If you’re wondering how to buy Bitcoin UK – the process is now simple. All you need to do is find a good online broker that offers competitive fees, deposit some funds with a debit/credit card and decide how much you wish to invest.
In fact, some platforms allow you to buy just $25 worth of Bitcoin – which is about £18. But many people in the UK still haven’t invested in Bitcoin because they simply don’t understand how this innovative technology works, read on for our full guide to buying bitcoin.
Best Bitcoin Brokers Comparison
Before we show you how to buy Bitcoin UK, you need to find the right broker or exchange. You can compare the best crypto brokers and exchanges, along with their fees and features, below. You can even change the investment amount and cryptocurrency you’re investing in to see how much each broker charges!
As such, this guide to buying bitcoin will tell you everything you need to know. We’ll discuss which brokers you should consider using to buy Bitcoin, how a cryptocurrency investment works, and the steps required to get started with a purchase today.
- 1 Best Bitcoin Brokers Comparison
- 2 How to Buy Bitcoin UK – Quick Guide to Buying Bitcoin 2021
- 3 Where to Buy Bitcoin UK
- 4 How to Buy Bitcoin UK – eToro Tutorial
- 5 What is Bitcoin?
- 6 Bitcoin Price Analysis
- 7 Why Buy Bitcoin UK?
- 8 Safest Way To Buy Bitcoin UK
- 9 Risks of Buying Bitcoin
- 10 Selling Bitcoin
- 11 eToro – Best Broker to Buy Bitcoin UK
- 12 FAQs
How to Buy Bitcoin UK – Quick Guide to Buying Bitcoin 2021
Want to buy Bitcoin UK right away? Our top recommended cryptocurrency exchange is eToro, here’s how to get started:
- Step 1. Open an account with eToro: Head over to the eToro website and click ‘Join Now’ to open an account.
- Step 2. Upload ID: Upload and verify your identity with a copy of your passport or driver’s license.
- Step 3. Deposit: Fund your trading account by making a deposit using credit or debit card, bank transfer, or e-wallet.
- Step 4. Buy Bitcoin: Search for BTC, click ‘Trade,’ and place your order. It’s as simple as that!
Where to Buy Bitcoin UK
So now that we have covered the ins and outs of how this digital currency works, we now need to discuss where to buy Bitcoin. We have narrowed our list of platforms down to just three of the best cryptocurrency exchanges, which you will find below.
1. eToro – Overall Best Way to Buy Bitcoin UK
eToro is by far the best option when it comes to buying Bitcoin in the UK. First and foremost, you will be using a heavily regulated brokerage firm. It holds licenses with three key bodies – including the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC. eToro has since attracted over 13 million investors, so this in itself gives the platform credibility.
In terms of fees, we haven’t come across a more competitive Bitcoin broker than eToro. This is because you can buy Bitcoin UK without paying a single penny in commission. Instead, the broker makes its money by charging a small 0.5% FX when you make a deposit. Before we get to funding, we should note that eToro allows you to invest in Bitcoin from just $25.
This is crucial, as it allows you to invest small, but regular amounts. If you want to diversify into other cryptocurrency trading markets, eToro offers 15 altcoins. This includes the likes of Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash. Outside of cryptocurrencies, you can also invest in over 1,700+ stocks and 150+ ETFs. CFD trading is also offered, but as per new FCA rules, this won’t be available on Bitcoin from January 2021. This has affected other platforms such as Trading 212 who no longer offer cryptocurrency CFDs, and don’t offer the asset themselves, making eToro our best pick, you can see this more in-depth in our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison.
Nevertheless, eToro is also the stand-out platform if you are a complete crypto-newbie, it is far superior to other cryptocurrency exchanges as you can see in our Bitstamp review and Kraken review. This is because it is simple to use and requires no prior investment knowledge. All you need to do is search for Bitcoin and enter the amount you wish to invest. Additionally, eToro offers automated trading services which are also great for beginners. For example, it offers a cryptocurrency CopyPortfolio – which is professionally managed.
