Along with the wave of 21st century technology there came an adjoining gold rush known as the crypto craze, with bitcoin leading the pack. Since it’s never too late to get in on the action, you might be asking how to buy bitcoin in Australia. Heck, you might even be asking what cryptocurrency is in the first place! Put simply, cryptocurrency is digital money that can be shared across the Internet without being tethered to a central bank or a specific country. That means both the transactions and regulations aren’t beholden to the same principles as regular currency. Instead, cryptocurrency is regulated by way of encryption techniques that can additionally verify the transfer of funds. Bitcoin in particular is especially appealing because there’s a finite amount, and because it was one of the first major cryptocurrencies out of the gate (or at the very least the first to gain awareness on a massive scale).
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Currently, bitcoin’s value is prone to wild fluctuations, making it hard to resist among risky investors. You can buy and sell bitcoin in increments as small as 1/1000, and exchange it for actual dollars if you so desire. As crypto in general becomes more regulated and popular, those fluctuations might stabilise. Furthermore, you might one day soon be able to pay for a slew of goods and services using bitcoin. Until then, you’re probably better off approaching bitcoin as you would gold or silver, i.e. something that has consumer value but far more appeal to speculators. Of course, this all leads back to the vital question of how to buy bitcoin in Australia in the first place. For that, read below.
Obtain a Cryptocurrency Wallet
Essentially, the best places to buy bitcoin are through a broker or an exchange (which we’ll get to in a moment). Exchanges in particular, however, are somewhat vulnerable to hacking. For that reason alone, you should get yourself a cryptocurrency wallet before doing anything else. Think of a cryptocurrency wallet as a bank account for your bitcoin, i.e. a place outside the exchange that isn’t as susceptible to theft.
Cryptocurrency wallets come in three forms: desktop, smartphone, or hardware. The desktop version is the most common. It involves downloading a program onto your (ideally virus-free) computer desktop. Equally convenient is the smartphone version, which is available as an app. For the truly savvy investors, the hardware version takes the action offline, keeping the cryptocurrency in a separate USB or hard drive.
There are a number of places or exchanges where you can obtain a bitcoin wallet, but the most reputable is probably Blockchain.info. It’s simple, secure and popular. Once there, you simply follow the directions and download a wallet. Along with your wallet, you’ll receive a wallet address, which is a string of numbers allowing you buy or sell bitcoin. A word to the wise: do not lose your wallet address! Once you do, it could be gone for good.
Find a Place to Buy Bitcoin or Crypto
Okay, so you have a place to store bitcoin, but that doesn’t necessarily answer the question of how to buy bitcoin in Australia. For that, you again have options. The simplest is to find a bitcoin or cryptocurrency broker. To use one is to buy bitcoin directly and efficiently, as in you pay the broker a certain amount of money and he or she sends you a certain amount of bitcoin. Naturally, like a stock broker, a cryptocurrency broker will come at a slightly higher cost in the form of fees and other related expenses, but at least you’re in the hands of someone who knows what he or she is doing (hopefully). And remember, to receive your bitcoin you’ll need a wallet address.
If you’d rather handle things on your own, then visiting an exchange is the way to go. On exchanges, you’re buying from or selling to fellow users. Exchanges allow you to link a credit card or bank account, and buy or sell the cryptocurrency at your leisure. Many exchanges offer their own built-in cryptocurrency wallets as well. From an exchange, you can expect modest fees and potential service blackouts when traffic is high. Furthermore, exchanges can be prone to security breaches.
Truthfully, most people buying at the lower end of the spectrum use exchanges. Among the most popular are sites like Coinbase, Independent Reserve, CoinSpot, and CoinTree. Most (if not all) of these sites are tremendously user-friendly and secure.
Some More Things to Consider When Buying Cryto
You should now have a better idea of how to buy bitcoin in Australia. Of course, different people approach their finances in different ways, so there are a few additional things to consider. For instance, you should look into what the accepted payment methods are for any given broker or exchange. Nearly all accept POLi, but maybe you’d prefer to buy bitcoin using a credit card, cash or PayPal instead. The choice is yours, providing you can find an exchange or broker who abides.
Additionally, you should research what each site’s verification methods are for transfers before sending them your money. For instance, the majority of reputable exchanges require you to upload a driver’s license or ID before you can take out any money, especially on larger transactions. Also, verification doesn’t happen right away, and can usually take 1-2 days. If you’re in a rush (i.e. you want your money immediately), there are some no-verification exchanges out there, but you should approach them with caution for obvious reasons. Also, some of the well-known exchanges will allow you to transfer money without verification on smaller transactions. These are all things to consider before taking your first plunge into crypto.
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