With the halvening/halving taken place earlier this week, Bitcoin is getting some good press. More people are discovering it every day. Which leads to a new question.
How can we buy small quantities easily?
By now, many people know you don’t have to spend $9000 and buy an entire BTC. You can buy fractions and even buy $50, $100, or $200 worth if you want. So today, right now, what are the easiest ways to buy BTC if you want to buy a small quantity like $200? Here are 4 Apps or P2P (Peer to Peer) Exchange Options that let you easily and inexpensively buy small amounts of Bitcoin.
Apps/P2P Exchange Options
Cash App from Square
Of all the payment apps we can use to send, share, receive, or pay for things, only Square’s Cash App lets you buy Bitcoin within the app. Some of you may have this app already.
The Cash App is such a Bitcoin success story, between them and the Grayscale Bitcoin ETF, those 2 companies alone use almost 50% of the newly mined Bitcoin in 2020 so far.
How do you buy Bitcoin with the Cash App?
Unlike investing in stocks or using cash on the app, you have to provide more information and get approved for withdrawals and deposits in Bitcoin. Otherwise, you can only buy, sell, and hold your coins within the Cash App. And you want to be able to move the coins to a wallet you control because if you don’t control your wallet, then you don’t control your Bitcoins.
Here’s how you do it.
In the app, go to the white screen and click on Bitcoin. On this screen, you can see Enable Bitcoin withdrawals and deposits in blue.
Click on that and be prepared with your driver’s license or national ID to take pictures of the front and back of it, as well as a selfie.
Then you wait to hear back from Square saying that you are now able to deposit and withdraw Bitcoin. Then you are good to go.
The newest feature, which I really like, allows for recurring purchases so you can purchase $10 per week or $200 per month if you want, automatically.
And you can pay for it by either Adding Cash to your balance or with a debit card that you link up to your Cash App account. One last note, they limit Bitcoin withdrawals to $2000 a day and/or $5000 per week so keep that in mind.
Advantages: Inexpensive, Recurring buys allowed, Convenient
Disadvantages: Low withdrawal limits, annoying verification process (at times)
Swan Bitcoin is a newer app for buying Bitcoin. You go into the App store and download it and verify your account. Then you link your bank account to the App. The most you can buy at one time is $4,900 and the least is only $5.
The best thing about this app is that it’s designed for one thing and one thing only: Recurring Purchases of Bitcoin. You can set it and forget it. And their pricing reflects it as you select a plan like $50 per week and you pay according to this chart:
You can prepay the fee for a year’s worth of your plan and save some money or pay as you go. But even at the highest rate plan, the rates are still reasonable at 2.99%.
Buying is easy once you have linked your bank account and use ACH to move money to Swan to buy.
Advantages: Easiest for recurring buys, Can buy as little as $5
Disadvantages: Less good for one time buys but still good pricing, can only buy with a bank account linked
Abra is a Bitcoin buying app that’s been around for a while. You will have to get the app and verify your account with more documents. You can use ACH here to transfer money to your account just like you can with the Cash App or with Swan.
The biggest advantage that Abra has is it's one of the easiest ways to buy Bitcoin with a credit card. This is what that page looks like on the desktop with a similar layout on the mobile app.
Note that it says that the BTC address (wallet) must be yours and under your control. This means you can either send it to the Abra wallet they create for you OR you can send it directly to another wallet you own. I use and recommend the Edge Wallet. It's great and it's a mobile wallet so it's on your phone. Like other options, you can send to your Abra wallet first and then move to your own wallet. I would just send it to my own but you have the option.
Abra charges 2% on top of the credit card processing fees for card transactions and charges no fee but adds a small spread to the purchase price for bank transfers. Max $4000 per day with bank transfer with lower limits for card purchases.
Advantages: Buy easily with a credit card
Disadvantages: Expensive to buy with a card. You pay for the convenience
One of my favorite options is Paxful (this is an affiliate link. If you join and use Paxful, at no extra cost for you I get a fee). Paxful is a p2p exchange. It's easy to use and with over 300 different payment methods available from all around the world, it scores high for convenience.
You might pay more for this convenience than the other options but you can pay how you want. Check out this example of buying with Venmo
As you can see from this offer screen, the cheapest offer available is at 11% or 89c on the dollar to buy with Venmo. Other options are cheaper. As you can see, you can buy small quantities like $10 or $25. More or less, the cardinal rule of speed, ease, and convenience for you means the higher price you pay for your coins. So pricing here could be inline with the other 3 options OR it could be more expensive. It's up to you.
An important note with Paxful is that EVERY TIME you buy it goes into your Paxful wallet that they create for you. Only after you have bought can you then move the coins to your own wallet. It's a little more effort but this is for your protection. If the entire transaction takes place on the Paxful platform, then the platform can help protect you if you have a dispute like you have paid but the seller hasn't delivered the coins to you. Stay on the platform and let them help you. DO NOT do your purchase off the platform with a seller. That's an invitation for a scam. Use the Paxful platform and let them help you.
Search for Paxful here on the blog as I've made lots of posts about it mostly as a seller but also as a buyer. For example, my Trusted Factor applies to both buyers and sellers. By the way, my profile is BTC4COP so you can buy from me if you want.
Paxful takes more work and effort to buy since you have to find a seller, talk/engage with them, and complete your purchase but you can get great deals and great sources to buy Bitcoin from a platform like this. You can see I've done lots of trades here, more than 200 with many under $100.
Advantages: Buy with whatever verification and payment levels you want
Disadvantages: Have to deal with sellers directly, can be expensive with the most convenient options
Most people new to Bitcoin want to dabble in it by buying a small amount just to get started. This completely makes sense as a way to invest in a new asset. If you want to:
- Buy with a credit card
- Buy using a payment app you already use or other convenient method
- Buy with minimal hassles
- Buy small, consistent amounts over time
- Buy with a mobile app
- Buy a small amount easily just to see how buying BTC works
then one of these 4 options will help you buy your first Bitcoin