Based in the UK and looking to acquire some bitcoin through a UK company? We recommend CoinCorner, which is based in the Isle of Man. With an android app and slick website they make it easy to get bitcoin.
Based in the US and want to quickly and safely buy Bitcoin? We recommend CoinBase.
If you are looking for the lowest price however, buy direct from sellers (low volume) or on large exchanges (high volume).
For buying direct from sellers we recommend LocalBitcoins.com which connects uk sellers with uk buyers.
- Low cost – No fees for buyers. (sellers get charged a 1% fee.)
- Flexible – Use bank transfer / cash / Pay-m and many more (60 different ways to pay) note. Each way of paying will have a different price as different sellers charge different amounts for convenience.
- Safe – All bitcoins sold online through local bitcoins are held in escrow, making it a very safe process.
- Reputation – Look for a seller with a good reputation and 1000+ trades to be sure you are dealing with a reputable seller. It is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange, so reputation goes a long way.
- Escrow – “The escrow service provided by LocalBitcoins.com protects you as a user when making Online Buys or Sells. When a trade is started the amount of Bitcoins requested by the buyer is automatically reserved from the seller’s LocalBitcoins Wallet. This means that if the seller runs away with your money and doesn’t release your Bitcoins LocalBitcoins.com support can release the Bitcoins to you from escrow. Please keep in mind that local trades do not have escrow protection enabled by default and that you should cancel the trade if the seller doesn’t want to meet up and requests you to pay online.”
- Privacy – The level of identification varies seller to seller with many sellers requiring photo ID (Driving license) and a selfie with bank card. Ensure you block out all but the necessary information i.e., just photo and account number/sort code. Often you can buy without needing to list your address or your full card number. Only reveal as much information as you are willing to. I would personally recommend avoiding giving out your address or long card number unless you are happy to / are required to legally.
- Cash Trade – If you wish to deposit cash but want to do so in a very safe way you can make a cash deposit into a sellers account in a branch of their bank account. If doing this ensure that your window to buy is long enough to give you time to get to the bank and make the deposit.
- VAT – Currently (18/01/2016) there is no vat charged on bitcoin sales but ensure you are up to date on the law regarding bitcoin before making any decisions.
High Volume / High Frequency
Use a very reputable exchange. In order to determine which exchanges are reputable you must do some research because things can change very quickly in the bitcoin world. That said large international orginisations such as Coinbase, Bitfinex and Bitstamp.
Of these Coinbase is easiest to use in the UK.
It is tempting to judge an exchanges reputation on its exchange volume however this is not a foolproof measure (see Mt.Gox). That said Coinbase, Coincorner and Coinfloor are good exchanges in the UK, and bitfinex and bitstamp are large US exchanges.
Saving / Trading – Magnr
If you are interested in either long term saving of your bitcoin (often referred to as hodl, a misspelling of hold) or trading bitcoin check out magnr [referral link]. They offer a service that allows you to earn interest on your deposited bitcoin at a rate of 1.28% fixed rate interest until June 2017 with daily interest accumulated. This is possible as they let bitcoin traders (using their service) trade with leverage with your bitcoin. They acknowledge that they are responsible for client funds so client funds are segregated from working capital and investment capital to ensure users cannot be left out of pocket.
As always, do further research yourself before moving your cryptocurrency out of your direct control. That said, this seems to be an interesting, low risk service with venture capital backing and an impressive team behind them.
Numerous other services exist which deserve a mention for enabling rapid purchasing of bitcoin via bank transfer (though fees are higher than other options mentioned)
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