10 ways to buy Bitcoin – and how to choose one


Text size

When the first exchange-traded Bitcoin fund was proposed in the US in 2013, there were limited buying options


Some people kept their fingers crossed and invested in foreign exchanges like Mt. Gox, which imploded over the next year, or gathered in public places like parks to exchange cash for codes.

The first US Bitcoin ETF,

ProShares Bitcoin Strategy

(Ticker: BITO) has now started trading, and the options for buying crypto have expanded by leaps and bounds since then. This can limit the number of people who get into the ETF.

Brokerage apps and payment platforms allow millions of people to buy Bitcoin and other digital assets with a simple tap, and there are investment products that track the price of Bitcoin. They differ in several ways, including those that allow customers to hold crypto in a “digital wallet,” an electronic payment system that allows them to transfer their assets off the platform.

[Read More: Bitcoin ETFs Are Changing the Game for Cryptos. But Investors Should Be Wary.]

Here are some of the ways to buy Bitcoin today:

1. ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF

Fees: 0.95% annually

Services: The ETF structure is well known and allows people to keep all of their investments in the same place.

Disadvantage: The ETF tracks bitcoin futures, not bitcoin. Taxes and the “roll costs” of buying new futures can weigh on results.

2. Coinbase Global

Fees: Up to 4% depending on the payment method.


Coinbase Global (COIN) has a wide range of crypto products and expertise. It is expanding into areas like non-fungible tokens or NFTs that are growing rapidly. The “Pro” platform may have lower fees.

Disadvantage: High fees.

3. Bitcoin ATM

Fees: About 7% on average

Services: ATMs are known even to those who are not digitally savvy. Own Bitcoin directly.

Disadvantage: High fees. You still need to download a wallet app.

4. Robinhood Markets

Fees: No commission.

Services: Fast and easy.


Robinhood Markets (HOOD) collects payments for order flow from market maker in crypto, potentially affecting trade execution. Robinhood users are not yet able to remove their cryptos from the platform, although the company says it will be rolling out wallets soon.

5th square

Fees: The fees depend on the transaction size and decrease as the trade size increases. As of October 2021, a $ 100 purchase would cost $ 2.26.


square (SQ) allows users to move crypto to and from the Cash app.

Disadvantage: The fees can be a little higher than other options. Other cryptocurrencies are not yet offered.

6. MicroStrategy

Fees: It’s a share, so there are no fees for investors using a commission-free broker.


MicroStrategy (MSTR) is a company that owns approximately $ 7 billion in Bitcoin, about as much as its total market capitalization. Its stock moves with the price of Bitcoin. One advantage is that it is taxed like a stock, which is known to investors.

Disadvantage: The stock tends to trade at a premium to the Bitcoin it holds. Management could change strategy and sell bitcoin.

7. PayPal

Fees: Fee based on the size of a transaction, with a 2.3% fee for purchases of $ 25 to $ 100. There is also a currency conversion range.

Services: Crypto is part of a practical “super app” with services ranging from direct deposits to peer-to-peer payments and shopping.

Disadvantage: The fees are higher than anywhere else, and you can’t take your crypto from the app to an external digital wallet.

works on a wallet.

8. Bitcoin trust in grayscale

Fees: 2% annually.


Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) sits easily in a brokerage account and has a long trading history.

Disadvantage: Higher fees, and it is often traded at a premium or discount to Bitcoin. It is currently available at a discount, which some argue that makes it a bargain.

9. Mining Bitcoin directly

Fees: Mining rigs can cost $ 800 to $ 10,000.

Services: No recurring fees for outsiders other than the electricity company.

Disadvantage: Extremely high power consumption, expensive up-front costs for the drilling rig, increasing competition from demanding miners.

10. Interactive brokers

Fees: 0.12% to 0.18%.

Services: Low fees, cryptocurrencies sit in portfolios alongside other assets like stocks and bonds.

Disadvantage: As with any new product, customers need to see how easy it is to use.

Write to Avi Salzman at avi.salzman@barrons.com

Comments are closed.