how to buy bitcoins

How to buy bitcoin

You keep hearing about it, but what exactly is bitcoin and how do you buy it? Read on for finder.com.au’s definitive guide.

Referred to as the currency of the internet, bitcoin was established in 2009 as a peer-to-peer currency network that enables new people to transfer funds in the digital space. Bitcoin has taken the decentralised and user-centric ideas that have long-defined the internet and created a payment system void of central authorities, resulting in savings for those who use it.

Bitcoin is the world’s first start-up currency and is still in the early stages of its development. As a currency, the value of bitcoin depends on the current conditions of the bitcoin network and therefore its value can be volatile.

Rates last updated September 23rd, 2017
Details Features
CoinSpot Cryptocurrency Marketplace
CoinSpot Cryptocurrency Marketplace
CoinSpot is an Australian marketplace that allows you to easily buy, sell or exchange multiple cryptocurrencies using AUD.
  • Fees: Varies by transaction
  • Supported countries: Australia
  • Payment methods: BPAY, POLi
Go to site
24/7 Cryptocurrency Exchange
24/7 Cryptocurrency Exchange
Easy, safe and instant way to buy, sell or exchange bitcoin and other popular altcoins like Litecoin and Namecoin.
  • Fees: Varies by transaction
  • Supported countries:Local payment options in 110+ countries
  • Payment methods:Credit/debit card, money transfer and more
Go to site

How does bitcoin work?

For users, bitcoin works just the same as any other currency. Just like when you use your credit card or a transfer for an international transaction, when you use bitcoin you are sending a certain currency digitally to someone else. Bitcoin gives each user a ‘digital wallet’ whereby they can store, send and receive bitcoin.

The bitcoin network works by using a public ledger called the ‘blockchain’. This ledger contains all processed transactions which is used to check a transaction’s validity, which can be done using digital signatures.

The value of bitcoin is established much the same as any other currency, with the exact value depending on the number of people using bitcoin and the number of bitcoin in circulation. The value of bitcoin can also be affected by relatively small events, trades or business activities.

Who uses bitcoin?

Although it’s a digital currency, a wide range of businesses who exist both online and offline use and accept bitcoin. Bitcoin can be used to make payments online and in physical stores and any user can make these payments as long as they have the recipient's address. There is also no need for a merchant account to be set up in order to receive payments.

How do I buy bitcoin?

There are four ways to get bitcoin:

Receive bitcoin as payment for goods and services

Any business or individual can accept bitcoin as payment—all they need to have is a bitcoin digital wallet. The advantage for merchants is that bitcoin transactions are secure, irreversible and do not contain a customer’s personal information which protects losses caused by fraud. Using bitcoin for business is becoming popular due to lower fees and fewer admin costs, as well as being able to expand to markets where credit cards are unavailable or there are high rates of fraud.

Purchase bitcoin at a bitcoin exchange

There are several bitcoin exchanges available in countries across the world. In Australia, there are bitcoin traders that allow you to purchase the currency using over the counter transfers, cash deposits or bank transfers. These merchants charge varied percentage amounts for their services, usually between 1-2%.

Rates last updated September 23rd, 2017
Details Features
CoinSpot Cryptocurrency Marketplace
CoinSpot Cryptocurrency Marketplace
CoinSpot is an Australian marketplace that allows you to easily buy, sell or exchange multiple cryptocurrencies using AUD.
  • Fees: Varies by transaction
  • Supported countries: Australia
  • Payment methods: BPAY, POLi
Go to site
24/7 Cryptocurrency Exchange
24/7 Cryptocurrency Exchange
Easy, safe and instant way to buy, sell or exchange bitcoin and other popular altcoins like Litecoin and Namecoin.
  • Fees: Varies by transaction
  • Supported countries:Local payment options in 110+ countries
  • Payment methods:Credit/debit card, money transfer and more
Go to site

Exchange bitcoin with someone near you

You also have the option to buy bitcoin locally through LocalBitcoins.com. You can select your city and country and find people selling bitcoin and at what rates. There are a variety of sellers who are linked to different local banks and will sell bitcoin through transfers, cash deposits or other online payments. This site currently trades coins in 215 countries, including Australia.

Earn bitcoin through competitive mining

Mining is the process of generating bitcoin with a computer. In essence you use your computer to help add transactions to the bitcoin public ledger. In return you’re paid transaction fees and a subsidy of new bitcoin. Anyone can process transactions using specialised hardware and software. Mining bitcoin is deliberately difficult to keep the number of coins in circulation at a steady number.

