards or cash. Companies like CardCoins allow users to exchange prepaid gift cards for bitcoin. Alternatively, you can find the closest Bitcoin ATM and insert cash to buy bitcoin. For both of these options you’ll need to have a bitcoin wallet set up, so be sure to check out our beginner bitcoin wallet tutorials. Across Europe there are also many stores that allow customers to buy bitcoin vouchers by using cash. In Austria there are thousands of stores where you can buy bitcoin vouchers called Bitcoinbon. Across France, there are many tabacs that sell bitcoin vouchers. In the U.K., a growing list of merchants use the platform BitcoinPoint to offer bitcoin purchases and sales to customers.
3. Earn bitcoin. Mobile apps like Carrot, Fold and Lolli give users cash back rewards in the form of bitcoin, just for shopping at their favorite stores like Target and Sephora. There are also many freelance job listing sites where people are paid in bitcoin. (Remember, you still need to cash out those tiny amounts of bitcoin to store them in your own wallet. Check out our numerous wallet guides to see which one works best for you.) If you already have your own business, it’s easy to add a bitcoin payment option to your existing store. It is as simple as providing the option for people to pay with bitcoin, using services like BTCPay Server or BitPay. You could also simply add your own bitcoin wallet address to any custom invoice.
4. Mine bitcoin at home. If you’re tech-savvy, there are many ways to operate your own bitcoin mining equipment and mint fresh bitcoin. Mining requires special hardware that performs very fast computations. The hash rate, or the total power of all bitcoin miners around the world, is so substantial that regular computers can’t perform the mining calculations fast enough to produce meaningful results. As such, to get bitcoin this way you’ll need to buy specialized hardware called an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). And even running your own ASIC is very unlikely to yield any bitcoin rewards, so you’ll need to join a bitcoin mining pool. For more information on this process check out our bitcoin mining explainer.
Now that we’ve covered the most popular ways to get bitcoin, here are some tips and tricks for getting the most bitcoin at the best price.
TIPS FOR EARNING BITCOIN
Earning bitcoin, as a business, has some variables associated with it, such as whether the business accepts Lightning Network micropayments, or small amounts of bitcoin. To learn more about how to run a profitable Lightning node at home, be sure to check out our Lightning node tutorials for bitcoin users.
In exchange for the convenience of using a Bitcoin ATM, which operates like any other banking kiosk, the transaction fees charged by Bitcoin ATMs are often higher than the rates offered by exchanges — up to 7% higher, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Most of these bitcoin-friendly ATMs now require some sort of know-your-customer identity verification, so users need to be prepared to scan their IDs into the machine. Common locations for BATMs include retail stores, shops, bars, restaurants, malls and airports.
Exchanges are by far the most common way to get bitcoin, usually requiring the use of a debit card or bank account in order to transfer funds over to the exchange. Some of the most popular exchanges include Kraken and Bitstamp.
Exchanges are platforms that allow users to purchase cryptocurrencies for a different medium of exchange, usually fiat currency. Exchanges do this through an order book, or a ledger, that matches instructions to buy or sell. These instructions are called “bids” and “asks,” respectively. Meanwhile, traders called over-the-counter (OTC) desks act as a middleman for buyers and sellers to complete bitcoin transactions of custom sizes outside of the operations of an exchange’s order book. Not all exchanges involve OTC desks, but some OTC networks are brokerages in their own right.
Across different exchange platforms, always remember that any bitcoin you leave on the platform is technically not yours, until you withdraw it to a wallet you control. If the exchange gets hacked, they’ve potentially lost your bitcoin. You are also required to submit personal information and documents as evidence. As such, it is best to get your funds via bank transfer into the exchange, buy your bitcoin, and then withdraw it to a wallet that is safe and to hold your private key under your control.
All things considered, it is probably worthwhile to hold bitcoin in your own wallet for generations to come.
IS A WHOLE BITCOIN REALLY “TOO EXPENSIVE”?
Bitcoin is divisible by nine decimal places currently and it may be possible to divide bitcoin into even smaller increments through second layer technologies. As a digital currency today, one of bitcoin’s biggest attributes is its ability to be sent in small increments called “satoshis.”
As a result, bitcoin can be bought, sold or exchanged in increments much smaller than an entire bitcoin. You can buy a fraction of a bitcoin. For example, if one whole bitcoin is $10,000, a smaller amount of bitcoin — represented as 0.01 BTC, for example — would cost just $100. It’s never been faster or easier to get bitcoin than it is today. So don’t wait, get started and enjoy building your generational wealth with bitcoin!