The 20 Best Places to Buy Bitcoin
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Buy Bitcoin with eToro
67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
In 2009, Bitcoin launched the cryptocurrency phenomenon as we know it today, and it remains the most popular currency of its kind worldwide.
Bitcoin’s popularity sets it apart from all other cryptocurrencies; over time, it has moved closer and closer to what we recognise as a currency, rather than a virtual anomaly.
Unlike many of its peers, bitcoin can be exchanged for fiat currencies like the US dollar and euro. It has greater liquidity than other cryptocurrencies, meaning the loss to its inherent value is minimal when it is converted.
Bitcoin is widely accepted and can be used to purchase many everyday items, from a holiday on Expedia to a website domain with WordPress. The virtual money can also be exchanged with other private users in payment for services, or perhaps to pay off a debt.
From a practical point of the view, bitcoin is often easier to use than fiat currencies. Its transaction fees are low when compared to institutions like PayPal or credit cards and, when making transactions that cross international borders, none of the additional fees usually associated with ATM withdrawals abroad, international money transfers or credit card payments apply.
Bitcoin is stored in digital wallets – coin storage which is secure and houses information surrounding ownership of the units being stored.
Those starting out need to make a decision on which wallet to store their funds in. Some exchanges offer a free wallet but other platforms that sell bitcoin may require you to have a wallet in place before you make a purchase.
Things You Need to Consider When Buying Bitcoin
Despite bitcoin not being recognised as a currency in every instance, it is still money and you should treat any bitcoin transaction with the same consideration as you would if you were signing up to a new credit card or loan – you’d want to know everything, from associated fees to security.
Different exchanges have different fees so it’s very important to make sure you know this information before committing.
When deciding where to buy your bitcoin, it pays to consider things like currency; if you transfer GBP to an exchange which only deals in US dollars, you will immediately be charged a conversion fee. By choosing an exchange that accepts your currency, you can avoid these fees.
67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Liquidity varies depending on the cryptocurrency exchange and should be a crucial factor when it comes to deciding which exchange to use.
Liquidity is how many bitcoins the exchange can sell before the price is affected.
You can identify how good a company’s liquidity is by looking at their trading volume (perhaps look at the number of bitcoins traded in the last month, for example); the greater the trading volume, the more liquidity the company has.
Different exchanges have different speeds when it comes to getting your bitcoins to your wallet and making transactions. Some could take five days to get the currency to your account whereas others will be far quicker.
Some exchanges differ in terms of platforms available for use – for example, some are solely mobile-based and, in this case, you would not be able to manage your money from a laptop.
In the same way that you probably wouldn’t feel comfortable making a large bank transfer on a friend’s mobile you’re not used to, you shouldn’t choose an exchange which operates from a platform you’re not fully comfortable using.
Consider your location and the location of the exchange and do some research as to how straightforward it will be to trade with that company.
Fees, especially, can change significantly from region to region – a US-based exchange, for example, may offer great rates to a selection of US states but the prices may ramp up for a European country.
Also, different countries have to adhere to different rules and regulations so it’s important to make sure geographical location isn’t enabling the exchange to be lax when it comes to security.
The 20 Best Places to Buy Bitcoin in 2021
We’ve put together a list of our top 20 places to buy bitcoin. Some are exchanges, some are platforms to buy from but not sell back to, and others are physical ATM-style structures.
Whichever way you plan to buy your bitcoin, you must do your homework to ensure you understand how the company operates.
We’ve listed the top 20 and, for each entry, we’ve highlighted what we think the company does best.
There are numerous places to buy bitcoin available and we would always recommend that you conduct your own thorough research and due diligence before making your own personal choice.
Although we have listed several providers below, it should be noted that this is through online research, not personal experience.
At WikiJob, we are not financial advisors and any information provided throughout this article is for educational purposes only.
Best for: Beginners
The eToro website contains a wealth of information on the details of buying bitcoin, making this exchange well suited to those just starting out in bitcoin trading.
