5 Popular Cryptocurrencies To Buy And Sell In British Pounds

Last Updated October 16th 2020

Looking for cryptocurrencies you can buy and sell in GBP? Read on. In this article, we’ll explore 5 different cryptocurrencies traded in British pounds. 

If you’re preparing to enter the world of cryptocurrency, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want to buy or trade your assets. 

When you trade cryptocurrency, you’re able to speculate on the price using derivatives trading instruments such as a contract for difference (CFD). There are various benefits to this approach — for example, your profits aren’t subject to capital gains tax and you usually don’t have to pay fees to access your currency. 

When you buy cryptocurrency, you pay for each unit of your chosen crypto and then own the asset outright. The act of buying and selling is sometimes also referred to as ‘holding’ or ‘investing’ in cryptocurrency

Although the terms trading and investing are often used interchangeably, it’s important to understand that they can actually refer to different things — each with their own potential risks and rewards. Buying and selling cryptocurrency on an exchange isn’t the same as trading it using CFDs. Both are forms of investing (and many people buy crypto in order to trade it on an exchange), but the processes that are involved aren’t the same. 

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the top 5 most popular cryptocurrencies to buy and sell in British pounds (GBP). Keep reading to find out whether investing in crypto/GBP could be the right strategy for you. 

Top 5 Most Traded Cryptocurrencies in British Pounds (GBP)

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

If you’ve decided to buy cryptocurrency rather than trade it, you might have assumed that Bitcoin was off the table (unless you’re prepared to spend a great deal of money). With a market cap of $209,647,202,728 (£16,198,856,633.49) and a current price of $11,321.92 (£874,813.29), Bitcoin is the most expensive cryptocurrency you can buy. However, the good news is it’s possible to buy just a fraction. This makes it much easier to stick to the mantra ‘never invest more than you can afford to lose’!

First launched in 2009, Bitcoin is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency to buy, sell, and trade. Some crypto experts believe it should be treated as a blueprint — a prototype for the use of blockchain in finance, as opposed to its final (and perfect) form. These people often champion alternatives such as Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum, which are more scalable than Bitcoin and were launched in order to solve some of the problems which plagued the original cryptocurrency. Despite this, Bitcoin is still the most dominant crypto, as well as the most widely recognised in the UK according to a survey run by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

bitcoin/gbp chart

 

If you’re looking for cryptocurrencies to buy and sell in British pounds and believe Bitcoin is the place to start, you’re effectively going to be trading the currency pair BTC/GBP. This means that for every Bitcoin you buy, you’ll be selling the equivalent value of GBP. In this currency pair, Bitcoin is the base currency and GBP is the quote currency. The value of the quote currency will tell you how much you’ll need to purchase to equivalate 1 unit of the base currency. 

Because Bitcoin is famously volatile, you may be wondering ‘should I trade BTC/GBP?’ or even ‘should I buy Bitcoin in 2021?’ Let’s take a look at the BTC/GBP currency pair to see why so many investors have chosen to buy Bitcoin in British pounds. 

Should You Buy Bitcoin With GBP?

We’ve already mentioned that Bitcoin is the most widely bought, sold, and traded cryptocurrency in the world. But what about the British pound? 

GBP is also an important currency on the global market. When it comes to turnover, this fiat currency (a currency that’s regulated by a government and isn’t tied in value to a commodity such as gold or oil) is the fourth most widely traded currency around the world, as well as the third most widely held reserve currency. 

The British pound considered one of the world’s ‘major’ fiat currencies. The other major currencies include: 

  • The US Dollar (USD)
  • The Euro (EUR)
  • The Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • The Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • The Swiss Franc (CHF) 

Because both BTC and GBP have such global importance, this currency pair is one of the most popular crypto/fiat pairings. As a result, it can be a good option for investors, especially if the base currency of your trading account is already GBP. 

Would you Consider Trading BTC/GBP?

bitcoin

2. Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is a blockchain platform that was launched in 2015. It was the world’s first major altcoin (alternative to Bitcoin) and has maintained its stronghold as the second biggest cryptocurrency ever since. At the time of writing, its market cap is $42,268,496,305 (£32,697,735,528.71) and one unit of its native currency, the Ether, has a price of $374.01 (£289.348). 

Ether is considered a utility currency. A utility currency is one that has been developed to fulfill a certain purpose — in Ether’s case, to pay for the Ethereum platform, which requires a staggering amount of energy to function. This is in contrast to Bitcoin, which can be used to pay for a variety of goods and services. In fact, the very first real-word Bitcoin transaction was carried out by a man in Florida, who bought two pizzas in 2010! 

