This will be an informational post that’s designed to answer the question “how do I get bitcoins?” Outside of mining them, the quickest way is to simply use dollars to buy them. We’ll also look at a different non-traditional method of getting bitcoins, as well as compare some exchanges should you wish to trade your bitcoin for alternative coins (altcoins).
Where to Buy Bitcoin
BitSimple has a simple bid-ask spread where you can buy or sell bitcoins.
LocalBitcoins – Localbitcoins allows people to meetup in their city locally and trade bitcoins for cash in person. There is generally about a 1-2% premium above market price, but keep in mind this form of trading is fairly informal and doesn’t require the identity verification process that are required by online services like CoinBase.
CashIntoCoins is based in Washington state in the US and it currently takes a day to get your bitcoins after you make a cash deposit. There’s currently no way to withdraw bitcoins into cash with their service, so you’ll have to look at different exchangers once you get your bitcoins.
CoinBase is probably the best way to get bitcoin straight from your bank (make sure your bank is ok with you using Coinbase. Someone on a forum post mentioned that Chase threatened to close their account after they started using Coinbase). Once you’re full verified (takes 30 days), you can instantly buy up to $1000 of bitcoin instantly. Coinbase also allows merchants to accept bitcoin on their site, making them a competitor to Coinpayments.
Work for Bitcoin
Instead of paying for bitcoin, you might consider doing some work for bitcoin instead. Some examples of in demand skills needed by people willing to pay bitcoin include:
- Graphics and web design
Some places to search for flash jobs (and some more longer term jobs) that pay in bitcoin:
Top Bitcoin Exchanges
If you want to take it a step further and exchange your bitcoins for altcoins like Darkcoin, Blackcoin and the like, you’ll need to use a crypto currency exchange.
- Prelude.io has steadily gained popularity since it came out. Traders love the 0.1% fees, cheapest in the industry.
- Cryptsy is run by “Big Vern” and I’m generally not a fan of his operation and its frequent hiccups. Trading fees are .2% buy and .3% on the sell side.
- Poloniex is known for quickly adding altcoins that gain momentum. Poloniex is the most popular exchange outside of Mintpal (and offers many more coins in comparison). Be wary of its ‘trollbox’, where the advice dispensed may be deliberately misleading.
- Bittrex is the launching point for most altcoins and their platform is arguably the best in terms of backend sophistication and stability. Transaction Mintpal” target=”_blank” rel=”external nofollow”>fees are denominated in terms of the coin that is traded relative to bitcoin.
- Mintpal has always had higher volume of trading compared to Bittrex / Poloniex and Cryptsy. Mintpal is a UK company and it is probably the most professional of all the Bitcoin / Altcoin exchanges right now. Most traders are very pleased with their service.
- CoinMarket.io – This exchange is noted for having fast transaction times.
Strategies for Trading Between Alt Coins and Bitcoin
You can try investing a portion of your BTC in 4-5 altcoins that you think are solid and will stand the test of time. Some examples include Doge, Litecoin and Blackcoin. The truth is, there are too many overpriced and overhyped coins so be careful how you invest in the altcoin market. Note that coins generally increase in price once the news is out that they are being added to a particular exchange.