How to Buy Bitcoin – NerdWallet

Buying Bitcoin is much the beginning step that investors take into the world of cryptocurrency. And it can be an unfamiliar landscape for person used to traditional fiscal products. The respect of Bitcoin — the universe ’ sulfur first and most popular cryptocurrency — has risen from $ 3,237 in December 2018 to briefly achieve new read highs above $ 65,000 in 2021 ( see price below ). Like all cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is inquisitive and discipline to a lot more excitability than many tried-and-true investments, such as stocks, bonds and reciprocal funds.

Is Bitcoin right for you?

Bitcoin can be a bad investing, so it ‘s important to think cautiously about your goals and your strategy before you decide. While Bitcoin ‘s price has appreciated dramatically over time, not every person who has bought it has gotten a man of those gains. Because cryptocurrency markets in cosmopolitan are very volatile, it ‘s closely impossible to find the “ properly time ” to buy or sell — the price could soar moments after you sell, or plumb bob adenine soon as you buy.

That said, there are some basic guidelines. One coarse rule of thumb is to invest no more than 10 % of your portfolio in person stocks or bad assets like bitcoin. If you ‘re new to investing, find out more about how to invest money. If you do decide to buy bitcoin, there are besides some technical and logistic decisions you ‘ll have to make. It ‘s besides a good idea to make sure you understand what you ‘re investing in. here are some basic things to know .

  • What ‘s a cryptocurrency ? Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that are normally created using a cryptanalytic computer networking technology called blockchain, which makes it possible to exchange them without the need for a cardinal authority such as a trust. Cryptocurrencies are traded on public exchanges, but they are by and large not subject to the same regulations as stocks and other traditional investment products .
  • How does Bitcoin fit in ? Bitcoin is the prevailing impel in the market for cryptocurrencies, but there are thousands of other cryptocurrencies — some reputable, some not. unlike cryptocurrencies are much designed for different purposes. For exemplify, Bitcoin was developed as a payment system. Some early cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, are used to carry out more complex transactions. Some, such as Dogecoin, were created as jokes but have attracted investor interest anyhow .

» Learn more : popular cryptocurrencies and how they work If you ‘re thinking about buying Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency, there are a few ways to think about the risks and potential rewards. Bitcoin is a count both on the cryptocurrency outer space itself and the particular technology behind Bitcoin. Both are relatively new and unseasoned, and neither is guaranteed to reach the electric potential some of its proponents expect. If you believe in the ideas behind cryptocurrency in general, but you ‘re not convinced that Bitcoin is the ultimate formula of those concepts, you might want to consider a more diversify portfolio of cryptocurrencies.

How to buy Bitcoin in 4 steps

  1. Decide where to buy Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and a few traditional brokers like Robinhood can get you started investing in Bitcoin .
  2. Think about how to store your cryptocurrency. Are you going to keep your Bitcoin in a hot wallet or a cold wallet ?
  3. Make your purchase. trope out how much you want to invest in Bitcoin .
  4. Manage your investment. Determine your long-run plan for this asset .


FTX.US Coinbase Gemini

NerdWallet rating  NerdWallet ‘s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring rule for on-line brokers and robo-advisors takes into report over 15 factors, including account fees and minimums, investment choices, customer back and mobile app capabilities .

NerdWallet rating  NerdWallet ‘s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula for on-line brokers and robo-advisors takes into bill over 15 factors, including account fees and minimums, investment choices, customer support and mobile app capabilities .

NerdWallet rating  NerdWallet ‘s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring convention for on-line brokers and robo-advisors takes into account over 15 factors, including account fees and minimums, investment choices, customer defend and mobile app capabilities .

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0 % -0.4 %


0.5 % – 4.5 % varies by type of transaction ; early fees may apply


0.5 % – 3.99 % depending on payment method acting and platform

Account minimum

$ 0

Account minimum

$ 2

Account minimum

$ 0


none no promotion available at this meter


Get $ 5 in Bitcoin when you make your first gear craft. Terms Apply .


$ 20 of BTC for newly users after trading $ 100 or more within 30 days

1. Decide where to buy Bitcoin

There are a few different ways to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including exchanges and traditional brokers.

Cryptocurrency exchanges

You can purchase bitcoin from several cryptocurrency exchanges. many put up dozens of cryptocurrency choices, while others just have Bitcoin and a handful of alternatives. They carry a variety of different fees and consumer protections, sol do your application before choose.

Traditional stockbrokers

The choices among traditional brokers that give customers a room to buy and sell Bitcoin are few right now — Robinhood was the first base mainstream investment broke to offer bitcoin ( Robinhood Crypto is available in most, but not all, U.S. states ). Like its stock-trading platform, Robinhood charges no fees for Bitcoin trades. Of the on-line brokerages and cryptocurrency exchanges that NerdWallet reviews, the following presently offer Bitcoin .

available for : Learn more
Binance.US access to buy and sell about 60 cryptocurrencies . Read review
Coinbase access to buy and sell closely 100 cryptocurrencies . Read review
eToro trade platform with access to 17 cryptocurrencies . Read review
Gemini ability to buy and sell more than 50 cryptocurrencies . Read review
Robinhood Seven cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ethereum . Read review
SoFi Active Investing Offers more than 20 cryptocurrencies for trade including bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin . Read review
TradeStation Offers trade for five cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ethereum . Read review
Webull Offers 10 cryptocurrencies for deal, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum and litecoin . Read inspection
Kraken Offers more than 90 cryptocurrencies . Read review

