There are many ways to buy bitcoins and other coins. Heise.de has recently published an article about bitcoin.de, which in my opinion rather scares, since it is not a real exchange but only a trading place for buyers and sellers. There you have to find a salesman, which wants to sell the appropriate amount of coins and you have to accept its price. It is much easier with proper exchanges where you are not dealing with a seller, but with the actual market value.
My focus is on a rare purchase and sale, as I “only” invest and I don’t want to use the exchanges as payment providers for online purchases (yet). However, Coinbase offers exactly that feature as it can be opened by clicking on BTC addresses. For me it is important to have an easy to understand page when exchanging Euros to coins, which is given in my selection below.
It is also important that there are black sheep among trading places. The best example of this was Mt.Gox, which has disappeared with users’ bitcoins. Therefore, it is essential that you choose the most serious supplier possible, but it is even more important to store no coins and no money on the sites permanently. See also the Wallets section for further details. Furthermore, I have already read reports on other stock exchanges that some sites block individual transactions. But of course I cannot know, if the reporting users were doing something illegal.
Coinbase.com* (BTC, ETH, LTC)
If you use my link, we both get a bonus of about 8 € after a transaction with at least 89 €!
Probably the largest exchange currently. You can see that within the professionalism of the site. They are located is in San Francisco, however the SEPA transfers go to Estonia because of the euro zone. The most interesting was the registration process: you have to reveal your complete identity, including uploading a photo ID. If you want to procure illegal goods at the Dark Net, this is definitely the wrong address – and that’s great. Gone is the image of the underground currency, welcome to the banking of the future.
The verification of my account took only a few minutes, which is very gratifying. However, I had a problem with the two-factor authentication: This was activated with Authy without consultation, even though I don’t have an account there. So I used their reset function, which takes deliberately one day. Meanwhile I could not log in to Coinbase. In retrospect, I might have helped to install the Authy app on my smartphone, maybe that would have worked. If you log in the first time, you have to enter the code from the app. This is always necessary when you send money or coins to a different address, which makes it very safe.
Depositing funds to the account with credit card costs 3% extra, so I use SEPA transfers instead. To activate SEPA, I transferred one Eurocent, which took 2 days over a weekend. The transfer of 500 € for my first investment took only a little over 12 hours during the week.
Bitstamp.net (BTC, XRP)
In the verification, you must provide proof of residency as well as a photo ID. They are very picky: the proof of your home must be a document showing your own address and it cannot be older than 3 months. My ISP bill was rejected because it is too old. A new ISP bill wouldn’t have worked since it shows the address of my employer. My phone bill was not accepted at all. I don’t want to upload a bank statement, my yellow tax overview, or a tax refund, as I find this is too private.
After a few days and several attempts I had success with a current letter from my city calling for a citizens’ decision.
The account is secured with Google Authenticator (2FA).
The transfer of 100 € arrived the next day.
Now I have bitcoins, Litecoins, Ether and Ripple. But how do you get DASH?
In order not to sign me up on another coin exchange, I used the Swiss service ShapeShift.io: Here you can exchange between various cryptocurrencies. Of course there are costs. But it can be cheaper to use this service instead of buying than to buy at a classic exchange with several transactions.
Most convenient is that the service is directly integrated into my wallet Exodus: With a few mouse clicks I exchanged 3.82995021 LTC (100.38 € on June 14th, 2017) to 0.64841605 DASH within a minute. The so-called Spread has cost 1,795%, which is about 1.94 €. The spread varies from minute to minute and is usually between one to three percent.