Table of content
- For any operations, you need a bitcoin wallet
- Where to buy bitcoins: cryptomats
- How to buy a bitcoin: stock exchanges
- Where to buy bitcoins: exchangers
- Where to sell bitcoins
- Is it possible to find out if a person has bitcoins
How to purchase bitcoins? Such a question is posed by many users, for the first time faced with the phenomenon of bitcoin and cryptocurrency. This is much easier than it may seem at first glance. Below are listed the most popular ways to buy bitcoins, but before proceeding to this process, you need to take care of the most important: have a bitcoin purse.
For any operations, you need a bitcoin wallet
The wallet is necessary in order to obtain, store and dispose of purchased cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin wallet is a device that allows you to store and perform operations with cryptocurrency (buy, sell). There are four types: desktop, hardware, mobile and online wallets.
Desktop wallets are a special software that installs on a personal computer or laptop. They, in turn, are divided into “thick” ones (all blocks are downloaded, therefore, a lot of free memory is required) and “thin” (acting through third-party services). Of course, the first wallet is most secure, since it is managed directly by the user, but less convenient in everyday use. Suitable for those who have and manage a solid reserve of cryptocurrency. Among the “thick” wallets are Bitcoin Core and Armory; among the “thin” – Electrum.
The hardware wallet is a physical electronic device that resembles a USB flash drive. It is also considered one of the safest ways to store cryptocurrency. The only minus is the price. The cost of the most popular Ledger Nano S, KeepKey, Trezor varies from 60 to 100 euros.
Mobile wallets is an application for a smartphone that provides constant access to cryptocurrency. It is mainly suitable for payment of goods and services. The most sought are Bitcoin, Mycelium, Xapo and Blockchain wallets.
Online wallet is the easiest, but also the most unsafe way of storing cryptocurrency. It has two advantages – no installation of the program, management of the account can be done from any device anywhere with Internet access. But since third parties are responsible for the security of the funds, there is a high risk of hacking the service and stealing money. As a rule, new crypto investors use online wallet. It is possible to store in such wallets small amounts of cryptocurrency and for a short time. The most famous are Blockchain.info, Coinbase, Cointhe.
Where to buy bitcoins: cryptomats
First, it is far from necessary to buy bitcoins. Like the usual currency, bitcoins can be earned, received as a gift or resold as a payment for any item. If you still decide to buy bitcoins, the easiest way to do this through a cryptomat (a special device for buying cryptocurrency). But the commission in this very simple case is rather high: 5% of the amount of the operation + 0.001 PTS is the commission of the bitcoin network itself.
For example, in Ukraine, the software for such devices is made by KUNA, which also develops the same cryptocurrency exchange. Such devices already exist in Odessa and in Kiev. To use a cryptomat, you need to scan your wallet address and make cash. The minimum amount is $20, as a smaller amount will simply emit commissions. So far, four cryptoсurrencies: are being sold in such devices: BTC, ETH, Waves and GOLOS. The processing of the request takes no more than ten minutes, after which the cryptocurrency appears in your wallet.
How to buy a bitcoin: stock exchanges
There is much less commission – an average of 0.2% plus the commission of your bank – on crypto exchanges. Some sites on November 24, 2017 in honor of Black Friday did not charge it at all. In general, on such exchanges it is possible not only to receive bitcoins in exchange for world currencies, but also, for example, to exchange some types of cryptocurrency for others. The largest such exchanges are Poloniex, Kraken, Bitfinex, Bittrex, Bitstamp, KUNA Exchange, btc-trade.com.ua. There is, perhaps, only one drawback of cryptocurrency exchanges in front of cryptomats, in addition to the simplicity of work: it is anonymity. Cryptomats do not require disclosure of personal information. While on stock exchanges, especially international ones, personal information must be provided for registration, up to the scan copies of the passport.
Where to buy bitcoins: exchangers
You can buy cryptomonets with the help of exchange sites. They free the users from the puzzle work on the exchange platform. Such exchangers act as intermediaries between the stock exchange and ordinary buyers and establish their exchange rate on the digital currency. The commission fee here varies from 1 to 5%. You can choose the best option using the BestChange aggregator, where the data (course, commission) and the reviews of large exchangers are collected.
Where to sell bitcoins
Bitcoins can be spent on goods and services or exchanged for other cryptocurrency. If you want to exchange bitcoins for the traditional currency, you can use the services of the same exchange or exchanger, or exchange cryptocurrency offline by personal agreement.
Only cryptomats do not change cryptocurrency to traditional currencies. According to software developers for such devices on the company’s facebook page, reverse operations would immediately cause claims from law enforcement agencies.
The exchangers can set different – sometimes quite robbery – percentages for the withdrawal of cryptocurrency. And the more the sum, the greater the commission will have to pay. Do not forget about the commission of your bank. In general, a bank takes a fee of 0.5% of the amount that is credited to the debit card for payments.
Is it possible to find out if a person has bitcoins
Theoretically it is possible, taking into account two nuances. First, all address accounts are anonymous and do not contain information about the owner. In order to find some account, you need to know his bitcoin address. This address consists of 27-32 alphanumeric Latin characters, and is also presented as a QR code. Secondly, the user can change the address with each new operation carried out – a recommendation to complicate the decryption. In this case, everything goes down to tracking the often-changing characters. However, it is possible that the owner will refuse this procedure. According to crypto consultants, ordinary owners prefer to use the same bitcoin-address.
If you were able to find the person’s bitcoin address, then you will find not a finite amount on the account, but a chain of records about transactions between different addresses (how many coins have been added, how many have disappeared). If desired, the balance can be calculated. To do this, simply enter the “Bitcoin explorer” request into the internet search engine and open one of the proposed sites that solve this problem.
What are the risks?
We answered a question “how can I buy bitcoins”. There are millions of risks: price, computer (hacker attacks on exchange platforms), risk of bankruptcy and fraud.
You can miss the course, pay too high commission for exchange. You can be deceived. Even real, non-fraudulent cryptocurrency exchanges may “burst”. Some of them do not stand the cyberattack, others – unexpectedly stop trading (as recently happened with one of China’s oldest cryptocurrency exchanges BTCC, though the restriction only touched the locals).
You can forget the password for your cryptocurrency wallet or lose your wallet on the flash drive, your computer’s hard drive may fail, you can accidentally send money not to that wallet – and there is no way back.
If your cryptocurrency capital becomes known, you may even be kidnapped or corrupt security officers may come to you and take out equipment and bitcoins. Local authorities in general may prohibit cryptocurrencies at the legislative level and start a campaign of persecution against bitcoins owners.
No one regulates cryptocurrencies, there is no cryptocurrency central bank that could mitigate the fall of the course or, conversely, slow down its rapid growth. There is no regulator that could identify in a timely manner find a scammer, who only imitates the work of the exchanger or stock exchange, but in fact collects funds from trusted investors. Lost funds will not be compensated by the Fund for guaranteeing deposits of individuals, and money will not be returned in court.