Traders who sign up with eToro get a virtual trading account with $100,000 in it to allow them to practise strategies before trading with real money.
The company also offers trading courses and features a Learning Lab which houses a variety of tools to support clients with their trading experience.
In the UK, eToro is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and money is kept in tier one European banks. Unlike other exchanges in this list, eToro supports deposits and withdrawals to and from external wallets and does not charge any trading fees.
Cryptoasset investing is unregulated in most EU countries and the UK. No consumer protection. Your capital is at risk. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Best for: CFDs
Having launched in 2010, Pepperstone is a relatively new broker. However, it has grown exponentially over the past 10 years to become a reputable, popular broker.
Pepperstone is known for its low trading fees and is regulated by the FCA, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and other regulatory bodies – all listed on its website.
It uses some of the best trading platforms available, such as MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.
Pepperstone offers bitcoin trading on a CFD-basis (this means you are trading on the price movements of the currency and not buying/owning the coin itself).
Therefore, you will not need a digital wallet to trade with Pepperstone. A free demo account is available.
Cryptocurrency CFD trading with Pepperstone is only available for professional clients.
Risk warning: Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Best for: Keeping your money safe
Based in California, Coinbase is one of the leading crypto exchanges in the world and a popular choice when buying bitcoin. The company offers both a wallet (which is free) and an exchange for customers.
According to Coinbase, 98% of digital currency is stored offline in vaults and safe deposit boxes. The company also has a 48-hour withdrawal cancellation option in place to protect users from fraudulent activity and offers investors the option of adding a second person’s name to the approval list for added withdrawal security.
Coinbase accepts payment by credit and debit card and charges a flat fee of $3.99 for the privilege – low cost compared to other US and UK exchanges.
The Coinbase debit card supports around nine cryptocurrencies at the time of writing and automatically converts it when you want to use fiat currency.
The card is free in the US but in the UK, a fee of £4.95 applies. There are also other fees applied for things like withdrawing more than the daily limit or using the card abroad.
Make sure you check the related fees before using the card.
With offices in London, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Belarus and Australia, Capital.com offers traders the opportunity to use award-winning AI technology to gain access to more than 3,800 markets.
The easy-to-use proprietary platform is available on the web, desktop and mobile, and you can trade indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, shares and currency pairs with the best in technical indicators, charts and multiple order types at your fingertips.
In addition, the AI technology analyses your trading behaviour to help you make more powerful decisions.
Capital.com has no fees for traders – which means that you can deposit, withdraw and trade without commissions or costs. Capital.com make their money for the platform through the spread, which is like many other brokers.
The spread cost is completely transparent, with the costs incorporated into the quote, not as an additional cost.
There are three different accounts available, and the one you choose depends on the minimum deposit, which starts at just $20.
- Standard accounts have a minimum deposit of up to $3,000
- The Plus account is from $3,001 – $9,999
- The Premium account is from $10,000
User experience is the same in all account types, so you will enjoy the same trading no matter what your deposit level.
One of the most impressive parts of the Capital.com offering, especially for beginners, is education. With a custom-built app called Investmate, users can set goals for their learning and the pace at which they want to learn – and have the trading knowledge that they need in their pocket.
30+ courses using varied learning materials are all in the application, to be used as and when they are needed.
You can also find a glossary, guides on different trading instruments and strategies – including how to trade using spread betting and margins.
The Capital.com trading platform is speedy, intuitive and simple, with a smooth interface and great customisation options, and with a demo account and premium research, education and trading experience it is an excellent choice of platform with minimal negatives.
76.72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Uphold was launched in 2015, and since then it has handled more than $4 billion in transactions, trading in 184+ countries with more than 30 currencies.
Uphold allows clients to trade directly between different asset classes in one transaction – so you can trade anything to anything.
With Uphold, you can trade 58 digital currencies, precious metals like gold, silver, platinum and palladium, as well as fractional equities in shares of US companies like Amazon, Tesla and Apple.
