How to buy Bitcoin online

Bitcoin was the world’s first cryptocurrency and it is still the most widely traded coin today. This page teaches you about Bitcoin, and what to consider before you pick up some.
By: Max Adams
Max Adams
Max has a keen interest in the transformative power of technology and is the founder of a platform called… read more.
Updated: May 12, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

This beginner-friendly guide takes you through everything you need to know about Bitcoin. Learn what it is and how it works, what to consider when buying and selling coins, and whether you should dip into the market right now.

Compare where to buy Bitcoin, and open an account

If you’re ready to get started, simply click one of the links in the table below to visit one of our trusted partners. We have compared all the top trading platforms to help you find one that suits your style and budget. If you need to know a little more before you spend your money, then scroll down to keep reading.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
User Score
10
Accepts customers from the USA
Offers 15 crypto coins to buy&sell including BTC, LTC, ETC, NEO and more
Trade on the world's leading social trading and investing platform
Start Trading
Description:
eToro offers a wide range of cryptos, such as Bitcoin, XRP and others, alongside crypto/fiat and crypto/crypto pairs. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
2
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
User Score
9.3
The world's largest cryptocurrency exchange with over 2bn daily users
Innovative trading platform offering enormous range of crypto coins
Supports over 60 methods of payment including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
Binance has grown exponentially since it was founded in 2017 and is now one of, if not the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges on the market.
Payment Methods
1Pay, 2C2P, 3d Secure Credit Card, ACH, ANELIK, Abaqoos, AdvCash, AlertPay, Alfa-Click
Algocharge, AliPay, American Express, Apple Pay, AstroPay, BPAY, Bank Link, Bank Transfer, Bank Wire, Baofoo, BitGold, BitPay, Bitcoin, Boleto, Bonds, Borneo Exchanger, Bradesco, CEX.io Mobile App, CFDs, CSS System, CUPS, CartaSi, Carte Bleu, Carte Bleue, Cash, CashU, Cashier Order, Check, Check (UK only), China UinonPay, China Union Pay, China UnionPay, ClickandBuy, Commodities, Contact, Contact Z, Credit Card, Cryptocurrencies, Currencies, DCPay, DIXIPAY, Dankort, Debit Card, Dengi Online, DineroMail, DirectPay, Dotpay, E-dinar, ELV, ENets, EPS, ETFs, EXCARD, Easy2Pay, EcoPayz, Ecommpay, Ecurrencyzone, EgoPay, Emerchant Pay, Eprotections, EstroPay, Ethereum, Euro Bank Account, Euteller, Express Dotpay, Express Polish Post Office 24/7, Express Zabka Market, Ezeebill, Ezybonds, FasaPay, Fastapay, Fastbank, Faster Payments, FilsPay, Forex, GTBank, Gate2Shop, Giropay, GlobalCollect, GlobalPAY, GlobePay, Gluepay, Halcash, I-Account, IPS, Ideal, Indices, Individual US State License(s), Indonesia Exchanger, InstaBill, Instadebit, IntellectMoney, Interswitch, Investmate, Itukar, KNET, Klarna, LaoForexBoard, LavaPay, Lion Payment, LiqPay, Litecoin, Lobanet, MOTO, MT4, MT5, Mailing Cash, Market Maker, Masari, Mastercard, MegaTransfer, Mister Cash, Mobile Trading App, Mobile Trading Platform, Moneta, Money Bookers, Money Order, MoneyBookers, MoneyGram, MoneyPolo, Multibanco, NETBANX, Nab, Namecoin, Neosurf, NetPay, OKPAY, OMT, OmahPoin, OnPay.ru, Online Naira, OrangePay, PAYSEC, POLi, POLi & BPay, PYEER, PagoEfectivo, Paxum, Pay Nova, PayCo, PayPal, PayRetailers, PayWeb, Payeer, Payoneer, Payonline, Payvision, Payza, Perfect Money, PocketMoni, Postbank, Powercash 21, Prepaid MasterCard, Prepaid MasterCard (I-Account), Prepaid MasterCard (Intercash), Prepaid MasterCard (Payoneer), Privat 24, Przelewy24, QIWI, RBK Money, Rapid Transfer, RegularPay, SEPA, Safecharge, SafetyPay, SahibExchange, Shilling, SmartPay, Sofort, SolidTrust Pay, SorexPay, Sporopay, Stock Certificate, Stocks, Swish, Teleingreso, Thailand Exchanger, Ticketsurf, Todito Cash, Trade Interceptor, Transact Europe Payment, Trazus, TrustPay, Trustly, UAE Exchange, UPayCard, USD, Ukash, Unet, UnionPay, Unistream, Uphold, Verve, Vietnam Exchanger, Visa, VixiPay, VoguePay, Vouchers, Wallet One, WeChat, Web Based Trading Platform, WebMoney, WebPay, Webtrader, Western Union, Wire Transfer, Wirecard, Yandex, Yandex Money, Yemadai, YuuPay, Z-Payment, Zenith, Array, cTrader, dinpay, eCard, eCheck, eKonto, ePay bg, ePayments Transfer, eToro Mobile Trading Platform, eToro Trading Platform, eTranzact, iPay, mPay, neteller, paysafecard, postepay, skrill, unichange.me
Full regulations list:
3
Min. Deposit
$20
Exclusive promotion
User Score
8.7
Margin Trading with full legal compliance
Cryptocurrency staking
Various Payment options
Start Trading
Description:
Cex.io offers exchange of fiat currency for Bitcoin Ethereum, Tether, and 23 other cryptocurrencies, as well as Bitcoin/Ethereum trading against the USD.
Payment Methods
Credit Card, Cryptocurrencies, Debit Card, Wire Transfer, skrill
Full regulations list:

