Bitcoin - the godfather of all cryptocurrencies has been around since 2008. It is a fully decentralised crypto coin that facilitates peer to peer transactions in a completely anonymous way. Besides this, it’s also one of the best performing asset classes the world has ever seen. This means that for avid investors, Bitcoin is readily available for buying, selling, trading, or simply holding as a store of value. 

The latter is actually something that many people around the world have done instead of holding other assets such as gold, government bonds, or other ‘secure’ investment vehicles. Adding to the legend of Bitcoin, nobody actually knows who created it. The founder is simply referred to as Satoshi Nakomoto, who could be a group, an individual, or even a collective group of high-ranking government officials - nobody truly knows. 

 

Where To Buy Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the most accessible of all crypto coins currently in existence. It can be bought on multiple platforms including exchanges, brokerages, wallets, and even e-wallets like PayPal are offering direct Bitcoin purchases these days. However, despite all of the available platforms, one of them is always our go-to:

eToro - visit here

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eToro is a revolutionary brokerage platform that is open to all UK residents. It has a strong appeal with younger investors due to simple products, accessibility on mobile, as well as the ability to ‘copy’ other traders. The latter automatically makes people feel more comfortable with buying and selling complex assets like Bitcoin. Oh and we almost forgot to mention - eToro charges zero commission fees, meaning more money stays in your pocket.

Pros

  • Simple sign up process
  • Over 10 million registered users
  • FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulated
  • Instant Bitcoin trades available

Cons

  • Fees charged for withdrawals
  • No real ‘education’ for investing - unlike other brokerage sites

 

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Cryptoasset investing is unregulated in most EU countries and the UK. No consumer protection. Your capital is at risk. CFD crypto trading is unavailable for clients residing in the UK and US. 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.

 

What Is The Difference Between Buying And Trading Bitcoin?

Trading and buying Bitcoin are two very different things. Yes, both involve a Bitcoin purchase to kick things off. But the ongoing treatment of the investment is what makes trading and buying Bitcoin unique from each other. We’ve cleared this up in the information below:

Buying

 

  • Fixed price purchase - no huge concern on hourly/daily changes
  • Buying typically involves holding for a lengthy period
  • Usually just the one transaction - unlike many in trading

Buying Bitcoin is pretty much the most straightforward crypto investment you can make. Bitcoin is supported on all major platforms, and in the UK, you can purchase Bitcoin in GBP. This avoids the need to buy any other crypto or fiat currency before you are able to make the investment. Generally, you can just enter in the amount of money you wish to invest in Bitcoin too, without worrying about complex conversions when trading with crypto pairs. 

 

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Trading

 

  • Never just a single transaction involved
  • Involves monitoring, strategy, and correct execution for profit
  • Trading relates to buying, holding, as well as selling Bitcoin

Trading isn’t for everyone, especially not when it comes to Bitcoin. Prices can still swing quite violently, despite it being the most established cryptocurrency. This means that reading chart patterns, understanding how the asset will respond to news, and executing the trades themselves are critical for long term success. You must constantly monitor Bitcoin’s fluctuations with trading, which isn’t the case if you plan on buying and holding. 

 

How To Buy Bitcoin Online?

As stressed previously, Bitcoin is widely available for purchase in the UK. That’s partly due to the popularity of this asset, and partly because cryptocurrency buying and trading are perfectly legal in the UK. On that note, if you are feeling ready to make your first Bitcoin purchase, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Jump to eToro through the provided links
  2. Run through the brief sign up process
  3. Verify your information once signed up
  4. Log in and fund your account with a supported payment method
  5. Choose how you’d like to purchase Bitcoin and execute the transaction

 

eToro has various products you can access to purchase Bitcoin. This includes regular trading, ETFs that involve Bitcoin, CFDs, and more. What you choose is entirely up to you, but it’s all available once you sign up with eToro

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

 

How To Trade Bitcoin?

Trading Bitcoin is a little more complex than simply buying for a fixed price and holding the coin. There are more products available, different strategies to execute, and market timing becomes all the more important. However, putting complexities aside, it’s still fairly straightforward to get set up with trading Bitcoin online:
 

  1. Choose an appropriate trading platform (eToro recommended)
  2. Open a brand new account
  3. Verify details and set up security measures (2FA, passcodes, etc.)
  4. Sign in and process your first deposit
  5. Browse the available products, wait for the right time, and make your first purchase

 

The beauty of trading Bitcoin is that you’ll be able to see trading volume, price charts, and what trades people are executing at any given time. All of this helps to make the most informed trading decision, and when you pull the trigger to buy Bitcoin, you will instantly be in the game. Simply sign up with eToro and you are ready to roll.

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What Are The Different Ways To Pay For Bitcoin?