Uphold also focuses on Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) by providing an opportunity to trade on carbon tokens for more than just a financial return.
New traders will like the transparent pricing – there are no commission or account fees, and no withdrawal or deposit costs, but the trading fees are built into the spread. Uphold will present a complete price for each trade that includes fees, so you will know exactly what the trade will cost.
Uphold has a quite simple trading platform that is available on the web, as a desktop application and on mobile.
Uphold also offers a debit card option, where you can pay for goods and services using any asset in your portfolio – and earn cashback as well as crypto on your purchases.
Uphold makes it simple to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrency including bitcoin and 57 other altcoins.
The simple format of the one-click transactions makes this perfect for beginner traders as well as those who have more experience – there are more advanced trading tools available for the savvy investor, including AutoPilot where you can schedule recurring buy/sell transactions.
The 0.8-1.2% spread cost is all that you will pay on a transaction, and there are no other commissions or fees.
BitFlyer is a Japanese company that was launched in 2017 and is licensed in the US, Europe and Japan.
As an exchange, bitFlyer offers several cryptocurrencies for trading, with no account fees.
BitFlyer differs from some other altcoin exchanges because the fees for buying and selling cryptocurrency are the same whether you are a maker or a taker, although these are slightly different depending on the location.
For example, maker/taker fees in the US are 0.12%, whereas in Europe they are 0.20%.
There are two different account levels – Trade and Trade Pro.
The only real difference between the two is that the Pro account gets some preferential rates and an unlimited number of deposits and withdrawals.
Deposits are quick, free and simple if you do bank transfers, but there is a small withdrawal fee if you are moving cryptocurrency off the platform – this depends on the coin itself, but as an example, the withdrawal fee for bitcoin is 0.0004BTC. If you want to deposit via PayPal, there is a charge of 4.9% plus 0.35 EUR per transaction.
Aside from the basic bitFlyer trading platform, there is another exchange that is built for professional traders, known as bitFlyer Lightning.
This offers enhanced transaction tools better trading speeds and top security standards, although the price for these services is slightly higher.
As a relative newcomer to the cryptocurrency trading scene, bitFlyer offers something for every trader and is fully audited by Ernst & Young.
BlockFi is a New Jersey-based exchange created to provide credit services based on cryptocurrency, that was launched in 2017.
As a credit platform, it offers market-leading rates with institutional quality benefits, and the opportunity to earn cryptocurrency through interest rather than just buying and selling.
The BlockFi Interest Account offers up to 7.5% interest for holding a specific altcoin balance – up to 7.5% in some cases – and this interest is accrued daily and paid monthly with no hidden fees and no minimum balance needed.
The Trading account offers the opportunity to buy and sell several cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, making immediate trades simple and affordable.
One of the other offerings that BlockFi has, that most other crypto exchanges do not have, is the opportunity to borrow against your cryptocurrency holdings to get a loan in USD (this is only available to US residents, however).
This loan has a 50% LTV and the interest charged is 4.5%, with 12-month payment terms and a minimum loan amount of $5,000.
BlockFi is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), but it is not protected by the FDIC or SIPC.
This exchange is not decentralised and there are strict Know Your Customer and AML protocols in place; so to buy or sell cryptocurrency, you will need to verify your ID when you open an account.
The cost of trading is built into the spread, with an additional cost of around 1% on all transactions. This makes it quite cost-effective, although prices may be considerably higher for trades made with low liquidity coins. Once you have bought your bitcoin, it immediately starts accruing interest.
CoinSmart was founded in 2018 and is a trading platform designed to make buying and selling cryptocurrencies easy for those living in Canada – and at the moment, the service is only available in Canada.
Highlights of the CoinSmart platform include a simple interface, learning tools and 24/7 support, alongside enterprise-grade security and reporting tools for tax auditing purposes.
Users can deposit with CAD, EUR and USD, using Interac, wire transfer, SEPA and crypto, and there are nine cryptocurrencies available to trade.
