You can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and some of the other major altcoins on exchanges, like Coinbase, with a bank transfer, credit card, or wire transfer. Other exchanges, like Poloniex, do not accept fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, etc.) so you have to transfer Bitcoin or Ether to your account and then use that as your base currency to buy more obscure altcoins. Or if you want to use cash, you can meet up with someone in person (eg. LocalBitcoins) and trade them or look for a bitcoin ATM on a special map.
For beginners, it is recommended that you start with Coinbase with a small amount you can afford to lose and get comfortable with it first. Once you are ready, come back to The Coin Jungle and read about how to transfer your money to an exchange, exchange your coins for other coins, and transfer your money into your own wallet. GDAX is Coinbase’s exchange where you don’t have to pay fees (if you do limit trades) but it is more complicated to use. Poloniex doesn’t accept fiat but it has many more options so you can transfer Bitcoin or Ether to it and exchange them for altcoins.
Last updated on 15 June 2017.
First, you will have to exchange your fiat currency for cryptocurrency. And then if you want to get access to more obscure altcoins, you can transfer it to exchanges that don’t accept fiat.
Some people make a business out of arbitraging the price between the exchanges. You can use Bitcoinity to see the percentage difference in prices.
Buy With Fiat
These exchanges accept fiat currency (USD, EUR, etc.), so they are the big gatekeepers in and out of the cryptocurrency world. They tend to be more regulated because of this and thus somewhat more safe (although this is still the Wild Wild West so you need to be wary and cautious nonetheless). The following are in order of their current Bitcoin market cap, meaning that the ones on top are used the most, or have the most money transferred on them. This only includes English-speaking countries’ currencies.
US Dollar (USD)
British Pounds (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
South African Rand (ZAR)
Australian Dollar (AUD)
Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
These exchanges do not accept fiat (USD, EUR, etc.) so you need to buy bitcoins or ether somewhere else and transfer them into these exchanges.
Buy With PayPal
Many site do not accept PayPal because of chargebacks but there are a few that do. All of them are based in the United States.
You can also transfer cryptocurrencies directly with individuals for cash or services. LocalBitcoins is one of the major sites to find people. Some people use Meetup.com or Craigslist – or you can just ask your friends to send you coins! You will need your own wallet if you are not trading on exchange, so read up on the next section (Keep) for more information on that.
You can also use ATMs and deposit cash to get cryptocoins. They usually will have an online map to help you find them. They will either scan your mobile wallet’s QR code or print out codes that you need to load the bitcoin into your mobile wallet.
1. Coin ATM Radar
If you still have not found what you are looking for, you can find a more comprehensive list here.