How to Buy Bitcoins in the UK
Buying bitcoins is the speculative investment that has been making a lot of people serious money. For several years people have been saying that it is a bubble ready to burst. They said that when the price was $100, then $1000 and then $ 5000. In December the price reached the $20,000 mark in some markets. Subsequently the doom mongers appeared correct with the price scaling back to around £5000 to £6000. This is still a healthy profit though for the early adopters.
So how do you get in on the action and buy bitcoins in the UK?
In theory there are two simple steps:
Step 1 – Set up a bitcoin wallet A bitcoin wallet is simply where you hold your bitcoins. There are several options – you can use an app on your phone as a wallet, you can use your computer as a wallet, you can use a specialist website for your wallet or, the most secure option you can have a hardware wallet – a glorified usb stick! There is no shortage of wallets, but one of the biggest and most popular online is Blockchain.info The website is fairly easy to use and there is also an easy to use mobile app.
Blockchain has good security steps to make sure your bitcoins are as safe as they can be. Signup is easy but the verification process can be a tad irritating.
An alternative to blockchain that we found easy to use is Anybits.com
Step 2 – 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 £12000,but you don’t have to buy a whole bitcoin! Theoretically it is possible to buy 0.001 of a bitcoin. To do this you need to find a broker. Blockchain links direct to Coinify but we found this was not great for buying bitcoins in the UK. Coinify is based in Denmark and so your currency needs to be converted to Danish Krone for which your bank will probably charge a fee!
We chose to buy through Bittylicious – they act as an intermediary between you and the seller. You make your trade, enter the code for the wallet that you wish to use to store your bitcoins and then go to your online banking and make a transfer with the details they provide. Your bitcoins are usually in your wallet within ½ an hour. We found it very easy to use.
What are the pitfalls of buying Bitcoins?
There are several potential problems – security, the danger of a price collapse and the fact that buying can seem daunting. The signup process for your wallet and for your chosen marketplace are fairly straightforward but you need to be prepared for a delay in setting up your account while you upload your identity documents and you wait for them to be approved. Although some providers boast “instant signup” in reality there is a delay in your documents being approved. So don’t expect to be trading bitcoins within a few minutes of initiating the process. NUMBER ONE TIP for buying UK bitcoins is to make sure that the seller accepts transfers in UK pounds from a UK bank account. Alternatively use this workaround using Revolut.
Latest prices for bitcoin, litecoin etc in UK pounds.