You have FIAT currency and you want to buy cryptocurrency. Getting from one to the other is increasingly easy and there are plenty of options.
A cryptocurrency broker like BC Bitcoin acts as an intermediary between buyer and seller. You place an order for the amount of a coin you want, or the price you are willing to pay, and they source that coin for you.
The tokens go into your linked wallet and your payment is processed according to normal bank transfer timescales. Normally that’s the same day for UK payments, the next day for the EU. As with traditional currency markets, trades generally happen during business hours and are not instantaneous.
Being specialists they often offer related services; for example, BC Bitcoin has a facility to allow businesses to accept Bitcoin payments, subject to minimum transaction value. The site lists all major cryptocurrencies for trade, 1000 altcoins and can accept requests to trade for coins not normally listed as special orders.
At the time of writing (February 2020) There is a commission fee of 2% (for BC Bitcoin) on all transactions.
This challenger bank doesn’t centre cryptocurrency as a major focus but it does offer basic functionality for those account holders getting started. By partnering with Bitstamp Revolut customers can buy and tokens from the app and hold them.
This is not a brokerage or exchange service, and you can’t currently make payments using your tokens as you don’t get a Bitcoin address (or equivalent, you can buy and sell multiple cryptocurrencies). Revolut charges a relatively low fee of 1.5% for these transactions, which compares favourably to an exchange, and you can track the position of your holding through the phone app until you want to sell.
It’s a good first step with a painless setup and quick transactions.
Wirex allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrency through their app, giving current exchange prices and allowing you to manage your holdings.
The versatile platform also makes it possible and practical to spend your cryptocurrency as if it were cash, using the current exchange rate of the day. Payments can be made through the app or by the Wirex Visa payment card.
An advantage to using Wirex is their CryptoBack program, which offers 1.5% cashback in the form of Bitcoin every time the card is used to pay in restaurants, bars, shops and transport.
You can purchase any of 21 crypto and fiat currencies with bank transfer, credit or debit card, with an instant exchange at current live rates.
eToro is a full trading exchange, with cryptocurrency markets forming a large part of their business. Users can buy and sell through the app, with a minimum purchase of $25. New customers can test the water and learn how the platform works with a demo account of $100k. “Trading” with this doesn’t give any return but does allow them to test strategies and see how the movement of the market affects their potential return.
Once invested, users can make use of eToro’s Social Trading tools, where they can find traders using a strategy they like and mirror their activity automatically. The investment does not have to be in buying tokens; eToro allows for trading on price variances, which has a lower entry point than investing in the underlying asset.
With a huge amount of information and advice for new traders, and accepting a wide variety of currencies, including PayPal, eToro is an accessible entry point for those ready to get involved in full-on market trading.
Please note, all fees quoted are correct at the time of writing – February 2020.