Mar 012015
 

How to Buy Fractions of Bitcoin

Firstly, yes, you can buy fractions of Bitcoin. Each Bitcoin is divided into 100 million units, each called a ‘satoshi’. If you’re looking how to buy fractions of Bitcoin, the process is similar to buying a full Bitcoin. However, when you only want to buy smaller amounts of Bitcoin, there are some additional ways you can do so, which don’t scale up if you’re looking to invest tens of thousands of dollars. Before we proceed, here is a quick Bitcoin conversion guide to keep things straight.

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that can be divided up to 8 decimal places. That means you can easily buy fractions of a Bitcoin, even if you can only afford one cent! Just to get you familiar with the terminology, here are the conversions:

1 mBTC (milli-Bitcoin) = 0.001 Bitcoin or 1/1000 of Bitcoin (a thousandth of a Bitcoin)

1 uBTC (micro-Bitcoin) or 1 bit = 0.0000001 Bitcoin, or 0.001 mBTC (a millionth of a Bitcoin)

1 satoshi = 0.000000001 Bitcoin or 0.01 uBTC (a satoshi is the smallest unit of Bitcoin)

Note: bits is becoming more and more popular method of denoting the number of Bitcoin, and you generally don’t have to deal with pesky decimal places!

If you’re living in the United States or most of Europe, the easiest and most trusted way is to buy Bitcoins at Coinbase (This is a full list of countries served by Coinbase: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States).

This is a company valued at $400 million, and raised over $75 million in its last funding round. It is a trusted player in the space. You can buy Bitcoin by linking your bank account, and you can buy even small fractions of Bitcoins. When you initially login, the funds might take up to 3 days to appear in your account, after which you can purchase Bitcoins. You can also sell Bitcoins via Coinbase, and you can use it as a convenient online Bitcoin wallet. In addition, they offer multi-signature wallets too, which means Coinbase will no longer have any custody of Bitcoins.

In recent months, a formidable challenger to Coinbase has emerged: Circle. Circle doesn’t charge you any fees (although its prices to buy Bitcoin tend to be a little higher than Coinbase), and the best thing is, you can buy Bitcoin through credit cards. This is not possible at Coinbase. However, you have to pay the credit card processing fees in that case. You can avoid this fees by linking your bank account, just like with Coinbase. How to buy fractions of Bitcoin with Circle? Just enter the dollar amount, even as small as $10 and Circle will buy it for you.

Coinbase and Circle are the best ways, but if you’re looking for options, you can try Expresscoin or BitcoinInsanity. Both these places allow you to buy fractions of Bitcoin through credit card. BitcoinInsanity also allows you to buy through PayPal. However, the prices are higher.

For peer-to-peer trading, LocalBitcoins is a nice option. Use this if you’re outside the United States (or really want privacy with your Bitcoin purchase) and it’s hard to buy on online exchanges in your area.

Here are some other trusted places you can buy Bitcoins online in various countries:

US: Coinbase or Circle

UK: Check out this guide written by Coindesk. Be aware of the fees, which seems to be the norm for UK exchanges

Europe: Coinbase operates in these European countries, and should be the best option: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

India: Unocoin

Philippines: Coins.ph or Rebit.ph

Finally, if you just want a small fraction of a Bitcoin and willing to work online for them, there are a few options that you can explore (the payout is usually much lower than having a full-time job, so take that into consideration) in my Free Bitcoin Guide.

Photo Credit: Chris Devers

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