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Best Places to Buy Bitcoin in 2022

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

In a little over a decade, Bitcoin (BTC) has evolved from an obscure digital token used by a small group of people into a payment method and store of value that millions believe is the currency of the future. Each of the platforms in this article are on our list for the best place to buy Bitcoin along with why we're fans.

Ratings Methodology

Bottom Line

Offers a nice range of cryptocurrencies and a simple-to-use app experience. The Gemini Earn feature is also a standout perk and pays interest on idle cryptocurrencies at high rates.

Fees:

$0.99-$2.99 for orders under $200, 1.49% for orders greater than $200

Account Minimum:

$0

Special Offer

New users: Earn $50 BTC when investing $1,000 or more within 30 days

Bottom Line

You can buy and sell Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, stocks, and options with no transaction fee. Plus, Robinhood has the best cryptocurrency selection of any platform that isn't an exchange platform specifically made for cryptocurrency.

Fees:

$0 for stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies

Account Minimum:

$0

Open Account for Robinhood

Certain Limitations Apply

Bottom Line

One of the largest selections in the U.S. with a deep bench of available cryptocurrencies. Coinbase isn't the cheapest place to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, but it is one of the most versatile and a clear standout.

Fees:

$0.99-$2.99 (Coinbase), 0%-0.50% (Coinbase Pro)

Account Minimum:

$2

Special Offer

Earn $5 in bitcoin when you place your first trade.

Bottom Line

SoFi's financial ecosystem includes loans, savings accounts, credit products, stock investing, and, yes, Bitcoin. SoFi's transaction fee for Bitcoin is somewhat higher than others on this list. However, the overall usefulness of the platform could be a draw for many users.

Fees:

$0 for stocks, 1.25% for cryptocurrencies

Account Minimum:

$1

Special Offer

Get up to $100 in crypto with a qualifying first trade

Bottom Line

Cash App is one of the most user-friendly ways for beginners to trade Bitcoin. There's no separate account needed -- if you use the Cash App to send money, you're already equipped to buy Bitcoin and stocks.

Fees:

$0 for stocks, fees vary for cryptocurrencies

Account Minimum:

$0

TIP

The right crypto investing mindset

Investing in crypto can be extremely risky. We think investors should approach these assets like any other technological investment — with a long-term mindset and the expectation of ups and downs. The Fool realizes there may be opportunities for investors. We do actively recommend select cryptocurrencies to our community. But we encourage everyone to be well versed prior to investing to understand the potential risks and rewards.

Where can you buy Bitcoin?

There are dozens, if not hundreds of different places you can buy Bitcoin, but they mostly fall into one of these three categories.

Cryptocurrency exchanges

Cryptocurrency exchanges are in the business of facilitating the purchase, sale, and storage of cryptocurrencies only. Coinbase and Gemini are examples of some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges.

Brokerages

Some stock brokers that allow users to buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles also allow investors to buy and sell certain cryptocurrencies. Robinhood is a good example of a brokerage with cryptocurrency offerings.

Apps

Some of the platforms in the previous two categories certainly have apps. However, there are some apps that aren't official cryptocurrency exchanges or brokerages that facilitate the purchase and sale of Bitcoin. Cash App and Venmo fall into this category.

Where is the safest place to buy Bitcoin?

These days, pretty much every reputable crypto exchange that can be considered a best place to buy Bitcoin is a very safe option. There are three reasons for this:

  • In most cases, exchanges store the bulk of a customer's crypto assets in "cold storage." This typically means on servers that are not connected to the internet.
  • The best place to buy and store Bitcoin will keep a small percentage of your assets in a "hot wallet," meaning on servers connected to the internet. This is done for liquidity purposes, to handle customer withdrawals and transfers. But reputable exchanges maintain insurance policies to protect against theft.
  • Cash balances in most brokerages and cryptocurrency exchanges are stored in banks, and are therefore FDIC insured up to $250,000 per customer.

