And who can blame them? Any investment that can go from $13 to more than $1,000 in less than a year is worth paying attention to.
And warnings from the mainstream media that Bitcoin is a bubble ready to burst at any moment have proven false time and time again. Bitcoin prices have dropped on bad news, but almost immediately rebound; that's not what bubbles do.
Right now, Bitcoin prices are recovering from the Mt. Gox debacle. From Monday's lows of about $400 on BitStamp, the largest Bitcoin exchange, prices have climbed back over $580. That's a 45% pop in less than three days.
Obviously, a lot of people still believe investing in Bitcoin is a good idea, no matter what the skeptics say.
Investing in Bitcoin can be a little different than investing in other things, like stocks, bonds, or precious metals, but how to buy Bitcoin has gotten easier in the past year.
The good news is, there are several ways to buy bitcoins, depending on what you intend to do with them.
For those just getting started, and even for those looking for alternatives, here's an overview of how to buy Bitcoin.
How to Buy Bitcoin: A Lot of Choices
Back in its earliest days, in 2009 and 2010, buying Bitcoin was a rather complicated affair.
For the most part, only the most computer-savvy folks were involved in Bitcoin. Special software was required to transact in Bitcoin, exchanges were virtually nonexistent, and one Bitcoin was worth only pennies.
How times have changed.
Now people have ways to buy Bitcoin that are much easier. Today there are three basic ways to buy Bitcoin, and a fourth on the immediate horizon.
Let's look at each one:
- How to Buy Bitcoin Method No. 1: Bitcoin Exchanges
One of the first ways to buy Bitcoin was the appearance of exchanges, starting with the now-defunct Mt. Gox. But other Bitcoin exchanges soon popped up, including BitStamp, BTC-e, CampBX, and others. On an exchange, you can do more than just buy bitcoins – you can trade them on an open market. The trick with many of these Bitcoin exchanges, however, is getting U.S. dollars into them so you can buy bitcoins. In most cases, you need to wire transfer the dollars in, which incurs fees and takes several days. If all you want to do is buy bitcoins, the exchanges are not the best option.