In case you are in any doubt - Bitcoin can be bought in many different ways. Although it is a digital currency in itself, this doesn’t mean that you need to explore obscure financial instruments to get a piece of the action. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as you’ll see through the most popular payment options listed here:

Standard Currency

Thanks to the infrastructure of the coin, people can exchange regular currency such as USD or GBP to grab a piece of Bitcoin. The way this is done is to first fund online accounts via mainstream payment methods, and then execute a Bitcoin purchase using the currency at your disposal. Of course, if you are buying Bitcoin in the UK, you’ll be using GBP. But in terms of funding your account in the first place, here are the options you can typically use:
 

  • E-wallets

E-wallets are third-party virtual wallets that let you store funds, and then use them to make purchases. Of course, on the subject of making purchases, this extends to cover Bitcoin purchases. PayPal is still the most popular of all e-wallets, but others like Skrill and Neteller are now firmly on the map too.
 

  • Rapid transfer

Rapid transfers have been around for a number of years now. You’ve likely seen this option with online banking. Basically, when you perform a transaction, you have the option to do so with ‘rapid transfer’, which allows you to execute an action instantly. This is ideal because it lets you fund your account and buy Bitcoin almost immediately. 
 

  • Debit/Credit cards

Most UK residents have a debit or credit card at their disposal. The number of merchants offering these cards is significant these days, and while each merchant has individual benefits, these cards all offer the same incentives when buying Bitcoin. They let you fund your account instantly, they are secure, and they are supported by almost all platforms offering Bitcoin purchases. 

 

  • Standard bank transfers

If you don’t have rapid transfer as an option with online banking, you’ll have to go down the old-school route and perform a standard transfer. This is still equally as secure as rapid transfers, and there are hidden benefits such as much higher limits than other methods. However, it can take 4-7 days for your transaction to be completed on average. 

Other cryptocurrencies

Here’s the great thing about Bitcoin. With it being the oldest and most widely adopted crypto asset, the number of trading pairs you can explore here is just off the charts. You can actually buy Bitcoin with Ethereum, Cardano, Solana, Dogecoin, and a boatload of other coins right now. This makes Bitcoin even more accessible for buyers and traders, although of course, you must first buy the primary coin before making a Bitcoin conversion this way. 

 

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What To Consider When Buying Bitcoin?

Deciding that you want to take the plunge and invest in Bitcoin is always going to be an exciting time. You’d be following in the footsteps of millions of other investors who have also thrown some money at this digital gold. But as exciting as this is, you still need to play things safe and think about all important aspects:
 

  • How much to buy

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is valued at more than £40,000. Therefore, unless you have a great deal of spare cash, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to buy a whole coin or two. With this being the case, you should think about how much of a Bitcoin you wish to buy, and it’s important that this aligns with your investment objectives.
 

  • Where you make your purchase

More importantly than how much you buy is where you buy. It’s critical that you buy Bitcoin only through trusted platforms such as eToro. These platforms are the best way to make safe, reliable, and trustworthy Bitcoin purchases. 
 

  • Platform fees

Just like the world of traditional investing, crypto investing is subject to platform fees. These can be charged for deposits, withdrawals, and for actually buying and selling Bitcoin - referred to as trading fees. Of course, your objective here should be to buy Bitcoin on platforms that have as few fees as possible.
 

  • What product to choose

There are all kinds of products out there that give you exposure to Bitcoin. However, not all of them will be suitable for your preferred way of investing. Therefore, we’d encourage you to become familiar with each individual product type before diving in at the deep end. 

 

  • Hold time

Do you plan on being a long-term holder, or do you want to be an active trader? This is an important question to ask, mainly because Bitcoin is a very volatile asset. Long term holders must be able to stomach the extreme highs and lows, whereas active traders must understand the risks and be able to implement effective trading strategies. 

 

Is It Safe To Buy Bitcoin Online?

In terms of Bitcoin vs other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is the safest you can purchase. With that said, Bitcoin is still subject to the same threats as all other coins when it comes to online hacks and data breaches. But the good news is that a serious Bitcoin breach hasn’t occurred in years, and in 2021, it is quite safe to make an online Bitcoin purchase. You can make things all the more secure by following the advice provided here too:

 

  • Keep your private keys safe and don’t share them 
  • Only purchase Bitcoin through regulated online sites
  • Set up two-factor authentication for your Bitcoin storage platforms
  • Consider hardware storage should your investment be substantial
  • Keep your software updated for the latest security measures to be implemented

Each of the tips that require action can be manually completed through wallets, brokerages, and exchanges. The sooner you follow through and set them up, the sooner you will have the best protection possible for your Bitcoin.

 

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How To Store Bitcoin?

Understanding where to store Bitcoin is important, as is comprehending why Bitcoin storage is such a critical part of successful and safe Bitcoin investing. Simply put, Bitcoin is a high-profile target for hackers who wish to steal the asset for their own financial gain. Storing your Bitcoin effectively is the best defence against this, and here’s how you do it:
 

  • Paper wallets

Paper wallets are the most interesting of them all. Basically, computers that aren’t synced with the internet can create physical keys, print them on paper, and then remove any record of that key ever existing. The holder can then keep the key and come back to access their Bitcoin’s at a later date.
 