You can also use the Copy Trading feature to mirror an expert Bitcoin investor. In doing so, you will copy their trades like-for-like. In terms of getting started, eToro requires a minimum deposit of $200. You can meet this requirement with a UK debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank transfer. Finally, you can buy Bitcoin at eToro via its website or through the platform’s investment app.
Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.
2. Coinbase – User-Friendly Bitcoin Broker With Over 35 Million Customers
When it comes to reputation, Coinbase is potentially the best-known cryptocurrency broker in the space. Launched in 2012, this broker has since attracted over 35 million customers from over 100 countries. The platform holds an Authorized Payment License in the UK, meaning that it is regulated by the FCA.
As such, you should have no concerns about buying Bitcoin at Coinbase. In particular, and much like eToro, Coinbase is a good choice if you are looking for a super user-friendly platform to buy Bitcoin UK. This is because the end-to-end purchase process should take no more than 15 minutes and it requires no knowledge of how investments work.
You can also get started with small amounts – with minimums depending on your choice of payment method. Supported options include a debit card and UK bank transfer. However, the main drawback of choosing Coinbase is that it is one of the most costly ways to buy Bitcoin.
For example, while eToro charges just 0.5% on deposits, Coinbase will take a 3.99% commission on debit card payments. Then, when it comes to trading commissions, Coinbase charges 1.49%. At eToro, you’ll pay no commission at all. In terms of security, Coinbase operates institutional-grade systems.
At the forefront of this is that 98% of its coins are held in cold storage. This means that they cannot be hacked by an external actor, largely because the coins are never connected to a live server. This broker also has a great reputation with its customers for user experience and customer service, quite a contrast to some others which you can see in our Bittrex review. Finally, we should note that unlike eToro, Coinbase does give you the option of withdrawing your Bitcoin to a private wallet.
Your money is at risk.
3. Binance – Popular Bitcoin Exchange That Supports UK Debit/Credit Cards
Binance is now one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of trading volume. The platform is mainly focused on trading services – meaning that you will be buying and selling digital currency pairs on a short-term basis. It is also involved in more complex financial products like Bitcoin futures and options.
However, Binance has since expanded into traditional brokerage services. This means that you can buy Bitcoin UK on the platform with your debit/credit card or bank account. All you need to do is open an account, upload some ID, and decide how much you wish to deposit.
Once you have completed the purchase, you can either leave the coins at Binance or withdraw them. Binance is well-known for its top-notch security controls, and it even has a Secure Assets Fund for Users (SAFU). This operates like a contingency reserve pot in the event that the platform encountered a hack. In other words, the funds would be used to reimburse those affected.
When it comes to fees, the trading side of Binance is very competitive. This is because you will pay a commission of just 0.1% per slide. However, using your debit/credit card will come at a much higher fee. Ordinarily, this stands at a transaction fee of 2%. But, Binance is currently running a promotion that reduced this to 1%. This covers all deposits made with Visa and MasterCard.
Your money is at risk.
How to Buy Bitcoin UK – eToro Tutorial
Looking to buy Bitcoin UK right now but have no idea where to start? If so, follow the simple step-by-step walkthrough outlined below.
Step 1: Open a Brokerage Account at eToro
You’ll first need to head over to the eToro website and open an account. This takes just a few minutes and simply requires some personal information.
This includes your full name, date of birth, home address, and national insurance number. You’ll also need to supply your UK mobile number and email address.
Step 2: Download the eToro App
Although not compulsory, it’s also worth downloading the eToro trading app. In doing so, you’ll be able to buy and sell Bitcoin no matter where you are located – as long as you have an internet connection. The app can be downloaded for free from the eToro website and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
Step 3: Deposit Funds
Assuming you are not looking to deposit more than $2,250 (about £1,800) right now, you can upload your photo ID at a later date. As such, it’s now time to make a deposit. This needs to be at least $200 (about £160) and you can choose from a UK debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank transfer.
Step 4: Search for Bitcoin
If you opted for an instant payment method like a debit/credit card or e-wallet, you can now buy Bitcoin at eToro. To go straight to the respective trading page, search for ‘Bitcoin’ and click on the top result that loads up.
On the next page, click on the ‘Trade’ button.
