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Cryptocurrency Buying Guides: Buying Crypto in 2024

It’s getting easier and easier every day to buy cryptocurrencies. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind, such as which cryptocurrency to buy, how you’ll pay for it, and which exchanges are available in your country.

In the guides below, we break down all the elements involved in buying cryptocurrencies so you can make an informed decision such as how much BTC to buy, how to save on fees or get involved with altcoins like Ethereum or Cardano.

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Coin Guides

While Bitcoin was the first and most famous cryptocurrency, there are thousands of others out there—called “altcoins”—and it might be a little confusing trying to pick the right ones. Our Coin Guides break down the pros and cons of the most popular cryptocurrencies and can help you choose the one that’s right for your specific needs and goals.

What Do I Need to Buy Crypto?

These days it’s pretty easy to buy crypto and you might be surprised how quickly you can acquire Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. It’s very similar to opening a new bank account or downloading a financial app like Robinhood or SoFi.

Essentially you’ll need to be 18 years old, provide some basic identity verification, and have some method of funding your account. Here’s a quick step-by-step breakdown of the basic process for buying crypto:

Step 1. Decide Where to Buy Crypto

Your first step for buying cryptocurrency should be to pick an exchange where you want to make your first purchase.

The reason we suggest picking an exchange first is that there’s generally a verification phase that might take up to a few days. For that reason it’s better to get started first with the exchange and sort out the rest later.

You’ll want to read about what makes the best crypto exchanges or the safest crypto exchanges but in general you want a secure exchange that offers a wide selection of digital assets.

It’s a good idea to pick an exchange that’s regulated in a country that has tight laws regarding finance (such as the USA) and has a long history of operation with a good reputation.

Once you pick an exchange you’ll need to provide some form of identity verification. In most cases you’ll have to provide at some of the following (if not all):

  • Email address
  • Driver’s license or other government-issued ID
  • Proof of address
  • Social security number (or similar number in your region)

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Terms Apply. Cryptoassets are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment, and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong

Step 2. Decide Which Cryptocurrency to Buy

There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies but most can actually be separated into three main types of coins:


The original crypto and still the most popular coin in the world. It offers by far the biggest market cap in the crypto market and it tends to be the least volatile crypto. Blockchain, the fundamental tech behind all crypto, originated with Bitcoin. BTC is often referred to as a store of value or digital gold.


Ethereum has been likened to silver when compared to Bitcoin but it might more accurately be considered a digital bond because there’s potential to stake it for a yield. Ethereum is a smart contract crypto platform which means in can be used to create apps for DeFi or NFTs.

Everything Else

There are thousands of other coins out there that are trying to perfect the crypto puzzle. Most are trying to be faster and cheaper versions of Ethereum (such as Solana or Cardano) but others are trying to solve more niche problems such as file storage (Filecoin) or online advertising (BAT). These are the most volatile assets.

When you’re buying your first crypto it’s pretty easy to just say: Buy Bitcoin. It’s the one coin that every exchange will have and it’s been the most reliable over the years. Ethereum could also be good choice but we’d be wary of investing to heavily in so-called altcoins in the beginning. Keep in mind this article is not financial advice and no one knows for sure what will happen in the volatile crypto markets.

Step 4. Choose a Payment Method

Once you have an account on an exchange and you’ve decided which coin you want to buy you’ll have to fund your account with fiat currencies such as USD or CAD.

The easiest way to fund your account is to use one of the following:

Your preferred payment method will come down to a variety of factors including accessibility, affordability and speed.

Bank transfers (such as ACH or SEPA) are generally one of the cheapest ways to buy crypto assets but they generally take a day or two to process. Credit or debit cards are nearly instantaneous but have high fees.

Payment processors like Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal can be very good for speed and affordability but not every exchange offers them.

Step 5. Store Your Cryptocurrency

Once your account is funded you’re just minutes away from owning crypto.

You just have to select the number of coins you want to buy and hit the purchase button. The coins should be in your account nearly instantaneously.

Once the crypto hits your account wallet you’ll have to decide what you want to do with it.

Because there is a long history of crypto exchanges going bankrupt and taking customer’s coins with them it’s worth it to at least consider a personal wallet. A personal wallet (particularly a hardware-enhanced wallet) offers a level of personal protection that exchanges simply don’t offer. Here’s a look at some of the best crypto wallets.

That said, not everyone will be able to operate a personal wallet and will choose to leave their Bitcoin on an exchange. In that case it’s especially important they pick an extremely reliable exchange.

Finally there are a number of things you can do with crypto beyond just storing it. Crypto is one of the most liquid assets in the world and it’s not difficult to send to anyone in the world. Many people make a living trading crypto but you’ve got to be able to manage risk as crypto prices are extremely volatile.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency, or crypto, is digital currency. It was popularized with the invention of Bitcoin in the late 2000s. Crypto is renowned for its remarkable growth in value with Bitcoin going from being worth pennies in 2010 to $68,789 per coin a little over a decade later.

A key feature of crypto is that it’s not reliant on any centralized entity such as a bank or a government. It’s traded freely around the world.

How to Get Started in Cryptocurrency

Your first step to getting started with crypto should be to learn as much as you can about the technology behind it. That includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, blockchain, ledgers, peer-to-peer networks and more. You don’t need to be an expert in crypto to invest in it but it’s a good idea to get an idea of the fundamentals behind it.

Once you have a basic understanding of crypto your next step should be to actually acquire some crypto and experiment with all the major transactions including buying, selling, sending, trading and securing it safely.

Country Buying Guides

Depending on where you live, you’ll have different options for buying cryptocurrencies. In our Country Buying Guides, we break down the available options for each country, the easiest payment methods, and the various considerations you’ll want to keep in mind based on where you live. It’s extremely easy to buy crypto in certain countries, like Canada, but more challenging in zones like the United Arab Emirates.

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eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. Your capital is at risk. This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) &USA (by eToro USA LLC) which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, no EU protections & not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risk, including the loss of principal.
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