In the more than 10 years that Bitcoin has been in existence, so much has changed regarding crypto enthusiasts buying Bitcoin. For a long time, cryptocurrency exchanges have been the perfect places to buy Bitcoin. However, to provide convenience and to democratize crypto purchases, other options sprouted along the way.
Alternatives to Bitcoin exchanges
If you are not comfortable with a cryptocurrency exchange or you need to explore other options to buy Bitcoin, this post comes at a perfect time to help you try some other places available.
1. Buy Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM
A Bitcoin ATM is convenient and easy to use. This type of an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) is more like the common fiat machines with a slight difference; they support cryptocurrencies.
Some of the Bitcoin ATMs in existence do not only allow you to buy Bitcoin but also support the conversion of your Bitcoin into hard cash. However, there are those that perform either of the options but not both. For example, there are some Bitcoin ATMs that will only support Bitcoin to fiat conversion while others support fiat to Bitcoin conversion.
But there’s a disadvantage,
Bitcoin ATMs are physical machines like traditional fiat ATMs. Therefore, to enjoy the convenience and relative anonymity that comes with a Bitcoin ATM you need to physically locate it first. This is the hard part.
These ATMs are not as common as you should expect. Those running Bitcoin kiosks, prefer to install them in places with high traffic and a vibrant Bitcoin/crypto community. If your location does not fit this description, it is likely there are no Bitcoin ATMs near you.
But, this does not mean you cannot access one. You can find a Bitcoin ATM map. This map has all the BTC ATMs in the world. Filter the list using your current location and the map will suggest a number of ATMs near you.
If there is one which is close enough, check out its fees, most fees will range from 6 to 10 percent, and how much it allows in terms of minimums and maximums. If the information appeals to you, hit the road.
When you get there, choose whether you want to buy or sell and follow the prompts.
2. Buy Bitcoin from newsstands (Australia)
Although this option is tied to a cryptocurrency exchange, you do not have to access the exchange directly.
If you are in Australia, you can visit over 1,200 newsstands in the country and buy Bitcoin. However, you will need to download a digital wallet on your mobile phone, a mobile number and an email address will be required to register on the app. At the news agent, you will be required to scan a QR code in order to finalize the purchase. A 5% fee will be charged.
The service is a result of the coming together of Bitcoin Australia, a cryptocurrency exchange, and a Blueshyft, a payments processor.
3. Buy Bitcoin from friends
Friends form another reliable source to buy Bitcoin but not when you are buying Bitcoin for the first time. This is because a Bitcoin wallet is required to store your digital wealth. A friend will not provide a storage option.
However, provided you already have a Bitcoin wallet, buying Bitcoin from a friend is one of the securest ways to do so. Since he/she is your friend everything should sail smoothly. Here, trust is key since there is no escrow service in case the seller or the buyer fails to deliver their end of the bargain.
If no close friends own or are not ready to part with some Bitcoins, you can buy Bitcoin after participate in local Bitcoin meetings where you can meet and connect with people willing to send Bitcoins your way at an agreed price.
When you want to buy Bitcoin from strangers whom you meet physically, make sure you take enough cash with you or schedule the meeting to be near a fiat ATM, or load your mobile phone with only the amount you wish to spend.
Additionally, instead of availing just your Bitcoin wallet address, carry your mobile phone, laptop, or any other way to confirm the coins have actually been credited into your account. For security reasons, always meet in a public place at reasonable hours.
Although Bitcoin exchanges are well known to provide the best services when you want to buy Bitcoin, they are not the only option available when you want to lay your hands on some Bitcoins.
Of the above three places, buying Bitcoin from friends, especially strangers, is not recommended since you do not know the intentions of the seller. Some may organize a meeting so that they defraud you of your fiat or steal whatever you have remaining in your Bitcoin wallet.
For safety purposes, buy Bitcoin from trusted friends, newsstands in case you are in Australia or use a Bitcoin ATM near you. Whichever option you chose, keep safety first.