Step 5: Buy Bitcoin
You will now see an order form like the screenshot below. All you need to do here is enter the amount of Bitcoin that you want to buy. Make sure you meet the $25 minimum. You can invest any amount of your choosing above this figure.
Finally, click on the ‘Open Trade’ button to complete your commission-free Bitcoin investment. There is nothing more for you to do until you decide to cash your Bitcoin investment out. You can check the value of your Bitcoin investment any time you want by heading over to the ‘Portfolio’ section of your eToro dashboard.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin (BTC) is a highly speculative asset class that many people in the United Kingdom still do not understand. As such, it is important that you first acquire a bit of background knowledge on what Bitcoin is before you make an investment.
- In its most basic form, Bitcoin is a digital currency that was first launched in 2009.
- The technology is was created by an unknown developer that goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.
- The main concept of this innovative cryptocurrency is that it is not owned or controlled by any single person, organization, government, or central bank.
- On the contrary, it is decentralized.
This means that unlike traditional fiat currencies – like the British pound or US dollar – Bitcoin cannot be manipulated or printed. Instead, a new Bitcoin is created by code every 10 minutes.
This will incur continuously until the digital currency reaches 25 million Bitcoin – which is expected to happen in 2140. By holding Bitcoin, you can transfer your coins to another user. More and more places actually accept Bitcoin as a payment method, too.
However, the vast majority of people that buy Bitcoin UK do so as an investment vehicle. That is to say, they hope that the value of Bitcoin will increase over the course of time, and thus – they cash out at a much higher price.
Bitcoin Price Analysis
When Bitcoin launched as the first cryptocurrency back in 2009, it started at just $0.01 per Bitcoin. Just 12 years later, in 2021, Bitcoin is worth more than $50,000. So, how did we get here?
Bitcoin’s trajectory has been one of boom and bust – but with a lot more boom than most critics expected in the token’s early days. The coin gained attention and value throughout its early years, but didn’t break through the $1,000 level until the beginning of 2017.
Later that year, interest in Bitcoin exploded. By December, 2017, Bitcoin was worth more than $18,000 per coin and stories of Bitcoin millionaires were in the news every day. Depending on who you asked, Bitcoin was either on an unstoppable rise or in the middle of a historic bubble.
Both predictions turned out to be true. Bitcoin’s price crashed at the start of 2018, eventually falling back to less than $3,500 per token. The price recovered to over $10,000 later in the year, but jumped back and forth between highs of around $12,000 and lows of around $6,000.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and interest in investing – and investing in Bitcoin in particular – re-emerged. Bitcoin entered 2020 at a price of $7,300 per coin and ended the year at more than $30,000 – a more than 300% increase in a single year. Bitcoin has continued to rise and reached the historic milestone of $50,000 per coin in February 2021. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of more than $62,000 per coin in April 2021, but has since fallen slightly. As of May 2021, Bitcoin’s price hovers around $50,000.
Bitcoin Price Prediction
It’s difficult to say with any certainty where the price of Bitcoin could be headed next.
On the one hand, experts almost universally agree that Bitcoin is here to stay – few financial analysts are writing it off as a short-lived fad as many did in 2017. The cryptocurrency is used around the world and has proven at least as durable as traditional financial systems. In addition, many companies now accept Bitcoin for payment and a number of banks and financial firms are working on ways to offer Bitcoin-based transactions. Coinbase, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, held an IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange at the start of 2021 – a clear sign of cryptocurrency’s staying power.
So, over the long term, the price of Bitcoin could continue to rise. Supply is ultimately limited thanks to the cap of 21 million Bitcoin that can ever be mined, and demand will only increase if financial institutions make it easier for everyday people to use Bitcoin alongside fiat currency.
On the other hand, the short-term outlook for Bitcoin’s price is hard to predict. The cryptocurrency has been on a meteoric rise in the past year, and it’s not clear that current prices can be sustained throughout 2021. It’s possible – although far from certain – that Bitcoin could see a crash similar to the one it experienced in 2018. However, such a large crash seems less likely to happen given that investors who shied away from Bitcoin in 2018 would now see such a crash as a massive investment opportunity, quickly pushing the price back up.
