Cryptocurrency has turned from a mysterious abstract phenomena to become one of the fastest growing forms of currency in use across the world. Over time, many different cryptocurrencies have been developed and are currently in use in all manner of transactions.
With the increase of marketplaces for cryptocurrencies, trading in digital currencies has become a risky and vulnerable way of transacting business. This article gets a little into that!
In this article, we review the 5 top places to buy Bitcoins and best wallet to store it and other cryptocurrencies, their features, requirements and processes.
Let’s dive right in.
Coinmama is a leading cryptocurrency brokerage company that helps you buy various types of cryptocurrencies. The company allows you to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies easily using your credit card or a SEPA transfer. Coinmama focuses on customer experience and service to ensure that transactions are fast (verification takes only one hour).
Coinmama is an ideal platform for beginners because it is easy to use and customer friendly compared to other platforms out there. Advanced users, however, can use alternative trading platforms in order to save on transaction fees.
The platform was established in 2013 in Israel and currently serves over 1m customers in more than 190 countries with over 50 employees. The company is registered in Slovakia, headquartered in Israel and owned by New Bit Ventures.
Coinmama accepts both debit and credit cards issued by Mastercard or Visa. Recently, the company started accepting SEPA payments and charges 0% processing fees where prices are denominated as EUR or USD.
The prices indicated on the company’s website include the company’s brokerage service fee of 5.9%. You need to add a 5% credit card processing fee on top of the stated price meaning that the total cost amounts to 10.9% above the market rate.
Coinmama allows you to buy a minimum of $60 worth of Bitcoins or an equivalent amount in Euros. The buying limits include a daily buying limit of 5000 USD / EUR and a monthly buying limit of 20,000 USD / EUR. Your daily limits will last 24 hours from the moment you place your order and monthly limits are a sum of the last 30 days.
There are 3 levels of verification on the platform. Level one requires you to have a valid government issued ID, a selfie of you holding your ID, and a note written “Coinmama” and with the date written on it. Level two requires you to submit a secondary ID including the above two IDs, and a utility bill. Level three requires you to fill a short form. Coinmama operates a complete help center run by a dedicated support staff with a response time of 24 hours.
Coinbase is a global cryptocurrency exchange company that provides a venue to trade digital currencies. The platform allows you to send transaction information to a blockchain network for verification. The platform uses a wallet to store your digital currencies.
With Coinbase, you can exchange Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. The platform also allows you to transact and exchange other digital assets e.g. fiat currencies in 32 countries. So far, Coinbase has served well over 15 million customers and facilitated exchanges of over $50 billion in digital currency.
To purchase cryptocurrencies, you link your bank account, debit or credit card to your Coinbase account. The platform uses bank accounts because they allow for higher limits (between $100/transaction and $2,500/week). Verification of transactions, however, takes longer and money appears in your Coinbase wallet within 2-4 days (depending on your bank). Once confirmed, a Bitcoin sale takes 2-4 days for the proceeds to reflect in your bank account. Debit or credit card limits are lower ($200/week), but the platform allows you to purchase digital currencies by transferring funds to the site from your bank account. Coinbase uses an apparatus that makes the process easy and familiar, similar to buying and selling stocks.
To enhance the security of your cryptocurrency assets, the platform stores 98% your funds offline when you purchase and store within Coinbase. The platform assures customers of the safety of their data, which is encrypted, disconnected entirely from the internet, and transferred to USB drives. The drives and paper backups are stored in safe deposit box vaults across the world.
The remaining 2% of customer funds is held online to cover charges in case of a breach of Coinbase’s online storage. The platform also holds all customer fiat currency in custodial bank accounts, on your behalf to protect you (so long as they have been converted to fiat currency) against loss in case Coinbase becomes insolvent.
Coinbase also offers a Coinbase vault with time-delayed withdrawals with a maximum of 48 hours to cancel a withdrawal. It also offers the option of multiple approvers, which increases security by ensuring all withdrawals are verified by many people. For more secure options, Coinbase offers a multisig vault, which is a more involved and secure vault that requires multiple keys to unlock.
Paxful is an online marketplace where buyers meet sellers to trade Bitcoins. The platform allows a wide range of buying options and payment methods that are not on other traditional exchanges.
The company was founded in 2015 and operates offices in multiple cities globally. The company is headquartered in the US with over 100 employees. Like the way eBay enables people to sell merchandise, Paxful allows you to become merchants and sell Bitcoin online.
