It’s a very odd thing, but even after a decade of it’s existence, when Bitcoin comes up during a discussion I still get a lot of people asking me how they can acquire it. I always wonder if this is a uniquely South African thing, or if I take it for granted that everyone knows about Bitcoin. After all, in recent months, we’ve seen Jamie Dimon, Donald Trump, Mark Zuckerberg and Jerome Powell among others discuss it in the global media. But sometimes, here in South Africa we’ve got massive challenges to deal with, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s little to no good information about Bitcoin. That being said, its’ all the more reason to write an article about acquiring Bitcoin. Note that this article is not financial advice, but merely useful information to add to the subject.
Why get Bitcoin
I would be remiss if I did not address this first. Bitcoin is a very complicated topic in that it deals with everything from national monetary policy to the nature of money. However, the best answer would be is that it gives you economic sovereignty or ownership over your wealth. It’s like digital gold – you own it, and no one can take it away from you or diminish it’s value.
But the simplest answer is that we are entering into a new world, one that has been enabled by the internet, and Bitcoin will be the new money in this new future that doesn’t require third parties to function.
How to get Bitcoin
First off it’s important to recognize that if you intend buying Bitcoin with your Rands, then only spend what you’re willing to lose. This is sage advice for anyone looking to build any form of wealth.
There are mainly three ways to buy Bitcoin.
These work like traditional share/stock trading exchanges, the only difference being that you’re trading Bitcoin and other crypto currencies instead. They typically works as follows:
- You sign up to the exchange
- You submit some identification documentation along with proof of address documentation to comply with KYC and AML regulations
- Once that successfully completed, you’ll have an account with the exchange
- You can then transfer cash from your bank account, to the new trading account via ETF; this is like a regular electronic bank payment
- Once the cash lands in your trading account, you can then use it to purchase Bitcoin.
There are a couple of exchanges out there like Luno, Ice3x, Altcointrader, Valr and a couple others, but these are the main ones in South Africa. I might buy on exchanges but I don’t trade myself, I only HODL, but that’s a post for another time.
Peer to Peer Services
Exchanges have fees and procedures that might seem confusing. Over and above that, they keep records of your financial activity. Peer to peer services like LocalBitcoins can simplify things, by allowing you to sign up and decide which person/entity you want to trade with. The price might be higher or lower than on usual exchanges though. I found this to be a simple easy process, however this service maintains a record of your financial activity to a degree depending on the approach used.
Direct Bitcoin Purchase Services
These are services where you can directly buy Bitcoin using your credit or debit card. They’re very convenient, but the fees can be very high going up to 6% which is quite hefty. An example of this service would be Coinmama.
Better way to get Bitcoin
I am a huge fan of Andreas M. Antonopoulos who is one of the worlds leading Bitcoin evangelists. I like him a lot because he doesn’t promote Bitcoin as a speculative investment, but rather a means to partake in a new monetary system which is devoid of nefarious influence.
He suggests that perhaps the best way to get Bitcoin is to earn it. An idea that I totally agree with, because it means that you can partake in the new monetary system rather than clinging to the old dying one.
To that end, if you’ve found this article useful, please feel free to donate some satoshis to a Bitcoin address of mine shown below:) A satoshi is a fraction of a Bitcoin, and to be exact, 1 Bitcoin equals 100,000,000 satoshi’s
Bitcoin (BTC): 3Li9mKjZ9AFVPKkATAGG7eKJrALy6bvddB
Bitcoin is an enormously huge topic, far greater than I could ever cover in this single post. Because of that massive scope it can be hard to fully grasp its full utility, but you don’t have to. The best way to understand Bitcoin is to simply get a little a bit, and actually use it. It’s only then, that the profundity of this new monetary system will dawn on you.