The are few events in the history of the human race, which challenged general perception, and changed the world completely. There have been individuals who created things which people laughed at, but the same things went on to become epitomes of excellence.
When Leonardo da Vinci painted an unusual painting which appeared to be a metal container with a few wings, people thought the artist was out of his mind. But little did they know that the piece of art they mocked would become one of the most valued objects ever created by man, known as “Helicopter.” The world needed over 400 years to realize what a genius da Vinci was.
Quite similar is the case with cryptocurrencies. In this case, Bitcoin was the art, and Satoshi Nakamoto the artist, the only difference is that the world realized the genius of the artist much sooner. When Nakamoto created Bitcoin in 2009, most of the ‘educated’ world discarded it as one of the several internet bubbles, which would burst sooner than expected. However, here we are, a decade later, in 2019, still in awe of what the Unknown Master created.
Within just a few of its launch, Bitcoin has become one of the sought after asset, and indeed the hottest topic of discussion in fintech circles. As time passed by, it became more and more powerful, showing what it is capable of.
Initially, only the tech enthusiasts showed interest and bought the token, but as it grew in popularity, traditional investors started to turn their focus towards Bitcoin. This is how it gained significant traction, becoming one of the most expensive liquid assets that money can buy today.
Today, several people, some of whom don’t even know how cryptocurrencies function, are showing a keen interest in the crypto space, especially after the mega bullish rally of 2017. However, entering the crypto space is still quite complicated for those who aren’t much tech savvy or new to the crypto space.
Buying things with credit or debit cards is a common thing, and also the most convenient way of making payments. However, buying Bitcoins online with debit or credit cards can be a bit confusing, due to which many first-timers make mistakes, and some even get their cards blocked at times. And that’s the last thing one would want to happen!
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to buy Bitcoin using a credit or a debit card.
Some Basics Checks
- If you are making a debit card payment, it is a high possibility that you might be using your smartphone or laptop. In such a case, it is highly recommended that you install an anti-theft and anti-virus software in your device, as it is as important to safeguard digital assets as traditional assets like gold or cash.
- Read an article or two about how Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies work. There’s a lot of useful information present on the Internet. Just google it.
- Speak to a friend or a relative who has already done it. Hearing from the horse’s mouth is always very helpful.
- Check whether crypto trading is legal in your country. Unfortunately, there are several countries across the globe, including China and India, which have stringent policies against crypto activities.
Choose a Crypto Wallet to Store Your Bitcoins
Crypto wallets are to cryptocurrencies what banks are to cash, parking lots are to cars, what vaults are to jewelry. Before buying any asset, one has to be sure about storing it, as leaving it in open has several adverse probabilities to it. Similarly, if you want to buy Bitcoins or any cryptocurrency for that matter, you have to get a crypto wallet where you can store your tokens.
There are two main types of crypto wallets where you can park your Bitcoins:
This type of wallets are in physical form and look quite similar to a portable hard drive or a USB drive. Hardware Wallets, also known as Cold Storages, are more secure, as they store your digital tokens offline.
Also, every time you use cold storage to trade or pay, the online systems will ask you to press a physical key on the device, without which no transactions can be initiated. This protects your digital assets from hackers because even if they get access to your tokens, they won’t be able to use them without getting their hands on the hardware wallet.
Some of the best hardware wallets include Ledger Nano X, Trezor One, Keepkey, SafeT-Mini, and CoolWallet
Software Wallets, as the name suggests, are installed as software on computing devices. These are the most used wallets, as they can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Also, Software wallets are more convenient than their hardware siblings, as they don’t need to plug in each time you want to do a transaction.
However, there is some sacrifice in security while using software wallets, as they need an active internet connection to function. Also, they require additional security like firewall or antivirus and anti-theft protection.
Most preferred software wallets include Atomic, Exodus, Jaxx, and Electrum.
Find a Credible Exchange or a Trading Platform
Bitcoin is arguably the most valued digital asset, which makes it highly preferred by cybercriminals. The immense value which a single Bitcoin possesses is what motivates hackers to take the best shot at robbing you.
There are several fake websites out there, which sometimes also carry the same name. Then there are websites that are completely new, which look superb and luring but are nothing but a trap. Moreover, there are certain platforms, which are not as safe or secure as others, or which have been recently hacked.
Therefore, you need to do a few important checks before getting on to a platform:
- See the name and search it on google and Twitter. See what people are saying about it. Be sure that you are on the right track.
- Even if the platform appears to be truthful, go to its official Twitter account or some other credible source, and get the link from there.
- Search for recent activity on the platform, coins added or withdrawn, any hacks executed, etc.