The trades are all commission-based, with 0.20% on a single trade, and 0.30% on a double trade.
The Education Hub is a collection of articles, blogs and how-to guides that can help beginners learn about trading. 24/7 support is available through a comprehensive FAQ section, as well as email and live chat options.
For the advanced trader, different trading tools are available including limit orders and stop loss, as well as read time charting and customised orders with order book functionality.
The basic account has all the functionality needed to make trades, but there is a Premium account aimed at professional traders that adds OTC trading, preferential pricing and a dedicated account manager to the basic account.
Buying bitcoin with CoinSmart is easy because the platform is designed with the idea that cryptocurrency should be accessible to everyone.
One-click trading and straightforward pricing alongside great educational resources help to make the whole process simple.
The platform is secured using 2FA, and there are strict KYC/AML regulations in place to ensure that all user data is verified. Most of the cryptocurrency assets are held in cold storage, to help protect them from hackers.
There is not much choice of cryptocurrency available on CoinSmart, but the client support and the easy-to-use interface make this a great platform for new and experienced traders in Canada.
Kraken is a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange that places itself as 'on the forefront of the blockchain revolution since 2011'.
Styled as a crypto exchange for everyone, there is a whole Resource Center full of the basics of trading cryptocurrency.
The feature-loaded interface is easy to use for beginners, and the long and short-term investment strategies, including margin and futures trading, are suitable for the more experienced investor.
The exchange has fees that are volume-based and investor friendly, with bigger trades attracting 0% trading fees – but the exchange is very upfront about the costs involved with buying and selling Bitcoin on a maker-taker structure.
Kraken allows deposits to be made in cryptocurrency, and accepts the following fiat currency:
Accounts can be funded by wire transfer and SWIFT, but not through credit and debit cards.
The Starter Account allows basic deposits, exchanges and withdrawals for cryptocurrency, and just needs basic information like name, date of birth and address.
The Intermediate and Pro accounts allow for withdrawals into fiat currency but needs more Know Your Customer (KYC) information like a valid Social Security number, photographic ID and proof of residence.
With the Pro account, higher limits and access to the anonymous ‘dark’ trading pool and over the counter desk for large transactions.
The Kraken mobile application is available for both iOS and Android, allowing for simple buying and trading of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and full use of trading strategies.
Gemini is a security-first platform to buy and sell cryptocurrency that was founded in 2014 in New York City by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss – the well-known twins who sued Zuckerberg over the creation of Facebook.
Regulated by the NYSDFJ, Gemini is one of only a handful of cryptocurrency exchanges that are regulated and available in all 50 states as well as 50 or more countries around the world.
Traders can buy, sell and exchange more than 30 cryptocurrencies, and while crypto conversion is free, there is a convenience charge on each transaction of 0.50% over market price, and a trading fee of $0.99 to $2.99 or 1.49% for transactions over $200.
The trading platform offers multiple tools so traders can do more than just buy and sell cryptocurrency, and the mobile application is available on iOS and Android, fully optimised to buy and sell on the go.
With the mobile app you can set price alerts, and even complete an account set up directly in the application.
Buying Bitcoin through Gemini is simple and straightforward – just deposit either fiat currency or other coins into your account, and decide if you want to buy straight away, or wait until it reaches your preferred price.
You can buy and sell Bitcoin on the website, or through the mobile app.
Crypto.com was created as a place to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrency, and is a decentralised exchange where users can exchange fiat or cryptocurrency for more than 100 of the most popular altcoins.
Crypto.com has more than 10 million users and provides services in 90+ countries globally. For security, 100% of user crypto is kept in cold storage, while the hot wallets that are used to ensure fast transaction speeds contain corporate funds.
All fiat currency is held in regulated custodian bank accounts, and there are strict security protocols around access to wallets based on the principle of least privilege.
You can deposit 20+ fiat currencies using a credit or debit card, as well as through bank transfer, and through the app you can buy cryptocurrency at the true cost (with a commission).
