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KNOWLEDGEBASE

How to buy bitcoin

How to buy Bitcoin

Buying Bitcoin is as simple as opening a trading account and buying an asset. You:

  • Fill out some forms to create the account
  • Fund the account with cash*
  • Trade that cash to buy bitcoin

*In some cases you can skip this step, meaning you buy Bitcoin directly using the payment method of your choice.

Payment options

Your payment options may include bank transfers, credit/debit, e-currency, and wire transfers. Determining the best payment option depends on:

  • How quickly you need access to your bitcoin
  • The amount of bitcoin you’re buying
  • Your country of residence

This guide is organized by country of residence.

SELECT YOUR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE

  • USA
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Europe
  • Rest of the world
cart

Select Payment method

  • Linking your bank account
    • Pros & Cons
    • Linking your bank account
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer
  • Linking your credit/debit card
    • Pros & Cons
    • Linking your credit/debit card
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer
  • Wire transfers
    • Pros & Cons
    • Initiating a wire transfer
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Lower fees when making large purchases
  • Maximum daily purchase amount (limit) is high
Cons
  • Relatively higher fees for small purchases
  • Verification takes longer and requires more personal information (typically 4-5 business days)

Bottom Line

Linking your bank account is best for larger purchases (more than $200) and regular buyers.

It takes longer to setup, but you’ll have more flexibility and you’ll be saving money on fees in the long-term.

Our recommended platform: Coinbase

Creating a Coinbase account

  • Go to www.coinbase.com or download the app
  • Follow the instructions to sign up, starting with “Get started”

 

You’ll need:

  • An active email account to receive the verification email
  • A phone number to receive the authentication code by SMS

Verify your identity

You’ll need at least one of the following forms of ID:

  • Driver license
  • State-issued ID
  • Passport
  • Last four digits of your social security number

 

NOTE: the information on your ID must match the information you register for both the Coinbase account and the bank account you’re transferring from.

Linking your bank account

  • Navigate to Payment Methods
  • Select Link a New Account (Add a Payment Method in the app version), then Bank Account.
  • Type in the name of your bank
  • Enter your login credentials for that bank

 

 

Having completed the above, your bank account is now linked and ready to use. However, it may take several days before your Coinbase account is verified. In other words, you’ll likely have to wait a few days before you can start buying bitcoin.

 

Note: For smaller banks you may need to link your account manually. Select the Link your bank manually option and follow the instructions. The process will involve a deposit verification procedure that takes 2-3 business days.

Buying bitcoin

Once your bank account is linked and your Coinbase account verified, you now have two options for buying bitcoin.

You can:

  • Deposit money from your bank account into your Coinbase USD wallet. Using this method, your Coinbase account will be credited with USD. You can then use those dollars to buy Bitcoin.
  • Purchase bitcoin directly using your linked bank account. With this method, money in your linked bank account is automatically withdrawn the moment you make bitcoin purchases.

 

NOTE: In both cases, it’s likely that your bank will charge you a small withdrawal fee. To buy bitcoin, simply look for the Bitcoin logo, select trade, and choose your payment method.

Next, find the Investing tab and select Bitcoin:

Select Buy and input the USD amount you need:

Select Confirm to complete the purchase:

 

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Coinbase account to another Bitcoin wallet.

To do so, find the Bitcoin logo and select the Send button. Copy the Bitcoin wallet address of the person or business you’re sending to and paste it in the recipient field.

A typical Bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf

NOTE: Coinbase has the option of inputting an email address in the recipient field. This can only be used to send bitcoin to people who also have a Coinbase account.

 

You’ll notice there’s a Network Fee when sending bitcoin. This fee is determined by Coinbase which, like a bank, is playing an intermediary role. As a Coinbase user, you’ll be paying a premium for the service provided by Coinbase.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from Coinbase to your own custodial bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet.

 

NOTE: For new accounts, Coinbase implements a waiting period between the time you purchase bitcoin and when you’re allowed to send it out of your Coinbase account. This is done for security reasons.

You can sell bitcoin back into USD. To do so, simply navigate to the sell tab and input either the USD amount or the specific fraction of BTC you’d like to sell. By default, the value of sold bitcoin will be deposited in your Coinbase USD account:

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin directly in your Coinbase account. You just need to determine your bitcoin address for your Coinbase account. To do so, find the Bitcoin logo, look for the Receive or Request button, and copy the displayed address.

NOTE: Any bitcoin address Coinbase generates for you will always be usable and you can generate as many addresses as you like. In fact, for privacy reasons, Coinbase will generate a unique bitcoin address every time you request to receive bitcoin.

 

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

You can withdraw the cash in your USD back to your linked bank account. Just look for the Withdraw button in your portfolio.

NOTE: As with bitcoin withdrawals, Coinbase implements a waiting period for cash withdrawals from new accounts.

US residents also have the option of withdrawing cash by wire transfer and PayPal.

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Smaller fees for small purchase amounts
  • Faster (start to finish in minutes)
Cons
  • Relatively higher fees for large purchase
  • Maximum daily purchase amount (limit) is lower

Bottom Line:

Best for small (less than $200), quick & easy purchases

When you don’t expect to be regularly buying bitcoin, or the amount you’re buying is small and you need it immediately, this is the best option.

Our recommended platform: Cash App

Creating a Cash App account

  • Use cash.app for the web version or download the app.

To sign up and purchase bitcoin, you’ll need:

  • A valid email address or a phone that can receive SMS.
  • Your Social Security Number.

Linking your credit/debit card

  • Select your bank and input your credit/debit card number.

 

Cash App supports debit and credit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

NOTE: You’ll be prompted to create a Cashtag. This is your unique ID that you can use to receive USD funds from other Cash App users.