Each of the exchanges, apps, and brokerages on this list can be considered safe. But there isn't one that is necessarily safer than the other. And it's important to note that many don't provide any protection against unauthorized account access, so be sure to keep your passwords and other authentication methods secure.

RELATED: Check out The Ascent's guide to the best NFT wallets.

$50 Bitcoin Bonus

Gemini is one of our top-rated cryptocurrency exchanges and we've worked directly with them to secure a free $50 Bitcoin bonus for our readers. Just buy at least $1,000 in cryptocurrency through Gemini and earn a $50 Bitcoin bonus when opening an account through the link below.

What to look for when buying Bitcoin

We have yet to find a perfect place to buy Bitcoin. But if you want to know the best place to buy Bitcoin for you, the answer will depend on the features that matter most to you. Here are a few that you should consider when evaluating the best cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers, and apps.

Fees

As we discussed, the cost of buying and selling Bitcoin can vary dramatically from one crypto exchange platform to another. While it shouldn't be the only thing you look at, it's important to know what you'll pay on each platform you're considering.

Investment selection

To be sure, all of the places on the above list will let you buy Bitcoin. But if you want to invest in other cryptocurrencies or begin crypto trading, you'll want to look for a platform that has a good selection. If you'd like to invest in Bitcoin and stocks in the same place, you'll need a platform that offers that.

Educational resources

Some of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges have extensive libraries of articles, videos, and tutorials to help users learn about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This can be a big differentiator when looking for the best place to buy Bitcoin, even for people who already understand how Bitcoin works.

Bonuses

In addition to being the best place to buy Bitcoin fast, some of our favorite platforms are offering generous sign-up bonuses. And many have very low initial spending requirements. While a platform's bonus offer shouldn't be the deciding factor, it can certainly be a tiebreaker.

User-friendliness

Depending on the investor, this could mean different things. For example, someone who is looking to buy their first Bitcoin and only plans to occasionally buy and sell the digital currency may want as simple of a user interface as possible. On the other hand, an active and experienced Bitcoin trader might want a trading platform with many features (charting tools, order options, etc.).

Feature Exchanges Brokerages Apps
Great selection of cryptocurrencies Yes Not usually Sometimes
Advanced cryptocurrency trading platforms Yes No No
Ability to buy stocks and other investments No Yes Sometimes
Lots of cryptocurrency educational resources Yes No No
No-commission Bitcoin trading No Yes Sometimes

How much does it cost to buy Bitcoin?

The cost to buy Bitcoin depends on the platform you're using. This should certainly be a major consideration for you when deciding where is the best place to buy Bitcoin.

Although there are different terms used by platforms, virtually all of them make money on the "spread." This is the difference between the price an exchange is willing to buy Bitcoin for and the price it is willing to sell it for. For example, a few popular platforms add 0.5% to their quoted price for buying transactions and subtract 0.5% for selling transactions to create a spread.

Additionally, some (but not all) platforms also charge a transaction fee. This often depends on the size of the purchase or sale, the method of payment, and the user's location.

In addition to the trading fee, you may also be charged a withdrawal fee to take your crypto off the platform. It's also worth watching out for any charges to deposit money.

TIP

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How to buy Bitcoin

It has never been easier to buy Bitcoin. Just follow these five steps:

  1. Decide which cryptocurrency platform you want to use. As you can see from this page, there are a number of different crypto exchanges that trade Bitcoin. The right one for you depends on the type of investor you are and which features matter most to you.
  2. Create an account. Once you've picked an exchange or brokerage, the next step is to open an account. To do this, you'll need to fill in some personal information, such as your name and contact information. You'll often also have to provide proof of address and upload a copy of your ID. This usually only takes a few minutes and helps exchanges comply with anti–money laundering regulations.
  3. Deposit money. Most cryptocurrency platforms offer a few different ways to deposit fiat currency (traditional money, like dollars). You'll find the fees vary, though the cheapest way to fund your account is usually through a bank transfer. Credit card or debit card deposits often come with a charge of 2% to 5%.
  4. Buy your Bitcoin. Remember, you don't have to buy a whole Bitcoin -- you can choose the dollar amount you want to spend. Some exchanges have an instant convert function, but on other exchanges, you may have to place an order. Once that's done, you'll have bought Bitcoin. Congratulations!
  5. Consider where you want to keep your Bitcoin. Many new investors opt to leave their cryptocurrency assets on the exchange where they bought them. This is frowned upon by long-term crypto enthusiasts, but it isn't a bad choice when you're getting started. You could also consider moving your Bitcoin to a separate crypto wallet, such as a hardware wallet. A Bitcoin wallet will keep your coins extra secure but gives you additional responsibilities. For example, if you lose your account passwords, you may completely lose access to your funds.
Offer Best For Commissions Next Steps
Gemini Exchange Offer Image