Unlike other platforms, Paxful does not from suffer from limited available payment methods or geographic restrictions. It is free of both – gives you the power to trade Bitcoins and offers a more decentralized trading market.
Paxful’s marketplace service are offered in two forms:
On their website via an easy to use form or a virtual kiosk – Paxful’s affiliate program that allows you to spread the word about Paxful and generate a 2% revenue from any amount bought.
Paxful deals in buying and selling of Bitcoin only. The money is sent directly to the sellers since the platform doesn’t hold fiat currencies for users. The platform accepts over 300 payment methods including debit & credit cards, PayPal, wire transfers, Amazon gift cards, and Western Union.
As a sellers you pay a 1% fee to the company.
To transfer money through the network, normal Bitcoin network fees apply, and are paid by the sender with the fees going to Bitcoin miners.
Paxful has an extensive FAQ that addresses most of the queries you may have about the platform. The platform also operates an easy to use chat box for all relevant support requests. Responses can be offered either immediately or later via email.
4- Changelly :
Changelly is a fast, anonymous crypto exchange service where you can trade almost any cryptocurrency out there. The platform allows you to trade cryptocurrency without registering or verifying your identity.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Malta, the company was associated with the Minergate team, but today they are two different companies.
An automatic trading robot integrates with some of the largest trading platforms like Bittrex and Poloniex and operates by bidding and requesting respective exchanges that offer the best available rates on trading pairs.
Changelly offers you a fast, simple, and anonymous crypto to crypto exchange service that can be accessed through the company’s website or via 3rd party wallets. Some of the most popular include Ledger, TREZOR, Exodus, Coinomi, Jaxx, and Edge.
The platform also offers its API, as well as, a customizable payment widget for websites. You can exchange crypto from within the site without visiting the Changelly’s website. You can also buy Bitcoin using your credit card via an integration with Simplex on the company website.
The platform offers access to over 130 different cryptocurrencies and offers you an opportunity to exchange any two currencies directly with minimal hustle. This is unlike traditional cryptocurrency trading platforms that mostly have a limited selection of trading pairs, which requires you to make multiple transactions to receive your desired cryptocurrency.
Changelly allows you to create your own trading pairs with any cryptocurrency available on the platform, in a single transaction. You are only required to select your preferred trading pair and then leave the software to take care of the trades.
Recently, the platform added fiat currency support, including credit and debit card purchases. Changelly operates static-rate fees with all trades attracting a 0.5% fee. However, when you trade using fiat currency, there’s a massive caveat – trade rates from fiat currency (i.e., dollars, euros, etc.) vary depending on the method you choose.
On Changelly, there are no limits on the transaction amount when trading crypto to crypto, but fiat transaction have buying limits
The website is clean and easy to use and offers an in-depth FAQ that helps you learn more about basic cryptocurrency trades. The platform offers support through a chatbox on the website.
5- LocalBitcoins :
LocalBitcoins is an online exchange which associates Bitcoin buyers and sellers inside a specific topographical area. The website fundamentally utilizes the client’s area and that of different clients of the site to coordinate buyers and sellers who are near one another in a land sense. In this way, the individuals who need to purchase or sell Bitcoin don’t need to look far or to manage individuals who are found far from the buyer/seller. LocalBitcoins searches and matches you to Bitcoins found “locally”, which explains the name LocalBitcoins.
The company was established in 2012 in Finland by Nikolaus Kangas and has since developed to wind up as one of the main marketplaces for Bitcoin on the planet with no outside speculation. LocalBitcoins.com offers a platform for sellers and buyers from around the globe to meet and trade Bitcoins. It resembles the Craigslist for purchasing and selling Bitcoin. Clients can either meet face to face or trade online.
The platform bolsters the purchasing and selling of Bitcoins as it were. Notwithstanding, various clones have ascended, for example, LocalMonero and LocalEthereum. There are no official fiat currencies that the site bolsters, since the site itself doesn’t hold fiat deposits. Clients on the site acknowledge a wide cluster of installment alternatives including Paypal, SEPA, Wire move, Neteller, Skrill, MoneyGram, Cash deposits, Payza, Payoneer, WeChat and many more.
Enrolling, purchasing and selling Bitcoins on LocalBitcoins is totally free. LocalBitcoins clients who make notices are charged a 1% fee for each finished trade. So essentially, just the general population who are effectively advancing their administrations (for example creators) are being burdened. Exchanges to wallets of different LocalBitcoins clients are likewise for nothing out of pocket. Each time you send Bitcoins outside of LocalBitcoins, you may be charged the standard Bitcoin Network fee, which differs relying upon how jam-packed the system is.
There are no purchasing points of confinement on LocalBitcoins. For whatever length of time that you can discover individuals that are happy to sell, you can lead the same number of exchanges as you’d like. LocalBitcoins additionally has a broad FAQ page where answers to most inquiries can be found.
Now let me tell you best place to store your bitcoin
Best Bitcoin Wallets in 2019, Apps and Hardware:
Okay, you’ve decided (quite rightly) that the future is now and that cryptocurrency is the way forward. So what’s next? Well, before you can receive, store and spend bitcoin, you’ll need to set up your own bitcoin wallet. But with so many options, it can be difficult to choose the right wallet for you. Read on for an up-to-date guide on doing just that.
Firstly, or if you’re in a hurry, here’s the gist of it:
Why do I need a bitcoin wallet and what kind is right for me?
You need a wallet to send and receive bitcoin. For small amounts of bitcoin, a trusty app on your phone or computer should suffice. For larger amounts, you’ll want a dedicated hardware wallet to keep your bitcoin safe from theft.
What Is a Bitcoin Wallet? and Why Do I Need One?
Despite the analogy, the bitcoin itself does not physically reside in your bitcoin wallet. Instead, your wallet stores electronically two pieces of information:
- Your own super-secret private key, which enables you to spend your Bitcoin;
- Your own public key that you share with others, allowing you to accept payments from other Bitcoin wallets.
These keys are essentially very (very very) large numbers that are virtually impossible to guess – but required for transactions. As such, the wallet alone grants complete access to your bitcoin.
So where is everyone’s bitcoin actually stored? Perhaps ‘stored’ isn’t the right word: rather, the amount of bitcoin associated with each wallet is kept track of by lots of independent parties in a publicly available ledger called the blockchain. When you make a transaction, the ledger is updated to reflect that.
Other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Litecoin work just the same.
Tip: Never purchase a bitcoin wallet on eBay! The seller might have
meddled with it just to steal your bitcoin later on.
What Type of Bitcoin Wallet Should I Use?
There are two kinds of wallets:
- ‘hot’ wallets, which exist as an app on your phone or computer that connects to the internet and stores your private key among other information;
- ‘cold’ wallets (a.k.a. ‘hardware’ wallets), which are separate physical devices, not connected to the internet, for the express purpose of storing your private key safely.
While a hot wallet will do a great job of keeping your private key safe and are the most convenient option, they are connected to the internet and therefore vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals. Cold wallets, however, are vulnerable only to physical robbery. If you have more than a few hundred US dollars worth of bitcoin, you should look at buying a hardware wallet to keep your bitcoin safe from the bad guys.
Keep in mind the golden rule of cybersecurity: you have to strike a balance between convenience and security; the easier it is for you to access your cryptocurrency, the easier it can be for others to access …and potentially steal it. Hot wallets (i.e. apps for your phone and computer) lie on the convenience end of this spectrum, whereas colder options (i.e. hardware wallets) lie on the security end.
The Best Hardware Wallets
If you’re looking for a cold wallet to keep your private keys safe, you have a nice selection of solid hardware devices to choose from. Below are some of your best options in 2019.
Ledger Nano X : Editor’s Choice
Launched earlier this year, the Ledger Nano X is a Bluetooth® enabled hardware wallet that stores your private keys with state-of-the-art security.
Ledger are a well-established brand in the crypto market, and for good reason. With over one million devices sold, their Nano S was the first to be fully certified by ANSSI, the French cybersecurity agency, and its multiple currency support makes it the weapon of choice for those investing in a numerous range of cryptocurrencies.
Ledger’s newly released Nano X brings all the same qualities to an improved device featuring an upgraded display size and resolution, state-of-the-art security, Bluetooth® capabilities, and the new USB-C standard for wired connections.
The companion app (Ledger Live for Android and iPhone) connects to your Nano X via an end-to-end encrypted Bluetooth® connection, enabling you to make fast and secure transactions and manage your crypto accounts conveniently from anywhere.
In the event that you lose your Nano X, your crypto assets can be safely retrieved using the 24-word recovery phrase provided when you set up your device. You set up your Nano X with a 4-digit pin code to prevent strangers from spending bitcoins if they get hold of your device.