Buying bitcoin

Before you can buy bitcoin with Cash App, you’ll need to verify your identity. Select the Home icon, then tap Bitcoin:

You’ll be prompted to input your Social Security Number. Before you can purchase bitcoin, you’ll need to wait for the verification process to compete. This usually takes just a few minutes, but it can take as long as a day. You’ll receive a notification when the process is complete.

Next, find the Investing tab and select Bitcoin:

Select Buy and input the USD amount you need:

Select Confirm to complete the purchase:

 

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Cash App account to any external Bitcoin wallet.

In the Investing () tab, find Bitcoin, select the Withdraw button, and input the bitcoin fraction you’d like to send. Cash App will prompt you to enter a Bitcoin wallet address. You can either scan a QR code or manually paste the address you’re sending to into the field. A typical bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf

Confirm with your PIN or Touch ID.

For now, Cash App generously subsidizes fees for sending bitcoin. However, that situation is unlikely to last. Further, when sending bitcoin from Cash App, it can take as long as an hour for the transaction to confirm.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from your Cash App account to your own custodial bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin and the speed you’d like the transaction to confirm. Here’s our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet.

Selling bitcoin

You can use Cash App to sell bitcoin back into USD.

In the Investing () tab:

  • Select Bitcoin
  • Tap the Sell button
  • Enter the amount
  • Enter your PIN or Touch ID and select Confirm

Your bitcoin will be instantly converted to USD.

 

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin from any external bitcoin wallet directly into your Cash App account.

In the Investing () tab:

  • Select Bitcoin
  • Tap Deposit Bitcoin
  • Cash App will display your bitcoin address. You can scan, copy, or share the address with an external wallet.
  • Enter your PIN or Touch ID and select Confirm

NOTE: It can take up to several hours before the bitcoin is displayed in your Cash App account. Cash App currently limits the amount of bitcoin you can receive to $10,000 in a one-week period.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

You can withdraw cash from Cash App to your linked account.

In the Balance ($) tab:

  • Press Cash Out
  • Choose an amount and press Cash Out
  • Select a deposit speed and confirm with your PIN or Touch ID

NOTE: It will take 1-3 days for the cash to reach your linked bank account. You can speed up the process, for an additional fee, by selecting Instant.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Lowest fees for purchases over $5000
  • Maximum daily purchase amount (limit) is very high
  • Maximum daily purchase amount (limit) is very high
  • Slightly faster than linking a bank account for first time purchases
Cons
  • Large minimum deposit
  • Slower than credit/debit card purchases

Bottom Line:

Initiating a wire transfer is best for large purchases (at least $5000).

You can make a large bitcoin purchase within a few days of having your account confirmed, and do so with relatively low fees.

Our recommended platform: Coinbase

Creating a Coinbase account

  • Go to www.coinbase.com or download the app
  • Follow the instructions to sign up, starting with “Get started”

 

You’ll need:

  • An active email account to receive the verification email
  • A phone number to receive the authentication code by SMS
  • Verify your identity.

Verify your identity.

You’ll need:

At least one of the following forms of ID:

  • Driver license
  • State-issued ID
  • Passport
  • Last four digits of your social security number

NOTE: the information on your ID must match the information you register for both the Coinbase account and the bank account you’re transferring from.

Initiating a wire transfer

  • Navigate to the Accounts tab
  • Select your USD Wallet thenDeposit >> Wire Transfer. Coinbase will display information for the bank you should transfer to.
  • Transfer at least $5000 from your bank account to Coinbase’s bank account.

After the deposit is cleared, the funds will be available in your Coinbase USD Wallet, which is covered by FDIC insurance.

NOTE: Only “FedWire” wire transfers are supported.

Buying bitcoin

Once your Coinbase account is verified and your wire transfer has been cleared, you are ready to buy bitcoin.

Look for the Bitcoin logo, select trade, and choose USD Wallet as your payment method.

You can buy either a dollar amount of bitcoin, or a specific fraction of bitcoin

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Coinbase account to any external Bitcoin wallet.

Find the Bitcoin logo and select the Send button. Copy the Bitcoin wallet address of the person or business you’re sending to and paste it in the recipient field.

 

A typical bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf

NOTE: Coinbase has the option of inputting an email address in the recipient field. This can only be used to send bitcoin to people who also have a Coinbase account.

 

You’ll notice there’s a Network Fee when sending bitcoin. This fee is determined by Coinbase which, like a bank, is playing an intermediary role. As a user, you’ll be paying a premium for the service provided by Coinbase.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from Coinbase to your own custodial bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to manage a bitcoin wallet.

 

NOTE: For new accounts, Coinbase implements a waiting period between the time you purchase bitcoin and when you’re allowed to send it out of your Coinbase account. This is done for security reasons.

Selling bitcoin

You can sell bitcoin back into USD. To do so, navigate to the sell tab and input either the USD amount or the specific fraction of BTC you’d like to sell. By default, the value of sold bitcoin will be deposited in your Coinbase USD account:

 

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin directly in your Coinbase account. You just need to determine your bitcoin address for your Coinbase account. To do so, find the Bitcoin logo, look for the Receive or Request button, and copy the displayed address.

 

NOTE:

Any bitcoin address Coinbase generates for you will always be usable and you can generate as many addresses as you like. In fact, for privacy reasons, Coinbase will generate a unique bitcoin address every time you request to receive bitcoin.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

You can withdraw funds from your USD Wallet via bank wire, but only for amounts of at least $25,000.

Before initiating a wire transfer withdrawal, you’ll need to verify your wire withdrawal information by linking your bank account. Go to Payment Methods, select Link a New Account, and enter the wire details provided by your bank.

