Where can you buy Bitcoin?

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 29, 2013
Updated • Nov 15, 2021
Crypto & Blockchain, Internet

Investment in crypto-assets is unregulated, may not be suitable for retail investors and the entire amount invested may be lost. It is important to read and understand the risks of this investment, which are explained in detail here.

Bitcoin is the most popular crypto-currency currently, which can not only be attributed to the press coverage it gets, but also to the exchange rate it is currently traded in. A single bitcoin is currently traded for about $1100 -- fluctuations are common and can occur in a matter of minutes -- which is a lot if you consider that its exchange rate was around $200 at the end of October.

If you are interested in bitcoin, how would you go about it and buy some? There are no banks that let you do that, at least as far as I know, which means that you have to rely on other means to trade coins for money.

I'd like to present you with a couple of options to do so.

Note: I'm not suggesting that you should buy bitcoin right now. That's entirely up to you. Knowing how to do it on the other hand  is not a bad thing, especially if those crypto-currencies are here to stay. It is not clear yet if that will be the case though.

Buying Bitcoin

There is no official exchange for bitcoin. There are however sites and services that are respected and therefore lower risk than services that are newer or not as established yet.


MtGox is one of the established services. You can create an account with them to buy and sell bitcoin on site, and transfer funds from and to a bank account.

One of the advantages of bitcoin is that there are not any opening hours. You can buy and sell the currency 24/7 on any day.

Note: If you create a new account on the site, you are required to verify the account by supplying a valid photo ID and residence proof for some site functionality (withdrawals and deposits).

So, if you want to purchase bitcoin on the exchange, you need to verify your account in order to do so.



To buy or sell bitcoin on Coinbase, you need to verify a bank account and phone number. The bank account verification works in the following way: Two small deposits are transferred to the selected account which you need to verify on site.

Once that is out of the way, you can start to buy and sell bitcoin on the site. It is interesting to note that it may take days before you get your bitcoin, but that the exchange rate itself is locked to the date and time you made the purchase order.

While it is still necessary to verify your phone number and bank account, the process itself is less strenuous as the one that MtGox requires of you.

Note: Transactions can be cancelled at any time until the bitcoin arrive in the wallet from the transfer history page.



The risk associated with the BTC-E service is higher, which is reflected in the exchange rates as they are lower than those on other sites.

There is virtually no verification in place, other than email, which means that you can start depositing funds right away using services such as OKPay, Perfect Money, or bank transfers using SEPA or comparable services.

Instead of depositing Euro, USD or YEN into the account, you can also deposit crypto-currencies in it. If you have bitcoin, litecoin or namecoin, you can transfer them to your account or withdraw them again.

One of the advantages of using the service, besides lower purchase prices, is the fact that you can buy other crypto-currencies here as well.

Local Bitcoins


Local Bitcoins offer an interesting alternative to currency exchanges. The service brings local buyers and sellers together.

Trades can either be made online, buy making payments directly to sellers who in turn transfer the currency to your wallet, or by meeting locally.

It is advised to be cautious if you select the meet in person option, as you will have cash on you to make the purchase if you are the buyer.

It is probably best to meet in public places, and even have someone with you during the exchange to make sure you are not ripped off.

You do need a wallet application on your mobile phone or mobile computer to make the transfer of the currency during the exchange. Android users can use something like Bitcoin Wallet for their device.

Tip: LocalBitcoins uses a reputation system that helps you find reputable buyers and sellers. Check the feedback score and feedback from past transactions).

Now Read: How to mine Bitcoin


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Adam said on March 16, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Coinbase is currently the best place for buying Bitcoin, but there are lots of other good places that offer wallets and the ability to buy currency.

  2. Justin Delano said on January 5, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Bitcoins have sure been on a wild ride recently. In terms of both the exchange value and in the news. I have to admit I worry that governments are going to crack down on bitcoins at the most inopportune moment. Right now I see them more as a great speculative vehicle than anything else. But I wish a very bright and promising future for them…it is just my government that I’m worried about. So far so good in the US but that could change so fast…
    Stay safe all!

  3. Fred Adams said on December 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    We do not buy or sell bitcoins. We have no business affiliation with regard to buying or selling bitcoin with any of the companies or individuals listed here. We supply information about who is buying and selling bitcoins, and how it is often done, as educational information and journalism. Being listed on this web site should in no way be construed as an endorsement of any such business or individual. As is the case in any business transaction, you must do your own due diligence to ascertain and verify the honesty, integrity, and legality, of the business or individual you are transacting with.

  4. Kulm said on December 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    An excellent source for bitcoin news.
    bitcoin site:cryptome.org

  5. Justine Moore said on December 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I bought a bunch of bitcoin when it first came out, and I used Coinbase. I personally liked it, and it worked very well for me. It was simple to use, and I still have my bitcoin kept with it.

  6. YB said on December 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    What the h*** is “Bitcoin” and why should I use it over my own currency? I see this stuff all over the news, but what advantages does it offer other than exchange rates.

  7. Ramona Q. Hickman said on November 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Once the malicious software was able to obtain financial information from its victims, the four suspects would then steal money from the bank accounts. They then used a bitcoin exchange that they set up called FBTC Exchange in order to launder some of the stolen cash into euros.

  8. mantucket said on November 29, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Hey Martin, nice article!

    On LocalBitcoins, it is not necessary to download a local wallet – at least for the trades I have done.
    If you are curious, here is my localbitcoins profile for verification, you can send me a message or whatever..


    The wallets exist on the LocalBitcoins server, just as with MTGox. I make sure to take all coins out of my wallet at end of day, though as localbitcoins has been quite unstable and is still a very new site – they need to work the bugs out before anyone should trust it with significant sums.

    Another major exchange recently is bitstamp.net – bitstamp has better prices, more volume, and better implementation than bct-e.com in many ways.

    Good luck!

    1. happy hacker said on November 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      it was only a question of time [and a good algorithm]
      a few enterprising young men are minting bitcoin hand over fist
      slow release ensures that market suspects nothing
      if I’m any judge of human nature; the floodgates should soon open

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.