Bitcoins & Altcoins: How to Buy and Sell

The process of buying and selling cryptocurrency, your first steps in order to buy Bitcoins or any other altcoins as well as different ways of their acquisition: converters, trading platforms (exchanges), ATMs, in-person transactions

Before you jump into this overview of how to buy and sell Bitcoins & Altcoins, check out our articles on how the blockchain system works providing the information on Bitcoin transactions and different types of forks.

So you decided to buy a cryptocurrency. Earlier, you would probably buy Bitcoins first and then try out the altcoins, such as Ether and Litecoin, but now the order is optional: you may jump directly into the necessary alt easily. However, the most popular crypto to buy first are still Bitcoin and Ether: Bitcoin as digital gold, Ether as quicker coint, and you can easily exchange them for any altcoins.

First of all, you need to have a wallet to store your coins. You can set up a bitcoin wallet by downloading a free client for your computer or an app for your smartphone.

The next step is to decide how you want to buy bitcoins. There are usually four ways you can acquire bitcoins:

  • cryptocurrency converters,
  • trading platforms (exchanges),
  • ATMs,
  • in-person transactions.


Converters are arguably the easiest and fastest way to buy and sell coins. These are websites that work like regular currency exchanges. You can choose from many converters online depending on their conversion rates and payment methods. Most of them support Visa and Mastercard cards.

Most converters usually have similar interfaces: you go on the website, choose the preferred payment method (Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, etc.), choose the coin, enter the amount of coins you want to buy, and put in your public key that your bitcoin wallet generated for you. Selling coins will require you to send coins over to the address provided by the website. Most converters will not even need you to sign up, and if they do, it is usually very easy to do.

Trading platforms

Trading platforms, or exchanges, are websites where you can buy, sell, and store (not recommended) your coins. To start trading, you will usually have to create an account and meet KYC requirements. This procedure usually needs you to verify your identity by sending the picture of your ID. KYC requirements differ from country to country, and some platforms are not available or have limited functionality in certain regions.

Some exchanges are crypto-to-crypto only, and you will have to choose those that support fiat money. However, after buying bitcoins and you will be able to transfer them to crypto-only exchanges and start trading altcoins.


ATMs are another way of buying coins. With the gradual adoption of cryptocurrencies, there are more and more crypto ATMs being set up all over the world. You can see if there are any ATMs in your city by going to

Most ATMs work similarly and are easy to use if you follow the instructions. Usually, the procedure does not take much than feeding cash money to the ATM and scanning the QR code of your public key. If you did everything correctly, the ATM will send the equivalent sum in coins to your address.

In-person transactions

You can buy bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies directly from another person who is willing to sell their coins for fiat. There are special websites, such as localbitcoins, that will pair you up with a person depending on whether you want to sell or buy and how much. You can also find sellers and buyers on special forums. This method implies a certain level of risk as you will have to meet with strangers.


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