Once you have done these checks, note down 3-4 best ones, and see what do they offer. Different exchanges have different fees, but the lowest charging one need not be the best choice.
Steps to Buy Bitcoins
Once you have got your wallet in place, and exchange in mind, you will now need to make the actual purchase transaction on the trading platforms. Though different crypto exchanges might have different procedures to make a debit or a credit card purchase, basic steps remain mostly unchanged.
We have listed below three of the topmost crypto exchanges and their procedures to buy Bitcoins using your debit and credit cards.
Binance is arguably the best crypto exchange in the world. It offers a variety of options to choose from and is the preferred platform to buy and sell Bitcoins. Binance charges $10 or 3.5% per transaction, whichever is higher. Minimum transaction value limit via credit card is $50, while daily and monthly purchase limit is $20,000, and $50,000 respectively.
Following is the procedure you need to follow for making a card purchase:
- Enter the domain name Binance.com manually, as due to its popularity, the exchange is prone to scammers.
- Register on the platform by entering all the required details. This might be a bit boring but is extremely important nonetheless. Information required shall include a valid government issued Photo ID, bank account details, residential address, and in some cases, a photograph. After you submit your details, the platform will verify them, and accept registration after approval.
- Once registered, log in to your account and go to Funds section on the website toolbar. As soon as you click on it, you will get four options, the last of which will be to make a credit card purchase.
- Once you select the option, you will land on the page where you can select the cryptocurrency you want to purchase and the amount you want to invest. After confirming the details, tick the box at the bottom, which confirms that you have read the terms and conditions of the transaction, and then click on ‘Go To Payment’.
- You will now be directed the third-party payment gateway Simplex, where you will be asked to fill your personal info, and confirm your mobile phone via an OTP, and email via a verification link.
- On the next page, you will need to enter the Payment details, post which the system will ask you to verify your payments, and initiate it. This completes the transaction on the Binance Exchange.
Coinbase Crypto Exchange
Coinbase is one of the very few crypto exchanges which also doubles up as a crypto wallet. It is a no-nonsense platform, which deals in four of the biggest cryptocurrencies, namely, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
Registration and login procedure is quite similar to Binance. However, things are a bit different when you are logged in. Following is the process for making credit or debit card purchases on Coinbase:
- Once you are logged in, click on the ‘Payment Method’ page in the menu, and then choose ‘Add Payment Method’.
- Here you will get an option to add debit and credit cards. Fill all the relevant details and then click on add.
Apart from this, the process of buying Bitcoin is similar to Binance. Choose the coin, enter the amount, and then confirm payment. However, charges for buying Bitcoin on Coinbase is at 3.99%, which is marginally more than what Binance charges.
But there’s a there is a limitation on weekly purchases, as Coinbase allows users to purchase Bitcoin up to the value of $150 or €150 only using their credit card, however, debit card purchases can go as high as $250 per day.
Huobi Crypto Exchange
Huobi is among the latest crypto exchanges to start accepting credit cards on their platforms. The exchange itself is one of the biggest across the globe and is also amongst the fastest growing ones as well. Recently, Huobi partnered with Simplex Payment Gateway, which also powers Binance. Therefore, the procedure for using credit cards is quite similar to Binance. Also, charges levied by the Huobi Exchange are similar to Binance too, at 3.5% or $10, whichever is higher. Also, daily and monthly limits are also similar.
What we can understand from looking at these three of the biggest crypto exchanges is that Bitcoin purchases through credit and debit cards are similar on the procedural level, barring a few changes. However, one thing common in all the exchanges is that they are rapidly moving towards payments with banking cards, and more so with credit cards.
Though most exchanges nowadays accept both, credit and debit cards, the former is a more preferred choice among both, users and trading platforms. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that buying Bitcoins via debit cards is a bad thing.
So what can be concluded are the following essentials, which are common across crypto exchanges, apart from a valid debit or a credit card:
- A valid government issued Photo & ID Proof, which is mandatory across platforms.
- Bank account details.
- A working mobile phone number and an email address.
- Cybersecurity for computing devices.
- A valid account on a reputed crypto trading platform.
- Permission from local regulatory authorities to buy digital assets.
Cryptocurrency markets are definitely growing across the world, and despite the market crash of 2018, the crypto space, in fact, grew by over 122% in the same period. Though there are countries like India where there are banking restrictions for crypto companies, the majority of countries are moving towards crypto adoption, and hence banking facilities for the crypto space are also growing.
However, mere knowing the procedures is not enough, as crypto space is as deep, if not more, as equity markets. Keeping upbeat with general trends surrounding Bitcoin or other altcoins is equally important.