So, the most likely scenario for the remainder of 2021 is that Bitcoin enters a holding pattern around the $50,000 level. The price of the coin could fluctuate by 10% or more – Bitcoin remains extremely volatile, after all – but the rest of the year could represent a period of consolidation after all the recent gains.
Why Buy Bitcoin UK?
As we noted above, the vast bulk of people buy Bitcoin in the UK as an investment. Make no mistake about it – it is a high-risk investment at that, not least because the price of Bitcoin is super-volatile.
Nevertheless, let’s explore some of the specific reasons why you might want to buy Bitcoin UK right now.
Note: Although you can easily buy Bitcoin in British pounds, the value of the cryptocurrency is usually discussed in US dollars.
Bitcoin is Growing Faster Than Any Other Asset Class
If you had invested just £100 in Bitcoin back in 2009, your investment would now be worth over £400 million! While you might have missed the boat to buy Bitcoin for a few cents, the cryptocurrency is still performing far better than most asset classes right now.
For example, had you bought Bitcoin in March 2020 – you would have paid around $5,000. Just a year later, Bitcoin’s price had increased by a factor of 10! By comparison, the FTSE 100 is worth less now than it was 5 years ago.
Bitcoin’s growth far outpaces almost every other traditional asset class, like stocks, bonds, and even real estate. So, if you’re looking to get an ultra-high return on your investment, Bitcoin is one of the best assets to consider.
The Supply of Bitcoin is Limited and Cannot be Manipulated
An additional factor that many newbie investors in the UK are unaware of is that Bitcoin is a finite asset class like gold. As noted earlier, this is because there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin in circulation. In theory, this means that over the course of time, the value of Bitcoin should continue to rise indefinitely.
Of course, this is based on a lot of core assumptions – notably, that Bitcoin is a phenomenon that is here to stay in the long run. But, if it is, then its finite characteristics are attractive to a lot of investors.
For example, when the Bank of England decides to print more money, this devalues the British pound. As Bitcoin is decentralized and not controlled by any single party, creating more coins than the underlying code allows is not possible.
Similarly, when you invest in stocks, the respective company has the ability to issue new shares. When it does, this dilutes your investment, as there are more shareholders in circulation. Once again, this isn’t possible with Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology.
Bitcoin can be Fractionized – So you can Invest Small Amounts
The price of a single Bitcoin now runs over $50,000, or about £35,000. Now, it’s highly unlikely that you are going to want to invest this much to own a single digital currency. The good news, however, is that you don’t need to.
On the contrary, as Bitcoin is a digital currency it can easily be ‘fractionalized’. In plain English, this means that you can buy a fraction of 1 Bitcoin. In fact, Bitcoin can be broken down to 0.00000001 – meaning a $50,000 coin turns into just a few cents.
However, the minimum amount of Bitcoin that you can buy in the UK will be dependent on your choice of brokerage site. FCA-regulated eToro, for example, allows you to invest just $25. This is crucial, as Bitcoin is speculative and volatile – so you’ll likely want to start off with smaller amounts before you understand how things work.
You are in Full Control of Your Bitcoin Investment
We also find that a lot of bitcoin buyers enter the market because of philosophical reasons. That is to say, when you buy Bitcoin UK, you will own the digital currency 100% outright.
In fact, if you decide to withdraw the coins out of your chosen broker and into a private bitcoin wallet, nobody other than you will ever have access.
This is because you will be the only person that has control of your private keys. This is like a secret password that not only gives you access to your Bitcoin funds but allows you to transfer it to another wallet.
This is in stark contrast to how a traditional currency works – as you are always required to entrust a bank to look after your money. The bank in question has full control over the funds – meaning that they have the capacity to restrict access. As long as you store your Bitcoin safely, nobody will ever be able to touch your coins without your say so.
How Much Does it Cost to Buy Bitcoin?
Like any other asset class such as stocks and shares – the price of Bitcoin is determined by market forces. Put simply, ever-changing demand and supply results in Bitcoin going up and down in price on a second-by-second basis.
As such, when there is a lot of positivity and good feeling surrounding Bitcoin, there will be more buyers in the market. In turn, this increased demand will see the price of Bitcoin increase. And of course, if the opposite happens, Bitcoin will go down in price.
