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How to Buy and Sell Bitcoins

If you want to buy some bitcoins, whether you intend to hold them as an investment, trade them on a day-to-day basis as prices fluctuate, or use them to purchase stuff, you need a wallet to hold them in. Read about bitcoin wallets here.

Once you have your wallet you can buy bitcoins from brokers, exchanges, or directly from other people. You can even buy bitcoins at ATMs!

Bitcoin exchanges work like any other kind of market exchange: buy orders are matched with sell orders. You can deal directly with an exchange or get a broker to handle the transaction for you. Just remember that bitcoin exchanges are not highly regulated, so you need to use a reputable one in order to avoid being cheated.

Once you have chosen your broker or exchange, you sign up with them and link the account to your bank account. They may ask for personal information and some form of ID such as a scan of a driving license or passport.

You pay for bitcoins in various different ways: cash, credit/debit cards, wire transfers, or in exchange for your own goods or services. The fee you pay will vary depending on your payment method. That’s because unless you pay with hard cash, the seller is exposed to the risk of a chargeback. That means that after you buy the bitcoin using your credit card (or PayPal) and you receive the coins, you could complain to your payment provider and get the charge reversed. But bitcoin transactions can’t be reversed, so if you do that the seller is left out of pocket.

To guard against this, many sellers won’t take credit cards or PayPal; if they do, they charge a higher fee and have more stringent identity checks.

The most common way of buying bitcoins is to use a wire transfer, because once the seller has got your money you can’t request a chargeback. Therefore, you won’t get charged so much for the transaction. The drawback is that it will take longer to complete than paying with a credit card.

Paying with cash means arranging to meet with the seller face to face which is both quicker and cheaper, but riskier too. Perhaps the safest way to use cash to buy bitcoins is to feed it into a bitcoin ATM. Find your nearest ATM here:

To convert your bitcoins back to physical money, or to another cryptocurrency, you simply conduct another transaction in the same way you bought the bitcoins. The coins will be moved out of your wallet to the wallet of the buyer, and your credit/debit card or PayPal account will receive the money. You can also sell bitcoins to some ATMs and receive either cash, or a transaction confirmation which you can redeem for cash.

List of Bitcoin Exchanges

Here are some of the bitcoin exchanges in the UK and the US. They all handle bitcoins and some deal in other cryptocurrencies as well.




List of Bitcoin Brokers

Here are the top brokers that let you deal in bitcoins:


Disclaimer: ADVFN provides these links as examples only and does not recommend these exchanges over any others. We offer no guarantee about the security of these companies.