Can You Buy Half a Bitcoin? 2023

Cryptocurrency trading has been steadily gaining traction in recent years, with more and more enthusiastic buyers trying to get their hands on digital assets in the form of crypto. When speaking of cryptocurrency in general, one particular kind always comes to mind first, and that is Bitcoin (BTC). This is rightfully so, since Bitcoin is the very first cryptocurrency to be launched back in 2009, and remains the most famous one to date.

In recent years, the price of Bitcoin has risen tremendously — in stark contrast to its humble beginnings, when a single piece of BTC cost only a fraction of a U.S. dollar. This low cost was barely a surprise, as back then, digital assets were only starting to carve a name for themselves, and most people weren’t convinced they’d ever be worth a significant amount in fiat currency (such as USD or AUD). It was a matter of years before larger audiences started to trust the potential of this novel currency.

Since then, Bitcoin transactions have become a daily routine for many people and organizations who engage in crypto brokerage, trading, and exchanges. The price of Bitcoin has seen a steady increase, becoming unaffordable to many who are only beginning to learn the ropes of Bitcoin exchanges. This article aims to explore whether you can buy only half a BTC and provide you with some investment advice related to the value of Bitcoin.

Is It Possible to Buy Half a BTC Only?

The short answer to this question would be: Yes, you can definitely buy half a Bitcoin. As a matter of fact, buying much smaller (and larger) fractions of a Bitcoin is a common practice of buyers who can’t afford to purchase a whole Bitcoin.

Halved silver bitcoin on black background

Bitcoin Fractions

There are several ways of displaying small amounts of Bitcoin as units. Typically, to measure fractions of Bitcoin we use the International System of Units due to its reputation and the fact that it’s been around for several centuries. By using this system, bitcoins — which represent large sums of money — can be divided into much smaller units such as millibitcoins (mBTC), microbitcoins (μBTC), and so on.

The smallest possible division of a Bitcoin, however, has a name that is very specific to the context of this particular cryptocurrency. It’s called a satoshi and is a direct reference to the creator of Bitcoin known as Satoshi Nakamoto — a person whose real identity remains unknown to the public as of yet, and might actually be a pseudonym of a group of developers.

One satoshi represents one hundred millionth of a Bitcoin, i.e. 1 BTC equals 100,000,000 satoshis. In other words, if you wish to buy half a Bitcoin, you’d have to get either 500 millibitcoins, 500,000 microbitcoins, or 50,000,000 satoshis, depending on the preference of your seller.

The satoshi, as the smallest possible fraction of the otherwise costly Bitcoin, is most often used as a basic measurement in Bitcoin transactions, which comes as no surprise, since the price of Bitcoin has kept a value that’s constantly over tens of thousands of USD/AUD for years. Additionally, satoshis are somewhat simpler to deal with since their name represents a unit in itself, rather than just attaching a prefix to Bitcoin.

First-time Bitcoin buyers can buy a small amount of Bitcoin for starters to check whether their crypto wallet is working or not. Not that there’s usually something wrong with crypto wallets — or, in our case, Bitcoin wallets — however, just to be safe, it’s better to make a small initial purchase rather than buy thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin and potentially have issues getting your crypto because of unforeseen problems with your Bitcoin wallet.

Where Can You Buy Bitcoin?

There are several different ways in which you can buy Bitcoin in any quantity – via Bitcoin exchanges (perhaps the most commonly used method), peer-to-peer exchanges, and Bitcoin ATMs.

Red head woman with surprised expression holding fan of cash and bitcoin on pink background

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Crypto exchanges are online platforms run by businesses that allow their users to trade digital currencies against other digital assets or fiat money. To date, crypto exchanges are the most well-known and secure way to engage in exchanging crypto. 

Due to its position as the most famous among all other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is available for purchase on most of these exchanges — and they’ll all let you buy half a Bitcoin, too, or any other quantity of satoshis, for that matter. Of course, most crypto exchange platforms also make it possible for their users to trade in altcoins such as Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and countless others.

The Internet abounds in crypto exchanges but some of the most well-known platforms among them include competitors like Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken to name a few. Novices should always go for one of these well-established exchanges that have larger volumes of traffic per day and stronger safety measures because more developers work on them, monitor the platforms, and ensure that asset transfers aren’t tampered with.

Such reliable exchange platforms usually belong to well-known and highly organized businesses, which know how to tighten their security measures when there’s a risk of potential breaches. Because of the fame and reputation that they have to keep — as well as the funds that they take care of — these businesses are able to handle all potentially harmful situations as swiftly as possible, which is why they’re the best fit for up and coming Bitcoin traders who want to feel safe while they’re still learning the trade. In most cases, these crypto exchanges are centralized, meaning that the businesses that own them have full control over their maintenance.

Peer-to-Peer Crypto Exchanges

Apart from the more traditional cryptocurrency exchange platforms such as the ones mentioned above, which undoubtedly have the lead in popularity among users, there are also exchanges that function on a different principle. These are the so-called peer-to-peer, or P2P, exchanges.  

As the name suggests, P2P platforms connect different parties to potential transactions, i.e. both users that sell Bitcoin and those who wish to buy it, and let them exchange the coins freely among themselves according to their own rates, without mediation from these platforms. P2P exchanges are often very light in their requirements, and most of them won’t ask you to provide too much in terms of ID or user information, which makes them a great choice if you’re concerned about privacy and security when purchasing bitcoins online.

Two businessmen shaking hands

Among other options, a P2P platform user can set their own Bitcoin buying price, and whenever a Bitcoin seller agrees to offer the exact same price, they communicate directly and arrange the transaction.

