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31/07/2021

Part III – How to buy into bitcoin

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If you are new to bitcoin and blockchain technology, I urge you to research as much as you can: read about it, listen to podcasts and, above all, try out the technology. Buy small amounts of bitcoin, practise transacting in it, work with a friend to create a questions and answers session. Get on top of the tech before you risk any significant capital. It will take you a few days, but it’s worth allocating the time. An easy place to get your first wallet is blockchain.com. The most difficult aspect of bitcoin is the transfer between “fiat” money (e.g. the pound in your pocket) and bitcoin. The easiest place to buy it is on an exchange. Options include Gemini, Kraken, CEX.lo, Binance, SFOX, Crypto.com and eToro.

Generally, the more you want to buy, the more paperwork you have to fill in. I’ve also found that in many cases, it’s easier to set up an account on your smartphone than it is on your computer, especially with Binance and Crypto.com. Then, once you’re set up, you’ll experience the delights of sending money to your exchange Via a bank. You might end up having to make a phone call at this point. Easier options for small amounts include Bittylicious and local bitcoins or even bitcoin ATMs. Revolut makes it easy, but you can’t then move your bitcoins elsewhere. You can only sell back to Revolut, which is somewhat beside the point.

You can keep your bitcoins at an exchange-some offer cold storage similar to how bullion dealers often offer gold storage. But longer-term (and unlike with bullion dealers) we advise against this, as if the practise exchange goes out of business, you’d be in trouble. Other long-term storage options include electrum plus a multi-sig (multi-signature) but easy hardware wallet or a slightly more user-friendly option is bitcoin storage specialist keys.casa. This will all start making sense once you start bitcoin playing around with the tech.

The Financial Conduct Authority recently banned the sale of crypto derivatives to retail investors, which means getting exposure to crypto via traditional markets has become very difficult. So my advice is to go down the rabbit hole and buy and hold actual bitcoin as it was meant to be bought. You can keep your bitcoins at an exchange-some offer cold storage similar to how bullion dealers often offer gold storage. But longer-term (and unlike with bullion dealers) advise against this as if the practice exchange goes out of business, you’d be in trouble.

Other long-term storage options include electrum plus a multi-sig (multi-signature)
but an easy hardware wallet or a slightly more user-friendly option is a bitcoin storage specialist. The Financial Conduct Authority recently banned the sale of crypto derivatives to retail investors, which means getting exposure to crypto via traditional markets has become very difficult. So my advice is to go down the rabbit hole and buy and hold actual bitcoin as it was meant to be.

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