Once your wire information has been added, you can withdraw via bank wire by selecting your USD Wallet, then Withdraw. Choose Bank Wire as the withdrawal method. It takes 2-3 business days for the deposit from Coinbase to appear in your bank account.

 

US residents also have the option of withdrawing cash by ACH transfer and PayPal, but to do so, you’ll need to link your bank account or PayPal account.

cart

Select Payment method

  • Interac e-Transfer
    • Pros & Cons
    • Funding your account
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer
  • Bank wire
    • Pros & Cons
    • Funding your account
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer
  • Flexepin voucher
    • Pros & Cons
    • Buying bitcoin
  • Credit card
    • Pros & Cons
    • Buying bitcoin

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Low fees for small and medium purchases
  • Convenient
Cons
  • Higher fees than bank wire if the purchase amount is greater than $10,000
  • Withholding period of 3 days before you can send Bitcoin purchased using Interac e-Transfer

Bottom Line:

Using Interac E-transfer is the easiest and most convenient way to buy bitcoin in Canada unless you’re buying at least $10,000 worth of bitcoin or you’re already using Flexepin.

Our recommended platform: Coinsquare

Creating and verifying a Coinsquare account

  • Go to coinsquare.com or download the app:
  • Sign up for an account, starting with Get Started.

Follow the instructions to verify your account. You’ll need:

  • A valid email account
  • A mobile number than can receive SMS for verification
  • A utility bill or bank statement
  • Government-issued ID

NOTE: It typically takes about 24 hours to complete the verification process and you won’t be able to fund your Coinsquare account with cash until verification is complete.

Funding your account

Before you can buy bitcoin, you’ll need to fund your Coinsquare account by sending cash to it.

  • Navigate to Transfer or Fund, select CAD as your currency, and choose Interac e-Transfer as your funding method.
  • Log into your online banking portal and begin the e-Transfer process using the information provided by Coinsquare.

NOTE: Interac e-Transfers may take 1-3 business days to process. Further, bitcoin purchased is subject to a 3-day withholding period, meaning you’ll have to wait 3 days before you can send the bitcoin outside of Coinsquare.

Buying bitcoin

Once your Coinsquare account is verified and funded, you’re ready to buy Bitcoin.

Navigate to the Quick Trade area, select BTC from the list, then enter the amount of bitcoin you’d like to buy and confirm the purchase.

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Coinsquare account to any external Bitcoin wallet.

Navigate to the Transfer or Withdraw section and select bitcoin as the currency you’d like to withdraw. In the Send To field, paste the Bitcoin wallet address of the recipient.

 

NOTE:

The fee for withdrawing bitcoin is determined by Coinsquare which, like a bank, is playing an intermediary role. As a Coinsquare user, you’ll be paying a premium for the services it provides.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from Coinsquare to your own custodial Bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet.

Selling bitcoin

You can sell bitcoin into CAD by navigating to the Quick Trade area, selecting BTC from the list, then entering the amount of bitcoin you’d like to sell.

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin to your Coinsquare account from any external Bitcoin wallet. You just need to determine your Bitcoin address for your Coinsquare account.

Navigate to the Fund or Transfer section, select BTC, then choose Get Address. Copy the address provided to you and use it as the destination address when you’re sending bitcoin to your Coinsquare account from another cryptocurrency exchange or Bitcoin wallet.

 

Note:

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by creating your own custodial Bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

You can withdraw cash from Coinsquare using direct bank deposit. Navigate to the Withdraw or Transfer area, then select Direct Bank Deposit. Follow the instructions to request your withdrawal.

NOTE: If you haven’t already, you’ll need to add a bank account by filling in your bank details.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Lowest overall fees for purchases greater than $10,000
Cons
  • Takes the longest to setup
  • May require an in-person visit to your local bank.

Bottom Line:

If you plan to buy more than $10,00 worth of bitcoin, it’s worth it to take the extra time and effort to conduct a wire transfer.

 

Our recommended platform: Coinsquare

Creating and verifying a Coinsquare account

  • Go to coinsquare.com or download the app
  • Sign up for an account, starting with Get Started.

Follow the instructions to verify your account. You’ll need:

  • A valid email account
  • A mobile number than can receive SMS for verification
  • A utility bill or bank statement
  • Government-issued ID

NOTE: It typically takes about 24 hours to complete the verification process and you won’t be able to fund your Coinsquare account with cash until verification is complete.

Funding your account

Before you can buy bitcoin, you’ll need to fund your Coinsquare account by sending cash to it.

  • Navigate to Transfer or Fund, select CAD as your currency, and choose Wire Transfer as your funding method.
  • Follow the instructions to send your wire transfer

NOTE: Domestic wire transfers in Canada usually during the same business day.

Buying bitcoin

Once your Coinsquare account is verified and funded, you’re ready to buy Bitcoin.

Navigate to the Quick Trade area, select BTC from the list, then enter the amount of bitcoin you’d like to buy and confirm the purchase.

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Coinsquare account to any external Bitcoin wallet.

Navigate to the Transfer or Withdraw section and select bitcoin as the currency you’d like to withdraw. In the Send To field, paste the Bitcoin wallet address of the recipient.

 

NOTE:

The fee for withdrawing bitcoin is determined by Coinsquare which, like a bank, is playing an intermediary role. As a Coinsquare user, you’ll be paying a premium for the services it provides.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from Coinsquare to your own custodial Bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet.

Selling bitcoin

You can sell bitcoin into CAD by navigating to the Quick Trade area, selecting BTC from the list, then entering the amount of bitcoin you’d like to sell.