Ethereum has been consistent in its performance over the years and recovered well from the financial set-back which the coronavirus pandemic caused back in March. However, this doesn’t mean that Ether isn’t subject to price swings. Like most of the cryptocurrencies you can buy and sell in British pounds, its price can undergo multiple swings in a day. This makes it a good choice for investors who want long-term stability with short-term volatility. 

Should You Buy Ether With GBP?

ETH/GBP can be a good pair for your investment or trading portfolio, but this will depend on various factors — from your appetite for risk to the base currency of your trading account. 

eth/gbp chart

For investors in the UK, buying Ether in GBP is generally a simple transaction. This is because the pound sterling is already their primary fiat currency, which avoids the need to factor in an initial conversion. While many non-American investors choose to trade using USD, those who trade using GBP are primarily based in the UK. 

So, is Ethereum a good investment? And should you buy Ethereum with British pounds? In 2018, Ethereum’s average daily volatility level was between 5 and 20%. This is much higher than most fiat currencies (that of GBP/USD is just 0.6%, for instance). Because Ether experiences short-term volatility but is widely considered to be following an upward trend, lots of crypto experts have identified it as a potentially strong addition to their portfolios. 

Further Reading:

Is Ethereum a Better Investment than Bitcoin?

Ethereum Dominates Crypto With ERC-20 Tokens

Would you Consider Trading ETH/GBP?

ethereum

3. EOS (EOS) 

The third cryptocurrency on our list of 5 cryptocurrencies traded in pounds is EOS. This is the native currency of the blockchain platform EOS.IO, which works much like Ethereum. It was released three years after Ethereum in 2018, so is considered a ‘next generation’ cryptocurrency. 

Despite the fact it’s only two years old, EOS has won a place in the list of top 15 biggest cryptocurrencies in the world. Coming in at 14th place, it currently has a market cap of $2,446,288,935 (£1,891,387,113.43) and an attractively low price of just $2.61 (£2.01796). It reached an all-time high (ATH) on 29th April 2018, when its price hit $22.71. However, this price is very atypical and for the most part, it’s hovered around $2. 

Should You Buy EOS With GBP?

One of the main attractions of buying EOS with GBP is its price. Unlike Bitcoin, which costs over £8,000 per unit, EOS is a much more accessible way into cryptocurrency investing. It’s possible to invest without having to spend huge sums of money, which makes it a tempting prospect for many investors in the UK who are looking to buy and sell cryptocurrency in British pounds. 

eos/gbp chart

The EOS.IO blockchain platform is also well-placed to cash in on the rise of the decentralised finance sector (DeFi). This is the term that’s used to describe the growing number of services that offer decentralised financial products — for example, insurance, property investments, and loans. Traditionally, these services have only been offered by central bodies such as large banks or lending companies. By offering them via blockchain technology instead, many people hope to make the sector fairer, taking power away from government bodies and putting it in the hands of everyday investors. 

Because EOS.IO was designed to power smart contracts and decentralised applications (dApps), many crypto experts believe that the price of EOS will rise as demand for its services grows. 

Would you Consider Trading EOS/GBP?

eos

 

4. Ripple (XRP)

If you’re considering buying Ripple with GBP, it’s important to understand that ‘Ripple’ is used as a catch-all term to describe both its platform and native currency. Much like Ethereum and EOS, Ripple is made up of a blockchain platform, which is called RippleNet, and the currency which powers it, which is called Ripple XRP.  

Ever since its launch in 2012, Ripple XRP has consistently been one of the top 5 cryptocurrencies to invest in. It’s currently in the fourth spot, with a market cap of $11,132,994,598 (£8,627,479,019.08) and a price of $0.246108 (£0.190721). This price is incredibly low, which has made it an attractive investment to many traders looking for cryptocurrencies to buy and sell in British pounds. 

And its price isn’t the only thing which has tempted warier investors. Whereas one of the main benefits of cryptocurrency is considered to be its decentralisation, Ripple is actually strongly aligned to the conventional financial sector. This is because it was designed to make it much easier for banks and other big businesses to send cross-border payments, using Ripple XRP as a universal currency to bypass exchange rates and regulations. 

xrp/gbp chart

Ripple’s partnerships with high-profile businesses such as J.P Morgan and Santander have given many investors confidence that this crypto is more likely to weather regulatory changes, as many governments are starting to crack down on the use of cryptocurrencies around the world. 

Should You Buy Ripple With GBP? 

While trading using derivative instruments such as CFDs can be a good way to take short-term positions, buying cryptos with GBP usually enables investors to take longer-term positions. For Ripple XRP — which many experts believe has strong prospects — this makes XRP/GBP a potentially strong option for your portfolio. 

