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How to Buy Bitcoin | Buy BTC in 4 Steps (February 2024)

Updated on is committed to rigorous editorial standards. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we review. Please view our affiliate disclosure. Trading involves risk which may result in the loss of capital.

Bitcoin (BTC) is a “…purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash” according to its anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. The goal behind Bitcoin’s creation was to create “a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust“. Bitcoin succeeded in this task through a combination of ingenuity, determination, and technological prowess.

It’s hard to imagine a world without Bitcoin. Today, the world’s first and most successful cryptocurrency is a household name. There have been countless TV shows, songs, tributes, artwork, and books dedicated to this revolutionary invention. To learn more, visit our Investing in Bitcoin guide.

How to Buy Bitcoin (BTC) in 4 Steps

The whole process can take as little as 10 minutes, and all you'll need is a smartphone or computer, photo identification, and a means of payment.

  1. Compare Crypto Exchanges – We list the top cryptocurrency exchanges that offer the ability to buy Bitcoin (BTC) cryptocurrency.
  2. Create an account – Verify your email address and identity.
  3. Make a deposit – Debit Card, Credit Card, Wire Transfer, or Bitcoin.
  4. Buy Bitcoin – Use your funds to Buy BTC.

We list the top 9 cryptocurrency exchanges that offer the ability to buy Bitcoin (BTC) cryptocurrency with a credit card or debit card.

1. Uphold

Uphold – A top exchange in the United States, Uphold is an experienced and extremely innovative trading platform that should be able to meet your needs for trading across a number of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC). Beyond the ease of use and innovative features within the trading platform, what stands out about Uphold is the credibility it has gained in the industry.

Uphold offers both a desktop and mobile app trading experience that is extremely intuitive. The trading view is completely customizable with the assets that you trade the most and is very easy to navigate while providing a modern feel on both desktop and mobile. It is a very popular and suitable choice, particularly for new traders.

Besides being visibly appealing, the Uphold trading platform allows you to place your trades with great ease. Just a couple of clicks, and you can make trades directly from your deposit method without even having to wait for funds to clear to your account. This one-step ordering is another innovation from a company that prides itself on the usability of its platform. Uphold also provides the ability to execute limit orders.

UK & European residents are prohibited.

Read our Uphold Review or visit Uphold.

Uphold Disclaimer: Terms Apply. Cryptoassets are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment, and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong..

2. Kraken

Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the most trusted names in the cryptocurrency industry with over 9,000,000 users and over $207 billion in quarterly trading volume.

From humble beginnings, Kraken now offers over 200 digital assets including Bitcoin (BTC). For more sophisticated investors Kraken also offers futures and margin trading.

Kraken has continued to evolve its platform, and its commitment to the industry by being one of the first exchanges to offer buying opportunities on new tokens.

Kraken offers trading access to over 190 countries including Australia, Canada, Europe, and is our most recommended exchange for USA residents. (Excluding New York & Washington state)

Read our Kraken Review or visit Kraken.

3. KuCoin

KuCoin is a well-known name in the industry, and one of the most competitive when it comes to fees and trading costs. The exchange has grown exponentially from its early days of offering only crypto to crypto trading.  It now offers a varied range of services including a P2P exchange capability, and purchasing with credit or debit cards.

KuCoin currently offers Bitcoin (BTC) cryptocurrency trading as well as over 300 other popular tokens.  It is often the first to offer buying opportunities for new tokens.

USA residents are prohibited.

Read our KuCoin Review or visit KuCoin.

4. Binance

Binance is one of the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The benefits of purchasing Bitcoin (BTC) here are both lower fees than competing exchanges, and increased liquidity enabling you to buy and sell quickly to take advantage of market-moving news.

This exchange is best for investors residing in Australia, Singapore & internationally. Canadian, UK & USA residents are prohibited.

Read our Binance Review or visit Binance.

Use Discount Code: EE59L0QP for 10% cashback off all trading fees.

5. Paybis

Paybis is designed for simplicity and is an extremely trustworthy starting point for buying Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.  This exchange has been operating since 2014 and has assisted numerous traders in beginning their crypto trading journey, offering the convenience of purchasing with just a credit or debit card.  Unlike other exchanges where you buy tokens from other users, with Paybis you purchase directly from the exchange, making the process much simpler and smoother.

Paybis is a truly global company offering services to residents from 180+ countries including Canada, Europe, UK, & USA.

The fees you will encounter here are good value and competitive with others in the sector depending on the payment method you use.

FinCEN Department of the Treasury, United States of America Money Service Business Registration: 31000224635628.

Read our Paybis Review or visit Paybis.

6. HTX

Established in 2013, HTX has since become one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges, with an accumulated trading volume of US $1 trillion. Having once accounted for half of the world’s digital asset transactions, HTX now serves more than 5 million users in over 130 countries around the globe. It should be noted that HTX currently does not accept USA or Canadian residents.

HTX is one of the top exchanges that currently offer Bitcoin (BTC) trading opportunities.

Read our HTX Review or visit HTX.

7. WazirX

Launched in 2018, WazirX is India’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange with over 6,o00,000 users, and is expanding rapidly. It is one of the most reputable exchanges to currently offer Bitcoin (BTC) trading opportunities and currently accepts clients from all over the world. This exchange is part of the Binance Group, which ensures a high standard of quality.

USA residents are prohibited.

Read our WazirX review or visit WazirX

8. Coinberry – Canadians Only

Coinberry is making it easy to purchase Bitcoin (BTC) in Canada with no fuss.  Users can buy or sell this asset quickly through Coinberry's easy-to-use platform. This exchange has been around since 2017 and has a number of highly-trusted partnerships that set it up with a solid reputation for cryptocurrency. Coinberry is also registered with FINTRAC as a Money Services Business, making it very trustworthy from that standpoint.  No USA customers.