In terms of how much it will cost you to buy 1 Bitcoin, your chosen broker will likely price this is US dollars. For example, at the time of writing in May 2021, eToro is quoting $50,013 per Bitcoin. This translates into £35,621 based on current GBP/USD exchange rates.
However, and as we noted earlier, you only need to invest $25 at eToro. This means that you are buying just 0.05% of a single Bitcoin. As such, were Bitcoin to increase by 10% – your $25 investment would be worth $27.50.
How to Buy Bitcoin UK with PayPal
A lot of investors in the UK seek to buy Bitcoin with Paypal. This is because Paypal is a really simple, safe, and convenient way of making purchases in the online space that offers faster payments than bank transfers and debit cards. Very few brokers in the UK actually allow you to use e-wallets to make an investment. Instead, they typically focus on debit cards and bank transfers.
With that said, FCA-regulated trading platform eToro not only supports Paypal deposits and withdrawals but Skrill and Neteller too. All you need to do is meet a $200 minimum deposit (about £160) and then decide how much Bitcoin you want to buy (minimum $25).
How to Buy Bitcoin Stocks UK
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, meaning that it is a completely different kettle of fish to traditional stocks. However, the underlying principles remain the same. For example, Bitcoin is listed on third-party crypto exchanges – much like stocks are. Similarly, the price of both stocks and Bitcoin is based on demand and supply and this – will rise and fall. If you are looking for the best bitcoin stocks UK, then there are many different ways that you can invest to gain exposure.
How to Buy Bitcoin Anonymously UK
You can buy Bitcoin anonymously UK, but only by using an unregulated cryptocurrency exchange. All regulated cryptocurrency exchanges require you to verify your identity in order to comply with government know-your-customer (KYC) regulations. Unregulated Bitcoin exchanges do not have government protections for investors and have frequently been the target of hacks. So, be very cautious if if you are using an unregulated exchange to buy Bitcoin anonymously.
Safest Way To Buy Bitcoin UK
Over the past few years, there have been many, many Bitcoin scandals. Whether that’s cryptocurrency exchanges getting hacked for millions of dollars worth of coins or Bitcoin-related Ponzi Schemes, a small minority of this industry are nothing short of unsavory.
With this in mind, it is absolutely fundamental that you know how to buy Bitcoin UK safely. In fact, we would go one step further by ensuring that you only use a regulated platform.
For example, eToro is licensed by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, as well as regulators in Australia and Cyprus. This means that you can rest assured that the platform allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin in a safe and secure environment. For example, you can use your debit/credit card or e-wallet and not worry about your sensitive financial details getting into the wrong hands.
At the other end of the spectrum, the majority of Bitcoin brokers and exchanges operate without a license. This means that you are putting your hard-earned funds at risk. As such, the safest way to buy bitcoin UK can only be achieved via a regulated platform.
Risks of Buying Bitcoin
As is the case with any investment that you make – like when you buy cryptocurrency, there are several risks of buying Bitcoin that you need to be made aware of.
Risk of Financial Loss
When you buy Bitcoin UK, you will be doing so because you think the value of the digital currency will rise. If it does, you make a financial return. However, things don’t always go to plan when we invest in the financial markets. As we noted earlier, the FTSE 100 is worth less today than it was five years ago.
UK banking stocks are in even greater dire straights, with the likes of HSBC worth 62% less than 18 years ago! When it comes to Bitcoin, this digital currency has generated obscene financial returns over the past 10 years.
However, there is no guarantee that this will be the case moving forward. After all, past performance is never a 100% indicator of future results. Taking this into account, if you end up selling your Bitcoin for less than you originally paid, then you will make a financial loss.
Regulatory Future of Bitcoin is Unknown
Other than a few exceptions, Bitcoin is still not regulated in most countries around the world – including the UK. Various bodies have released guidance on the digital currency – such as HMRC.
However, if and when the UK does eventually enact cryptocurrency-specific legislation, it remains to be seen whether this will embrace or hinder the future of Bitcoin.
