FAQ - Your questions? We got answers!
Yes, but with a transaction fee. Most exchanges that you can buy Bitcoin at, also allow you to sell Bitcoin. From our top exchanges, Coinbase and BitPanda allow this and CoinMama is aiming to add in the near future.
You can find a live price for Bitcoin on the CryptoCompare website https://www.cryptocompare.com/coins/btc/overview/USD You can click on USD on that page to change the price to EUR or GBP or other national currencies (as well as other cryptocurrencies). Please note that this price will most likely be a little lower than you will buy Bitcoins for at one of our recommended exchanges, as it is the traders’ market rate.
To send and receive Bitcoin, you need a public address – this is the long string of around 30 characters. For every transaction, the sending and receiving addresses are publicly-viewable. Bitcoin is therefore known as ‘pseudonymous’ which means that it is not automatically known the real identity behind a Bitcoin address. However someone could potentially find out who the real person is behind the pseudonym.
Unlike government issued money that can be printed at will, the supply of Bitcoin is mathematically limited to 21 million coins and that can never be changed.
When you send Bitcoin to an address, you can check on it’s progress by entering the address into the search bar on https://blockexplorer.com/ , it will show as unconfirmed until it is verified by the network. Transactions are considered complete once they have between 2 to 6 confirmations (depending on who owns the wallet).
You will normally need a passport, driving license or national ID card. You will also need a mobile phone and an email address which you will need to verify.
All exchanges require ID verification as if they do not do this they could be prosecuted by the authorities for violating money laundering regulations.
No. If you just want to buy Bitcoin to pay for a specific online web order then you can send bitcoin straight from the exchange when buying it and you don’t need another wallet. Also if you are using Coinbase or Bitpanda and you are storing a small amount of Bitcoin then you do not need another wallet as they provide one. However if you are buying a small amount of Bitcoin with CoinMama or Bitit then you can use a Jaxx wallet on your computer or phone and if you are storing more Bitcoin and for longer-term then we recommend buying a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
How long does it take for my Bitcoin to arrive at their destination address once I have bought and sent them?
Once you have sent your bitcoin, it will usually take between 10 to 30 minutes for the transaction to have full confirmation. To track the process of your transaction go to https://blockexplorer.com/ and paste the bitcoin address in the Search bar at the top. It will show when the transaction is fully confirmed, don’t worry, on occasion, if the network is very busy, this can take up to an hour or more.
The fees at the various exchanges vary, please see our exchange comparison table for the different fees. Coinbase is by far the cheapest offering Bitcoin purchases inclusive of card processing fee for only 4%. If it’s a new account and you sign up directly from this link, then you get a further $10 on your first $100 of Bitcoin payment, effectively bringing the cost to nothing for up to $200 of Bitcoin.
No, you can by just a fraction of a Bitcoin. Each Bitcoin can be split up to 8 decimal places so the smallest amount to hold would be 0.00000001, this amount is called 1 Satoshi (after the man who created Bitcoin). Our top recommended exchange, Coinbase (link to affiliate program) allows you to buy as little as 1 unit of your local currency ($1 or 1 Euro for example).
Coinbase (affiliate link) offers Bitcoin to the USA, Europe, Australia and some other countries. CoinMama (link to affiliate link) offers Bitcoin to 226 countries worldwide and growing – so not all but almost all! If your country is not covered by CoinMama then do try LocalBitcoins (link to localbitcoins affiliate link).
Bitcoin needs to be bought through an exchange. We rate Coinbase as the best, simplest and best-value exchange to use but if you are outside of the countries they cover, then we recommend CoinMama. (links to both our affiliate links).
We are an experienced team of Tech veterans, some of whom were involved in building the internet exchanges themselves in the late 1990s. We believe that Bitcoin is the most exciting technological innovation since the Internet itself and would like to help facilitate this transition.
Invented in 2008, Bitcoin is digital money. It is money just like dollars or euros, only it’s not owned by a government or in fact any person or any organisation.