How to buy Bitcoin (BTC) from the UK

By   |   Verified by Andrew Boyd   |   Updated 15th September 2022

  • Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency and largest by market capitalisation.
  • Bitcoin can be traded peer-to-peer or on a crypto exchange.
  • Find out how to buy Bitcoins quickly and safely.

There are a number of ways to buy Bitcoins. You can buy Bitcoin on an exchange, using a broker, or you can buy it from someone who already owns some. Although rare, there are even Bitcoin ATMs.

If you want to know where and how you can buy Bitcoin from the UK today, this is the guide for you.

Not sure which exchange to use?

Where to buy Bitcoin

eToro Crypto

On eToro's website

eToro Crypto

Highlights

  • Trade and stake a range of crypto assets with low fees.
  • Copy successful traders. Practice with a demo account.
  • eToro is regulated by CySec, FCA and ASIC.


Disclaimer: Cryptoassets are highly volatile and unregulated in the UK. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply. Please give the risk warning sufficient screen time and prominence.


Pros

  • The user-friendly website and app make it easy to trade from anywhere.
  • Trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and 60+ other crypto assets.
  • With its CopyTrader feature, you can replicate the moves of other investors.
  • Start trading with just $10.

Cons

  • There is a 1% fee that is added to the market price.
  • Other exchanges have more selections of crypto coins and tokens.
Coinsmart

On Coinsmart's website

Coinsmart

Highlights

  • Get $20 in BTC with your first deposit.
  • Trade major coins and popular altcoins including Dogecoin, Cardano, Solana, Polkadot, and Polygon.
  • Fund your account with wire transfers, credit / debit cards, or crypto with access to trade funds the same day.

Pros

  • Low trading fees.
  • Deposits are cleared within the day.
  • Supports CAD, EUR, and USD.
  • Get 24/7 customer support.

Cons

  • Limited coins.
  • Fee applies to credit card and debit card deposits.
Uphold Crypto

On Uphold's website

Uphold Crypto

Highlights

  • Invest in 110+ coins including the majors, altcoins, and stablecoins with 0% commission.
  • Ability to trade crypto against other assets like foreign currency and commodities.
  • Stake a range of coins with competitive yields.

Pros

  • Open an account in less than a minute.
  • Low deposit requirement and commission-free trading.
  • Option to trade fiat currencies and precious metals.

Cons

  • High spreads on low-liquidity assets.
Coinbase

On Coinbase's website

Finty may be compensated when you click on the link.

Highlights

  • Get £5 in Bitcoin with your first trade on Coinbase.
  • Buy and sell popular digital currencies, and keep track of them in the one place.
  • Invest in cryptocurrency slowly over time by scheduling buys daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Crypto stored on Coinbase servers is covered by an insurance policy.


Cryptocurrency is not regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and is not subject to protection under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme or within the scope of jurisdiction of the UK Financial Ombudsman Service. Investing in cryptocurrency comes with risk and cryptocurrency may gain in value, or lose some or all value. Capital gains tax may be applicable to profits from cryptocurrency sales.


Pros

  • Get access to a wide variety of altcoins.
  • Start trading with as little as $2.
  • Offers Coinbase card which allows you to spend crypto anywhere.

Cons

  • Fees are higher compared to other exchanges.
CoinJar

On CoinJar's website

CoinJar

Highlights

  • Buy and sell digital currency on desktop and mobile devices with a flat 1% fee.
  • Buy digital currencies using your Visa or Mastercard with a low fee of 2%.
  • Set up price alerts so you never miss a well-timed opportunity.

Pros

  • Extremely user-friendly interface.
  • You can use a credit card or debit card to buy crypto.
  • Has a competitive fee structure.

Cons

  • Limited crypto tokens to trade compared to other platforms.

First time buying?

How to buy Bitcoin

Step 1: Choose an exchange that sells Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency and is available on practically every cryptocurrency exchange in existence.

Before deciding which exchange to use, check what their fees are for depositing and withdrawing funds as well as their maker / taker fees. These can vary considerably between exchanges. We have a variety of side-by-side exchange comparisons to make it easier to narrow down your decision or you can just compare Bitcoin exchanges here.

Step 2: Sign up and get verified

Once you have chosen an exchange, you have to open an account and then confirm your identity. This usually takes just a few minutes to complete. Among the details you'll need to provide include your name, date of birth, and address. Some exchanges may require a phone number to enable 2FA and secure your account. Further proof of your identity may be required before you can buy. A copy of a government-issued ID like a driver's licence is typically acceptable. You may need to provide an image of yourself while holding the ID.

Step 3: Set your budget

Decide how much you want to put into Bitcoin and avoid the temptation to spend more than you can afford to lose. Bitcoin is a very volatile asset that can experience sudden and extreme swings in valuation as the market, much more so than with stocks.

Step 4: Transfer funds

You can transfer funds to your exchange account in a number of ways. You can transfer fiat currency (GBP) from your bank account, but exchanges may support payments from credit or debit cards, PayPal, etc. Note that it may take several days before cash is cleared into your account. If you already own some crypto, you could transfer that to your exchange account. Some exchanges require a minimum deposit.

Step 5: Buy Bitcoin

Once your account has been verified and funds cleared, you can buy Bitcoin. Optionally, you may be able to set up a recurring buy — if available at the exchange — so you can automatically buy on a regular basis and dollar cost average your position. You may also be able to set up an order to buy when the price hits a certain price, so, for example, any time Bitcoin's value drops to a certain price, your trade would execute automatically.

After you buy

Where to store your Bitcoin

Just the way you store cash in a physical wallet, you can store Bitcoin in a digital wallet. Digital wallets can be either software-based or hardware-based.

These wallets store the information you need to make transactions. Though these wallets are described as a place to store crypto assets like Bitcoin, they are essentially inextricable from the blockchain.

Digital wallets are primarily of two types, i.e., hot wallets and cold wallets. While hot wallets are accessible online, cold wallets are intentionally kept offline to keep hackers from gaining access. Hardware wallets are also considered cold wallets because they have no direct connection to the internet and are the most secure way to store Bitcoin.