For example, the FCA itself recently announced that from January 2021, cryptocurrency CFDs will no longer be permitted in the UK. The FCA said that this was due to the speculated and high-risk nature of cryptocurrencies and thus – the ruling was installed to protected UK retail clients.
Theft or Loss of Bitcoin
We mentioned earlier that a lot of people buy Bitcoin in the UK because they like the thought of owning an asset outright without needing to entrust their funds with a third-party. In order to achieve this, you would need to store the coins yourself in a private digital wallet.
However, the main risk that this presents is that were the wallet to be remotely hacked by a bad actor, your Bitcoin would be stolen. If this did happen, then your Bitcoin would be gone forever. After all, it’s not like you can call your bank to ask them to reimburse the funds.
Additionally, if you were to lose your wallet private keys or passphrase, it would be virtually impossible to regain access to your funds. Once again, this would mean that your Bitcoin would be gone forever.
When you eventually get around to cashing your Bitcoin out, the process will vary depending on how you bought it and how you are storing it.
For example, if you made the Bitcoin purchase at eToro, the process would look like the following:
- You buy £500 worth of Bitcoin at eToro with a UK debit card
- The Bitcoin is held by eToro on your behalf
- A few years later you sell the Bitcoin when it is worth £2,000
- You instruct eToro to sell the Bitcoin – which is executed at the click of a button
- The £2,000 proceeds are added to your eToro cash balance, which you can then withdraw back to your debit card
However, if you used a traditional cryptocurrency exchange to buy Bitcoin, the cash out process would look like this:
- Once you purchase the Bitcoin, you withdraw the coins to a private wallet
- You opt for a desktop wallet – meaning it is stored on your laptop
- When you decide to sell your Bitcoin, you need to transfer the coins back to the exchange
- You then need to convert Bitcoin back to pounds
- Finally, you transfer the proceeds back to your bank account
As you can see from the above, it’s far easier to use an FCA-regulated broker like eToro. In doing so, you don’t need to worry about storing the Bitcoin in a private wallet. And of course – this means that you cash your Bitcoin investment out instantly whenever you see fit.
eToro – Best Broker to Buy Bitcoin UK
Although you might not understand the fine intricacies of cryptocurrencies – the actual process of buying Bitcoin in the UK has never been easier.
In fact, opening a broker account, depositing funds with a UK debit/credit card, and investment in Bitcoin should take you no more than 10 minutes when using eToro.
Best of all, this popular FCA broker charges no commissions when you buy Bitcoin UK – and you can cash out your investment whenever you want.
Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.
What Can You Buy with Bitcoin?
Most people in the UK buy Bitcoin as an investment vehicle. In other words, it's a speculative investment that they hope to make a profit from. With that said, Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows you to send and receive funds. As such, if you find an online merchant that accepts Bitcoin, you can easily make a purchase.
How can I buy Bitcoin anonymously?
The days of buying Bitcoin in the UK anonymously are slowly but surely coming to an end. This is to counter the threat of money laundering. However, you can buy Bitcoin anonymously using an unregulated Bitcoin exchange. This comes with significant risks, as these exchanges do not have investor protections and have been routinely targeted by hackers.
Can you buy Bitcoin in the UK with pounds?
Yes, you can, but your chosen broker is likely to perform an FX exchange. This is because the de-facto currency that Bitcoin is priced against is the US dollar. This shouldn't be a problem as UK Bitcoin brokers allowed you to deposit funds with your debit/credit card or bank account.
What is the UK Bitcoin minimum investment?
The minimum Bitcoin investment in the UK will be determined by your chosen broker. For example, at eToro, this stands at just $25 (about £18).
How do you sell Bitcoin in the UK?
Selling Bitcoin works in the same way as buying it - but in reverse. For example, if you keep the coins at your chosen broker, you simply need to execute a sell order. Once you do, the proceeds will be added to your cash balance, which you can then withdraw out.
Where is the best place to buy Bitcoin?
We think the best place to buy Bitcoin is eToro due to its low fees and FCA licence. Other popular platforms include Coinbase, Binance, LocalBitcoins, CEX, Coinfloor, Coinmama, Kraken, Bittylicious and Bitstamp.