The Crypto.com offering includes a VISA card with the potential to earn up to 8% in CRO (The Crypto.com currency), a Pay application that lets you use your cryptocurrency balance to make payments online where accepted, an instant loan based on your cryptocurrency balance with no late fees and instant sending of crypto to other app users with no fees.
With the Crypto.com app, you can earn up to 8.5 % pa for staking crypto, and up to 14% if you stake stablecoins (which are designed to offer price stability because they are aligned with an asset).
The exchange platform at Crypto.com offers tracking for all major cryptocurrencies, and with bitcoin you can easily see an up-to-date price when you decide to buy.
Crypto.com allows users to purchase BTC and other altcoins at the ‘real price’ with commission paid on deposits via credit or debit card, so it might be a cheaper way to buy if you are using fiat currency.
Trading fees are a small percentage (up to 3%, depending in volume) so it is possible to trade both current crypto holdings and fiat for BTC, too.
12. Olymp Trade
Founded in 2014, Olymp Trade is a relative newcomer as a trading platform but has more than 25 million users worldwide.
Traders can buy and sell stocks, commodities, forex, cryptocurrencies and ETFs with a minimum deposit of $10.
Based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Olymp Trade is regulated by the IFC.
All deposits and withdrawals are free, whether you use bank transfer, cards or e-wallets, but there is an inactivity fee after 180 days of $10 (or equivalent) per month.
Commission is about 8% of the trade on Olymp Trade, and the spreads are about average on currency pairs. There are no fees for deposits or withdrawals, with a minimum withdrawal amount of $10.
The trading platform is available on web, mobile and desktop and is straightforward to use with a seamless user experience. The interface is customisable, and you can use various indicators and analysis tools while making trades on options on forex.
The mobile app is native for both iOS and Android and is designed to have the full functionality of the web and desktop platform, with notifications and alerts.
If you want to use Olymp Trade for buying Bitcoin, it is worth noting that you can only trade cryptocurrency CFDs rather than buying and owning the altcoins.
Traders on the platform are designated different statuses, depending on the amount of deposit.
- Starter is up to $499 deposit, which offers basic functionality.
- For those that deposit $500 to $1,999, the Advanced status offers more open positions, faster withdrawal requests, monthly consultations with professionals, built-in trading strategies and private webinars. You can get a 10% discount on Forex fees too.
Advanced status comes from depositing more than $2,000, and includes risk-free trades, individual training and exclusive daily investment ideas as well as everything else that is available in the lower status groups.
There are lots of educational resources available on Olymp Trade, including a Learn How to Trade in 30 Minutes course and other articles, tutorials and videos all listed by theme and category.
Research is in-house and includes forecasts, technical analytics and a blog with lots of useful information, with analysis like charting, an economic calendar and fundamental data.
Customer service is available in multiple languages and can be accessed 24/7 via phone, email or live chat.
Best for: Choice of payment method
Bitpanda serves a European customer base and has a good selection of payment methods. The cost of buying and selling bitcoin on Bitpanda is on a par with Coinbase (1.49%); however, a full fee breakdown is not easily found on the website and the fees are included within the buying price.
The level of privacy users receive depends on their usage; with a verified email only, you can buy bitcoin but have limits on the amount you can sell. By verifying your ID, you can buy bitcoin with a credit card and purchase substantially more using other payment methods.
This regulated broker offers ideal trading conditions no matter what your style of trading.
You have the choice of a zero commission account or a zero spreads account, and you can deposit as little as $50 to start trading.
There’s even leverage up to 1:500 available if you want it.
Unlike most brokers that offer a VPS, Switch Markets will give you a high-spec VPS completely free with your trading account – this is well worth it if you are an EA trader.
Read its reviews and you will see that its customer support is exceptional and available around the clock – something often overlooked when choosing a broker.
Withdrawals and deposits are fast too.
This is an ideal broker for those looking to improve their trading skills.
