Bitcoin is a virtual currency or “cryptocurrency” which has been around since 2009. Unlike other “fiat” mainstream currencies such as the US Dollar and the Euro, Bitcoin does not exist in paper or coin form.
There is a fixed supply of 21 million Bitcoins. However, it is estimated that only 4.2 million Bitcoins are in constant circulation.
Thousands of people have already found out how to buy Bitcoin in Ireland – as shown in the results of a 2023 survey. The survey for the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland found that 8% of adults aged 18+ in Ireland held Bitcoin or other crypto assets. That equates to around 300,000 people.
The percentage of 18 to 34-year-olds reporting that they had invested in Bitcoin or similar cryptocurrencies was 16% .
There are now dozens of other cryptocurrencies as well as Bitcoin – some of the most popular include Ethereum, Litecoin Ripple, Dogecoin, Shiba, Cardano and Stellar.
Find out where you can buy Dogecoin, Shiba and other cryptocurrencies in Ireland
The Price of Bitcoin
During 2020 and 2021 the value of Bitcoin rocketed as demand for it increased – but there have also been wild fluctuations in value.
- In January 2021 , investment strategists at JP Morgan put out a note to clients suggesting that Bitcoin may ultimately reach $146,000 over the long term.
- In March 2021 , it was revealed that €1.5 billion had been invested in Bitcoin by Elon Musk’s electric carmaker Tesla.
- In March 2022 – Larry Fink – CEO of the world’s largest asset manager, Blackrock, said that the Russia-Ukraine war has a “potential impact on accelerating digital currencies.” He confirmed that Blackrock “is studying digital currencies, stablecoins and the underlying technologies to understand how they can help us serve our clients“.
At the start of 2020 one Bitcoin was worth around $8000. On November 9th 2021 – the price of Bitcoin hit a high of just over $68,0000 USD.
During 2022 – Bitcoin continued to fall in value , with a large drop in June 2022. Since November 2021 – the value of Bitcoin fell from $67447 to $16389 in 12 months.
The price of Bitcoin fell to $16389 by Nov 17th 2022 after the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX.
However – there has been some recovery of the value of Bitcoin since then – on May 15th 2023 Bitcoin was worth $27327
You can check the current price of Bitcoin here.
Cryptoasset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in some EU countries. No consumer protection.
Tax on profits may apply.
Where to Buy Bitcoin in Ireland
First of all – we must point out that investing in Bitcoin, or any cryptocurrency , involves a risk of loss.
Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products with no EU investor protection.
However, if you plan to invest in Bitcoin, it is probably best to stick to larger, established exchanges that have been around for a while and have verified links to other major financial companies.
Avoid any of the potential scams such as “Bitcoin Loophole” or any similar sites offering guarantees of making money. Many of these scam sites use fake adverts on social media using pictures of well-known people such as Dragons Den stars. Also – avoid getting involved with any cryptocurrency scammers who make contact by sending an email or with a cold call promising big returns on investment.
Listed below are some of the major global cryptocurrency trading platforms that can be used to buy Bitcoin in Ireland.
Etoro is an established online trading platform where you can trade in Bitcoin and over 30 other cryptocurrencies, as well as stocks, CFDs and commodities.
Since being founded in 2006, eToro has grown to become one of the biggest crypto trading platforms with operations in over 140 countries.
eToro (Europe) Ltd. is a Financial Services Company authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC) under license 109/10.
Bitcoin can be purchased fractionally on Etoro, so you don’t need to buy a full Bitcoin to own some. For example, if Bitcoin’s price was $50,000, you could purchase 0.001 Bitcoin for $50.
Etoro accepts deposits by debit card as well as bank transfer and Paypal. Irish customers can use Revolut to deposit money with Etoro.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) can be transferred from the eToro platform to an eToro Wallet where they will be more secure.
Buying COINBASE shares on Etoro would be another way to invest indirectly in the Bitcoin and Crypto industry.
Etoro reduced the minimum card or Paypal deposit required by Irish customers to just $50 in August 2021.
A fee of 1% is charged when buying or selling Bitcoin and other crypto-assets on eToro .
Etoro only allows trades in US dollars – which means that all Euro deposits have to be converted to US Dollars. They charge a 0.5% currency conversion fee from Euro to dollars on deposit and again on withdrawal from US Dollars to Euro. (For example – on €1000 this would be a €5 fee.
However, you can easily avoid the Etoro conversion fees by using the Etoro Money App – where there are no conversion fees . You may also use N26 or Revolut.
There is a flat-rate fee of $5 on each cash withdrawal from Etoro.
Read more about Using Etoro in Ireland.
Warning – Cryptoasset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.
Note : 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Etoro. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Coinbase is another major global online crypto exchange that can be used in Ireland to buy and hold Bitcoin.
Coinbase was set up in San Francisco in 2012 and now has more than 30 million users. The company floated on the NASDAQ stock exchange in mid-April 2021.
