You know the world’s financial system is in a bad place when a digital currency is trading at €9,000 per coin. Bitcoin was launched in 2009 by this mysterious guy named Satoshi Nakamoto. Ever since it’s price has been up and down like a fiddlers elbow. Only in 2017 did it break into mainstream media when bitcoin skyrocketed past €2,000. Now everyone is looking to buy bitcoins despite having no clue how it works. With billions of investors money pouring into this sector, new business opportunities open up for brokerages to make commissions helping people purchase cryptocurrencies.
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Purchasing Bitcoins Online in Ireland
Paxful.com is a peer to peer marketplace similar to eBay that allows people to buy and sell bitcoin instantly. The company started in 2015 and is based in the US. The website is very user-friendly, making them perfect for beginners. They offer multiple payments options including PayPal, bank transfer, credit and debit card, Money Gram and Western Union. Due to the number of payment options available this platform does attract scammers. Members should check sellers feedback and history to ensure they are trustworthy. I would only deal with vendors who been selling for at least a year and have 98% feedback. Paxful doesn’t charge transaction fee’s to buyers but charges a 1% fee to sellers. The company introduced an escrow system to help protect buyers by storing funds in escrow until both parties confirm the transaction. Once the payment is finalised the bitcoins are released into your wallet. Don’t pay using gift cards or cash because these are difficult to track.
LocalBitcoins is a peer to peer platform that is very similar to Paxful. LocalBitcoins.com is a Finnish startup that launched in 2012, making it one of the first Bitcoin marketplaces. The website is one of the fastest and easiest ways for Irish residents to get involved in the cryptocurrency mania. The platform allows members to post advertisements to declare exchange rates and payment methods for buying and selling. Unlike other exchanges, LocalBitcoins doesn’t ask for any personal information so people can buy coins privately. This is the sole reason why there are so many scammers in the marketplace. To protect customers from fraud they also use an escrow system. As long as you only deal with reputable vendors, you’ll be safe. They allow the use of many payment options, but I don’t advise using any payment that is reversible like PayPal.
Coinbase is the world’s largest cryptocurrency broker with 13.3 million customers. They are the most recommended option for newcomers to buy cryptocurrencies due to the simplicity. I set up an account with them and it took me less than 5 minutes to get verified, which is scary. I filled out the necessary account details, uploaded a photo of my passport and boom I was ready to start trading. You can use either debit/credit card or bank transfer to fund an account. Fee’s for conversion range from 1.49% to 3,99%. The max amount you can deposit with a card is £750 each week and bank transfer is unlimited as long as your bank make and accept SEPA payments. Apart from BTC they offer other popular digital tokens like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. There is speculation Coinbase will add Ripple to their offerings, but I don’t think it will happen anytime soon. For security reasons don’t rely on using Coinbases’ wallet, it’s far safer to store your coins in a hardware wallet.
Bitcove.ie is the first bitcoin exchange in Ireland set up by Cork brothers Peter and James Nagle. While I respect their entrepreneurial hustle, I wouldn’t use them. The commissions charged are well above the industry standard. When Bitcoin was trading at €2,300, Bitcove were selling it for €2,400 per coin. That’s a 4% markup, in comparison Coinbase charge a 1% fee. According to a poster on Boards.ie, they are very slow and unresponsive to emails. Also, the reviews on Trustpilot appear to be fake. All of the positive reviews are from new accounts that leave short and generic comments. Anyone can sign up for Trustpilot and give themselves five-star ratings.
Avoid using eircoin.net, appears to be a one-man business with poor customer service. On his website, he has a notice saying he’s “taking the weekend off, back Monday at 10 am”. Doesn’t exactly sound very professional.
Bitex is another service in Ireland that facilitate investors in buying bitcoin. I haven’t found any reviews but I would imagine they charge large spreads.