For anyone who is looking to get into the game of Bitcoin and hold your own coins, there are plenty of options available. Here are some of the different methods available for acquiring some Bitcoin of your.
Buy them from an exchange
One of the most common ways to acquire bitcoins is definitely through an exchange. Websites like Bitstamp, BTC-E, or Cavirtex here in North america, allow you to purchase Bitcoin. They don’t market Bitcoin themselves, but how functions is the exchanges pair you like a buyer with a seller who’s selling for whatever price you’re looking for.
This sounds like a great option, and in a few ways it is, but it has its disadvantages as well.
One of the major ones is that the exchanges require you to add your individual information to them via Know Your Client legislation that’s present in a lot of countries in regards to currency-related businesses. This might not be a concern for everyone, but in the post-NSA scandal era, it’s becoming more and more clear, at least to me, that information you put out there is more accessible compared to you think.
I might be a little weird, but who knows what might happen in the future. After all, just ten years back the idea that the government is spying on everything we do was purely the realm of tin foil hat conspiracy theorists, and now it’s simply common knowledge. Who knows what’s following?
As you can tell, I’m not a big fan of the exchanges. The idea that I have to give up my personal information to an entity that might have to release that information seems to go against the spirit of Bitcoin.
Fortunately, there are other options.
Mine all of them
Of course , there’s only one place Bitcoins really come from; mining. Every Bitcoin you’ll ever own, see, or hear about, was at one stage mined via the Bitcoin mining network.
If you find yourself in possession of a mining rig, go ahead and mine away! Or if you have a computer fast enough to be able to worthwhile, that’s cool too.
Yet be careful! If your computer isn’t cooled down properly, you run the risk of overheating it, which could potentially brick this.
Frankly, mining with your computer isn’t actually worth it. Not anymore. As the mining problems increases, it becomes more and more difficult to gain any profit from it. And unless you have a dedicated mining rig, your chance of getting any sort of return from mining is pretty low.
Some believe mining is on its way out, and also buying a dedicated mining rig isn’t actually a valid option anymore. I don’t agree, but that’s a topic for another day time.
Buy them from a private broker
If you’re able to find a private broker, you can date them and exchange. This has some obvious benefits, but it also has drawbacks.
First off, it’s completely anonymous. Even if you meet in person, there’s no reason you may use your real name, or any details about yourself other than your wallet amount so they can transfer the funds for you. And if you pay cash, the banks can’t trace it possibly. So if that’s a concern for you, if you’re in business.
But of course with anonymity comes some risk as well. Dealing through an exchange, the risk of getting scammed is lower. Of course , exchanges have faded in the past, taking everyone’s Bitcoins with these, but the bigger, more established exchanges have had time to build their brand and prove themselves as more trustworthy.
You might pay a price premium for that anonymity as well.
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From my experience, it can be as much as 15-20% higher than average swap prices. But again, if anonymity is essential to you, that’s a small price to pay for.
When you trade with someone anonymously, you don’t have the security of the exchanges. They may be legit and honest, but they could just as easily be shady and willing to rip you off. Having said that, buying from a private broker can be my preferred method of purchasing Bitcoin. But it’s important to have safety measures in position, otherwise you’re leaving yourself open to getting burned.
Accept them as payment for goods and services
This one is really obvious, yet often people forget about this. Amidst all the investors getting involved with Bitcoin and the excitement around the motion, it’s easy to forget that Bitcoin is not just a hot commodity or quality value stock. It’s designed as a type of currency. And if you run a company, you can accept Bitcoin as payment instead of cash.