Coinbase can be used in Ireland to buy and sell over 100 different cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
On Coinbase you can buy fractional Bitcoin in increments from as little as 2 Euros.
The EU head office of Coinbase is in Ireland (Dublin) and Coinbase Ireland Limited is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an electronic money institution (fiat currencies).
Coinbase is backed by Spanish bank BBVA and the New York Stock Exchange and it was the first crypto company to become a principal member of Visa.
Coinbase seems to have higher fees and a more confusing fee structure than other cryptocurrency exchanges.
Coinbase accepts payments by bank transfer, credit card or debit card, as well as PayPal .
- Bitcoin purchases by bank transfer are charged a 1.49% fee.
- Credit and debit card Bitcoin purchases are charged a 3.99% fee. (Fees may differ outside Europe).
Coinbase can charge from 0.5% to 4.5% depending on the payment method, cryptocurrency type, transaction size and platform. Other fees may apply.
Coinbase does not charge a fee to use its wallet service.
Important – Bitcoin and other crypto-assets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. There is no EU investor protection.
Disclosure: We may receive compensation for promoting Coinbase.
Gemini is a large cryptocurrency exchange based in New York. It was founded in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins, best-known for their legal dispute with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Gemini is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS).
In the UK, Gemini is Licenced as an Electronic Money Institution license by the FCA and it is one of the very few companies that is an FCA registered crypto assets company. This doesn’t cover Ireland nor does it mean that crypto funds are protected – but it does mean they have complied with UK anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing rules.
Irish customers of Gemini can use bank transfers in Euro or GBP to deposit money with Gemini for free.
Debit cards can also be used to buy Bitcoin with Gemini, but there is a 3.49% fee.
Transaction fees at Gemini for crypto purchases depend on the size of the transaction.
The fee is 1.49% on transactions of €200 or more.
- On smaller transactions, there is a flat rate charge.
- €1 for orders under €10 euro; ;
- €1.50 on orders between €10 and €25 ;
- €2 on orders between €25 and €50 ,
- €3 on orders between €50 and €200.
- Gemini also adds a 0.5% ” convenience fee” to the prevailing price when buying crypto.
Fees example at Gemini:
If the prevailing market price of BTC was $40000 USD – you will be quoted a price of $40200 USD to buy 1 BTC.
(This includes the 0.5% convenience fee)
If you were then to buy €100 of BTC with EUR the transaction fee would be €3 EUR.
Gemini certainly makes a good Coinbase alternative for those who are getting more serious about trading digital assets, rather than just investing.
Buying Bitcoin Trackers on DEGIRO
If you want a method of investing or speculating on the value of Bitcoin – but without actually owning any or worrying about virtual wallets – you can buy shares in a Bitcoin tracker from a stockbroker.
An easy way to do this in Ireland is with an established online stockbroker such as DEGIRO.
A Bitcoin tracker can give investors exposure to Bitcoin without the technical challenges such as setting up a digital wallet, managing cryptographic keys, or trading on unregulated crypto exchanges.
Some examples of Bitcoin Trackers available on Degiro include :
- Iconic Funds Physical Bitcoin ETP – This Exchange Traded Product (ETP) tracks the price movement of Bitcoin as referenced by the NYSE Bitcoin Index. Each share of the ETP is fully backed by a coin entitlement of 0.0001 bitcoin.
- CoinShares Physical Bitcoin (Ticker: BITC) This is physically-backed ETP secured by the underlying bitcoins.
- WisdomTree Bitcoin (ETN) . This exchange-traded note is physically secured by Bitcoin. The reference price is the Bitcoin settlement price on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
The fees when trading these crypto trackers on Degiro are the same as buying any other ETF.
The fee is €2 per trade plus a €1 handling fee.
Note – These types of crypto investments are high-risk investments. You could lose your money.
Read more here about Degiro Fees in Ireland
Please note that Investing involves risk of loss.
Buying Bitcoin on Revolut
Revolut customers can buy, hold and sell Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies.
Revolut didn’t initially allow the transfer of cryptocurrencies in or out of Revolut – but since early May 2021 – it seems that Metal account holders can transfer crypto out of Revolut (with some limits) .
Bitcoin can also be purchased fractionally on Revolut.
So, if you want a way to invest in Bitcoin and speculate on the price – Revolut is an option. (Again – there is always a high risk of loss)
The exchange rate on Revolut for cryptocurrencies is 2.5% for Standard users and 1.5% for Premium and Metal users.
Revolut says that the cryptocurrency they buy for you is held in a ‘virtual account’ which also holds cryptocurrencies for other Revolut customers.
You will not have a separate cryptocurrency account or wallet.
Some information about Taxation of Cryptocurrency in Ireland
Investing in Bitcoin involves a high risk of loss of capital.
Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short time frame and, therefore, are not
appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading crypto assets is unregulated and, therefore, is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk.