A lot of this depends on which cryptocurrency you’re buying, how much you want, and where you are based.
As long as you are in a country which hasn’t banned purchasing digital currencies (attitudes vary around the world,) you’ll probably be able to use a crypto exchange. There are dozens of outlets to pick from, and each support different fiat currencies – meaning you can get your hands on Bitcoin, Ethereum and others irrespective of whether you use US dollars, euros, pounds or Japanese yen as a payment method.
Many of these centralized exchanges claim that they make purchasing cryptocurrencies as easy as splashing out on a pair of socks on Amazon. Although this is true to some extent, there are some legal requirements to bear in mind. Depending on the payment method you use, and the quantity of crypto you are buying, photo ID is needed to verify your identity. Decentralized exchanges are another option, with smart contracts and atomic swaps used to facilitate peer-to-peer transfers and eliminate the need for a middleman.
It’s also crucial to research whether an exchange’s transaction fees are higher than the market average – and double check that an organization is reputable. Paying too much to acquire crypto is one thing, but losing your funds to a devastating hack is quite another. Even big brands such as Mt. Gox have fallen victim to cyberattacks in the past, so do bear in mind that convenience doesn’t necessarily absolve risk.