Is it Possible to Buy Bitcoin Instantly?
Buying Bitcoin instantly is a breeze. You simply need to set up an account with a site that lets you buy cryptocurrency with credit card. For example, if you have a verified account with Coinmama, then you can buy bitcoin (BTC) from us and have your coins in 20 minutes or less.
Can a Newcomer to the Crypto Space Buy Bitcoin Instantly?
Yes and no.
Consider a crypto newbie who has a friend willing to sell them a small amount of bitcoin. In this case, it’s possible for the newbie to buy Bitcoin instantly - they just hand over some cash to the friend in exchange for BTC sent to their wallet.
In most cases, though, before someone can buy cryptocurrency, they'll need to set up an account with a crypto vendor, which will almost always include verifying their identity.
Why Does it Usually Take Time for a Newcomer to Buy Bitcoin?
It’s difficult for a crypto newcomer, without an established account or a convenient Bitcoiner friend, to buy bitcoin instantly. This is because the newbie must buy bitcoin from either a company or a stranger; which means some delay will inevitably be introduced.
The reason for such delay comes down to trust. Mutual trust already exists in our example of a trade between friends or via an established account with a company. It’s this pre-existing basis of trust which allows instant trading to occur. Friends trust each other enough that neither must take precautions against fraud, and a similar situation of trust exists between a company and its registered clients.
The situation is quite different when trading occurs between strangers. There’s no shared history or reputation information between them, so they have little reason to trust each other. Consider what would happen if a complete stranger approached you on the street, offering gold coins for sale at a bargain price. The chances are that you’d be suspicious of their offer - and rightly so! As you know nothing about this stranger, you would naturally doubt whether their coins are genuine gold.
The situation is a little different if you enter an established coin shop. As they’re a registered business, with a known address and owner, it’s reasonable to assume that they sell genuine gold. If their product later turns out to be fake, then unlike when dealing with a random stranger on the street, it’s easy to report their fraud to the police. If the shop had a history of selling fake coins, it’s likely that the police would have already shut them down. This situation makes it easy for you to trust the coin shop.
From the coin shop’s perspective though, you are the random stranger who just walked in off the street! They have no reason to believe that the money you hand over in exchange for their gold is genuine. For this reason, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll accept any checks or IOUs from you. They’ll probably only take cash, which they verify using an anti-counterfeiting device, or some other payment method which is guaranteed by big banks or payment companies.
So, the reason why it’s hard for a newbie to buy bitcoin instantly is this: it takes time to establish trust.
How Much Time?
If you need to get some bitcoins (BTC) in a hurry, then you have two basic options; buying them offline or buying them online:
1) Buying Bitcoin Offline
There are several methods available to buy BTC offline with cash.
The simplest is probably to find a Bitcoin ATM (or “BTM”) in your area. The CoinATMradar site tracks BTMs around the world. If you live in a major Western city, then there’s a good chance you’ll find a BTM within reasonable travel distance. Before setting off, be sure to check the details on the BTM and ensure that it’s operational, accessible, and has a sufficiently high purchase limit. Contacting the operator via their details on the CoinATMradar is a good way to ensure that you don’t waste a trip.
Another quick purchase method to buy small amounts of bitcoin from special dispensers in certain stores. This method is available in various countries: Australians can buy BTC from newsagents, Swiss can buy bitcoins from the ticket vending machines in their railway stations, French will soon be able to buy bitcoins from tobacconists, and so on. Some extra time may be involved if the dispenser doesn’t work with cash; some require special payment methods which necessitate the creation and verification of an account.
A final method to quickly buy bitcoin offline involves making a cash deposit at a bank branch. There are several services which facilitate the sale of bitcoins via this method. However, this method only works within regular banking hours, which can make it inconvenient for those who work during the day or wish to purchase bitcoins over a weekend or holiday.
Decentralized exchanges can also be used to arrange face-to-face cash trades, and it’s often possible to buy bitcoins from attendees at a Bitcoin meet up or conference. However, both these methods generally take a considerable length of time to coordinate.
2) Buying Bitcoin Online
If an in-person purchase isn’t suitable for you, then there are countless ways to buy bitcoin online. With all such methods, you will likely encounter two major delays.
The first delay is the time it takes to verify your identity from the personally identifying data (such as a driver’s license) which you scan and send in. Some exchanges can take days or even weeks (during times of peak market activity) to verify such information. At Coinmama, we strive to complete this process within a few hours. We have a special team working around the clock to review such information.
The second delay when purchasing bitcoin online is the time it takes to electronically transfer the funds. Many companies, including Coinmama, accept bank transfers but these can take up to a few days to process. Credit or debit cards offer the fastest processing times by far, usually measured in minutes or even seconds, which is why Coinmama also supports plastic from both VISA and MasterCard. While there are several other exchanges which also accept credit or debit cards, it is by no means a commonplace option.
Given the speed of our account verification service and our support for credit / debit cards, we believe that our service is the nearest thing to instant online bitcoin purchases which a newcomer to crypto can find. Once you’ve completed the creation of a Coinmama account, the only delay will be in the processing of your card and the transfer of your newly-purchased bitcoins over the blockchain (which should only take around 10 minutes on average).
How to Buy Bitcoin from Coinmama
If you need to get hold of some bitcoins as quickly as possible, Coinmama has you covered. Coinmama lets people from nearly 200 countries around the world buy bitcoin (BTC) instantly, using any credit or debit card from either VISA or MasterCard. In almost all cases, the bitcoins will be released to you within half an hour or less.
This guide demonstrates how easy and quick it is to get some bitcoins from Coinmama. Only 4 easy steps are involved:
Step 1 - Create Your Coinmama Account:
- Head over to the Coinmama website and select the blue “Sign Up” buttonm from the top menu.
- Next, please provide us with your email, desired password (be sure to record it safely!), first and last name, as well as your country of residence.
- If you already have an account, just sign in with your existing login details.
- For more information on how to create an account with us, click here to visit our support page.
Step 2 - Verify Your Account:
- To purchase bitcoin (BTC), you first need to become verified.
- It’s necessary to upload your ID or passport, plus various other documents depending on which level of verification you wish to reach.
- Our verification is quick. During our business hours, the verification process will usually be complete within a few hours. For further help with account verification, please click here.
Step 3 - Purchase Your Bitcoin:
- Once signed in and verified, navigate to the “Bitcoin” tab in the top menu bar. Note that “Bitcoin Cash (BCH)” is an entirely different cryptocurrency to Bitcoin.
- Once there, you will be presented with several choices: either purchase a set amount of BTC, or enter in a custom amount of up to roughly $5,000 (as of the time of writing) for card purchases. You can also choose to price BTC against EUR or USD.
- Supply your Bitcoin wallet address. If you’re unsure what this is, please check out this article. The address you enter is where we’ll send the coins you buy. You can re-use this address for subsequent purchases or get a new one from your wallet, at your discretion.
- Next, select the “Go to Payment” button.
Step 4 - the Checkout Page
- Complete the form with your relevant details. Make sure that your card details, such as your name, correspond with the details you supplied when creating your Coinmama account.
- Finally, proceed to payment by clicking on the “Pay now” button. For card purchases, kindly note that only cards issued by VISA or MasterCard are accepted.
Once your card payment has been made, the order status will read “In Process.” This means that your order is being processed by the bank or card company. Credit card orders will be processed within minutes.
Once payment has been made, our BTC transaction to your wallet’s address then needs to be confirmed by the Bitcoin network. In approximately 10 minutes, a Bitcoin payment will be broadcast from Coinmama’s wallet to the Bitcoin address you supplied in Step 3, point 3.
Note that during times of especially high network traffic, your transaction may take longer than normal to appear as confirmed within your wallet. Ordinarily, the transaction will be confirmed within 10 minutes.
For large amounts, it’s recommended that you wait for up to 5 more confirmations (which should take about an hour). You may then regard the transaction as final and spend your new coins.