There are three main ways to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
One option is to use an exchange. The second option is to exchange assets via a peer-to-peer (p2p) network. Lastly, you can use a cryptocurrency ATM.
Before you go off to buy Bitcoins, you will need to purchase or select a wallet where you can store your cryptocurrencies. We won’t go into wallet specifics here, but you can have a physical wallet or a digital wallet. You will need to secure a wallet first so that you can store your newly bought cryptocurrencies somewhere.
Some exchanges provide wallets for you. It is up to you whether you would like to have an exchange hold your cryptocurrencies. Not all exchanges provide insurance so it is important that you do your due diligence and find an exchange with a wallet that meets all your needs and that you are comfortable using.
Since we are talking about exchanges, it is good to know that exchanges, like any other method, have pros and cons to using them. These pros and cons will depend on your needs. Some people would like to remain anonymous and not let anyone, including the government, know they have cryptocurrencies. So these people may find exchanges that verify identities troublesome. Some exchanges also demand a minimum account deposit. Still others take days to withdraw your funds. This is why it is important to perform your due diligence before signing on with an exchange.
Trading peer-to-peer or P2P is a way to maintain anonymity and gain more control over your transaction. You can choose the price you want to exchange at, the method of payment and more. These P2P networks sometimes allow people in countries where cryptocurrencies are banned or where there are no exchanges, to trade assets with peers or even with family. These networks have less restrictions on trading assets which many people prefer. However, sometimes it may be hard to find assets at prices you like and transactions can take a few days to clear. However, these networks provide many options which is appealing.
Lastly, you can use a cryptocurrency ATM. Like fiat banking ATMs, you would simply insert cash, credit, debit or cryptocurrency in order to perform a transaction. The issue with using an ATM is that they may be hard to find, they charge fees and the service may not be available when you need it. However, when they are available and working, they are fast at transacting, provide anonymity and are pretty user friendly.