If you need help buying Bitcoin and other cryptos in the UK then you’ve come to the right place.
I’m going to give you a simple, step-by-step guide to purchasing your first digital money to help you get started.
Remember, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are perfectly legal to buy in the UK but are subject to tax laws.
If after reading this guide you’d like a bit of extra help, we offer one-on-one online tutorials where we’ll talk you through the entire process.
Please note, while we’re happy to answer questions during these sessions, we can’t give financial advice or recommend which cryptocurrencies, if any, you should buy.
So, you’ve decided to embark on your crypto adventure – now it’s time to get started!
How to start buying and investing in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the UK
Step 1. Decide which exchange you want to use.
There are many options out there, but for beginners we’d recommend Coinbase.
It’s very easy to use and is one of the largest exchanges in the world so it’s extremely secure.
The fees are higher than other exchanges, but for beginners it’s worth paying this premium for the easy access to crypto it offers.
However, it’s not the only player in town and you might want to do your own research before making a final decision.
Step 2. Sign up for an account.
Coinbase, and all the major exchanges, must comply with Know Your Customer (KYS) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws.
This means you’ll be asked to prove your identity with documentation, such as a driving licence or passport, and reveal the source of your funds.
The time it takes to pass these checks varies, but you should be up and running in no time whichever exchange you choose.
Step 3. Fund your account.
Coinbase enables you to buy crypto with a debit or credit card together with funds deposited via bank transfers, but not all exchanges offer the former.
It’s worth remembering that transferring money from your bank account can be relatively slow compared paying instantly with a card.
However, it’s free whereas you’ll pay an additional fee to the exchange if you use a card.
Step 4. Choose which crypto to buy.
A lot of people start with Bitcoin, but it’s not the only token in town.
In fact, there are now thousands of altcoins available to buy, although not all of them will be available on the exchange you choose.
If you do decide to sign up to Coinbase, you’ll have access to several dozen top cryptos which should be enough to get you started.
You can also sign up to Coinbase Pro if you want to expand the list of available cryptos.
But this is a fully-fledged trading system which requires some extra knowledge to use, so it’s probably best to stick with the vanilla platform until you’re a little more experienced.
Step 5. Buy your cryptocurrency.
Once you’ve decided which crypto you’d like to own you need to complete the transaction.
In the case of Coinbase, all you need to do is click the buy/sell button in the top right hand corner, enter the amount you’d like to spend/buy and confirm that you’re happy with the rate offered.
If you are, confirm the transaction and wait for the magic to happen.
Within a few seconds your crypto will appear in your portfolio, which displays the amount you own and the value at the current market rate.
And that’s it. You now own cryptocurrency.
Step 6. Keep your account safe.
Be sure to sign up to all the 2FA/MFA options available and choose a complicated, unique password to secure your account.
All the major exchanges implement various security measures as standard and keep the bulk of client’s crypto in cold storage.
Who can help me buy cryptocurrency in the UK?
We offer a mentoring service where we’ll talk you through the process of setting up a cryptocurrency account and buying your first coins.
Where’s the best place to store my Bitcoins?
Some people chose to leave their crypto on the exchange where they bought it while others put it into cold storage.
If you’re planning to trade crypto you need easy access to your coins so keeping it ‘live’ in your account it likely the best option.
Exchanges such as Coinbase are extremely secure, but ultimately they retain the keys to your crypto.
This makes your crypto more susceptible to hacks or vulnerable if the exchange were to collapse, however unlikely this may be.
Other people choose a cold storage solution such as a hardware wallet like Trezor.
This means your crypto isn’t connected to the internet in any way and you retain control of your keys.
However, it’s takes longer to access your coins if you suddenly decide you want to sell them.
Ultimately, a lot depends on whether you plan to trade or hodl and your attitude to risk.
Adam is the founder of The Crypto Adviser which offers experts guides and reviews on all things related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
Adam is Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) Level 4 qualified, a Member of the London Institute of Banking and Finance (MLIBF), and has worked for many years as a journalist and PR consultant, having studied with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).