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin to your Coinsquare account from any external Bitcoin wallet. You just need to determine your Bitcoin address for your Coinsquare account.

Navigate to the Fund or Transfer section, select BTC, then choose Get Address. Copy the address provided to you and use it as the destination address when you’re sending bitcoin to your Coinsquare account from another cryptocurrency exchange or Bitcoin wallet.

 

Note:

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by creating your own custodial Bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

You can withdraw cash from Coinsquare using direct bank deposit. Navigate to the Withdraw or Transfer area, then select Direct Bank Deposit. Follow the instructions to request your withdrawal.

NOTE: If you haven’t already, you’ll need to add a bank account by filling in your bank details.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Fastest way to buy bitcoin if you already have a Flexepin voucher
Cons
  • Requires the extra step of purchasing a Flexepin voucher

Bottom Line:

If you already use Flexepin, this is a fast, convenient, relatively low-fee way to buy small to buy small amounts of bitcoin.

 

Our recommended platform: MyBTC.ca

Creating and verifying a MyBTC.ca account

Go to MyBTC.ca and follow the instructions to sign up for an account. You’ll need:

  • A valid email account
  • A mobile number than can receive SMS for verification
  • A utility bill or bank statement
  • Government-issued ID

 

NOTE: It typically takes about an hour to complete the verification process and you won’t be able to make purchases until verification is complete.

Buying bitcoin

From the Buy Bitcoin tab, choose Flexepin Vouchers as your payment method.

If you don’t already have a Flexepin voucher, you can buy one with a debit card at TopMeUp.ca.

Start your order by clicking the Flexepin Voucher Buy Now button.

Complete the required fields to create the order. You’ll need:

  • The public address of your Bitcoin wallet
  • Your 16-degit Flexepin voucher

 

NOTE: MyBTC.ca doesn’t take custody of your bitcoin. Instead, bitcoin you purchase through MyBTC.ca is sent directly to your self-sovereign Bitcoin wallet. For instructions on sending and receiving bitcoin using your Bitcoin wallet, please read our guide for how to create and manage a Bitcoin wallet

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Fast and convenient
Cons
  • Highest fees
  • Most Canadian credit card providers don’t allow Bitcoin purchases

Bottom Line:

If you’re buying a small amount of bitcoin, want access to it quickly, don’t care about high fees, AND your credit card provider allows Bitcoin purchases, paying with credit card can be a fast and convenient method.

Our recommended platform: MyBTC.ca

Creating and verifying a MyBTC.ca account

Go to MyBTC.ca and follow the instructions to sign up for an account. You’ll need:

  • A valid email account
  • A mobile number than can receive SMS for verification
  • A utility bill or bank statement
  • Government-issued ID

NOTE: It typically takes about an hour to complete the verification process and you won’t be able to make purchases until verification is complete.

Buying bitcoin

From the Buy Bitcoin tab, choose Credit Card as your payment method.

Payments are processed through a third-party company called Simplex.

NOTE: MyBTC.ca doesn’t take custody of your bitcoin. Instead, bitcoin you purchase through MyBTC.ca is sent directly to your self-sovereign Bitcoin wallet. For instructions on sending and receiving bitcoin using your Bitcoin wallet, please read our guide for how to create and manage a Bitcoin wallet

cart

Select Payment method

  • Linking your bank account or initiating a bank transfer
    • Pros & Cons
    • Linking your bank account
    • Funding your Coinbase GBP or EUR Wallet with a bank transfer
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer
  • Buying with your 3D Secure credit/debit card
    • Pros & Cons
    • Linking your 3D Secure credit/debit card
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Lower fees when making large purchases
  • Maximum daily purchase amount (limit) is high
Cons
  • Relatively higher fees for small purchases
  • Verification takes longer and requires more personal information (typically 1-3 business days)

Bottom Line:

Linking your bank account is best for larger purchases (more than £200) and regular buyers.

It takes longer to setup, but you’ll have more flexibility and you’ll be saving money on fees in the long-term.

Our recommended platform: Coinbase

Creating a Coinbase account

  • Go to coinbase.com or download the app:
  • Follow the instructions to sign up, starting with “Get started”You’ll need:
    • An active email account to receive the verification email
    • A phone number to receive the authentication code by SMS

Verify your identity.

You’ll need:

At least one of the following forms of ID:

  • Driver license
  • Government-issued ID
  • Passport

NOTE: the information on your ID must match the information you register for both your Coinbase account and your bank account.

Linking your bank account

You can link either a Euro bank account that accepts SEPA payments, or a UK Bank Account that uses the Faster Payments Service (FPS).

Navigate to Settings > Payment Methods > Add Account and follow the instructions to link your account.

Having completed the above, your bank account is now linked and ready to use as a direct payment method for buying bitcoin. However, it may take several days before your Coinbase account is verified. In other words, you’ll likely have to wait a few days before you can start buying bitcoin.

Funding your Coinbase GBP or EUR Wallet with a bank transfer

After verifying your Coinbase account and linking your bank account, you can either buy Bitcoin directly using your linked bank account (see Buying bitcoin below) or fund your Coinbase GBP / Coinbase EUR wallet using your Euro bank account or GBP bank account. In this case of the latter you should:

  • Select Portfolio on the menu at the top of the page
  • Select the Deposit button in the GBP WalletorEUR Wallet
  • Use the information displayed to initiate a UK bank transfer in GBP from your UK bank account or a SEPA bank transfer in EUR from your Euro bank account. Include the Reference Code listed (with no spaces or additional text) to ensure that the deposit is correctly associated to your Coinbase account.

Buying bitcoin

Simply look for the Bitcoin logo, select Buy, and choose your payment method.

