Bitcoin has been in the global spotlight for over a decade. It has already proven to be a quick, anonymous and secure method of transacting. When talking about online casinos, these Bitcoin features have acquired special importance.
The number of ways to obtain bitcoins is increasing all the time. But the questions of how to get bitcoin and what method to choose often remain murky and go unanswered. Let’s take a look at how to get bitcoins and what to consider when purchasing them.
Where can you obtain bitcoins?
In Bitcoin’s early days mining was a widely used way to obtain, but today most mining is concentrated around mining pools and may be considered irrelevant for individuals. The cost of the hardware required for entry into mining pools implies costly overheads just to start.
The good news is that obtaining bitcoin, or any other cryptocurrency, is easier than ever. Crypto newbies, enthusiasts and hard-core investors have the choice of how they want to get their bitcoins. Among the most popular options are:
- Brokers and trading platforms
- Payment services
- Bitcoin wallets
Getting bitcoins can be challenging for those new to digital currencies – it is crucial to consider security and possible fees when making such purchases.
Cost: 0.0015% to 1.99% in transaction fees or more
Bitcoin exchanges are a destination for professional traders as well as usual customers. It is a platform that connects buyers and sellers of cryptocurrency. How does it work? A buyer of crypto creates an account on the platform (i.e. a wallet), deposits currency (fiat or crypto), and places an offer to buy a certain amount of crypto. A platform analyses an order and finds a vendor who meets the buyer’s need at the price requested.
The exchange is just like a “bazaar”, a matchmaking system, where the seller and the buyer meet, negotiating prices on the basis of supply and demand.
Exchangers are deservedly considered one of the most convenient ways to get bitcoin. Payments for bitcoins can be made via wire transfers, credit and banking cards.
Advantages vary depending on the exchange chosen but are generally the same for all reliable solutions:
- Good variety of cryptocurrencies
- Ability to buy, store, and withdraw assets in one place
- Straightforward steps and procedures
The critical caveat is security. While there is a temptation to make the exchanger a full-cycle crypto solution for investors, experience shows that storing bitcoins at an exchange is not the best idea. Operations via exchanges usually include KYC procedures, although exchange platforms are yet to achieve the same level of security as banks.
Despite intense security systems, hackers are becoming more sophisticated. Often centralised exchanges fail to provide top-notch security and yield under an avalanche of hacker attacks. Large sums are at stake and no one is 100% safe from losing the assets they store at an exchange.
All cryptocurrencies held by the exchange belong to the exchange. Storing your funds at an exchange means the exchange holds your private keys. Crypto-wisdom warns us: “Not your keys, not your coins!” Keep that in mind.
In addition to centralised exchanges, there are also decentralised options. The way they work is similar to blockchain itself: a user connects to a decentralised network where each user is a part of the server that runs it. These exchanges are considered to be more attack-resistant (there is no single controlling server), and are suitable for those who value security. As the name implies exchangers aren’t regulated by a central authority, so if investors buy and sell crypto there, they bear all risks associated with the process.
A bitcoin broker works as any other financial broker would, i.e., it is a middleman between the buyer and the market. Investors bring fiat money or cryptocurrencies to brokers, deposit assets into the brokers’ accounts and gain access to brokerage services. Investors no longer have to search for where to exchange currency, which is now the broker’s responsibility.
For instance, you want to trade a portion of your Bitcoin savings into Litecoin and a part into Ethereum. The broker helps to exchange the funds, acting as the very candidate to buy on your behalf. That’s why this method is suitable for advanced crypto investors, as participants need to understand the intricacies of the whole process to choose a truly reliable broker.
The score for security is, of course, relative and rather illustrative because we can not classify all brokers the same, but there is some ground to cover:
- Brokers usually do a better job of identifying investors
- Brokers themselves are regulated (e.g., by the FCA), reinforcing an investor’s confidence that requirements will be met.
- Many people are attracted by the fact that usually, brokers either do not charge a fee at all or set minimum values (e.g. 0.5% per trade). However, the only free cheese is in the mousetrap, and brokers make money on spreads (the difference between the buy and sell price of crypto).
Relying on payment services
Cost: from 0.5 USD to 2.30% in transaction fees and more
It is widely regarded as one of the easiest ways to get bitcoins: all you need is a verified payment account. Using a reliable intermediary such as PayPal, users can purchase BTC, ETH, LTC and BCH coins directly in the app.
