Buying cryptocurrencies in the USA
Very few regions are so Bitcoin-friendly as the USA is. It is true that it is regulated to some extent by the government, but the number of users and merchants is higher than almost anywhere else. Living in such a country gives a double opportunity: using BTC for everyday transactions, but, more importantly, being able to buy Bitcoin at market price.
There are plenty of alternatives when it comes to buying cryptocurrencies. Perhaps, most of them fall in one of two categories: exchanges or P2P trading. Whether to choose one or the other will entirely depend on the buyer, exchanges usually require identity verification and the process takes a bit longer, but in general offer more security than leading directly with a second individual.
Buying cryptocurrencies through Coinbase
Coinbase is one of the oldest and most established exchanges at the moment. It has been in the crypto business since 2012 and currently sells Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. If you are a US national or a resident of any of the 32 countries where Coinbase has license to operate, you can easily get your hands on some of the aforementioned coins in no time.
To start using the platform, first you have to go to their website and signup. The guys at Coinbase are so committed with promoting cryptocurrencies that they will give you an additional 10 USD worth of whichever currency you buy if you spend 100 USD or more.
Prior to purchasing anything, you need to configure at least one payment method. Currently, three methods are enabled for US customers to pay for their coins: deposits, bank transfers and debit/credit cards.
The decision of which alternative to use won’t only depend on your personal preference but on the weekly limits that Coinbase has set and which vary according to your verification level and your history of purchases. You also have to take into account the fees for each method and the time it will take for the transaction to be processed.
You can deposit to your Coinbase USD wallet as you would do to any bank account, a fee of 1% will be deducted to cover the costs of processing the transaction. The estimated time to buy using this method is 4 to 5 days, with a 10 000 USD limit per week.
First you need to associate your bank account. To do so, simply go to the “Payment Methods” tab and select “bank account”. If your bank is listed, click on its name and proceed to log in to your online banking; Coinbase will instantly verify your identity and delete any information retrieved. If you cannot find your bank, select the “other bank” option and decide whether you want an “instant verification” (like the one above) or a deposit verification (which will take a few days. Go for this choice only if you have a solid, valid reason). Buying using this method takes about the same time that with a deposit (4-5 days) and incurs in a fee of 1-2%, with a minimum of 15 cents.
Similar to when purchasing with a bank transfer, here you need to link your card. The steps are detailed here, under the respective subtitle. There is a fee of 3.75%, higher than that of any other method, but on the positive side you will be credited your cryptocurrency instantly. The weekly limit is 500 USD by default, but it will raise as you buy more.
After you have configured at least one payment method, the process is simple and straightforward: go the the buy page, fill the amount you want (which must be below the limits) and confirm your purchase.
It is too hard… how else can I purchase cryptocurrencies easily?
If the process of buying through Coinbase seems a bit difficult, you can always go to LocalBitcoins and contact a local seller. The payment method will depend on each merchant, but will usually be a bank transfer or a face-to-face meeting. The fees on LBC tend to be a bit higher, so take that into account before closing a deal.
Perhaps, Coinbase is one of the best options currently because they won’t charge high fees. As they are a legally constituted company with lots of security measures and verifications, they are better prepared to fight dishonest buyers. Other platforms or sellers will take a bigger cut in order to protect themselves of possible frauds (transactions with cryptocurrencies are irreversible and vendors run the risk of being scammed).
There are dozens of sites and methods to purchase Bitcoin / altcoins. If you are not completely convinced about following our advice, you can always do your own search and choose the one that better fits your needs.
There is only one thing left to be said: welcome to the world of cryptocurrencies!