How to buy Bitcoin (BTC)

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It depends on the current price of Bitcoin. If Bitcoin’s current price was £30,000, for example, the investor would need to invest that much to buy one Bitcoin. Because fees reduce how much money can be invested (and therefore also how much money investors potentially have to grow and compound), it tends to make sense to use electronic transfers from a bank account rather than other methods that may have higher fees involved. When an investor decides they’re ready to sell their Bitcoin, they can place a sell order through their exchange, much like they did when they originally purchased it. Often this involves providing an official document like a driving licence. In the UK, crypto exchanges are required to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations, so they’re obliged to ask things like where the investor lives, when they were born and so forth. Investors can check out our top picks for best crypto exchanges, like eToro or Coinbase. Crypto exchanges also charge transaction fees when investors buy and sell Bitcoin.

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Many charge a flat fee of around 1.5% of the transaction amount. When the transaction is complete, they will own a portion of a Bitcoin. After choosing an exchange, investors will have to fund their account before they can begin investing in Bitcoin. If investors want a potentially higher level of security, they can store their Bitcoin in an online or offline Bitcoin wallet of their own choosing. Most major exchanges have private insurance to reimburse clients if this happens, and increasingly, they’re also storing the majority of customer assets in offline so-called ‘cold storage’. They’ll then have to input the amount they want to invest. An investor can choose to sell their entire holdings of Bitcoin or only a specified amount. But keep in mind that if crypto is moved from an exchange, an investor may have to pay a small withdrawal fee. Hackers have targeted them because having someone’s personal and private keys gives them access to the owner’s assets, as they’re necessary to make trades. In the UK, the cryptocurrency market is as-yet unregulated, so if something goes wrong, you will have not access to compensation. In addition, if investors use a third-party crypto wallet custodian, they may also be permanently unable to access their coins if they lose the private key that serves as the wallet password.

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If investors want to hold their crypto in a different wallet, they’ll need to sell their holdings and then re-buy them on a different exchange. There are hundreds of exchanges out there, but some beginners may want to opt for one that is intended to balance ease of use with low fees and high security. For those who still want to buy Bitcoin, experts recommend investing no more than a small percentage of net worth in the leading cryptocurrency. Even if an investor decides to go ahead, its volatility has led to many experts recommending that people don’t allocate a large percentage of their funds to buying it, and should only invest what they are prepared to lose. Finally, cold wallets have to be bought, while hot wallets are often provided for free. However, once a cold wallet is plugged into a web-connected device, the air gap and its security is effectively lost, making the wallet vulnerable to hackers. Cold wallets aren’t automatically connected to the internet, and it’s this ‘air gap’ between the web and the investor’s personal and private keys that makes them arguably more secure than hot wallets. Hot wallets involve storing an investor’s personal and private keys online in a password-protected account, usually with the crypto exchange.

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To buy Bitcoin (BTC), or any cryptocurrency, a crypto exchange, where buyers and sellers meet to exchange their pounds sterling for the crypto coin of their choosing, is required. Their exchange, however, may have a holding period before a transfer can be made back to their bank account. If buying cryptocurrency from a crypto exchange, investors are likely to have to provide some information for identity verification purposes. Plus investors should only invest money they are prepared to lose. If those profits exceed a certain threshold, they may be on the hook for capital gains taxes so investors should make sure to keep track of their profits. When selling Bitcoin, an investor may make a profit. This means that most investors would be investing in a share of a Bitcoin, rather than a whole Bitcoin. The regulator the FCA continuously warns investors about the high risks involved with cryptocurrency. Some analysts believe the price of Bitcoin could rise in future as cryptocurrency and blockchain technology may become a bigger part of people’s daily lives. When Bitcoin’s price is skyrocketing, investing in the popular cryptocurrency can be tempting.

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