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Cryptocurrency has become an increasingly popular currency option across the globe in the past decade. Cryptocurrency is virtually impossible to counterfeit thanks to its cryptography. The ease of access and discretion of Bitcoin has throttled its demand. With a high market demand, cryptocurrency’s popularity is only increasing. There are a few steps you should take before you search for how to buy Bitcoin.

1. Educate Yourself

You’re probably asking yourself how Bitcoin works and how it’s different from other tangible forms of currency. Bitcoin is not made at the Royal Canadian Mint and is not distributed by the Bank of Canada. It is a decentralized digital currency that can be exchanged from peer to peer on the internet.

2. Choose a Wallet

While you can keep your loonies in your pocket, cryptocurrency has to be stored in a secure digital location. There are two main categories for online storage: mobile and desktop. Mobile wallets grant you the ability to access your funds on the go from your phone. There are multiple options for Android and iOS systems. Desktop wallets can only be accessed from a computer. While this may not be as flexible as the mobile option, it may be more secure. Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems have many options available.

The most secure option is a hardware wallet. Hardware wallets allow you to store your Bitcoin offline. You connect it to your computer whenever you need to access funds. Keeping your Bitcoins stored offline lessens the chances of your wallet being hacked.

3. Buying Bitcoin

Now that you’ve established a place to store your Bitcoin, it’s time to review how to buy Bitcoin.

Once you have your wallet set up, you’ll need to connect a nondigital form of payment such as a bank account or credit card. If using your bank account, you’ll be pleased to know most online exchanges accept Interac e-Transfer as a way to fund your Bitcoin purchase.

There are five options for purchasing Bitcoin in Canada.

Online exchanges are the most popular purchasing option for Bitcoin across the globe. These exchanges can be accessed through desktop websites or an app.

Canada possesses more Bitcoin ATMs than any other country. These ATMs allow you to convert cash into Bitcoin. You log in with your information, enter the amount of money you wish to transfer to your Bitcoin wallet, and the money is converted to Bitcoin and deposited into your virtual wallet.

Peer to peer network allows you to purchase Bitcoin from fellow cryptocurrency enthusiasts directly. When using a reputable marketplace for the exchange, you are usually afforded escrow protections. These protections guard your currency in the event of a fraudulent exchange.

OTC trading is available for those who want to purchase large amounts of Bitcoin but want to prevent slippage. Purchasing more than 25,000 CAD worth of Bitcoin without an OTC guarantee could result in you paying more than the current market value for your cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin brokerages exist to facilitate Bitcoin transactions face-to-face. This option is great for beginners who may have questions they need answered by an expert.

4. Spend Your Bitcoin

The most common use of Bitcoin is to make online purchases. Thousands of retailers accept cryptocurrency as payment. You may be surprised to find that there are also services you can purchase with Bitcoin. Residential and commercial services providers have been weaponizing the internet to promote and grow their businesses for years. On their websites, many providers offer options to book services online and accept cryptocurrency as payment. Small businesses are also accepting cryptocurrencies. That new coffee shop around the corner from your house and the French market across town may take Bitcoin as payment for goods.

Learning about cryptocurrency and how it works can seem overwhelming. There are many options for cryptocurrency, but Bitcoin is the most widely known. Bitcoin’s price varies greatly over time making it undesirable as a stock option at this point. While it may not be stable enough for those looking to invest, it is a great option for purchasing goods and services online. Bitcoin gives you more control over your money. Your transactions will no longer be mediated or monitored by your bank or other institutions. Cryptocurrency is one of the few options for anonymity when making purchases online.

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