More than 2.6 million people in the UK have bought cryptocurrency, says the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). That amounts to about 4% of the country’s adult population. Most of the time crypto has been purchased via UK crypto exchanges. These statistics indicate that people in Britain are among the most enthusiastic in the world when buying cryptocurrencies.
Which Cryptocurrencies are British People Buying?
Bitcoin (BTC), called the king of cryptocurrencies, is the most popular one in Britain. This is not surprising. Ever since it was launched in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, the world’s first cryptocurrency has been the most popular everywhere. The FCA found that 78% of people they questioned had heard of bitcoin, but only 22% had heard of the second most famous cryptocurrency, Facebook’s Libra.
Bitcoin is also popular in Britain because it was launched just after the global financial crisis in 2007-2008. At that stage, the UK economy shrank by over 6%. This led many people to distrust banks and lenders. Cryptocurrency seemed to many people in the UK to be a viable alternative to the traditional financial sector.
Bitcoin’s popularity has made it big business, and its market capitalisation is more than a trillion GBP.
Other cryptocurrencies UK people buy, in descending order: are Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), Stellar (XLM), Ripple (XRP), Tezos (XTZ) and IOTA (MIOTA).
How Can You Obtain Crypto in Britain?
The most straightforward way of obtaining cryptocurrency is by using UK crypto exchanges. The platform you buy them on is determined by your intent for this or any other cryptocurrency. If you want to trade with your bitcoins you will buy them on an exchange, like eToro and Binance. However, if you want to keep them long-term, you will need to find a platform that offers cold storage in a multi-signature hardware wallet.
You can acquire bitcoins through a process called mining, which involves computer programs solving mathematical problems on a network. This process creates bitcoins. Mining becomes increasingly difficult as more people join a network. It is even possible to get bitcoins by playing some video games or trading them with other people.
The Best UK Crypto Exchanges
A large number of UK crypto exchanges for bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are available to people in Britain. There are many things to consider in choosing one, including reliability, payment options and speed of delivery.
Here is a list of the most popular exchanges:
US company Coinbase is the world’s largest bitcoin exchange. In Britain, the company made a deal with Barclays Bank, which places it in a solid position.
It allows deposits starting at just £1, which increases its popularity.
- Low deposit limits.
- Highly regulated and secure.
- Few alternative cryptocurrency options.
- High transaction fees (up to 4.5%).
This UK-based exchange is well-established as it has been trading since 2013. You can speculate on different currency pairs like BTC/USD and BTC/EUR on this site.
CEX is one of the most popular UK crypto exchanges, especially with beginners. You register, log in, go through the options, make payments and trade very quickly, even if you are very inexperienced.
- Sign up using social media accounts.
- Trade BTC currency pairs.
- Fees are sometimes high.
- Customer service has been criticised.
This leading trading platform in the UK is not just a cryptocurrency exchange. On the eToro site, you can invest GBP by trading bitcoins as a commodity. You will speculate on the changes in the price of bitcoins rather than buying them. The advantage is that trades are a lot faster. You can deposit using fast options like PayPal and start trading within minutes.
There can be a delay between depositing money, getting credits and using them on other bitcoin exchanges:
- Transactions are fast.
- There are many payment options, including PayPal.
- The minimum deposit is £200.
- A flat withdrawal fee is £100.
Serving the UK from China, Binance is also one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges. Its interface is excellent, which makes trading easy for beginners.
Binance lets users withdraw up to 100 BTC daily and is a good bet for high-volume traders who are experienced. It is rated as one of the best UK crypto exchanges.
- High payment limits.
- Many altcoin options.
- Doesn’t have fiat deposit options.
- Uses personal info like IP addresses.
This exchange allows you to connect with other traders in your area. You receive a list of vendors near you and can trade in person or online, therefore you can get to know the person you’re dealing with. This instantly makes you feel more secure. LocalBitcoins.com is a marketplace for buyers and sellers, so everyone competes to offer the best prices. You can also deposit with your credit/debit card and instruct bank transfers from £1.
- You trade with people you can connect with.
- You can pay in person or online.
- There are risks involved in trading with individuals.
- It is a bitcoin-only exchange.
UK Crypto Exchanges Regulations
In Britain, trading platforms offering BTC options are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which also governs banks, loan companies and credit card providers. It wants UK exchanges to operate according to high standards to protect consumers and attract investment.
Crypto Payment Methods in the UK
You’ll be able to use several payment methods when you join a legitimate bitcoin exchange:
- Credit/debit card.
- Wire transfer.
However, the Lloyds Banking Group doesn’t allow you to use a credit card to buy bitcoins.
This means customers of the following banks will have to use an alternative method to trade in cryptocurrencies:
Many good crypto exchanges are currently operating in the UK. LocalBitcoins allows direct contact with other traders. Binance and Coinbase are attractive options if you want to trade different cryptocurrencies. The eToro trading site rates very highly because it will provide speculation on the price movements of bitcoins without having to buy them directly.