Get Bitcoins

The biggest question many people struggle with is “How do I get Bitcoins?” The issue here is that there are numerous ways to get Bitcoin, all depending on the amount of work you want to put in and expertise you want to build.

First and foremost, the most common way to get any quantity of Bitcoin is to purchase it on an exchange. It’s the simplest method and, if you choose a reputable exchange, possibly carries the least risk.  Simply choose one of the many exchanges, follow the proper sign up procedure, and then make a purchase. There are going to be different instructions on each exchange, but the gist of it will be the same. You will pay a fee to purchase Bitcoins from other people on the exchange who already have Bitcoins and wish to sell them.

Secondly you could find an individual with some Bitcoins to sell. This would be a peer-to-peer transaction. They give you the Bitcoins and you pay for them in the way you agree with the other person – that could be with cash, with a cheque or by bank transfer. Of course, you are exposing yourself to an increased risk, but this method can be far more anonymous.

The most evocative method of obtaining Bitcoin that you have probably heard about is Bitcoin mining. If using an exchange is buying gold online, mining is going right to the source and pulling it out of the ground. This is more work, but with less of an explicit cost. The implicit cost of mining is the energy your computer expends trying to solve the cryptographic problems that earn you a Bitcoin. The process of mining is much more complicated than this article could possibly cover, and is explained in further detail here.

Bitcoin’s whole purpose is to eventually become a cash replacement, so it can logically be assumed that another method of obtaining Bitcoin would be performing services or selling goods in exchange for it. Accepting Bitcoins to your public key as part of a free market transaction is a perfectly legitimate way of earning Bitcoin.

Another less-risky way of obtaining Bitcoin is by going through a Bitcoin ATM. These are starting to pop up all over the world and offer a simple way of converting your fiat currency into Bitcoin. Think of these the same way as you would any other foreign currency conversion counter – you are paying them a fee to convert your money into another currency.

If you are thinking of owning Bitcoins more as an investment, rather than wanting to spend or trade them, you could consider investing in a Bitcoin Fund.  Of course, you won’t own the Bitcoins directly, but instead you will gain exposure through the activities of a specialised Bitcoin Fund Manager. It is certainly not risk-free, but investing in a fund could be considered the safest way to get involved in the Bitcoin market.

Then you get to a variety of other ways of earning Bitcoin that are a little bit riskier or less certain. You could always gamble in casinos powered with Bitcoin. Or you could look out for a Bitcoin “faucet” which is a website or service that pays you based on the amount of time you spend on the website.

If you know of, or have invented a new way of obtaining bitcoins, then please contact us.