You can buy either a GBP/EUR amount of bitcoin, or a specific fraction of bitcoin:

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Coinbase account to any external Bitcoin wallet.

Find the Bitcoin logo and select the Send button. Copy the Bitcoin wallet address of the person or business you’re sending to and paste it in the recipient field.

A typical Bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf

NOTE: Coinbase has the option of inputting an email address in the recipient field. This can only be used to send bitcoin to people who also have a Coinbase account.

 

You’ll notice there’s a Network Fee when sending bitcoin. This fee is determined by Coinbase which, like a bank, is playing an intermediary role. As a user, you’ll be paying a premium for the service provided by Coinbase.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from Coinbase to your own custodial bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to manage a bitcoin wallet.

 

NOTE: For new accounts, Coinbase implements a waiting period between the time you purchase bitcoin and when you’re allowed to send it out of your Coinbase account. This is done for security reasons.

Selling bitcoin

To sell bitcoin, simply navigate to the sell tab and input either the GBP/EUR amount or the specific fraction of BTC you’d like to sell. By default, the value of sold bitcoin will be deposited in your Coinbase GBP Wallet:

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin directly in your Coinbase account. You just need to determine your bitcoin address for your Coinbase account. To do so, find the Bitcoin logo, look for the Receive or Request button, and copy the displayed address.

NOTE: Any bitcoin address Coinbase generates for you will always be usable and you can generate as many addresses as you like. In fact, for privacy reasons, Coinbase will generate a unique bitcoin address every time you request to receive bitcoin.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

Once you’ve sold your bitcoin into GBP or EUR, you can withdraw the cash back to your linked bank account. Just look for the Withdraw button in your portfolio.

NOTE: As with bitcoin withdrawals, Coinbase implements a waiting period for cash withdrawals from new accounts.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Smaller fees for small purchase amounts
  • Faster (start to finish in minutes)
Cons
  • Relatively higher fees for large purchase
  • Maximum daily purchase amount (limit) is lower

Bottom Line:

Best for small (less than £200), quick & easy purchases

When you don’t expect to be regularly buying bitcoin, or the amount you’re buying is small and you need it immediately, this is the best option.

 

Our recommended platform: Coinbase

 Creating a Coinbase account

  • Go to coinbase.com or download the app:
  • Follow the instructions to sign up, starting with “Get started You’ll need:
    • An active email account to receive the verification email
    • A phone number to receive the authentication code by SMS

Verify your identity.

You’ll need:

At least one of the following forms of ID:

  • Driver license
  • Government-issued ID
  • Passport

NOTE: the information on your ID must match the information you register for both your Coinbase account and your bank account.

Linking your 3D Secure credit/debit card

Navigate to Settings > Payment Methods > Link a New Account, then chooseCredit/Debit Card.

Enter your card information including the billing address details for your credit/debit card and select Add Card.

If your card doesn’t support 3D secure, you’ll get an error message when you try to link it.

Buying bitcoin

Go to the Buy/Sell Digital Currencypage, look for the Bitcoin logo, and select Buy. Having linked your 3D Secure credit/debit card (see instructions above), it should now be listed in the Payment Methods drop-down menu. You can buy either a GBP amount of bitcoin, or a specific fraction of bitcoin:

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Coinbase account to any external Bitcoin wallet.

Find the Bitcoin logo and select the Send button. Copy the Bitcoin wallet address of the person or business you’re sending to and paste it in the recipient field.

 

A typical Bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf

NOTE: Coinbase has the option of inputting an email address in the recipient field. This can only be used to send bitcoin to people who also have a Coinbase account.

 

You’ll notice there’s a Network Fee when sending bitcoin. This fee is determined by Coinbase which, like a bank, is playing an intermediary role. As a user, you’ll be paying a premium for the service provided by Coinbase.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from Coinbase to your own custodial bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to manage a bitcoin wallet.

 

NOTE: For new accounts, Coinbase implements a waiting period between the time you purchase bitcoin and when you’re allowed to send it out of your Coinbase account. This is done for security reasons.

Selling bitcoin

To sell bitcoin, simply navigate to the sell tab and input either the GBP amount or the specific fraction of BTC you’d like to sell. By default, the value of sold bitcoin will be deposited in your Coinbase GBP Wallet, but having linked your 3D secure credit/debit card, you should also have the option to withdraw directly to that card:

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin directly in your Coinbase account. You just need to determine your bitcoin address for your Coinbase account. To do so, find the Bitcoin logo, look for the Receive or Request button, and copy the displayed address.

Note:

Any bitcoin address Coinbase generates for you will always be usable and you can generate as many addresses as you like. In fact, for privacy reasons, Coinbase will generate a unique bitcoin address every time you request to receive bitcoin.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

Once you’ve sold your bitcoin into GBP, you can withdraw the cash back to your linked 3D Secure credit/debit card. Just look for the Withdraw button in your portfolio.

NOTE: As with bitcoin withdrawals, Coinbase implements a waiting period for cash withdrawals from new accounts.

 

UK residents also have the option of withdrawing to a PayPal account.

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Select Payment method

  • Depositing from your bank account Coinbase
    • Pros & Cons
    • Linking your bank account
    • Depositing from your bank account
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer
  • Depositing from your bank account Bitpanda
    • Pros & Cons
    • Depositing money to Bitpanda
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer
  • Buying with your 3D Secure debit card
    • Pros & Cons
    • Linking your 3D Secure debit card
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer
  • Buying with your 3D Secure credit card or using e-currency
    • Pros & Cons
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Lower fees when making large purchases
  • Maximum daily purchase amount (limit) is high
Cons
  • Relatively higher fees for small purchases
  • Verification takes longer and requires more personal information (typically 1-3 business days)

Bottom Line:

Making a deposit to a Bitcoin exchange from your bank account is best for larger purchases (more than €200) and regular buyers.