Further Reading:

What is Ripple and Is It Worth Investing in Ripple

Pros and Cons of Investing in Ripple

Ethereum VS. Ripple: Which One Should Be In Your Portfolio?

Would you Consider Trading XRP/GBP?

ripple

5. Ethereum Classic (ETC)

Ethereum Classic originated from a hard fork of the original Ethereum blockchain in 2016, one year after the launch of Ethereum. It’s easy to get the two confused, but they are not the same and they differ hugely when it comes to value. 

At the time of writing, Ethereum Classic has a market cap of $619,978,681 (£479,760,756.97) and a price of $5.33 (£4.12454). Like Ethereum, Ethereum Classic uses smart contracts and aims to decentralise finance and enable people to manage their assets without having to go through banks or governmental bodies. 

Despite its similarities to Ethereum, it actually bears a strong resemblance to Bitcoin too. New ETC tokens are generated by mining, with the rewards for mining reduced by 20% after every 5 million blocks. 

etc/gbp chart

Should You Buy Ethereum Classic With GBP?

If you’re considering investing in Ethereum Classic, buying it with British pounds could be a wiser strategy than trading it using a CFD. 

Earlier this year, James Wo — a board member of the Ethereum Classic Co-operative — announced that he would be stepping down from his role as a result of ‘chaos, incompetence, and gross mismanagement’. The claim has understandably shaken investor confidence in the cryptocurrency, leaving some analysts to predict that the price of ETC will fall throughout the rest of 2020. 

As buying cryptocurrency generally enables investors to take a longer-term position, this strategy could work for investors who want to take advantage of Ethereum’s low price in the hope that confidence will return in 2021. 

Would you Consider Trading ETC/GBP?

How Can You Trade Cryptocurrencies With British Pounds?

In order to buy or sell cryptocurrencies with British pounds, you’ll need to find an exchange that accepts fiat currency deposits. These are less common than exchanges that use crypto-based transaction methods, but one option for traders in the UK is eToro

eToro – Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform in the UK

Known as the best trading platform in the UK, eToro offers all of the fiat-to-crypto pairs which we have mentioned on this list. If you’re not an experienced investor, there’s a variety of advanced risk management tools available — and even a popular CopyTrader feature which enables you to watch the investment decisions of expert traders in real-time and automatically copy them for yourself. 

Key Points

  • Buying cryptocurrency isn’t necessarily the same as trading 
  • When buying in British pounds, GBP is the quote currency and your chosen digital asset is the base currency 
  • If you’re buying expensive currencies such as Bitcoin, you can choose to buy just a fraction 
  • GBP is a fiat currency, which is controlled by governments and not tied to a commodity such as gold or oil 
  • GBP is the fourth most widely traded fiat currency in the world and the third most widely held reserve currency
  • Buying in GBP is easier for UK-based investors, as they don’t have to carry out an initial conversion 
  • Cryptocurrencies are far more volatile than fiat currencies, averaging 5% and 0.6% respectively 
  • Decentralised finance is driving the popularity of EOS.IO
  • Ripple is unusual in that it’s closely linked to centralised financial bodies 
  • Buying cryptocurrencies that are traded in pounds can enable investors to take longer-term positions than they can while using CFDs 

We hope this article was helpful if you’re looking for cryptocurrencies traded in pounds. With prices starting at less than £2, it’s possible to invest in digital assets without spending a fortune. Which one are you considering adding to your portfolio? 

Buying And Selling Cryptocurrencies In British Pounds — FAQs

What factors affect the value of GBP?

The value of GBP is affected by factors such as inflation, politics, and monetary policy. The British pound is controlled by the Bank of England, which aims to keep inflation low and foreign confidence high. However, the Brexit vote in 2016 caused the value of the pound to crash by 20%. 

Do you pay tax on cryptocurrency in the UK?

You do not have to pay tax on any cryptocurrency you buy in the UK. However, you may have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) if the total value of your investments exceeds £12,000. 

Is Bitcoin banned in the UK?

From 6th January 2021, the FCA will ban the sale of cryptocurrency derivatives to amateur investors (otherwise known as retail investors). However, experts don’t believe this move will hugely impact the industry. According to eToro, for example, less than 10% of its retail investor spend is currently focused on derivatives. 

How do you buy less than 1 BTC?

If the price of Bitcoin is putting you up buying in GBP, you could consider buying less than 1 Bitcoin. Each Bitcoin token is divisible to the 8th decimal place — in other words, it can be divided into 100,000,000 pieces! These ‘pieces’ are known as a satoshi, after the pseudonym used by the crypto’s anonymous founder. At most exchanges, you can buy as little as £1 worth of Bitcoin. 

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