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How do I buy Bitcoin?

Earlier today bitcoin passed the $1,600 per coin mark ushering in positive press and a wave of new users looking to get their small piece of digital gold. For anyone new to bitcoin it can be quite daunting navigating this new and exciting crypto-world. Below is some information on a few different ways to buy bitcoin.

In Our Application:

Inside the Airbitz bitcoin wallet we currently have 3 different options to buy/sell bitcoin.

If you’re under the age of 120 you should buy bitcoin.

The first option is a plug-in to a bitcoin vendor, Glidera. A bitcoin vendor is a buy/sell service. Similar to a “We Buy Gold” store. The fee for buying or selling bitcoin through the Airbitz wallet is 1%. To set up your account with Glidera you must provide identification and link a corresponding bank account. If you’re worried about privacy none of that information hits our servers and we remain a zero-knowledge wallet.

Keep in mind that the identification process is only used to swap national currencies into crypto-currencies such as bitcoin. The US financial system is aggressively monitored by federal authorities. Bitcoin and the Airbitz wallet itself requires no name, email, phone number, or any other form of identification.

When you buy through our application, Glidera sends your bitcoin straight to your Airbitz edge-secure wallet. It typically takes 3–5 business days to end up in your wallet. And don’t fret if the price changes, you will be locked in at the price you paid when you placed the order.

Bitcoin vendor fees are usually 1%-4% depending on your purchasing method. Credit cards tend to be the most expensive way of buying through bitcoin vendors costing close to 4%. Almost all vendors comply with KYC/AML regulations so depending on the amount you wish to buy some degree of identification will be needed.

Our second option and most recent integration is Bity, an exchange out of Switzerland. Bity will enable Airbitz users to buy/sell bitcoin with Euros and Swiss Francs. Users will need a European bank account similar to how users need a US bank account to buy and sell bitcoin through our in-app partner, Glidera.

LibertyX is another cool in-app plug-in that allows users to go to select local businesses in their area to buy bitcoin. LibertyX charges a 1.5% base fee and each store charges their own small fee. Users are limited to purchasing either $200 a day if you have a verified phone number or over a $1000 a day if you have a verified ID. Once you’re signed up with LibertyX you can go to any of the participating stores in your locality and buy bitcoin instantaneously.

Real time trading exchanges:

An exchange is a service that connects buyers and sellers in a dynamic market. Exchanges are usually used by traders who want to be in and out of a wide range of different crypto-currencies and different government currencies quickly with very low fees as well as a whole host of other trading features. Most exchanges are in the 0.25%-1% fee range and each have their own proprietary blend of fee calculations. Most have different levels of identification needed depending on the amount of currency a customer wants to be able to move at any one day, week, month, or year.

Exchanges have shown the most vulnerability to external hacking threats. There have been a few memorable hacks of exchanges that have put many on guard. We recommend if you are not a day trader and you do buy on an exchange to avoid leaving coins on exchanges and instead transfer them into your edge secure Airbitz wallet.

We would encourage those new to bitcoin to at least make an account on an active exchange so you can see for yourself just how active crypto-currency markets have become. It will give you an appreciation for the depth and sophistication of the crypto- markets this early in their history.

Popular Exchanges: Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Okcoin, Kraken, Poloneix, Sfox

Local/In-Person:

LocalBitcoins is an extremely versatile way of buying bitcoins but can be very expensive. Its a peer to peer market-place that allows for many different payment methods as well as online and offline buying. Users post adds in a localized Craigslist like fashion with their own personal pricing and payment specifications and other users respond to those adds. Identification is not needed per se but it may limit your options. Localbitcoins is great for sellers because you can usually charge higher fees, typically 5–10% above market price. On the surface it may seem bad for buyers but many buyers that use the site don’t have a bank account, are unable to get verified on an exchange, or wish to remain anonymous. Although it can be more expensive to buy you’ll receive your bitcoin immediately once a transaction is complete and can be a cool way to meet fellow bitcoiners.

The last popular option is using a local Bitcoin ATM (BTM). You can use our in app directory to find a BTM near you. BTMs typically have fees of around 5%. The fees vary depending on the operator and some can exceed 10% but this is rare. BTMs only require an SMS phone verification for purchase amounts of less than $1000. Identification may be needed if you are trying to purchase over $1000 worth of bitcoin. Users of BTMs get their bitcoin immediately. Almost all major cities have multiple BTMs and they’re fairly easy to use.

Keep in mind this post is not exhaustive, nor does it mention all of the companies that sell bitcoin in their own unique way. This is a short overview of some popular options for secure and proven ways to buy bitcoin from reputable exchanges, vendors, and dealers.

We hope this helps and reach out to our support if you have any questions about your bitcoin in your Airbitz wallet.

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Brett Maverick Musser

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