It takes longer to setup, but you’ll have more flexibility and you’ll be saving money on fees in the long-term.

Our recommended platform: Coinbase

Creating a Coinbase account

  • Go to coinbase.com and choose your country of residence or download:
  • Follow the instructions to sign up, starting with “Get started” You’ll need:
    • An active email account to receive the verification email
    • A phone number to receive the authentication code by SMS

Verify your identity.

You’ll need:

At least one of the following forms of ID:

  • Government-issued ID
  • Passport

NOTE: the information on your ID must match the information you register for both your Coinbase account and your bank account.

Linking your bank account

Navigate to Settings > Payment Methods > Add Account and follow the instructions to link your account. Depending on your country of residence, Coinbase supports deposits via SEPA and Ideal/Sofort. You’ll be asked to complete an initial verification deposit of at least €6, which will be credited to your Coinbase EUR Wallet. Be sure to include the provided reference code exactly as it appears (no spaces or additional text).

Depositing from your bank account

Having linked your bank account, you’re ready to fund your Coinbase account with EUR by transferring from your linked bank account to Coinbase.

In the Portfolio tab, select EUR Wallet then Deposit. Use the information displayed to initiate a transfer in euros from your bank account. Be sure to include the provided reference code exactly as it appears (no spaces or additional text).

In most cases it takes between 1-3 days for bank transfers to clear.

Buying bitcoin

Having funded your Coinbase account with EUR, you’re ready to purchase bitcoin. Navigate to the Buy/Sell area, set EUR Wallet as your payment method, and enter the amount you’d like to purchase. You can purchase either a Euro amount or a specific fraction of bitcoin.

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Coinbase account to any external Bitcoin wallet.

 

Find the Bitcoin logo and select the Send button. Copy the Bitcoin wallet address of the person or business you’re sending to and paste it in the recipient field.

 

A typical Bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf

NOTE: Coinbase has the option of inputting an email address in the recipient field. This can only be used to send bitcoin to people who also have a Coinbase account.

 

You’ll notice there’s a Network Fee when sending bitcoin. This fee is determined by Coinbase which, like a bank, is playing an intermediary role. As a user, you’ll be paying a premium for the service provided by Coinbase.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from Coinbase to your own custodial bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to manage a bitcoin wallet.

 

NOTE: For new accounts, Coinbase implements a waiting period between the time you purchase bitcoin and when you’re allowed to send it out of your Coinbase account. This is done for security reasons.

Selling bitcoin

To sell bitcoin, simply navigate to the Sell tab and input either the EUR amount or the specific fraction of BTC you’d like to sell. By default, the value of sold bitcoin will be deposited in your Coinbase EUR Wallet:

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin directly in your Coinbase account. You just need to determine your bitcoin address for your Coinbase account. To do so, find the Bitcoin logo, look for the Receive or Request button, and copy the displayed address.

NOTE:

Any bitcoin address Coinbase generates for you will always be usable and you can generate as many addresses as you like. In fact, for privacy reasons, Coinbase will generate a unique bitcoin address every time you request to receive bitcoin.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

Once you’ve sold your bitcoin into EUR, you can withdraw the cash back to your linked bank account. Just look for the Withdraw button in your portfolio. Choose your linked bank account and input the EUR amount you’d like to withdraw.

NOTE:As with bitcoin withdrawals, Coinbase implements a waiting period for cash withdrawals from new accounts.

Most EU residents also have the option of withdrawing to an e-currency wallet like NETELLER or Skillex.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Smaller fees for small purchase amounts
  • Faster (start to finish in minutes)
Cons
  • Relatively higher fees for large purchase
  • Maximum daily purchase amount (limit) is lower

Bottom Line:

Best for small (less than £200), quick & easy purchases

When you don’t expect to be regularly buying bitcoin, or the amount you’re buying is small and you need it immediately, this is the best option.

 

Our recommended platform: Bitpanda

Creating your Bitpanda account

  • Go to com or download the app:
  • Follow the instructions to sign up, starting with “Get started”
  • You’ll need:
    • A valid email address
    • A phone that can receive SMS for verification codes.

Verifying your Bitpanda account

Before you can transfer money to Bitpanda, you’ll need to verify your account. After logging in, navigate to the Verify now section. When you select Start verification, you’ll be redirected to a third-party verification company. You’ll need:

  • A webcam or smartphone camera
  • A passport or accepted government-issued ID card (driver’s licenses are not currently accepted by Bitpanda).

Depositing money to Bitpanda

Before you can buy bitcoin on Bitpanda, you’ll need to deposit money into your Bitpanda account. Euro deposits can be done using SEPA, GIROPAY/EPS, iDEAL and SOFORT, as well as a variety of e-currency services. There are fewer options for deposits in Swiss Francs, GBP, and USD respectively.

 

Find the Deposit button, select the currency you’re depositing, choose a payment method, and enter the amount you want to deposit. For bank transfers, you’ll be presented with Bitpanda’s payment details and asked to initiate a transfer from your bank. Otherwise you’ll be redirected to the secure portal of your chosen payment provider.

 

Bank transfers take from 1-3 days to complete and you won’t be able to buy Bitcoin until the deposit is received. The first transfer is capped at 2,500 EUR. After you’ve made an initial deposit, your deposit limit is increased.

 

The limit for E-currency services (NETELLER and Skrill) is 10,000 EUR.

Buying bitcoin

Having funded your Bitpanda account with cash, you’re ready to buy bitcoin. Look for the Bitcoin logo and select Buy BTC. Enter the EUR amount (or other currency) you’d like to buy, and confirm the order.