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the most widely used and traded cryptocurrency in the world. Instead of requiring a centralised body such as a bank to verify transactions, all Bitcoin payments are recorded on a public ledger called a Blockchain which is constantly maintained by users of the cryptocurrency. This means that Bitcoin can be bought, spent, and traded without the need for any institution to oversee the process.

Not only is it the largest crypto, Bitcoin was also the first. It was launched in 2008 through an academic paper entitled, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. This paper was published under the name Satoshi Nakamoto, which most people today believe to be a pseudonym for a group of mathematicians who worked on the project together. The identity/identities of Satoshi Nakamoto have never been revealed.

How does Bitcoin work?

Bitcoin works by recording any and all movements of coins on a blockchain. When one coin is sent from one wallet to another, the information about this transaction is added to the blockchain. As the blockchain is publicly accessible to everyone, this creates an immutable record that the Bitcoin has moved from one location to another.

This might sound fairly trivial, but it’s this process that allows Bitcoin – and all other cryptocurrencies – to exist. Before Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper in 2008, nobody had figured out a way to prevent somebody spending the same coin more than once without having a centralised body (such as a bank) keeping a record of all transactions. With the invention of the blockchain, the ‘double spend problem’ was solved and Bitcoin became a viable alternative currency.

This is just a very short summary of the way Bitcoin works. To get the full picture, and understand the meaning of key processes such as Bitcoin mining, take our quick and free Bitcoin 101 course. Or keep reading to find out the best way to Bitcoin now.

How to buy BTC online – step-by-step guide

Step 1. Find an exchange

There are a wide variety of exchanges that offer Bitcoin. Every platform has its own benefits and drawbacks, and our in-depth reviews and quick comparison tables (one of which you’ll find at the top of this page) can help you make the right choice. For now, here are two of our favourite Bitcoin exchanges:

  • Binance: Binance is one of the largest and best cryptocurrency exchanges around, with the option to trade Bitcoin along with a huge variety of other coins. It has a user-friendly app, and offers very competitive fees. You can open an account right here >
  • Bitpanda: Bitpanda is a user-friendly cryptocurrency exchange that lets you invest quickly and easily. The registration process is simple, and it offers more than 50 different coins and coin pairs in total. Register with Bitpanda by clicking this link >

Step 2. Sign up and fund your account

To use an exchange, you’ll usually have to sign up and register for an account. The exact steps this will require vary from platform to platform, but expect to be asked to provide an email address, phone number, and photo ID.