This is an ideal broker for those looking to improve their trading skills.
It has partnered with some of the best trading education providers to give you free membership to a world-class education – fantastic for beginner traders.
A broker to check out!
Best for: Speed and simplicity
Based in the heart of London, CoinBurp is rapidly growing towards being one of the best reviewed exchanges in the UK. An increasingly easy choice when buying or selling cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, the company is rated number 1 on Trustpilot UK.
CoinBurp prides itself in its instant GBP deposits, automated GBP withdrawals and excellent customer service. Security-wise, the company is partnered with BitGo, through which it is able to offer an up to $100M insurance guarantee on customer assets held in cold storage.
You can make deposits on CoinBurp via an instant GBP Faster Payments bank transfer or a speedy EUR SEPA transfer, with all withdrawals and deposits of £100/€100 or over being free and with no trading fees, making CoinBurp one of the least expensive cryptocurrency trading platforms in the world.
Best for: Currency choice
Binance is one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges.
Binance has free deposit and withdrawal fees for UK customers and a 0.1% trading fee.
The company is well known for supporting a wide range of digital currencies which means bitcoin traders have a vast array of options for trading multiple currencies.
Best for: Keeping costs to a minimum
Robinhood allows users to buy and sell bitcoin free of charge.
The company has only recently introduced a web version, having been solely mobile-based, so is better suited to those who are comfortable using their phone to manage their money.
Up to now, Robinhood has only been accessible in 16 states, but its website states that it is coming to the UK in early 2020.
18. Bitcoin ATMs
Best for: Anonymity
A bitcoin ATM, or BATM, is simply an ATM – a physical kiosk where you can buy bitcoin.
Just like a standard fiat money ATM, BATMs allow insertion of a credit/debit card or cash in exchange for bitcoin.
These machines allow users to buy and sell bitcoins anonymously – there are none of the ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) checks you will undergo if you’re looking to buy bitcoins with the majority of other companies mentioned on this list.
Fees are on the high side for this service; the ATMs charge between 7% and 10% for buying and selling bitcoins.
Another potential issue is finding a machine which does what you want it to; some can be used to buy bitcoins and some to sell bitcoins, but machines that do both are scarce.
Remember, you need a wallet to store your bitcoins in; ATMs are just ATMs, they do not offer any kind of wallet storage facility.
Best for: Buying with credit card
CEX is a UK-based exchange. The company takes payment by credit and debit card as well as bank transfer for the purchase of bitcoin.
Payments with a credit card deliver the bitcoin to the user’s account instantly and fees for the privilege are low compared to other exchanges.
The authorisation process for CEX is lengthy and requires a significant amount of personal information. Those wishing to buy large amounts of bitcoin by bank transfer will need top-level verification which involves photographs of several different identification documents, selfies with each and proof of address.
20. Local Bitcoins
Best for: Privacy
Local Bitcoins is a completely different type of exchange to the others on this list. The company is a peer-to-peer exchange which supports users in posting an advert stating payment methods and exchange rates for buying/selling their bitcoins.
A reply to an advertisement opens a trade, and escrow protection (protecting both the buyer and the seller) is activated.
Bitcoins are stored in a Local Bitcoins wallet, and from there, the user can pay for their purchases directly.
It is free to register, buy and sell bitcoin. It is also free to make a transaction to the wallet of another Local Bitcoin user. A 1% fee is charged for every completed trade.
Deciding which cryptocurrency to go for is fairly straightforward but choosing an exchange and wallet is more complex. Choose well and you could enjoy a substantial return on your investment, safe in the knowledge that your funds are safe and secure; choose badly and your cryptocurrency experience could be an extremely negative one.
Reading reviews written by other traders can be very useful when it comes to making sure an exchange is as good as you think it is – pros and cons featured in comparison articles online can alert you to areas of the exchange’s website you need to look at more closely to get the full picture.
WikiJob does not provide tax, investment or financial services and advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.