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Bitpanda account to any external Bitcoin wallet.

  • Navigate to Trade or Sendand select Bitcoin.
  • Copy the Bitcoin wallet address of the person or business you’re sending to, and paste it in the recipient field. A typical Bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf
  • Enter the amount of bitcoin you’d like to send, then confirm the transaction.

 

You’ll notice there’s a Network Fee when sending bitcoin. This fee is determined by Bitpanda which, like a bank, is playing an intermediary role. As a user, you’ll be paying a premium for the service provided by Bitpanda.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from Bitpanda to your own custodial bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet.

Selling bitcoin

You can sell your bitcoin back into the currency of your choice. To do so:

  • Navigate to the Trade section, select Sell,and choose bitcoin.
  • Select the currency you’d like to sell your bitcoin into.
  • Choose the amount you want to sell and confirm your order.

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin directly in your Bitpanda account. You just need to determine your bitcoin address for your Bitpanda account.

  • In the web version: click on the Deposit section, choose Assets, and select Bitcoin.

In the app version: tap on the Wallet button, select Bitcoin, then tap Deposit.

You’ll be presented with your Bitpanda Bitcoin deposit address and a corresponding QR-code.

 

  • Use your Bitpanda Bitcoin deposit address as the recipient address to send coins from your other wallet to your Bitpanda Bitcoin wallet.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

You can withdraw cash by either initiating a bank transfer (SEPA) or by using e-currency providers NETELLER or Skrill. To do so:

  • Navigate to the Withdraw section and select your withdraw method.
  • Enter the amount your wish to withdraw and confirm the transaction.

 

NOTE: The minimum withdrawal amount is 25 EUR.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Smaller fees for small purchase amounts
  • Faster (start to finish in minutes)
Cons
  • Relatively higher fees for large purchase
  • Maximum daily purchase amount (limit) is lower

Bottom Line:

Best for small (less than €200), quick & easy purchases

When you don’t expect to be regularly buying bitcoin

 

Our recommended platform: Coinbase

Creating your Bitpanda account

  • Go to coinbase.com and choose your country of residence or download the app:
  • Follow the instructions to sign up, starting with “Get startedYou’ll need:
    • An active email account to receive the verification email
    • A phone number to receive the authentication code by SMS

Verify your identity.

You’ll need:

At least one of the following forms of ID:

  • Government-issued ID
  • Passport

NOTE: the information on your ID must match the information you register for both your Coinbase account and your bank account.

Linking your 3D Secure debit card

Navigate to the Payment Methods page and select Add a Debit Card.

Enter your card information including the billing address details for your credit/debit card.

Buying bitcoin

Having linked your 3D Secure debit card, you’re ready to buy Bitcoin.

Navigate to Buy/Sell and select the Bitcoin logo. Enter the desired amount of bitcoin either in EUR or as a specific fraction of bitcoin. Select your previously linked 3D Secure Debit card as the payment method and confirm the order.

You’ll be directed to your bank’s secure portal. After completing the required procedure you’ll be redirected back to Coinbase and your purchase will be complete.

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Coinbase account to any external Bitcoin wallet.

Find the Bitcoin logo and select the Send button. Copy the Bitcoin wallet address of the person or business you’re sending to and paste it in the recipient field.

A typical Bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf

NOTE: Coinbase has the option of inputting an email address in the recipient field. This can only be used to send bitcoin to people who also have a Coinbase account.

 

You’ll notice there’s a Network Fee when sending bitcoin. This fee is determined by Coinbase which, like a bank, is playing an intermediary role. As a user, you’ll be paying a premium for the service provided by Coinbase.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from Coinbase to your own custodial bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to manage a bitcoin wallet.

 

NOTE: For new accounts, Coinbase implements a waiting period between the time you purchase bitcoin and when you’re allowed to send it out of your Coinbase account. This is done for security reasons.

Selling bitcoin

To sell bitcoin, simply navigate to the Sell tab and input either the EUR amount or the specific fraction of BTC you’d like to sell. By default, the value of sold bitcoin will be deposited in your Coinbase EUR Wallet:

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin directly in your Coinbase account from any external Bitcoin wallet. You just need to determine your bitcoin address for your Coinbase account. To do so, find the Bitcoin logo, look for the Receive or Request button, and copy the displayed address.

NOTE: Any bitcoin address Coinbase generates for you will always be usable and you can generate as many addresses as you like. In fact, for privacy reasons, Coinbase will generate a unique bitcoin address every time you request to receive bitcoin.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

To withdraw cash from your Coinbase account, you’ll need to or initiate a bank transfer.

Once you’ve sold your bitcoin into EUR, you can withdraw the cash back to your linked bank account. Just look for the Withdraw button in your portfolio. Choose your linked bank account and input the EUR amount you’d like to withdraw.

NOTE: As with bitcoin withdrawals, Coinbase implements a waiting period for cash withdrawals from new accounts.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Smaller fees for small purchase amounts
  • Faster (start to finish in minutes)
Cons
  • Relatively higher fees for large purchase
  • Maximum daily purchase amount (limit) is lower

Bottom Line:

Best for small (less than €200), quick & easy purchases

When you don’t expect to be regularly buying bitcoin, or the amount you’re buying is small and you need it immediately, this is the best option.

 

Our recommended platform: Bitpanda

Creating your Bitpanda account

  • Go to bitpanda.com or download the app:
  • Follow the instructions to sign up, starting with “Get started”
  • You’ll need:
    • A valid email address

    A phone that can receive SMS for verification PINs.

