Have you heard about cryptocurrency like Bitcoin but actually have no clue how to buy crypto?
Or maybe you want to jump into crypto investing but the process feels overwhelming?
I’ve been there too.
Years ago when I first caught the cryptocurrency bug, I spent days digging through complex tutorials full of technical jargon just to figure out how to buy Bitcoin.
Fast forward to today and thanks to a surge of mainstream interest, it’s now easier than ever to buy crypto… but it can still feel like trying to navigate a maze blindfolded.
Between picking a trading platform, securing your coins, and a million other steps, there’s a lot standing between you and those sweet crypto gains.
That’s why I’ve created this complete beginner’s guide covering everything you need to confidently buy cryptocurrency.
Even if you can barely spell “cryptocurrency” let alone understand it, this guide has you covered.
This guide will walk you step-by-step through the entire process of buying cryptocurrency. We’ll cover:
By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to buy or sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies with confidence!
Choosing a Cryptocurrency to Buy
The first step is deciding which cryptocurrency you want to buy. There are over 18,000 different cryptocurrencies to choose from!
Here are the top cryptocurrencies to research:
|The first and most well-known cryptocurrency
|Platform for “smart contracts” and decentralized apps
|Cryptocurrency of Binance
|Network protocol connecting blockchains
Bitcoin (BTC) is the most established and valuable cryptocurrency. Many people see Bitcoin as “digital gold.” Owning Bitcoin is seen as a long-term store of value.
Ethereum (ETH) is a blockchain platform that runs “smart contracts” and powers decentralized applications like NFTs, DeFi, crypto games, and the metaverse. Ethereum has the most developer activity and real-world usage.
New cryptocurrencies like Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT) are competing to become the top blockchain platform. They have interesting technical differences compared to Ethereum.
In general, Bitcoin and Ethereum are the best cryptocurrencies for beginners to start with. They have the highest mainstream adoption and widest availability across crypto platforms.
As you learn more, you can research and invest in other emerging cryptocurrencies.
Finding a Platform to Buy Crypto
The next step is choosing a platform to purchase your cryptocurrency.
There are two main types of platforms:
- Cryptocurrency exchanges – Trading platforms for buying and selling crypto
- CFD Brokers – Licensed platforms who sell underlying asset directly to customers
- eToro: A social trading platform known for copy trading, eToro allows users to mimic the moves of popular traders. It offers a user-friendly interface suitable for beginners.
- Bybit: A rapidly growing exchange, Bybit is known for its advanced trading features and robust security measures. Ideal for experienced traders.
- Bitget: Bitget stands out with its unique focus on derivative trading and copy trading. It offers a diverse range of trading pairs and products.
|Stocks, Indices, ETFs, Currencies, Commodities, Cryptoassets
|Up to 30:1 (varies by asset)
|EU, USA, UK, Austalia, Middle East
|PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, Neteller, SEPA, WebMoney
|Number of Users
Ease of Use
Cryptoasset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.
|Crypto, Visa, MasterCard
|Number of Users
Ease of Use
|Debit card 3-4%
|Crypto, Visa, MasterCard, Bank Transfer, SEPA
|Number of Users
Ease of Use
Go to Bitget
Cryptocurrency CFD brokers
- Plus500: A well-regulated broker offering a range of CFDs on cryptocurrencies. Known for its user-friendly platform and risk management tools.
- Libertex: Offers commission-free trades and is known for its simple, effective trading platform. Suitable for traders of all levels.
- Avatrade: A reliable broker with a strong emphasis on trader education and a wide range of instruments, including cryptocurrencies.
|Forex, Shares, Indices, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies
|Up to 50:1 (varies by asset)
|SEPA, VISA, MasterCard, Trustly, Skrill, Neteller, Klarna, Swish
|Number of Users
Ease of use
|CFD Forex, CFD metals, CFD Indices, CFD Stocks
|Up to 30:1 (varies by asset)
|SEPA, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Visa, Mastercard
|Number of users
Ease of use
73.77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
eToro is a great choice for beginners who are interested in learning from and copying the trades of experienced investors. Bybit and Bitget cater to more experienced traders with their advanced tools and features.
Brokers like Plus500, Libertex, and Avatrade are excellent options for those who prefer a straightforward, educational approach to trading cryptocurrencies.
Funding Your Account to Buy Cryptocurrency
To start purchasing cryptocurrency, you’ll need to deposit money into your account on the buying platform.
Most exchanges and brokers allow you to fund your account through:
- Bank transfer (ACH/Wire): Link your bank account to transfer USD. Slow but low fees.
- Debit/Credit card: Instant but has higher fees and limits.
- E-Wallets like PayPal: A convenient and fast method for buying cryptocurrencies. Link your PayPal account for quick purchases.
I recommend making a SEPA bank transfer to fund larger purchases. Use a debit card for quick access if buying a small amount of cryptocurrency under $1000.
Here are the typical funding methods accepted on top beginner platforms:
Once your account is funded, you’re ready to place your first cryptocurrency buy order.
Placing Your First Buy Order
Buying crypto is similar to buying stocks or other securities on an investment platform.
Follow these steps to place your first purchase order:
- Log in to your broker or exchange account.