The Nano X retails for $119, a considerable margin above the $69 Nano S, while still less expensive than the €149 ($170) Trezor Model T. Despite this, I would argue that the Nano X remains one of the best value hardware wallets in the market, and is a solid, all-round choice, especially for those who are new to the crypto scene.
If you’re looking for watertight security at the expense of a little convenience, the Trezor range of wallets are perhaps the closest thing to a palm-sized bank vault. Their built-in displays allow you to read a summary of the transaction and confirm it manually, which helps to prevent phishing attacks.
Like most hardware wallets, they function completely offline, allowing risk-free transactions even when used with malware-ridden devices.
The drawback with Trezor devices is that, unlike Bluetooth-enabled wallets, they require a wired USB connection in order to make any transaction (although some would argue that this is actually a security feature). They also require a little more setup know-how since you have to install the firmware yourself for security reasons.
Of course, your funds can be backed up so that, in the event that you lose your Trezor Wallet, you can recover your money with a private seed phrase that you should keep written down, concealed and kept in a secure place.
Trezor devices use open-source software and encryption via GPG. They also feature an encrypted cloud-based password manager (by the way, if you don’t have a password manager yet, do yourself a favor and go set one up right now).
Trezor One ($78)
Dubbed ‘the original hardware wallet’, the Trezor One is the more affordable of their two flagship devices. The Trezor one is beginner friendly and comes with the host of anti-paranoia security features you’d expect from a Trezor device. It has a monochrome display and two physical buttons. PIN, passphrase and recovery information is entered securely through the connected computer or mobile.
The Trezor One comes in black and white options.
Trezor Model T ($170)
Trezor’s higher end Model T sports a full color LCD touchscreen (240 x 240 pixels), enabling PIN, passphrase and recovery information to be entered on the device itself. It also comes with a microSD card extension: in the absence of an official explanation, it is thought that this might in future be used for transferring encrypted information including private keys and your cloud-based password manager data.
Whereas the Trezor One connects via a Micro USB-B cable, the Model T upgrades to the improved USB-C standard, which is reversible, more durable, and transfers data faster.
The Best Bitcoin Wallet Apps
If you’ll be making frequent transactions with your wallet, you should consider a hot wallet solution. Less secure but cheaper and more convenient, these live on your smartphone or desktop computer.
Available for Mac, Windows and Linux, you should definitely have a look at Electrum if you’ll be managing your crypto from a laptop or desktop computer. It encrypts your private keys and stores them locally, and supports cold storage which keeps your private keys completely offline if you so choose. Electrum is fast, claiming to be ‘instant on’ since it uses servers that index the Bitcoin blockchain.
What’s reassuring about Electrum is that it doesn’t lock you into using it forever. If you decide to switch to another Bitcoin client, you can simply export your private keys from Electrum and import them into your new client.
BRD (Android and iOS)
Formerly BreadWallet, this well-designed smartphone app is simple and intuitive to use, and is a great choice for bitcoin beginners and supports a variety of other cryptocurrencies too.
Users can swipe their way around the app’s interface and approve transactions with their phone’s fingerprint reader. With its in-app knowledge base and all-hours human support, this app truly brings a stress-free crypto experience to the technological newbie.
Hopefully now you’ve gained a little understanding of how bitcoin wallets work, and some knowledge of the hardware and software options available to us in 2019. The complexity of hardware and software technology in the cryptography space and markets can be arcane at best, and you can never do too much research into these areas if you want to keep your crypto assets close to hand but safe from cryptocurrency thieves.
Don’t forget the golden rule of cybersecurity, that convenience and security are opposite ends of the same stick: accessibility is the enemy of paranoia. The more diligent you are in keeping your private keys secure, the less convenient it will inevitably be to make transactions.
Different marketplaces offer different features, prices and processes of buying and trading Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. As a trader, it is important that you review a few available options before settling on a particular platform.
Before you buy Bitcoins or different sorts of cryptocurrency with a charge card, it’s essential to realize that the estimation of computerized currency is unpredictable. Much like the financial exchange, the value of the computerized currency can change from every day and even among the different kinds of currency.
Similarly as with the financial exchange, the point is to purchase as low as you can when obtaining cryptocurrency. This necessitates you watch out for the estimation of cryptocurrency every day and hang tight at a dunk in cost.
What’s more, recollect that all cryptocurrency deals are conclusive. Thinking about the unpredictable idea of computerized currency and the vulnerability of its future, it’s a smart thought to painstakingly consider your speculation before buying with a charge card.