How To Buy Bitcoin in Ireland

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 2021 survey.
The survey by the Consumer and Competition Protection Commission found that 8% of adults aged 18+ in Ireland held Bitcoin or other crypto assets. That equates to around 290,000 people.
The percentage of 25 to 34-year-olds reporting that they had invested in Bitcoin or similar coins was 18% . (About 119,00)
The same survey also found that 36% of under-35s said they would use an online trading platform such as eToro to make an investment.


There are now several other cryptocurrencies as well as Bitcoin – some of the most popular include Ethereum, Litecoin Ripple, Dogecoin, Cardano and Stellar. Find out where you can buy Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies in Ireland


The Price of Bitcoin

During 2020 and the first few weeks of 2021 the value of Bitcoin rocketed as demand for it increased.
At the start of 2020 one Bitcoin was worth around $8000. On April 13th 2021 – the price of Bitcoin hit a high of $64,899 USD.
Investment strategists at JP Morgan put out a note to clients in early January 2021, 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

Bitcoin hit a fresh all-time high on Wednesday 20th October after the successful launch of the first U.S. bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund. The world’s largest cryptocurrency climbed about 3% to $66,675 USD by 3.50pm GMT , topping a previous record of $64,899 set in mid-April.

You can check the current price of Bitcoin here.


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 crypto trading platforms that can be used in Ireland.


Etoro


Etoro is a well established online trading platform where you can trade in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, 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.
eToro allows users to trade thousands of financial instruments, including over 30 cryptocurrencies.
Based on the concept of social trading, eToro is designed to be accessible to new and experienced traders alike.


When buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on eToro, the only trading fees charged are the spreads – eg. 0.75% on Bitcoin and 1.9% on Ethereum.
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. The minimum crypto purchase on eToro is just $25 USD .



Etoro reduced the minimum deposit required by Irish customers from $200 to just $50 in August 2021.
Etoro accepts payment by debit card as well as bank transfer and Paypal.

Etoro only allows trades in US dollars – which means that any Euro deposits have to be converted to dollars. They charge a 0.5% conversion fee from Euro to dollars on deposit and again on withdrawal from US Dollars to Euro

To avoid the Etoro conversion fees you could deposit US Dollars using a debit card from N26. (Etoro say they do not accept USD payments from Revolut ).
The exchange rate used by N26 will be the standard Mastercard rate with no extra fees. It should also be possible to withdraw US dollars from Etoro to the N26 card to avoid the 0.5% fee – but we are not 100% certain of this.
You could use any Irish bank debit card to pay in Dollars – but the main Irish banks will all charge fees of around 2% ,s capped at about €11.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) can be transferred from the eToro platform to an eToro Wallet where they will be more secure.
Currently, eToro is regulated by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (CySEC)

Try Etoro Here

Cryptoassets are volatile instruments that 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.

Note : 67% 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

Coinbase is another major online 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 Debit Card

Coinbase customers can apply for a Coinbase Visa debit card which they say “makes crypto as spendable as the money in your bank.” There is a 2.49% fee to convert crypto to Euros. Coinbase Card customers are able to spend their crypto from eight different wallets: BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, BAT, REP, ZRX, and XLM. It comes with an app and the card works with Google Pay and Apple Pay . The Coinbase card is issued by Paysafe Prepaid Services Limited which is also authorized by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Coinbase Fees

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 also charges a spread of about 0.50% for cryptocurrency purchases and cryptocurrency sales.

Coinbase does not charge a fee to use its wallet service but there are fees when you buy and sell Bitcoin.


Sign Up With Coinbase Here

Important – Bitcoin and other crypto-assets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. There is no EU investor protection.



Gemini

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, but 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.

It is also possible to earn interest on Bitcoin you hold with Gemini (Currently 3.05%) . This is not automatic, you have to opt in to “Gemini Earn”.

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 great Coinbase alternative for those who are getting more serious about trading digital assets, rather than just investing.

Join Gemini Here




Buying Shares in 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.
The cheapest way to do this in Ireland is with an established online stockbroker such as  DEGIRO.

Currently, there is just one Bitcoin Tracker available on Degiro in Ireland. This is the “21 Shares Bitcoin ETP” (ZZUG).
It’s available on the Frankfurt stock exchange (XET) and “seeks to track the investment results of Bitcoin” .
This type of tracker is classed as a high-risk investment.
A Bitcoin tracker can give investors exposure to Bitcoin without the overhead of managing the security and custody of private keys.

DEGIRO’s low fees make this type of Bitcoin investment fairly affordable.


Buying COINBASE shares on Degiro would be another way to invest indirectly in the Bitcoin and Crypto industry.


Please note that Investing involves risk of loss.

Open an Account at DEGIRO

DEGIRO prices compared to other online stockbrokers in Ireland


Revolut and Bitcoin

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 that also holds cryptocurrencies for other Revolut customers.
You will not have a separate cryptocurrency account.

It is free to join Revolut.


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.