How Do I Acquire Bitcoin?
The most common way to acquire bitcoin is to purchase the currency from an exchange. An exchange’s business is to do just that — buy and sell bitcoin to others that are looking to trade the currency. They collect a fee for facilitating these trades.
This is analogous to a typical currency exchange that takes place in traditional markets. For example, if an individual has US Dollars and they are planning on traveling to Europe, they can go to a currency exchange and purchase a certain number of Euros with their US Dollars.
In the Bitcoin ecosystem, this process is effectively the same. A user looking to trade their national currency for bitcoin can go to an exchange to facilitate this transaction — many of which are available online, given the digital nature of Bitcoin.
Beyond online exchanges, there are over the counter exchanges available. There are also peer to peer exchanges, in which two people agree to make the trade between each other without going through a third party, and there are simple exchange services such as bitcoin ATMs. Bitcoin ATMs allow users to visit a physical kiosk and purchase bitcoin.
Beyond purchasing, mining is another way to acquire bitcoin. By completing the necessary work to secure the network and validate transactions, Bitcoin miners earn bitcoin. Anyone can be a bitcoin miner, however, the cost of becoming a miner in today’s day and age is substantial. In order to become a miner, someone needs to commit their computational resources to doing so, and based on their effectiveness, they are compensated.
For lower level exposure to bitcoin mining, mining pools are an option available, the overall economic cost of which is reduced, with the likelihood of large profitability being reduced as well. With a mining pool, those with limited computing resources put their resources together to compete with the larger miners. By combining resources, both the cost and compensation are dispersed among participating members of the pool.
A final option for acquiring bitcoin is to earn the currency as compensation. There are many companies developing projects within this ecosystem that are happy to compensate their employees with bitcoin as payment. Edge has been doing this since the inception of our company in 2014.