In this beginners guide I will explain how to buy Bitcoin in the UK in 2021. I have put together some trusted crypto exchanges I have personally used to buy bitcoin while living in the UK. I’ll also explain the advantages, fees, ease of use, as well as the cheapest way to buy Bitcoin in the UK.
Bitcoin is again attracting a lot of attention due to the current economic and political environment. In these unprecedented times, it’s important to be diversified and in the previous recessions, investors would flock to precious metals likes gold as a safe haven.
However, since the last recession in 2008 Bitcoin is now potentially the new digital gold that investors want a piece of. But how do you take advantage of this potential once in a life time opportunity?
How To Buy Bitcoin in the UK in 2021
I have put together some of the most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges to buy the like of Bitcoin and Ethereum in the UK. However, I wouldn’t recommend keeping crypto in an exchange long term.
Coinbase is one of the best-known places to buy Bitcoin in the UK, with over 30 million customers across 102 countries. With Coinbase, you can purchase your crypto with credit/debit cards that support 3D secure. You can also pay by faster payment with GBP bank accounts or with SEPA transfers for Euros. Plus, they also have a mobile app where you can purchase crypto on the go.
A lot of people often confuse Coinbase for a wallet, which it’s not as you don’t have access to your private keys which is a big no-no in crypto. Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange to purchase or swap your funds and then you should store your funds in a secure wallet afterwards.
In terms of the fees, Coinbase charges a fee of 1.49% for each cryptocurrency purchase and this fee goes up to 3.99% for trades made with a credit card due to the convenience. So these fees can certainly add up and seem a lot. But it’s convenient and ideal for beginners as these orders complete as market orders at their market rate.
Coinbase also have their trading platfrom Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Similar to the Blockchain.com having their own trading exchange, it looks a bit more advanced wiht graphs and charts. But you’ll get cheaper prices even with market orders. Plus the ability to define your price with more advanced orders such as a limit order.
Coinbase Pro Fees
The best thing about Coinbase Pro are the fees compared to Coinbase. That’s because instead of paying 1.49% or 3.99% you will be paying 0.5% for trading under $10,000. You can then send your funds to Coinbase or any other address (such as a secure wallet) free of charge.
The Gemini Exchange was launched in 2015 in the US by the Winklevoss twins Cameron & Tyler, who rose to fame in 2004 after they sued Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook and the company has now expanded its operations to Europe and Asia.
Similar to Coinbase, Gemini offers UK customers $10 of free Bitcoin at sign-up. All you have to do is make a deposit and buy/sell $100 worth of crypto. You can fund your account with GBP, Euros, and USD which you can use to buy the likes of Bitcoin, Etheruem, XRP, Cardano, EOS, and Stablecoins like Tezo or DAI.
The Gemini fee structure is quite complex and will depend on how you are accessing their site and the method of payment you choose. Again, Gemini will also charge quite high fees for credit or debit card payments at 3.49%.
However, these fees can be greatly reduced by heading across to their more advanced trading platform, which is called Gemini ActiveTrader. With this platform, you can reduce your trading fees to paying a maximum of 0.35%.
3. Kraken Exchange
Kraken who have been around since 2011, are known for their low fees, versatile funding options, security and is one of the largest and oldest Bitcoin exchanges in the world. With Kraken, you can transfer your GBP via BACs and CHAPS or their fiat currency funding partner Etana.
Kraken provide 2 ways to trade, either through their simple platform or Kraken Pro (similar to the likes of Coinbase Pro or Gemini ActiveTrader). This exchange platform has a more complex interface with charts and graphs. There are a lot of trading pairs available on Kraken, although not every asset can be purchased with GBP so you may need to start with purchasing Bitcoin and trade for the more diverse type of asset.
There are fees and minimum deposit and withdrawal amount for banks transfers. For example, with BACs the minimum deposit is £3.00 and you are charged £1.95 and withdrawal minimums are £100. Trading fees are between 0.16% and 0.26% depending on your order type and trading volumes too.