In this case (Skrill, PayPal, Revolut etc.), there is obviously more trust and less risk of losing assets. Payment services like these are best used only for acquiring crypto without the ability to transfer funds between wallets and with limited opportunities to spend. Storing and manipulating crypto should be done in a more reliable and private way (remember the saying about keys).
Open a crypto wallet
Cost: varies (fixed fee per device, percentage/fix per transaction)
A crypto wallet commonly comes in the form of an easy-to-use app or website, where users can register and create their personal wallets. Now, more often than not, once registered, investors will find access to crypto directly within the app or through the wallet’s website.
Here, the wallet serves both as an exchange and a storage facility for bitcoins (remember the saying?).
Alternative ways to buy bitcoins
- Peer-to-peer deal. For those yearning to stay anonymous and stay out of the bank hassle, bitcoins are provided through individuals. The procedure includes an arrangement according to which the buyer exchanges fiat for crypto or crypto for crypto. Local Bitcoins, for instance, is a website that allows users to track and negotiate such deals on a person to person basis.
- Bitcoin ATMs. BTC ATMs act like private sellers but in the form of a machine: investors bring fiat money, insert it into the ATM, scan the code of their bitcoin wallets and get bitcoins on the accounts.
- Bitcoin casinos. To integrate bitcoin gambling into casinos, operators should also find reliable payment processors who work with Bitcoin. CoinsPaid’s CryptoProcessing offers advanced cryptocurrency processing management opportunities for iGaming, supporting 30+ cryptocurrencies as well as 20+ fiat currencies.
How to get bitcoins for free: bonus strategies
Along with how to get bitcoins and how to spend them, there is a reasonable question of whether it is worth investing at all. Because trading cryptocurrency, especially volatile coins like bitcoin, is always about risk.
Free ways to earn bitcoin are great for newbies who want to get familiar with bitcoin without investing any money or taking high risks. While these methods don’t promise large sums immediately, they are a simple introduction to crypto.
- Playing bitcoin-rewarded games
Online and mobile games, as well as other products, are half their success without promotion. Many producers are attracting new audiences with the opportunity to earn bitcoins. Users can get bitcoins by completing levels or watching ads. In such cases, the most common reward is Satoshi, named after the inventor of the first digital coin (0.00000001 BTC).
- Credit cards with bitcoin cashback
Cashback on debit or credit cards is hardly a surprise to modern consumers; we are all used to miles, bonuses, and points. A crypto-cashback works like any other: users spend money on goods and services, and a percentage of the amount spent is credited to their accounts in crypto.
Forms of a flat fee or increased rewards for specific categories (such as ‘sports’ or ‘groceries’) are also possible. It depends on the brand chosen.
- Shopping rewards
This point is very similar to the previous point, but it is exclusively about online shopping. Customers install an extension on their browser (such as Lolli) and make purchases in online shops, returning a percentage of what they spend to their card or their wallet in BTC.
- Bitcoin faucets
A crypto faucet is a website or app that rewards users with cryptocurrency for performing simple tasks. Among the tasks that can be completed are watching ads, writing reviews, taking tests, and subscribing to email newsletters. Faucets aren’t a place for quick crypto-enrichment; the compensation depends directly on the effort exerted.
Where are my bitcoins stored?
Having decided on bitcoins, investors start to consider their storage approaches. Storage of bitcoins is possible in so-called “bitcoin wallets” that can reside on the computer, USB drive, mobile phone, online.
There are also ‘vault’ services that offer a layer of protection for users’ bitcoins: a multi-signature wallet that holds a number of keys to protect the account or a service that keeps bitcoin keys offline, eliminating loss of funds as a result of hacking activity.
Keep an eye out
The world is now divided into two camps: those who took the risk of investing in bitcoin at its dawn and those who wish they were among the former.
In fact, the bitcoin trend is not leaving the stage, it is just all the rage. That is why it’s never too late to start managing digital currencies, especially that bitcoin is more recognised as a payment tool. With the increasing number of bitcoin providers (meaning exchanges, brokers, crypto wallets and more), the number of its acquirers is growing as well. BTC usage is fast, secure and without undue effort, putting the advantage of bitcoin over traditional fiat currencies.
This is not to be taken as financial advice, but as a mere guide into the world of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The best approach to investing in bitcoin is as an experiment. Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose (bitcoin is volatile, financial investments are linked to risk).