Bitcoin (BTC) used to be more difficult to gain access to. There were only specific ways to get to it, with debit and credit cards almost out of the question. After the enormous rise in popularity over the past few years, that has changed. Now that Bitcoin is a public piece of technology, a lot more exchanges now accepts credit and debit cards (with a fee of course.)
Yet, if you happen to live in India, you may not be able to access the leading exchange websites like Coinbase or Kraken. Fear not, there are still alternatives for you, only not as many quality ones. But, before we get into that, we have to talk about storing your Bitcoin.
Before buying in, you’ll need to get a wallet. There are five different types of wallet:
- Online – Online wallets hold your Bitcoin codes on a server and are accessible via your phone or computer.
- Mobile – Mobile wallets are essentially an app that stores your BTC for you. These usually work in tandem with online wallets.
- Desktop – A desktop wallet is a reserved space on your hard drive that stores Bitcoin.
- Paper – Paper wallets are a sheet of paper with a scannable QR code that provides you access to your stored BTC.
- Hardware – A hardware wallet is the safest method of storing your BTC. These wallets look like a USB-stick and plug into your device so you can access your coins.
We recommend you only ever store a small amount of Cryptocurrency on exchanges as there have been numerous times in the past that they have been hacked. If you wish to trade, keep an amount of your stack on there, otherwise withdraw to a wallet for holding. We go into more detail here about the different types of wallets for storing Bitcoin.
Now let’s get to the exchanges, all the companies listed here will enable someone living in India to purchase Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies safely and securely using a variety of different payment methods.
Unocoin is the most substantial Bitcoin purchasing platform in India. Absolutely anyone can buy Bitcoin here with their Indian bank account via the internet. It is a regulated company, and United States investors even back it. The user interface is incredibly simple and great for beginners to pick up on the ins and outs of trading. Transaction fees are low, and it even offers a wallet for you to store your coins.
That said, storing your Bitcoin in an online wallet is almost never recommended. Also, Unocoin requires you to verify yourself, so you lose the anonymity that most cryptocurrency purchases appreciate having. People do trust the platform, though, so if you don’t mind giving up your identification, you should have no trouble purchasing Bitcoin from here.
Coinmama is a reasonably friendly exchange. Almost anyone in any country can buy from here with either a debit or credit card and anyone buying less than $150 worth of coin doesn’t have to verify themselves. You can quickly make multiple purchases under this if you need a ton of coin but don’t want to give up your identity.
This exchange is incredibly trustworthy and has always been reliable, but it offers some very high fees for purchasing with a card – 6%! If you are looking to get into smaller trading and have the extra funds to throw at transactions, Coinmama is a good exchange for you to use.
To find out more, take a look at our full in-depth review of Coinmama here.
A newer exchange, Coinome is also one of the most advanced. Coinome was created by BillDesk, which is a long-running payment collection service – they know how to work with currencies. This exchange is easy to get into; it offers a quick deposit service, allows you to compare other orders before making your own, and offers genuinely secure withdrawals.
Coinome supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, and DASH, so it’s a decent way to dip your toes into Altcoins if you’re so inclined. Also, it has an incredibly smooth mobile app which some exchanges struggle with.
Similar to Unocoin, Coinsecure provides you with a wallet for storing your purchased Bitcoin. It is ideal for seasoned buyers looking to get into trading, though the user interface can be a pain to sift through. This is because there are tons of details that a regular trader would find incredibly useful, but would overwhelm a beginner.
Like Coinome, Coinsecure has a well-designed mobile app for trading whenever you’d like. In fact, the company even has a YouTube channel with tons of content designed around teaching new users how to buy and trade within the app.
LocalBitcoins is a bit different than the other exchanges on this list. This is an escrow service that helps bring together buyers and sellers of Bitcoins. Here you can browse different sellers prices to buy or even list your own in the marketplace.
Once you’ve found a match, LocalBitcoins works as an escrow service, meaning it holds your money secure until the transaction has been made to prevent scamming. Also, LocalBitcoins is ideal for users looking to keep anonymous and trade in-person – not all exchanges do this. It can be challenging to buy large amounts of Bitcoin here, however, because not everyone will be selling in big chunks. LocalBitcoins also has some high transaction fees, but it’s worth the extra cash due to remaining anonymous.
We go into more depth in our complete LocalBitcoins review.
Researching Exchanges Online
Before putting your money anywhere, be sure to do some detailed research on all exchanges and make sure you know what you’re getting into. There are stories of exchanges crashing, upping and leaving with your cash and BTC, or getting hacked into and having users information stolen. Trusted and long-standing exchanges are worth paying the higher transaction fees.
Make sure you do your research before using a new exchange, there is plenty of information and reviews available online now so you can see if there are any user complaints or other issues you should know about.
With the rise of buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with a card and bank transfers, it has become much easier to obtain different cryptocurrencies, however this ease of use has come with higher transaction fees and more exchanges requiring identity verification to use them.
On the bright side, Bitcoin enthusiasts in India have a wide variety of exchanges available to them whenever they feel like investing or trading. Each of these options is a good choice, and they serve a variety of needs and desires. Just remember to do your research, practice good security and never invest more than you can afford to lose.