Read our Coinberry Review, visit Coinberry or visit our How to Buy Bitcoin in Canada guide.

9. iTrustCapital– USA Only: IRA Product

iTrustCapital – While US investors have historically only had access to stocks and bonds within their retirement accounts, a new industry has emerged under the name Bitcoin IRA or a Crypto IRA. These are self-directed IRA platforms that allow clients to invest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital assets while still keeping the tax benefits and flexibility of their retirement accounts. These platforms allow for both Traditional IRA accounts and Roth IRA accounts, which are specifically designed for long-term investments.

Visit iTrustCapital or learn What is a Bitcoin IRA?

What is Bitcoin (BTC)?

Bitcoin is a decentralized network that allows for the transfer of value between parties.  It does this through the use of a secure network comprised of ‘miners,’ which host nodes (computers that store copies of the BTC ledger).

As a digital asset, participation in the Bitcoin network simply requires access to an internet connection.  The asset itself can be used as either a means of payment or a store of value.

How Does Bitcoin (BTC) work?

Bitcoin works by utilizing a ‘Proof-of-work’ protocol.  This structuring sees miners in the Bitcoin network vie for a reward of Bitcoin, which is released every 10 minutes.  During this 10-minute increment, miners validate transactions completed between network participants.  These transactions are then recorded on a data block.  Blocks are permanently recorded in sequential order, linked similarly to a chain.  The nature of this process led to the technology being dubbed ‘blockchain’.

Due to the popularity and growth of the network, mining Bitcoin has largely become unprofitable for the average person due to computational requirements.  While mining was possible on a laptop early in Bitcoin’s lifecycle, today, miners are typically large companies operating massive outfits with thousands of specialized machinery.

Projected Developments?

Growth surrounding Bitcoin is a controversial subject.  It is widely believed that, in the long run, Bitcoin will not exist in the manner it does today; Bitcoin will either ‘boom’ or ‘bust’.

Much of the growth expected to occur revolves around the idea that Bitcoin will replace gold as the ‘go-to’ store of value.  With the current capabilities of the Bitcoin network, this is a real possibility.  If treated as a store of value, less priority will be placed on transaction speed and cost – reducing the impact of current network limitations.

Aside from becoming a store of value, second-layer solutions, such as the Lightning Network, hold the potential to transform Bitcoin into a legitimate candidate for micro-transactions and everyday spending.  Development of the lightning network has made leaps and bounds in the past two years, with various companies dedicating themselves to its maturation.

A best-case scenario would see a fully developed lightning network implemented, providing speed, security, and cost savings.  In this scenario, not only would micro-transactions be possible, but the inherent traits of Bitcoin would also allow it to act as a store of value.

Underlying Ideology of Bitcoin (BTC)?

While many cryptocurrencies have lofty goals, few are founded on a strong ideology; Bitcoin is one of these few.

With Satoshi Nakamoto being anonymous, his/her intentions remain unknown to an extent.  What is clear is that the goal of Bitcoin was to provide a means for an inclusive, secure, stable, means of value transfer.  Most importantly, this would be free of government manipulation.

These attributes, built into Bitcoin, are largely believed to be due to past examples of fraud, manipulation, and self-serving decisions made continuously by participants in the traditional banking system.

If successful, Bitcoin would provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hit the ‘reset’ button on the world stores of wealth. It would provide the unbanked the opportunity to gain access to modern services.  It would bring democracy to finance.

Acceptance and Controversies?

Of the cryptocurrencies created to date, all pale in comparison to Bitcoin regarding adoption.  While much of this is due to a first-movers advantage, Bitcoin has established itself as the industry leader simply through its inherent traits (decentralization, disinflationary, censorship-resistant, etc.)

While mainstream adoption has yet to occur, signs of this have been increasingly apparent in recent years.  An asset that was once a fringe technology is now a household name, with a growing number of ways to buy and spend.

On an institutional level, Bitcoin has seen a string of successes and failures over the past few years.  Over time, the network has persevered, though, and now boasts products like spot-BTC ETFs, futures trading, and more.

Throughout the lifecycle of Bitcoin, there have been various squabbles among developers (SegWit, etc.), and controversies that plagued Bitcoin.  The two most commonly recurring controversies surrounding the digital asset are,

  • Illicit activity – A perception that criminals utilize BTC, with the asset supporting black market activity
  • Power consumption – Growth of the network, and reliance on proof-of-work, have resulted in increasing power consumption by computers powering the network.

These arguments have begun to abate, however, as studies have shown only a tiny percentage of transaction on the network can be linked to illicit activity, and the networks power consumption is being put to use in monetizing stranded energy and methane flares, greatly helping the environment in the process.

Regulation of Bitcoin (BTC)?

Due to its decentralized nature and lack of central authority, Bitcoin is not viewed as a security in most of the world.

While BTC may not be viewed as a security, there are discrepancies around the world surrounding classification.  Is it a currency? Is it a commodity? Is it a collectible? Etc.

Regarding North America, Bitcoin is widely treated as a commodity.  This assessment has been underscored on various occasions with figureheads of agencies like the SEC stating as much.

Who made Bitcoin (BTC)?

Bitcoin might have the most interesting origin story of all.  This is due to a shroud of mystery surrounding its founder – Satoshi Nakamoto.

The mystery surrounding Satoshi is that no one knows who he/she/they are.  Furthermore, as Satoshi's identity is unknown, this person may not even be alive today.

What is known is that wallets associated with Satoshi contain nearly 1 million BTC, with the vast majority remaining untouched since their creation.

Daniel is a big proponent of how blockchain will eventually disrupt big finance. He breathes technology and lives to try new gadgets.