Other ways to buy or invest in bitcoin

  • Bitcoin ATMs. These ferment like normal ATMs, entirely you can use them to buy and sell bitcoin. Coin ATM Radar shows more than 27,000 Bitcoin ATMs around the U.S .
  • Peer-to-peer bitcoin owners. You can buy bitcoin directly from early Bitcoin owners, a lot like you would buy items on Craigslist, through peer-to-peer tools like Bisq, Bitquick and Use extreme point circumspection if buying Bitcoin directly from individuals .
  • Exchange-traded funds. The fiscal firm ProShares launched the beginning Bitcoin ETF in October of 2021. The fund ( watch : BITO ) does n’t invest directly in bitcoin, however — rather, it invests in futures contracts for Bitcoin .
  • Grayscale funds. Grayscale Investments is a digital currentness asset coach. Two of its investment trusts — Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ( GBTC ) and Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust ( ETCG ) — are publicly traded, which means you can buy them through many deduction brokers. There are fees, and GBTC much trades at a premium — that means GBTC shares often cost more than bitcoin, even though Bitcoin is its alone hold. The think is that some investors are will to pay extra to buy Bitcoin through a traditional exchange, without needing to worry about wallets and storehouse .

Preparing to buy

Have information you may need handy. Setting up a cryptocurrency account takes minutes, but you ‘ll need to provide some information, including your Social Security count and the numeral to your depository financial institution account, debit card or credit poster to fund your Bitcoin report. Some providers besides may require you to have a mental picture ID. Record and safeguard any newly passwords for your crypto account or digital wallet ( more on those below ). Don ’ thyroxine use a credit menu. Although some providers allow you to purchase Bitcoin by credit tease, making investments by borrowing from a high-interest product like a citation circuit board is never a beneficial mind. Understand investor protections. Or in this case, the miss thence : Bitcoin and early cryptocurrency investments are not insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation for exchange failures or larceny, a auspices that traditional neckcloth brokerage accounts enjoy on up to $ 500,000. Some exchanges like Coinbase provide secret indemnity, but that doesn ’ metric ton protect against person on-line breaches like person stealing your password. Use a secure, private internet connection. This is authoritative any prison term you make fiscal transactions on-line. Buying Bitcoin while at the coffee workshop, in your hotel room or using early populace internet connections is not advised.

2. Decide how to store Bitcoin

Bitcoin can be stored in two kinds of digital wallets : a hot wallet or a cold wallet. With a hot wallet, transactions generally are faster, while a cold wallet often incorporates extra security steps that help to keep your assets safe but besides make transactions take longer.

Hot wallet

With a hot wallet, Bitcoin is stored by a believe central or supplier in the cloud and accessed through an app or computer browser on the internet. Any deal exchange you join will offer a free bitcoin hot wallet where your purchases will mechanically be stored. But many users prefer to transfer and store their Bitcoin with a third-party hot wallet supplier, besides typically release to download and use. Why choose a wallet from a supplier other than an exchange ? While advocates say the blockchain engineering behind bitcoin is even more batten than traditional electronic money transfers, Bitcoin hot wallets are an attractive target for hackers. As warns : “ many exchanges and on-line wallets suffered from security breaches in the past and such services by and large still do not provide enough insurance and security system to be used to store money like a bank. ” There are many hot wallet providers, offering a range of wallet types. here are a few :

  • Coinbase : besides a popular Bitcoin currency exchange, Coinbase offers spare on-line hot wallets and insures losses due to security breaches or hacks, employee larceny, or deceitful transfers .
  • electrum : software that allows your bitcoin to be stored on your laptop or desktop calculator .
  • Blockchain : Like Coinbase, Blockchain is an on-line hot wallet ; unlike Coinbase, Blockchain isn ’ t a currency exchange and is considered a less attractive aim for hackers .
  • mycelium : A mobile-only bitcoin wallet, with versions available for Android or iPhone users .

Although some hot wallet providers offer policy for large-scale machine politician attacks, that policy may not cover one-off cases of unauthorized access to your account.

Cold wallet

A cold wallet is a humble, encrypted portable device that allows you to download and carry your Bitcoin. Cold wallets can cost arsenic much as $ 100 but are considered much more procure than hot wallets. cold wallet providers include :

  • Trezor : This company offers small, key-size coldness wallets ranging from about $ 60 to $ 220 .
  • Ledger Nano : Designed like a flick drive, Ledger Nano has cold wallets ranging from about $ 60 to $ 120 .

When creating accounts for your digital wallets and currency switch over, use a hard password and two-factor authentication.

3. Make your purchase

After linking your bitcoin wallet to the Bitcoin substitute of your choice, the last footprint is the easiest — deciding how much Bitcoin you want to buy. While a single Bitcoin costs tens of thousands of dollars, the cryptocurrency ( trading symbol BTC or XBT ) can be bought and sold for fractional shares, so your initial investing could be american samoa humble as, say, $ 25.

4. Manage your investment

If you like the theme of sidereal day trade, one choice is to buy bitcoin nowadays and then sell it if and when its respect moves higher. But if you see a future for BItcoin as a digital currentness, possibly your investment plan is to buy and hold for the long haul. Whatever your design, know that owning Bitcoin creates a building complex tax position .

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