Where can I get bitcoin in Australia?

Bitcoin is readily available in Australia for those who want to purchase them. Bitcoin has various affiliate programs through which users can buy, trade, earn and spend bitcoin. Types of affiliate programs can include:

    • Forex. Users can use bitcoin to trade and make investments.
    • Bitcoin exchanges. Purchase bitcoin using different currencies, including Australian Dollars.
    • Buy bitcoin services. You can buy bitcoin from a physical location or online transaction by referring customers, deposits or betting addresses. This system is commission-based.
    • Advertising. You can pay users in bitcoin to visit sites, or you can earn bitcoins by monetising online content.
    • Gambling. You can use bitcoin to play in online gambling games, or be paid in bitcoin for your winnings.
    • Mining. As explained above, you can earn bitcoin by validating bitcoin transactions online.
    • Domain hosting. You can use bitcoin to register a domain name.

The table below outlines some sites and companies which facilitate the purchase, exchange and sale of bitcoin.

SpendBitcoins.comBuyBitcoinAustraliaLocalBitcoins.comBitXjoin
Uses over the counter transfers for bitcoin purchases.An Australian exchange for bitcoin.An in-person trading service that trades bitcoin for cash.Uses brokerage platforms to make over the counter cash deposits.
Bit Trade Australia24changeCoinMamaBtcMarkets.net
An Australian exchange for bitcoin.An automated buy/sell bitcoin serviceBuy bitcoin and Litecoin with your credit card, Western Union, Moneygram and more.A bitcoin exchange that operates in Australia.
Bitcoin AustraliaQuickBTCoinloftXMLGold
Provides an exchange service to convert AUD to bitcoin.Instant bitcoin payment using your bank account.Purchase bitcoin using Australian dollars via bank deposit.An exchange service that works with bitcoin and other digital currencies.
JustCoin.comVirwoXBitQuick
Bitcoin exchange based in Norway that supports euros, Litecoin and Ripple.Purchase bitcoin with PayPal and credit cards.Connects bitcoin seller and buyers directly to their own bank accounts.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She has completed a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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28 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    cameronSeptember 19, 2017

    is $1000 enough to invest in bitcoin and make a decent amount of money? if not how much money should i invest in bitcoin

    • Staff
      JonathanSeptember 19, 2017Staff

      Hello Cameron,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      There is really no straightforward answer to this question except that you should only “invest as much as you’re willing to lose”.

      Bitcoin is a highly-volatile form of investment and fluctuations can be more rapid than trading stocks. Even with low buying capital, if trading goes robustly upward, you can have significant gains. There can also be instances when you had huge capital but dismal returns due to a flat movement.

      If you need professional advice on how to proceed, you can speak to a bitcoin broker or a financial adviser.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    sigaSeptember 15, 2017

    I am inquiring about the cost of purchasing one 40 X bitcoin. , in Australia dollars.?
    regards Siga

    • Staff
      HaroldSeptember 15, 2017Staff

      Hi Siga,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      As per checking you are already in the correct page. You can click the go to site link available above for further details.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  3. Default Gravatar
    frederickSeptember 6, 2017

    What is the min amount to open a wallet an how do i go about it

    • Staff
      DanielleSeptember 7, 2017Staff

      Hi Frederick,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      That would depend on where you will be setting up an account or a wallet. You may review and compare the options or websites available on the table above and see which one would suit your needs. You can proceed by contacting them directly for additional information.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  4. Default Gravatar
    frankSeptember 6, 2017

    I wish to buy Bitcoin40X but cannot find a way. Is there a market?

    • Staff
      HaroldSeptember 6, 2017Staff

      Hi Frank,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      As per checking you are already in the correct page. Please click “go to site” link for further details.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  5. Default Gravatar
    SteveAugust 17, 2017

    How do I buy the new Bitcoin 40x

    • Staff
      JonathanAugust 18, 2017Staff

      Hello Steve,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      You may click “Go to Site” green button of our featured bitcoin merchant on the panel to be redirected to their page. You may consult them directly to determine if such product is available.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  6. Default Gravatar
    BarbaraJuly 12, 2017

    I live in Australia should I buy locally or invest offshore?
    On average how long should I invest in bitcoin if I was to buy $10.000 bitcoin ?
    When could I experience my first return?
    Do I look after my investment or will I be appointed a financial advisor that will grow my investment?