  • Online (software) wallets

A popular way of storing Bitcoin’s is to simply hold them in an online wallet. Instead of needing to store private keys here, it’s all done for you through software. This means that wallets are easy to access, and they provide a platform in which you can check on your Bitcoin holdings at any time. 
 

  • Offline (hardware) wallets

Those with large Bitcoin holdings often choose to store them in an offline wallet, largely through hardware that can resemble a USB. Basically, you load up your Bitcoin’s onto this device through its private key and then disconnect the device from the internet. No connection to the internet means no opportunity for hackers to steal your coins!

 

How To Sell Bitcoin?

Whenever you feel it’s time to sell your Bitcoin holdings, the good news is that this is very easy to do. In fact, most of the mainstream online platforms that support Bitcoin trading will execute sales in a matter of seconds. But for clarity, let us show you exactly where you can sell your Bitcoin:

 

  • Wallets

Selling Bitcoin through regular online wallets is the way to go for beginners or those who don’t wish to actively trade Bitcoin. With online wallets, all you have to do is enter how much you’d like to sell, what currency you wish to receive the payout in, and away you go. 
 

  • Exchanges

Exchanges are a little more complex than regular wallets when it comes to selling. That’s because you can sell in different ways. You can choose to sell at the current market rate, at a future rate determined by you, or at a particular time. Also with exchanges, somebody on the buy-side of the equation has to be there to take your order.
 

  • Brokerage accounts

The UK is full of modern-day brokerage accounts, and eToro is our suggested platform. On these sites, you can sell Bitcoin in a number of different ways. For example, this might be done by copying a trader's activity or selling Bitcoin via the exchange.
 

  • P2Ps

If you wanted to completely cut out the middleman, peer-to-peer exchanges are also a possibility for Bitcoin. These exchanges let you sell Bitcoin at a predetermined market price in agreement with another person.

 

Is It Worth Buying Bitcoin Right Now?

It has been a rather remarkable 18 months for Bitcoin. Back in March 2020, Bitcoin was trading at just over £4,000 per coin. Of course, this was at the very beginning of the pandemic, where many financial products were taking a severe hit. But fast forward to November 2021, Bitcoin is trading at more than £40,000 per coin. That’s a 10x return on your money if you had invested back in March 2020 - not bad, right? But as Bitcoin’s history reminds us, mammoth gains are often followed by sharp corrections.

The thing with cryptocurrency, however, is that nobody really knows when these sharp increases and corrections will occur. Sure, professionals may have a decent idea, but even they won’t know with absolute certainty. Therefore, it’s better to simply make an investment without trying to time the market if you believe in Bitcoin in the long term. 

With that said, Bitcoin is still a volatile asset and there is no promise that your investment will increase in the period for which you are willing to hold the asset. 

 

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Final Thoughts

There are many positives surrounding Bitcoin at the time of writing. Ignoring the significant price increases in recent years, Bitcoin has real-world value and application to offer. The technology allows for anyone with internet access to become their own private bank, in effect. Transactions are completely anonymous, the coin itself is free from government interface and manipulation, and actually paying for and using Bitcoin is incredibly secure. This makes Bitcoin more appealing for many when compared to other, more mainstream financial instruments.

Of course, from a purely investing perspective, Bitcoin looks favourable given how it has performed over the last decade. Then again, nobody truly knows what the future holds for Bitcoin. Could it keep going up at a staggering rate? Sure. But could governments introduce regulation that makes the technology obsolete? Absolutely. It’s a risky business, but then again, Bitcoin is the most promising of all cryptocurrencies in the long term, simply due to its history.

 

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FAQs

Can I buy Bitcoin in any country?

No, but since you are based in the UK, this isn’t something that you need to be overly concerned about. Buying and selling Bitcoin is 100% legal in the UK, and there are many ways you can do it, as discussed in detail above.

 

Is there a limit to how many Bitcoins I can buy?

Not really. But given the rather significant price for one whole Bitcoin right now, the maximum number of Bitcoin available for purchase isn’t really something to worry about. 

 

Can I buy Bitcoin without ID?

No. To buy and sell Bitcoin through an online platform, you must verify the details provided when registering. In almost all cases, you’ll need to scan through a photo of your passport or driving license to confirm your name and date of birth. 

 

Can I buy Bitcoin instantly?

Sure. Once you have actually registered for an online account and deposited some funds, you can buy Bitcoin effectively straight away. 

 

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency to ever be developed. It is a decentralised currency, as well as a peer-to-peer intermediary for goods and services. Bitcoin also runs on its very own blockchain network, and all transactions are subsequently verified by different nodes running on the network.

 

How does Bitcoin work?

With Bitcoin itself being a digital currency, users can buy and sell Bitcoin in exchange for goods and services. Bitcoin can be exchanged by transferring Bitcoin’s or parts of a Bitcoin to private keys, or Bitcoin addresses. This is done manually by the people who own the private keys, and thanks to blockchain technology, these transactions are perfectly anonymous and are impossible to be duplicated.