Are you ready to join the bitcoin owners club but searching for information on how to buy bitcoins online? It can be difficult to buy bitcoins with credit cards and even buying coins with Paypal can be daunting when you consider how often people get scammed buying coins online.
Just like any other online purchase there is a safe way to buy bitcoins online and there is an unsafe way to buy bitcoins. Here are some things to consider when buying bitcoins online:
Where to buy bitcoins
When considering to make a purchase of bitcoins you need to consider first where you will be conducting the transaction. Will you be buying bitcoins online or in person?
There are now hundreds and even potentially thousands of sites online offering bitcoins for sale but the truth is that many of them are littered with scammers or even outright scams on their own trying to take your money.
When making a purchase of bitcoins online you need to consider the location and reputation of the website offering bitcoins for sale. Is the website a trusted vendor? Many new websites look slick and appear to be legitimate businesses but websites can be anonymous and you never know who is behind it. Does the website provide a real address and phone number? If not you should move on to something more secure with a verifiable address and telephone number so you can make contact if an issue does arise. Are they located in your home country?
While it may seem trivial in the global economy you are most likely offered greater protections from fraud in your own country. Trying to track down international web criminals is virtually impossible for regular citizens and even so for all but the largest government agencies. These and many other questions need to be answered before a decision is made on where to buy bitcoins online.
Buying bitcoins locally
Finding local bitcoin sellers is still one of the quickest and easiest ways to buy bitcoins. Face to face exchanges have been taking place since the very beginnings of bitcoin to cash transactions and will continue to remain popular so long as they are not regulated out of existence and people maintain an interest in privacy. Buying bitcoins locally is considered one of the most private ways to trade bitcoins with no one but the other party to your transaction aware of the details of your arrangement.
Buying bitcoins face to face is also one of the more dangerous ways to buy bitcoins as they become more valuable and the subject of more theft attempts. Just recently a man in New York Firefighter was mugged for his bitcoin and the number of bitcoin related robberies is on the rise at least in America’s most populous city.
Buying bitcoins online
Dealing with websites, which allow anyone to hide their true identity, requires a community of trusting parties. Websites like LocalBitcoins.com provide a community forum for discussion of bitcoin vendors and their feedback allows both buyers and sellers to leave comments on completed transactions.
While it is an imperfect system there is substantial value in having a feedback system for people who engage in trade of bitcoins online and in person. Bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase.com offer coins for sale to registered users who provide links to their banking details and photo uploads of their identification documents. By being a licensed money services business in the United States, Coinbase is required to follow certain procedures and business practices to fight money laundering and tax evasion.
These added requirements remove the anonymity that bitcoin technology offers and takes away much of the strength and privacy that the most popular cryptocurrency offers according to critics of licensed money services like Coinbase. Proponents of bitcoin regulation point out that in order for it to thrive as a currency bitcoin will have to be properly recognized but US authorities and the Federal Reserve which is unlikely to happen without legislation defining bitcoin as a currency or related asset that can be used and treated like money by all government agencies.
In the end where you live and how you chose to pay has a lot to do with how you will purchase bitcoins. If you intend on using your debit or credit card online you will need to look into licensed money services like Coinbase and Circle.com. If you intend on trading in cash or other barter items you can use services like Craigslist or LocalBitcoins.com for local vendors. If you plan on buying bitcoins with Paypal your best choice currently is to use LocalBitcoins.com and purchase from trusted vendors. You will pay a premium in exchange rates but that’s the price you pay for using Paypal.