- Navigate to the trading screen for the cryptocurrency you want to buy. This is usually labeled “Trade” or “Buy/Sell”.
- Enter the amount of USD or EUR you want to trade with. Alternatively, you can enter the amount of crypto you want to buy.
- Preview and confirm the details of your buy order. This will show the amount of crypto you’ll receive for your purchase amount.
- Double check that all details look correct, then submit your buy order.
- Wait for the transaction to process. Purchases made with a bank transfer can take 4-5 days to clear, while debit card buys are usually instant.
Once the order is filled, you should see the newly purchased crypto in your exchange account wallet.
If you purchase with a crypto exchange
Don’t forget to withdraw it into your private wallet for security best practices.
Here are some pro tips for buying crypto to get the best rates:
- Use a limit order to specify a target purchase price instead of buying at market price.
- Be patient for dips in the market to time your purchases when prices are low.
- Use dollar cost averaging to make regular, incremental buys to reduce risk from volatility.
If you buy your crypto CFD with a trading platform
No Physical Ownership Advantage: When you invest in a crypto CFD, you bypass the intricacies of purchasing and owning actual cryptocurrency. Instead of dealing with the actual asset, you’re simply speculating on its price movement.
This approach eliminates the need for a crypto wallet and the responsibility of securing your digital assets.
It’s a straightforward, hassle-free way to engage in the crypto market without the complexities and security concerns associated with managing real cryptocurrencies.
Setting Up a Cryptocurrency Wallet
To buy and hold cryptocurrency, you’ll need a cryptocurrency wallet.
Cryptocurrency wallets allow you to:
- Securely store your holdings
- Interact with blockchains
- Send, receive, and exchange coins
There are different types of wallets to choose from:
|Physical device to store crypto offline
|App to store crypto on your device
|Broker / Exchange
|Custodial wallet on a trading platform
|Wallet app on your smartphone
|Printed public and private keys
The most secure option is a hardware wallet like a Ledger Nano X. Cold wallet devices store your private keys offline so they can’t be hacked. However, they cost between 60 and 250 EUR.
A free and secure alternative is using a fully licensed trading platform like eToro. These platforms manage the security of your investments, ensuring safekeeping of your assets. They are regulated and offer a higher level of security compared to software wallets.
Web/Exchange wallets provided by trading platforms like Coinbase are also free and convenient. While you don’t control the private keys, assets are stored securely by the platform, which is responsible for their safekeeping.
For small amounts of crypto, using a secure and regulated platform like eToro provides a good balance of security and convenience, without the need to manage private keys yourself.
As you acquire more crypto holdings, transitioning to using a hardware wallet in combination with a secure trading platform can enhance your security.
Here are step-by-step instructions to set up an account on eToro, a popular trading platform:
- Go to the eToro website and click on the “Join Now” or “Trade Now” button.
- Fill in the required fields with your personal information to create a new account.
- Verify your account by providing the necessary identification documents, as required by regulatory compliance. Once your account is verified, log in and navigate to the ‘Deposit’ section.
- Follow the prompts to securely deposit funds to open cryptocurrency position.
Your eToro wallet is now ready. You can buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies, as well as explore other trading options.
Securely Storing Your Crypto
Now that you’ve bought cryptocurrency, it’s critical to keep it secure through proper storage practices:
- For small amounts, keep coins in a software or mobile wallet on your personal device. Enable all available security features.
- Once you accumulate larger holdings, transfer them to a hardware wallet. Store recovery phrases offline.
- Consider splitting coins across multiple wallets as another layer of security.
- Always verify addresses carefully before sending crypto. Double check the full address.
- Be cautious accessing crypto wallets from public Wifi connections to avoid hacking.
- Never share private keys or recovery phrases. Ignore scam attempts asking for them.
Storing crypto securely takes vigilance, but a few simple habits like using hardware wallets and enabling 2FA go a long way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions beginners have about buying cryptocurrency:
How much money do I need to get started?
Most exchanges and brokers allow you to buy as little as $1 worth of cryptocurrency to start. Fund your account with as much as you want to invest.
What are crypto trading fees?
Exchanges like Coinbase charge .50% – 1% fees per trade. Brokerage services often charge about the same ~1% fees to buy crypto with a debit card.
Is it better to trade or hodl crypto?
For beginners, it’s typically better just to buy and “hodl” (hold long-term). Trading is higher risk and requires experience.
How do taxes work with crypto?
You likely need to pay capital gains tax when selling crypto at a profit. Keep records of your cost basis, trade prices, and tax obligations.
Is it too late to invest in cryptocurrency?
While crypto has grown a lot, the future potential remains high. Many experts think we are still in the early adoption phase for crypto investing.
And that covers everything you need to confidently buy cryptocurrency for the first time!
The key steps are:
- Choose a cryptocurrency to invest in
- Register for a trusted crypto exchange or broker
- Connect your wallet to transfer purchased coins
- Fund your account with a payment method
- Place your buy order for crypto
- Set up a secure crypto wallet
While it may seem daunting at first, the process gets much easier with experience. In no time you’ll be comfortably trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies.
We hope this guide was helpful on how to buy crypto as a beginner!
Let us know if you have any other questions.
And happy investing!