There are many ways to source bitcoin with varying degrees of difficulty and tradeoffs, including costs, security, and KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements.
P2P: Peer-to-Peer (P2P) transactions are when bitcoin is sent directly between two individuals without the need for an intermediary. This might be between family, friends, or acquaintances, with one party sending bitcoin directly to another's wallet. This method is private and simple but requires trust between the parties involved, as there is no third-party oversight.
P2P platforms: Trading platforms that connect buyers and sellers and allow them to negotiate prices and payment methods. This method can offer more privacy as there is often no need for KYC checks. These platforms usually offer an escrow service to secure trades, provide an internal review/reputation system to build trust, and may offer dispute resolution services. They provide greater security and less risk than direct P2P transactions but may open you up to some data gathering as it occurs online.
Mine: Bitcoin mining is the process of verifying transactions on the network and earning bitcoin as a reward. Mining requires specialized hardware called ASICs and can be expensive to get started. Still, under the right conditions and equipment, it can be a profitable way to earn non-KYC bitcoin while securing the Bitcoin network.
Earn: You can also earn bitcoin through employment or rewards. You can earn bitcoin through your employer or by picking up some freelance jobs and requesting they pay you in bitcoin rather than fiat currency. Some websites and businesses also offer bitcoin as a reward (kind of like how cashback works) for completing tasks or using their services.
Centralized Exchanges: Platforms run by companies where users can buy and sell bitcoin using other cryptocurrencies or fiat. These exchanges are typically more user-friendly and have higher levels of liquidity than P2P platforms but require users to trust the platform with their funds and personal data.
Decentralized Exchanges: Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are similar to other exchanges but do not require you to create an account or provide personal information. This makes them ideal for a user who wants to stay anonymous when buying and selling bitcoin but be mindful that DEXs are also more complex to use and will require some getting used to.
Brokerages: These are unique financial institutions that facilitate the buying and selling of bitcoin for their clients. They often offer other services like secure Bitcoin custody, investing guidance, and advanced trading features.
Payment Services: Due to the increased popularity of Bitcoin, many payment services and apps now allow users to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin. These services are a convenient way to buy bitcoin with fiat on your mobile device.
Bitcoin ATM: These ATMs allow you to buy and sell bitcoin with cash or a debit card, though many now implement KYC compliance. These machines are typically located in gas stations, convenience stores, and other retail locations.
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