In fact, doing P2P Bitcoin trading doesn’t even necessitate platforms, so if you’re feeling confident enough, you can arrange to meet in person with the potential seller. There are a lot of internet communities and pages connecting Bitcoin traders that are a good place to start from. That said, bear in mind that this way of trading is far less safe, as you may be more susceptible to scams by individuals looking to take your money while pretending to sell Bitcoin. 

Some of the more well-known P2P exchange platforms include Bisq, LocalCoinSwap, Paxful, LocalBitcoins, Whales Heaven, BitQuick, and more.

Bitcoin ATMs

An alternative to using crypto exchanges, Bitcoin ATMs are physical teller machines through which you can also purchase bitcoins or fractions of bitcoins. They aren’t exactly ATMs in the strict sense of the word (even though their name might suggest so), but rather machines that enable users to trade Bitcoin, similarly to Bitcoin exchange platforms.

The main difference between crypto exchanges (including P2P exchanges) and Bitcoin ATMs is that the former are online platforms for exchanging Bitcoins and other digital assets, whereas the latter exist at physical premises such as restaurants, airports, hotels, and other similar locations. What’s more, some crypto exchanges offer their users the ability to trade different kinds of digital assets for Bitcoin, whereas with most Bitcoin ATMs, they can only deposit fiat currencies to buy Bitcoin.

Bitcoin ATMs are usually limited to countries and areas that are known to generate higher volumes of crypto traffic. If you want to find a Bitcoin ATM near you, you can go to a website like Coin ATM Radar and access its interactive world-map of Bitcoin ATMs. This map also provides you with information on whether the nearest ATM allows you to buy or sell Bitcoin (or both), tells you what payment methods it supports (cash or card), and whether you need to show your ID when withdrawing Bitcoin to an external wallet.

On the downside, if you’re interested in buying half a Bitcoin at once and can’t wait for several days to do so, Bitcoin ATMs may not be the ideal solution for you because they usually impose limits on daily Bitcoin transactions. Another problem with Bitcoin ATMs is that many of them will charge you some pretty high transaction fees for buying Bitcoin.

How to Buy Half a Bitcoin at a Crypto Exchange

As crypto exchanges are by far the most popular way to buy Bitcoin, in this part of the article, we’ll introduce you to the step-by-step process of purchasing half a Bitcoin from these platforms. This process mainly consists of four steps: picking the right crypto exchange, connecting it to a payment option you plan to use to buy Bitcoin, placing the order, and storing the crypto.

3D rendering of laptop with cryptocurrency exchange on screen with buy and sell buttons

Choose a Crypto Exchange

There are various different kinds of crypto exchanges you can choose from when buying Bitcoin. Some of these are referred to as centralized exchanges because trading through them means you’re using the premises and terms of a central authority (that is, the business that maintains the centralized exchange platform), commonly requiring you to provide it with identification. 

Decentralized exchanges, on the other hand, don’t depend on such centralized authorities to function and, as a result, often don’t require that their users provide them with ID information. While decentralized exchanges are generally better for safeguarding user anonymity and privacy, they’re also often less reliable than their more developed centralized counterparts.

Link Your Preferred Payment Method

At this stage, after you’ve created an account with an exchange platform and verified your ID (or not, depending on whether it’s required), you have to connect your payment method to the exchange. Most exchanges allow you to connect credit cards, debit cards, and even your bank account directly to their platforms.

Bear in mind that, because of the volatility of Bitcoin prices, using credit cards may not be the ideal option because of potential price inflation. You may also have issues with certain banks that require you to go through special procedures to purchase crypto.

Place an Order

Once you choose your payment method, it’s time to place your order. When buying half a Bitcoin, the easiest way to do so through most crypto exchanges is to write down half the price of a whole Bitcoin on the payment page of your platform, and then proceed with the purchase. The exchange would have to verify you have sufficient funds on your payment option (card or bank account) in order to credit your account with half a BTC.

Female hand holding black credit card on white background

Store Your Bitcoin

The most secure way of storing the amount of Bitcoin you bought is to keep it in your crypto wallet. When you take Bitcoin out of your exchange account and into your crypto wallet, you assume control over the private keys that give you access to your digital assets, reducing the risk of hacking attacks and other security breaches that may cause you to lose some Bitcoin.

Crypto wallets can be divided into two major groups: hot and cold wallets. 

Hot wallets are also known as online wallets. They’re connected to devices with an internet connection (computers, smartphones, tablets), which makes them more convenient for use but slightly less secure (especially if you don’t heed the necessary precautions).

Cold wallets, on the other hand, are offline wallets. They operate without the need for an internet connection which makes them less likely to breach but also less convenient for their users. Common examples of cold wallets include paper wallets, which let you print your public and private keys on them, and hardware wallets that are similar to USB storage devices.

A Few Words Before You Go…

The price of Bitcoin is constantly fluctuating, but lately, buying a single Bitcoin has become unaffordable for most enthusiastic buyers. If you don’t have enough funds to buy a whole Bitcoin, you can definitely purchase half of it, or even much smaller amounts — with a minimum of one satoshi, which equals a 100 millionth part of a Bitcoin.

The best way to do this is to find the right crypto exchange. These exchanges are platforms run by businesses that charge Bitcoin traders transaction fees and are either centralized or decentralized. One alternative to these platforms is peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges, where Bitcoin buyers and sellers meet up to arrange deals independently of the exchange platform. Bitcoin ATMs, physical devices where you can buy Bitcoin in exchange for fiat currency, are yet another option.

We hope that this article has helped you get a better grasp of how you can buy a tiny fraction of a Bitcoin, which payment methods you can use, and how to safely store your BTC in a digital wallet.

About The Author

Gareth Johnson
Gareth Johnson

Gareth is incredibly passionate about sharing his knowledge in the crypto industry. It's important to make informed decisions in crypto and it's Crypto Wisdom's goal to make this information widely accessible.

This page was last updated on August 23, 2022