If you’re like me, bitcoin and cryptocurrency can seem a bit confusing. When I first started, after months of research, it still took me an additional week to finally step up and buy some. With this in mind I’ve decided to put together a list of the Top 5 safest, and easiest places you can buy bitcoin in the United States.

1. Coinbase

This is by far my personal favorite. It was my first choice, and I’m still using them today. I’ve played with other storage options and buying options, but I always seem to go right back to coinbase.com. Coinbase charges a 3.99% fee for using your credit or debit card, but I find that the usual wait time for using your bank account is usually within 24 hours, depending on the time you buy them. Cash out times are the same, usually within one business day.

2. Circle

Personally, I have never used Circle, but lately it is another popular place for people to stock up on BTC. Circle has a 3% fee for using your credit card, and no fee for using your debit card. Both options come with instant delivery. You are also permitted to use your bank account. Circle has some of the lowest limits I’ve seen on Bitcoin Exchanges, at just $300 per week. So if you’re just a casual bitcoin user, Circle might work for you.

3. LocalBitcoins

This is a peer to peer escrow service that helps match buyers and sellers. LocalBitcoins differs from the rest because it’s almost like the eBay of bitcoin exchanges. Users can create adds to buy, as well as sell, any amount your heart desires, although most of the deals seen aren’t for large amounts. Along with these options there are endless amounts of payment options. It’s as easy as searching for the adds that suit your needs, and taking them.

4. GDAX (Formerly Coinbase Exchange)

GDAX is one of the largest exchanges known to the bitcoin world in the United States. First-time users may find GDAX to be a little clunky for their tastes. Difficult user interface may be an issue, as well. If you so choose, you’ll find GDAX accepts payment via bank transfers, SEPA, and bank wire transfers. Good prices along with low fees await those who take the time to figure out how to use GDAX’s interface properly and effectively.

5. BitQuick

This is one of the fastest ways you can buy bitcoins in the U.S. BitQuick has a huge selection of offers, all at very different prices. It’s a pretty straight forward interface. First-time users should have little or no confusion using it. Once you find an offer you want to take, simply send a cash deposit into the sellers account, and within the hour you will be the proud new owner of your very own bitcoins.

Before I close this out, I just want to say that if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. This saying certainly applies to bitcoin. First-time users should avoid private, unmediated sales altogether. It’s safer and faster for new bitcoin users to go through verified exchanges at first. Even if the fees encountered there can be a little high sometimes, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if you’re on a limited bitcoin budget.
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