In terms of funding your account, the payment methods accepted again will depend on your chosen platform. Some exchanges only allow you to make deposits in cryptocurrency, and those that accept fiat deposits won’t always accept e-wallets such as PayPal

Step 3. Purchase

Once your account is funded, look for ‘Bitcoin’ in the list of available coins, or select the trading pair for the coins you’re trading (e.g. BTC/GBP if you’re using the British Pound) and execute your trade.

Step 4. (Optional) Get a suitable wallet

With most exchanges, you can hold your Bitcoin on the exchange platform. While this is convenient if you’re looking to trade Bitcoin, it can be worth getting your own personal wallet if you’re going to hold the coins for a long time. This is the best way of keeping your tokens secure, and these are two of our recommended options:

1
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
User Score
10
The world's largest cryptocurrency exchange with over 2bn daily users
Innovative trading platform offering enormous range of crypto coins
Supports over 60 methods of payment including PayPal
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
1Pay, 2C2P, 3d Secure Credit Card, ACH, ANELIK, Abaqoos, AdvCash, AlertPay, Alfa-Click
Algocharge, AliPay, American Express, Apple Pay, AstroPay, BPAY, Bank Link, Bank Transfer, Bank Wire, Baofoo, BitGold, BitPay, Bitcoin, Boleto, Bonds, Borneo Exchanger, Bradesco, CEX.io Mobile App, CFDs, CSS System, CUPS, CartaSi, Carte Bleu, Carte Bleue, Cash, CashU, Cashier Order, Check, Check (UK only), China UinonPay, China Union Pay, China UnionPay, ClickandBuy, Commodities, Contact, Contact Z, Credit Card, Cryptocurrencies, Currencies, DCPay, DIXIPAY, Dankort, Debit Card, Dengi Online, DineroMail, DirectPay, Dotpay, E-dinar, ELV, ENets, EPS, ETFs, EXCARD, Easy2Pay, EcoPayz, Ecommpay, Ecurrencyzone, EgoPay, Emerchant Pay, Eprotections, EstroPay, Ethereum, Euro Bank Account, Euteller, Express Dotpay, Express Polish Post Office 24/7, Express Zabka Market, Ezeebill, Ezybonds, FasaPay, Fastapay, Fastbank, Faster Payments, FilsPay, Forex, GTBank, Gate2Shop, Giropay, GlobalCollect, GlobalPAY, GlobePay, Gluepay, Halcash, I-Account, IPS, Ideal, Indices, Individual US State License(s), Indonesia Exchanger, InstaBill, Instadebit, IntellectMoney, Interswitch, Investmate, Itukar, KNET, Klarna, LaoForexBoard, LavaPay, Lion Payment, LiqPay, Litecoin, Lobanet, MOTO, MT4, MT5, Mailing Cash, Market Maker, Masari, Mastercard, MegaTransfer, Mister Cash, Mobile Trading App, Mobile Trading Platform, Moneta, Money Bookers, Money Order, MoneyBookers, MoneyGram, MoneyPolo, Multibanco, NETBANX, Nab, Namecoin, Neosurf, NetPay, OKPAY, OMT, OmahPoin, OnPay.ru, Online Naira, OrangePay, PAYSEC, POLi, POLi & BPay, PYEER, PagoEfectivo, Paxum, Pay Nova, PayCo, PayPal, PayRetailers, PayWeb, Payeer, Payoneer, Payonline, Payvision, Payza, Perfect Money, PocketMoni, Postbank, Powercash 21, Prepaid MasterCard, Prepaid MasterCard (I-Account), Prepaid MasterCard (Intercash), Prepaid MasterCard (Payoneer), Privat 24, Przelewy24, QIWI, RBK Money, Rapid Transfer, RegularPay, SEPA, Safecharge, SafetyPay, SahibExchange, Shilling, SmartPay, Sofort, SolidTrust Pay, SorexPay, Sporopay, Stock Certificate, Stocks, Swish, Teleingreso, Thailand Exchanger, Ticketsurf, Todito Cash, Trade Interceptor, Transact Europe Payment, Trazus, TrustPay, Trustly, UAE Exchange, UPayCard, USD, Ukash, Unet, UnionPay, Unistream, Uphold, Verve, Vietnam Exchanger, Visa, VixiPay, VoguePay, Vouchers, Wallet One, WeChat, Web Based Trading Platform, WebMoney, WebPay, Webtrader, Western Union, Wire Transfer, Wirecard, Yandex, Yandex Money, Yemadai, YuuPay, Z-Payment, Zenith, Array, cTrader, dinpay, eCard, eCheck, eKonto, ePay bg, ePayments Transfer, eToro Mobile Trading Platform, eToro Trading Platform, eTranzact, iPay, mPay, neteller, paysafecard, postepay, skrill, unichange.me
Full Regulations:

How to trade Bitcoin – step-by-step guide

Step 1. Find a broker

If you’re looking to trade Bitcoin, then the best option is to use an online broker that allows you to open and close positions quickly. Pretty much all brokers that allow cryptocurrency trading will allow you to do so with Bitcoin, and here are two of our top picks:

  • eToro: One of Europe’s most popular brokers, eToro allows users to trade a variety of assets including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Using your eToro account you can also trade CFDs on forex, commodities, and stocks – so your investments don’t have to purely crypto-based. Register for an eToro account now >
  • Plus500: Similarly to eToro, Plus500 is a well-known online broker that supports CFD trading for number of different cryptocurrencies and other assets. You can trade other large-cap cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin and Ethereum on Plus500. Start trading with Plus500 today >

Step 2. Deposit money

Before starting to trade you’ll need to make a deposit into your account. Brokers will usually accept deposits only in fiat currencies (e.g. GBP an dUSD), and there will typically be fees associated with deposits and withdrawals. Have a read of our reviews to find the best deal.

Step 3. Decide how you’d like to trade

The two trading options you’ll have with most brokers will be CFDs (contracts for difference) or spread betting. With both of these approaches, you’ll be trading against the value of Bitcoin rather than actually taking ownership of the coins yourself. You can read more about both of these approaches here on Invezz to help make your decision.

Step 4. Start trading 

It’s best to start trading with a demo account first if you’re new to Bitcoin. This way you can learn the ropes without risking any money – which is particularly useful in a volatile market such as cryptocurrency.

When trading the crypto markets you’ll be speculating on the movements in the Bitcoin price – taking either a long (buy) position or a short (sell) position. You’ll want to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and come up with strategies that can help you determine which way the market will move.

Once you get more experienced, you might also consider trading with leverage. Many brokers will allow you to trade large amounts with you only having to pay a small ‘margin.’ Be careful of leveraged trading though, as it can lead to big losses just as quickly as it can lead to big profits.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
User Score
10
Accepts customers from the USA
Offers 15 crypto coins to buy&sell including BTC, LTC, ETC, NEO and more
Trade on the world's leading social trading and investing platform
Start Trading
Description:
eToro offers a wide range of cryptos, such as Bitcoin, XRP and others, alongside crypto/fiat and crypto/crypto pairs. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA

Still undecided?

To help you make your decision, we’ve condensed everything into these quick pros and cons. Keep reading below to read more about what you should consider before you start, and whether now is the right time.

Pros

  • Bitcoin is the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency 
  • It’s increasingly widely accepted as payment method
  • Built in scarcity gives BTC intrinsic value
  • Has previously skyrocketed in price in short spaces of time

Cons

In addition to these pros and cons, here’s a quick run through of three things to consider when investing in Bitcoin.

1. Is now a good time to buy Bitcoin?

The answer depends on what your goals are. If you’re looking to own some Bitcoin in order to use and spend it, then it’s rarely a bad time to do so (as long as you can afford the coins). If, however, your aim is to make a profit in either the long or short term, then there are more things to consider.

You want to look at how it has performed over time – both recently and over the long term. The BTC price has often seen steep rises and sharp falls over short periods of time, and you want to do everything you can to ensure you’re buying the dip rather than the peak. For this, it’s important to keep up to date with the most recent analysis of the Bitcoin market. Here’s the latest from our experts:

The cryptocurrency market is advancing this Friday, Bitcoin is trading very close to $58000, and for now, everything indicates that the price could advance above this level very soon. Fundamental analysis: Institutional demand continues to grow significantly Bitcoin continues to enjoy the support of both developers and user communities while…
Bitcoin (BTC) price is up over 86% year-to-end (YTD) as investors moved to price in the higher adoption of cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology Tesla pioneering EVs, and crypto adoption as well Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are having a good one. It’s been hard to keep up with the…

2. What problem does Bitcoin solve, and what are the coin’s investment prospects?

The problem that Bitcoin solves is the same as it has been since its launch in 2008: how to have a viable currency without the need for a centralised institution. Bitcoin’s fame and value have been built on its ability to function as a currency without the need for the backing of banks.

Since Bitcoin emerged, thousands of other coins have followed, but none has (as of yet) knocked Bitcoin off its perch as the leading cryptocurrency in the world. Many of the coins that have come after have built themselves on ambitious projects trying to apply the blockchain to new problems, but Bitcoin remains just as it ever was: a currency enabled by blockchain technology.

This could make it sound like Bitcoin has had its day and is now somewhat old fashioned in the crypto space. However, many people have made similar arguments over the years and Bitcoin is still here, with no sign of disappearing any time soon. You can find all the latest news right here and keep on top of any recent developments that could impact its investment prospects:

Major electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has hinted at resuming crypto payments soon. The Elon Musk-led company disclosed this news in a September quarterly filing with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). Specifically, Tesla noted that it might restart the practice of transacting in digital assets in the future. In the…
Anthony Scaramucci, a renowned hedge fund investor, believes anyone that studies Bitcoin (BTC/USD) and understands it will see its potential. He shared his views earlier today during an interview, noting that the sector will become a gigantic asset class. Scaramucci urged the general public to do…
Binance Smart Chain (BSC) developers have proposed measures to maintain the deflationary model of Binance Coin (BNB/USD) and increase its intrinsic value. The company revealed this news through a blog post earlier today, noting that the developers are considering introducing a new Binance Evolution Protocol, BEP-95.

3. Do you want to hold Bitcoin for the long term?

There are times when it’s best to hold for a long time, and others when it might be better to get in and out quickly. It basically comes down to how soon you want to see your returns. Here’s some things to consider for the long or short term, along with advice on which platforms to use, depending on your strategy.

Considerations for a long term investment strategy

Long term investing is best if you believe that Bitcoin’s price is going to trend upwards in the coming months and years. If you’re going to invest this way, use our table above to find the best place to buy Bitcoin in the UK, and then transfer your new coins to a secure personal wallet.

Considerations for a short term trading strategy

Short term investing is more focused on taking advantage of volatility to make small amounts of money quickly and often. If you want to be more of a trader, then you should sign up to a broker with low trading fees, and maybe consider looking for other options such as leveraged trading.

FAQs

ℹ Where can I get Bitcoin now?
ℹ What is an exchange?
ℹ What is a CFD broker?
ℹ How much BTC can I buy at a time?
ℹ Are there fees when buying and selling BTC?
ℹ What do I need to start investing?
ℹ Is buying into Bitcoin the same as stock?
ℹ Is it safer to put my money into Bitcoin or gold?
ℹ Should I put money into crypto as a hedge against other investments?
ℹ How do cryptocurrencies compare to other assets?
ℹ How much money is currently invested in Bitcoin?
ℹ How much money is currently invested in cryptocurrency?
ℹ Should crypto be part of my long term investment strategy?
ℹ How do I keep my Bitcoin investments safe?
ℹ Can I invest in BTC without having to buy and store the coins?
ℹ Do I have to buy entire Bitcoins at once when investing?
ℹ Are exchanges at risk of being hacked?
ℹ Is investing in BTC regulated?
ℹ Do I have to pay tax on profits made through Bitcoin?
ℹ What can I do with Bitcoin?
ℹ Can I gamble with BTC?
ℹ How can I spend Bitcoin?
ℹ Can I put my BTC on a debit card?
ℹ What are the advantages of using Bitcoin?
ℹ Are there transaction fees when spending Bitcoin?
ℹ How easy is it to pay with Bitcoin?

Fact-checking & references

Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.

Risk disclaimer

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

Max Adams
Lead Content Editor
Max has a keen interest in the transformative power of technology and is the founder of a platform called Current Frequencies. When not at his desk,… read more.