Do you want to know how to buy Bitcoin in UK?
Recently, I’ve seen many news about UK becoming more acceptable of digital currencies like Bitcoin. Well, it’s not a wonder anymore seeing the recent events of Europe’s economic state and structure. It’s actually amazing to see how people are becoming more welcoming of digital currencies now.
Do you want to buy Bitcoin and you happen to be in UK? Check this out.
The price of bitcoin has been surging in recent months. Compared to the start of the year, it has more than doubled, and has risen 250 per cent in the last year.
Bitcoin is famously volatile – few can predict with any certainty where it will go from here and many believe we’re in the middle of a bubble – but one thing’s certain: if you’d invested five years ago you’d be doing very well for yourself now.
There are two main ways to get hold of bitcoin – buying an expensive supercomputer (with a whopping electricity bill to match), and using it to “mine” bitcoins, the process of solving the cryptographic codes that keep the entire network running.
This isn’t a realistic scenario for most people, so the alternative is to buy. Buying bitcoins used to be a complicated affair – long waits, massive fees and foreign websites. Now there are a number of consumer-friendly websites for buying and selling not only bitcoin, but etherium and other cryptocurrencies.
However, the process isn’t always entirely straightforward. Legal bitcoin services are heavily regulated, given the currency’s association with online black markets, and its cryptographic nature means security protocols can be complicated.
Step 1 – Set up a bitcoin wallet
A bitcoin wallet is where you hold your bitcoins. Alternatively you can download the entire bitcoin program (around 150GB), but you’re probably not going to go to those lengths, and there’s no reason why your computer is more secure than a popular website, so the best option is to use an online wallet, which is sort of like a digital bank account.
There is no shortage of wallets, but one of the biggest and most popular is Blockchain.info, which is backed by millions in venture capital funding and has an easy to use website and mobile app. It also takes security steps to make sure your bitcoins are as safe as they can be.
Go to Blockchain.info/wallet to sign up, or download the mobile app. The sign up process is as easy as doing so for an email or social media account.
Step 2 – Secure your account
Blockchain.info has a series of security measures that you should take to make sure your bitcoins are safe once you do get your hands on them. Other wallets are likely to have the same protocols.
Note down your Wallet ID, found in Settings (you’ll need it again to log in in future), and use the security centre to verify your email, set up two-factor authentication and so on. After that, you’re ready to buy.
Step 3 – Find a broker
Once you’ve got your wallet, you’re ready to add some bitcoins to it. As of the time of writing, one bitcoin is worth over £1,500, but fear not – they are infinitely divisible, so you can buy £10 worth (about 0.005 bitcoins) if you want.
To do this, you have to find a broker. If you’re getting confused, think of it like buying a foreign currency from the Bureau de Change: the wallet is your bank account and the broker is the Bureau de Change.
Brokers are the ones handling your real money – you send them cash via a credit card, bank transfer or some other method, and they send bitcoins to your account. Because of this, they often have strict “Know Your Customer” requirements that include identity verification.
They vary on exchange rates, fees, method of payment and quality of service. Credit card payments are often quicker, but can incur a fee, for example. The website Bittybot allows you to compare brokers, including trust ratings.
Step 4 – Buy buy buy
Once you have found the right broker, buying is simply a case of spending money with your credit card or with a bank transfer. It might be best to stay away from sites that require international bank transfers, since they can hold up the process.
The crucial piece of information you need is a bitcoin address – that’s the unique identifier on the bitcoin network that represents your account. Crucially, this is different from the login details on your Blockchain.info (or other wallet) account – but it can be found there.
On Blockchain.info, it can be found in the Request tab – it will look something like this: 1CdDgoU4QqZPhD8QSXdNjPT7Cbuug9Viy2.
Every bitcoin broker will ask for your bitcoin address – that’s the code you give them. Buying bitcoins can take anywhere from seconds to a few hours depending on who you use, but if you return to your Blockchain.info account you should find the coins there. Voila – now just wait for them to surge in value (or fall dramatically, either way).
Step 5 – Sell or spend
If you want to sell up, it’s much the reverse of a purchase – people are quite happy to trade bitcoins for cash just as the other way around.
You can use the same broker websites to sell your bitcoins back. This will involve the broker giving you an address to send your bitcoins to – which you do from your wallet. Once the transaction has been confirmed, you should receive a bank transfer or some other form of payment back.
Spending is similar – there’s a list of places that accept bitcoin here. You simply have to enter the bitcoin address of the place you want to send it to.