    • Staff
      JonathanJuly 26, 2017Staff

      Hello Barbara,

      Thank you for your inquiry today.

      Investing locally or offshore is a decision depending on your risk tolerance. Generally, if you are a starting investor, it may better for you to start locally as offshore trading can be exposed to a lot of global mishaps. Once you got a clearer feel of how the trading would work, that’s the time you may want to expand outside.

      As for the term of investing and returns, bitcoin is one of the most volatile type of investments and can work in a binary set-up with other currencies. It fluctuates almost every few minutes and can be very drastic. If you wish to have more stability in your returns, you may consider staying few weeks to months, even years, but then again there is no guarantee if you take a gain or more losses.

      If you have some investment and trading background, a bit of research and self-taught resources online can somehow help you straighten out. You may start on a smaller amount and then gradually increase it once you feel more comfortable. Hiring a financial advisor is fine as long as you hire a good one, but then again no one knows how the market behaves and it boils down to how much money you’re willing to lose or pay for someone else.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  7. Default Gravatar
    NooberJuly 5, 2017

    Hi.. I have invested in Bitcoin and Litecoin with Coinbase. But due to high transaction fees and a weekly limit of only $300, I feel its time to use another service provider that better meets my needs. Which provider would you suggest for an Australian? One who would like to invest about $1000 per fortnight, and who is in it for the long term. And how do I get my keys and move them to a new provider? I would like to keep investing in both Bitcoin and Litecoin, as well as Ethereum. Thanks

    • Staff
      DanielleJuly 6, 2017Staff

      Hi Noober,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      You may refer to the table under “Where can I get bitcoins in Australia?” for sites and companies which facilitate the purchase, exchange and sale of bitcoins, litecoins, etc.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  8. Default Gravatar
    RezaMay 26, 2017

    Hi where can I sell my BTC and get money transferred to paypal ?

    • Staff
      LiezlMay 27, 2017Staff

      Hi Reza,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can check the table above listing some sites and companies which facilitate the purchase, exchange and sale of bitcoins. You can also opt to sell bitcoins locally through LocalBitcoins.com. Upon registering with an exchange, you can select the payment method you want among their list of supported payment methods. Kindly note that it’s important to research a payment method and check its risk level before you start trading with it.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  9. Default Gravatar
    ChrisWMay 1, 2017

    Hi,
    which platforms in Australia will accept bank transfers AND you can use your Self Managed Super Fund to trade.

    • Staff
      ArnoldMay 3, 2017Staff

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Unfortunately, we are not allowed to suggest specific products rather we are here to give you options and help you find the best option that suits your needs.

      You can visit this page – https://www.finder.com.au/super-funds – to help you find the right SuperFund for you.

      Hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  10. Default Gravatar
    jubyJuly 28, 2016

    does coinbase provide service to australia

    • Staff
      ElizabethJuly 28, 2016Staff

      Hi Juby,

      Coinbase just expanded its services to Australia yesterday. You’re able to buy bitcoins with a credit or debit card.

      Hope this helps,

      Elizabeth

    • Default Gravatar
      July 28, 2016

      Bitcoin is legal in au? Do we need to declare it during the time of tax return.thank you

    • Staff
      ElizabethJuly 29, 2016Staff

      Hi Juby,

      Bitcoin is legal in Australia. There are no tax implications if you’re simply paying for goods or services (for your personal consumption) in bitcoin. According to the ATO, any capital gains or loss from bitcoin will be disregarded if it is $10,000 or less. If you receive bitcoin as payment as goods for services you will need to record it in Australian dollars as part of your regular income.

      According to the ATO:

      “Transacting with bitcoins is akin to a barter arrangement, with similar tax consequences.

      The ATO’s view is that Bitcoin is neither money nor a foreign currency, and the supply of bitcoin is not a financial supply for goods and services tax (GST) purposes. Bitcoin is, however, an asset for capital gains tax (CGT) purposes.

      The records you require in relation to bitcoin transactions are:

      - the date of the transactions
      - the amount in Australian dollars (which can be taken from a reputable online exchange)
      - what the transaction was for, and
      - who the other party was (even if it’s just their Bitcoin address).”

      I hope this helps,

      Elizabeth

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