Bitcoin Trading for Beginners: How and Where You Can Trade It

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In this article, we’ll cover how and where you can trade Bitcoin. We’ll even show you how to get started trading today with our step-by-step guide and provide a list of regulated brokers and exchanges.

If you’re in a hurry to trade Bitcoin forex, options, CFDs and other derivatives consider these top regulated brokers available in :

Where Can I Trade Bitcoin?

There are several ways you can trade Bitcoin, including:

  • Bitcoin forex – Buy CFDs that predict how the value of Bitcoin will move versus other currencies.
  • Bitcoin futures – Buy or sell Bitcoin at a later date for a fixed price.
  • Bitcoin exchanges – Buy, sell, trade, or convert Bitcoin into another cryptocurrency or fiat currency.

There are brokers and Bitcoin exchanges around the world, but because the various regulating authorities have differing opinions on what and how Bitcoin should be regulated, you should be careful choosing a trading platform for cryptocurrencies.

Countries that ban cryptocurrencies
Source: Library of Congress

Which Countries Allow or Ban Bitcoin?

It’s complicated. But, around 170 countries allow or at least, don’t ban cryptocurrencies:

See the countries that allow cryptocurrency trading.

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • Comoros
  • Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia (Czech Republic)
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Eswatini (fmr. “Swaziland”)
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Holy See
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar (formerly Burma)
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Palau
  • Palestine State
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America*
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

*Some US states ban cryptocurrencies. (See below.)

On the other hand, these 25 countries ban or have other legislation against crypto trading.

See the countries that ban cryptocurrency trading.

  • Algeria
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Lesotho
  • Lithuania
  • Macau
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Vietnam

In addition, please consider that regulations are quickly changing when it comes to cryptocurrency.

Bottom line: check with your local financial regulatory agencies for most recent policy changes.

Which US States Allow Bitcoin Trading?

Cryptocurrency regulations vary from state to state and are currently in flux.

See the list of US states, districts, and territories where eToro allows cryptocurrency trading.

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • United States Minor Outlying Islands
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Again, although we aim to keep these lists up-to-date, cryptocurrency policies are changing rapidly — so please check with your local regulators for guidance.

Regulators

The following bodies regulate trading:

CountryRegulator(s)
AustraliaAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
European UnionCyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
GermanyFederal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFiN)
JapanFinancial Services Agency (FSA)
New ZealandFinancial Markets Authority (FMA)
SwitzerlandFinancial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
United KingdomFinancial Conduct Authority (FCA)
United StatesFinancial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Jump to our Step-by-Step Guide to Trading Bitcoin.

Brokers for Bitcoin Trading

The following regulated brokers offer derivatives like CFDs and forex which allow traders in to speculate on the price of Bitcoin without actually owning it.

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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 71.00%-89.00% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

IMPORTANT: CFDs are not available in the USA due to local regulation, and regulated brokers do not accept US citizens or US residents as clients.

Bitcoin Exchanges

On exchanges, you can buy and sell Bitcoin outright, but in some cases, you can also convert Bitcoin into fiat currencies or other cryptocurrencies (and vice versa).

You can think of Bitcoin exchanges as platforms that facilitate the meeting of buyers and sellers. Here’s a list of popular Bitcoin exchanges:

ExchangeDescription
BinanceExchange hundreds of coins, buy futures and leveraged tokens, crypto loans
BitfinexCrypto exchange, margin trading, crypto derivatives 👜 🔹
BitmexCrypto exchange, futures, perpetuals, 100x leverage on some derivatives 🔹
CoinbaseCrypto exchange, get paid to learn about crypto, offers USD Coin 👜
HuobiCrypto exchange, 5x leverage for spot trading, futures, swap, C2C lending 👜
KrakenCrypto exchange for traders at all levels, many crypto derivatives 🔹
OKExCrypto exchange, spot, futures, perpetual swap, and derivatives trading, cold and hot wallets 👜
StormgainCrypto exchange, low fees and 200x multiplier on crypto futures 👜 🔹
👜 = Built-in cryptocurrency wallet

🔹 = Demo available

Bitcoin Trading Strategies

We’ve gathered some strategies to keep in mind when trading or exchanging Bitcoin.

  • Keep an eye on current trends in the Bitcoin world. Considering how ongoing events may impact the market will help you make more informed decisions.
  • Test your strategies with a demo account, if possible. When learning a new strategy, take advantage of your broker’s practice account to see if they might be wise to try with real coins.

Avoid Common Bitcoin Trading Mistakes

  • Back up your e-wallet. Even if your broker doesn’t offer an integrated wallet, make sure you back up your Bitcoin crypto assets on a regular basis to avoid losing your coins. Security breaches and other issues can easily wipe out what you own. You might also consider setting up cold storage for your Bitcoin.
  • Never trade more than you can afford to lose. It’s a cardinal rule of trading, but it also applies to Bitcoin, particularly with CFDs. Most CFD customers lose money. Although leverage can mean big rewards, it can also mean astronomical losses that you’ll have to cover.
  • Don’t assume that Bitcoin is forever. The story of the internet — as well as trading — is often rags-to-riches-to-rags again. If you trade cutting-edge crypto assets, keep yourself informed about the marketplace daily.

How to Start Trading Bitcoin: A Step-by-Step Guide

This guide will walk you through setting up an account with eToro, which is a broker that has a crypto exchange you can trade Bitcoin on and offers CFDs in countries that allow them.

eToro US crypto signup page

The eToro website will detect your country of residence and direct you to the appropriate products on its website.

  1. Click Join Now to create an account with your email address at eToro.com. You’ll also need to provide a username and a password. Agree to the requested conditions and click Create Account to proceed.
eToro account creation
  1. Check your email for a verification message. Click Verify my email and then click Sign in. Click Continue on the Welcome Aboard pop-up to begin filling out your profile.
  1. Provide your first, middle, and last names, as well as your gender and birthday. The information you provide must match the information on your ID or passport. You’ll also need to provide your address and social security number and confirm whether your country of residence is the same as your birthplace and country of citizenship.
  1. Fill out your trading profile: Explain what you want to do with any money you earn, your trading timeframe, risk tolerance, conflicts of interest, and financial status (including income and occupation).
  1. Provide and verify your phone number.
  1. Agree to the required tax forms. [This step differs by country.]
  1. Once you’ve completed your profile, you can deposit funds into your account. You’ll need to link your bank account to do so.
etoro Bitcoin dashboard
This screenshot is only an illustration. Current market prices can be found on the broker website.

Now you’re ready to begin trading! In the left-hand navigation bar, click Trade Markets to see the markets and crypto coins that are available for purchase. Visit eToro

FAQs

Here are a couple of common queries about Bitcoin trading.

Why trade Bitcoin?

Some traders use Bitcoin as a method of diversifying their portfolios. Others like that the cryptocurrency market runs 24/7, since fiat currencies typically run on weekdays only. Be sure you understand all the risks involved before trading Bitcoin.

When can I trade Bitcoin?

You can trade Bitcoin 24/7. No matter where you are in the world, there are crypto exchanges that are active and can facilitate transactions. However, there are certain times of the day when prices are more volatile and some brokers charge overnight fees, so do your research to ensure that you’re making trades at the optimum times.

Further Reading

Also see our guides on CFD and crypto brokers to find out which online trading platforms are available in .

Credits: Original article written by Katie Horne. Updates and additions in Sep 2020 by Marko Csokasi with contributions from the Commodity.com editorial team.

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