Gemini Exchange

Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.

Investing simplicity and and high interest rates

$0.99-$2.99 for orders under $200, 1.49% for orders greater than $200

Robinhood Offer Image

Robinhood

Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.

Diversified investing needs

$0 for stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies

Open Account for Robinhood

Certain Limitations Apply

Coinbase Offer Image

Coinbase

Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.

Trading platform and crypto selection

$0.99-$2.99 (Coinbase), 0%-0.50% (Coinbase Pro)

SoFi Active Investing Offer Image

SoFi Active Investing

Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.

Membership ecosystem

$0 for stocks, 1.25% for cryptocurrencies

Cash App Investing Offer Image

Cash App Investing

Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.

User-friendly trading platform

$0 for stocks, fees vary for cryptocurrencies

Binance.US Offer Image

Binance.US

Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.

Low fees

Up to 0.1%

FAQs

  • It depends what you mean by "safe." Most cryptocurrency exchanges maintain some insurance to protect against theft of crypto assets, and hacking is generally less of a threat than it once was. On the other hand, Bitcoin is still a speculative asset and its price can be rather volatile.

  • The fees to buy Bitcoin vary from platform to platform. Virtually all exchanges and brokers make money from the "spread," or the difference in price between what they'll buy and sell Bitcoin for. On the other hand, transaction fees are zero on some platforms but are significantly higher elsewhere and should definitely be a factor in deciding the best place to buy Bitcoin for you.

  • There are a few different options when it comes to buying Bitcoin. You can use a cryptocurrency exchange, an app that allows for Bitcoin purchases, or a brokerage that offers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as an investment option.

  • Yes. One of the attractions of cryptocurrency is that the transactions are stored on a blockchain ledger that's extremely difficult to hack. Difficult, but not impossible -- there's something called a 51% attack in which bad actors take control of more than half of a specific blockchain. Bitcoin has never had a 51% attack.

    However, there are bigger risks associated with cryptocurrency transactions. For example, if your crypto account gets compromised, someone could gain access to your assets. In this case, it can be incredibly hard to recover stolen crypto funds. There's also been an uptick in crypto phishing attacks where users are tricked into revealing their personal information through fraudulent websites or emails.

  • A crypto exchange is a platform where people can buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies. Many crypto exchanges also let customers store their crypto assets on the platform, and some even offer ways to earn passive income from crypto investments. Crypto exchanges usually only allow cryptocurrency trading, unlike a crypto broker, which also trades in securities like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

  • There's no specific amount of money you need to buy Bitcoin. Depending on the transaction minimums on the platform you use, you can buy some Bitcoin for $1 or even less. Don't be put off by the misconception you have to buy a whole Bitcoin -- you can spend as much or as little as you choose.

  • A Bitcoin exchange is a place where you can buy and sell Bitcoin, though many exchanges also operate wallets as well. A wallet is a place where you can store your Bitcoin keys. Your cryptocurrency has a public and private key -- a bit like a bank account has an account number and PIN.

    There are several different types of wallets. Crypto exchanges often manage custodial wallets on your behalf, which means you don't have direct control over your crypto keys. If you want more control, you can move your assets to a hardware wallet. This is usually around the size of a USB or flash drive and kept offline for security. You can also open a hot wallet online, which is an account you control that's connected to the internet for convenience.

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