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We feature the top brokers and exchanges that offer the option to buy bitcoin (BTC) with a credit card or debit card. For larger sums you can also send a wire transfer. Please view the risks associated with bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading at the bottom of this page. Also access our affiliate disclaimer.
How to Buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a Credit Card
What is Bitcoin (BTC)?
Bitcoin is a decentralized network that allows for the transfer of value between parties. It does this through use of a secure network, comprised of ‘miners,’ which host nodes (computers which 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 it 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 similar to a chain. The nature of this process led to the technology being dubbed ‘blockchain’.
Due to 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.
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 allow for it to act as a store of value, as well.
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 with regards to adoption. While much of this is due to a first-movers advantage, Bitcoin has managed to establish itself as the industry leader, simply through its inherent traits (decentralization, anti-inflationary, 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. While failure has been seen surrounding the development of a Bitcoin ETF, successes have been numerous, with the following being only a few examples.
Bitcoin futures: CME, Bakkt,
Bitcoin Fund: 3iQ
Custodial Services: Gemini
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 a reliance on proof-of-work, has resulted in increasing power consumption by computers powering the network.
Due to its decentralized nature, and no 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.
With regards to North America, Bitcoin is widely viewed as a currency, and treated as such. Jay Clayton, Chairman of the SEC, has gone on record stating this.
“Cryptocurrencies: These are replacements for sovereign currencies, replace the Dollar, the Euro, the yen with Bitcoin…That type of currency is not a security.”
Who made it?
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 the identity of Satoshi 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.
Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Trading Risk Disclaimer
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities, and this trading risk is higher with Cryptocurrencies due to markets being decentralized and non-regulated. There is no central bank that can take corrective measure to protect the value of Cryptocurrencies in a crisis or issue more currency. You should be aware that you may lose a significant portion of your portfolio.
Securities.io is not a registered broker, analyst, or investment advisor.
All information contained herein should be independently verified and confirmed. We do not accept any liability for any loss or damage whatsoever caused in reliance upon such information or services. Please be aware of the risks involved with any trading done in any financial market. Do not trade with money that you cannot afford to lose. When in doubt, you should consult a qualified financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
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