Crypto.com has a suite of crypto products which include an app, wallet, and exchange which is predominately crypto to crypto. Meaning that you’ll need some crypto to get started before you can start swapping for other types of crypto.
However, you can deposit and buy crypto with 7 FIAT currencies on the Crypto.com app. Which you can pay for using a bank transfer, debit or credit card. Then you can simply move the crypto across to the exchange.
They have some great sign up offers, especially when you buy and stake their CRO token. Plus, one of the best features I find using Crypto.com is their debit card. Where you can get cashback in crypto for every purchase you make.
Crypto.com has a lot to offer and there are a few different pairs you can trade between. Although, if you want a wider range of cryptos and alt coins then you may be better using the likes of Binance.
With the Crypto.com exchange, the maximum fee is currently at 0.16%. However, you can also purchase crypto with a credit or debit card on the crypto.com app and fees are higher, at 3.5%. But Crypto.com have been known to run promotions in the past with 0% fees, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for these.
5. Binance Exchange
Binance Exchange is the most popular cryptocurrency trading platform in the world and was founded in China by Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ. Binance was considered to be based in Malta. But when asked in an interview in 2020, Zhao said “Wherever I sit, is going to be the Binance office. Wherever I need somebody, is going to be the Binance office,”
Previously, UK crypto investors were able to trade on Binance Jersey with Euros and GBP. However, Binance Jersey was closed down at the end of 2020. There has been issues recently with Binance UK customer unable to deposit and withdraws from the platform. Two of the UK’s largest banks Barclays and Santander have both blocked customer payments to the crypto exchange platform.
The UK regulators isn’t the only jurisdictions asking questions of Binance. Financial regulators in Japan, Poland and the Canadian province of Ontario have also targeted the company in recent months.
Predominantly you can only perform crypto to crypto trading on their site. Which basically means you need to start with bitcoin and then trade with that for any other crypto that you want. However, for those who dont yet have the likes of Bitcoin to trade with, you can buy your crypto on their site or mobile app with a debit or credit card, plus you can deposit GBP with faster payment.
Binance.com used to have a subsidiary which was Binance Jersey, aimed at the UK market, which I covered in my previous post, however the platform has now ceased trading.
Binance has a huge selection of crypto to trade between and some of the lowest fees across all the exchanges and platforms at a 0.1%, which can be reduced even further. Although Binance doesn’t have a signup offer by using my link you can get 10% off your trading fees.
eToro, which is trusted by millions of users, is user-friendly and enables anyone, anywhere, to buy cryptocurrencies within just a few clicks. With eToro you can trade crypto in two ways. Either you purchase the actual tokens, or you can trade CFDs based on the underlying cryptocurrency price. Depending on local regulations in your country of residence, you can do one or both on the eToro platform.
Etoro is the trading platform which has a nice and simple interface and is more aimed with the beginner in mind. You can buy and sell crypto instantly. There are hassle-free deposits and withdrawals, you can track real market data and follow each coin’s trends.
Plus one of the unique features with eToro is the ability to copy other crypto traders. So If you know nothing of crypto and would like to dip your toe in the water you can also copy more experienced traders.
One important fact to point out, is that if you are purchasing cryptocurrency it’s recommended that you deposit with a bank transfer. If you transfer using a credit or debit card or PayPal and want to move your Bitcoin or other cryptos into another wallet you’ll have to wait for 180 before you can do so.
Although this does seem excessive eToro have put this in place to protect themselves from credit card fraud such as stolen credit cards and chargebacks. So it’s worth just remembering that.
The fees are built into the price of the token your buying on eToro, which will mean that you’ll be paying at an inflated price compared to some exchanges and this again is due to convenience. However, you can save money and pay between 0.10 and 0.24% with their more advanced platform and exchange eToroX.
CFD crypto trading is not available for users registered under the FCA regulation.
Is Bitcoin Legal in UK 2021?
The Bank of England does not consider cryptocurrency as legal tender. The FCA and the Bank of England have however issued warnings and guidance about their use.
What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?
A cryptocurrency exchange is a marketplace or platform where users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Dogecoin.