Verifying your Bitpanda account>>

Before you can buy bitcoin on Bitpanda, you’ll need to verify your account. After logging in, navigate to the Verify now section. When you select Start verification, you’ll be redirected to a third-party verification company. You’ll need:

  • A webcam or smartphone camera
  • A passport or accepted government-issued ID card (driver’s licenses are not currently accepted by Bitpanda).

Buying bitcoin

Look for the Buy button and select Bitcoin. You’ll be presented with a list of payment options that depends on your country of residence:

Select your preferred payment method, input the Euro amount you’d like to purchase, and follow the instructions to complete the payment.

Sending bitcoin

You can send bitcoin from your Bitpanda account to any external Bitcoin wallet.

  • Navigate to Trade or Sendand select Bitcoin.
  • Copy the Bitcoin wallet address of the person or business you’re sending to and paste it in the recipient field. A typical Bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf
  • Enter the amount of bitcoin you’d like to send, and confirm the transaction.

 

You’ll notice there’s a Network Fee when sending bitcoin. This fee is determined by Bitpanda which, like a bank, is playing an intermediary role. As a user, you’ll be paying a premium for the service provided by Coinbase.

 

You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from Bitpanda to your own custodial bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future. Here’s our guide for how to manage a bitcoin wallet.

Selling bitcoin

You can sell your bitcoin back into the currency of your choice. To do so:

  • Navigate to the Trade section, select
  • Sell,and choose bitcoin.
  • Select the currency you’d like to sell your bitcoin into.
  • Choose the amount you want to sell and confirm your order.

Receiving bitcoin

You can receive bitcoin directly in your Bitpanda account. You just need to determine your bitcoin address for your Bitpanda account.

  • In the web version: click on the Deposit section, choose Assets, and select Bitcoin.

In the app version: tap on the Wallet button, select Bitcoin, then tap Deposit.

You’ll be presented with your Bitpanda Bitcoin deposit address and a corresponding QR-code.

 

  • Use your Bitpanda Bitcoin deposit address as the recipient address to send coins from your other wallet to your Bitpanda Bitcoin wallet.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

You can withdraw cash by either initiating a bank transfer (SEPA) or by using a e-currency providers NETELLER or Skrill. To do so:

 

  • Navigate to the Withdraw section and select your withdraw method.
  • Enter the amount your wish to withdraw and confirm the transaction.

 

NOTE: The minimum withdrawal amount is 25 EUR.

cart

Select Payment method

  • Banked bitcoin exchange
    • Creating an account
    • Funding your account
    • Buying bitcoin
    • Sending bitcoin
    • Selling bitcoin
    • Receiving bitcoin
    • Withdrawing cash by wire transfer
  • Peer-to-peer trading
    • Guide

Creating an account

Buying bitcoin through a regulated exchange that has established banking relationships is generally the safest and most convenient method. Finding a trusted exchange for your country is a matter that requires some due diligence. A number of websites list and rank exchanges by country, but it is advisable to dig a little deeper before committing to an exchange. Consult review aggregators like trustpilot.com to gain some insight into others’ experience.

Creating an account

Most exchanges require you to identify yourself before you can buy bitcoin. This is done in order to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations. In most cases you’ll be required to upload some form of government-issued ID. In some cases, you’ll also be asked to submit a photo of yourself holding your ID. Verification can take anywhere from minutes up to a week.

Funding your account

Sending cash to your local Bitcoin exchange depends on the banking relationships your exchange has managed to establish. Options may include bank transfer, debit/credit card, and e-currency transfer (PayPal, Skrillex, etc.)

Buying bitcoin

Once you’ve funded your exchange with cash, buying Bitcoin is a matter of completing a purchase order for the currency amount or the fraction of bitcoin you want.  In most cases, the bitcoin you purchase will initially be held by the exchange you buy it on. From there, you should have the option of sending your bitcoin to your own Bitcoin wallet or to any external Bitcoin address. Here’s our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet.

Sending bitcoin

Most Bitcoin exchanges allow you to sell your bitcoin back into your local currency or, in many cases, another major currency like USD or EUR. Many exchanges also provide the option to trade bitcoin for another cryptocurrency like Ethereum. All exchanges impose a small fee for trading bitcoin.

Selling bitcoin

A Bitcoin exchange should allow you send bitcoin you’ve purchased to any external Bitcoin address. Exchanges charge a fee for sending bitcoin, and the fee they charge is generally higher than the normal fees for using the Bitcoin network. You can take self-sovereign possession of your bitcoin by sending it from a Bitcoin exchange to your own custodial bitcoin wallet. Doing so will give you more control over the fees you pay for sending bitcoin in the future, as well as providing you with additional security. Please read our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet.

Receiving bitcoin

You should be able to receive bitcoin to your Bitcoin exchange account. From there, you can either sell it for cash, send it to another Bitcoin address, or trade it for another cryptocurrency. To receive bitcoin in your exchange account, you’ll need to determine the Bitcoin address associated with your exchange account. Instructions for doing so will be provided by the exchange.

Withdrawing cash by wire transfer

Your options for withdrawing cash from a Bitcoin exchange depend on the banking relationships established by that exchange and whether your identity has been verified by the exchange. In most cases the exchange will extract a fee when you withdraw cash and, depending on the withdrawal method, you may also incur other transaction fees.

Guide

In theory you can buy bitcoin face-to-face using cash. This method may not be advisable due to the risk of exchanging cash with strangers, but understanding the process provides insight into the fundamental nature of the Bitcoin network.

Bottom Line:

To buy bitcoin peer-to-peer, you first need to create your own Bitcoin wallet. Please read our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet. The process works like this:

  • Give the seller your Bitcoin address. A typical Bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf
  • The seller then sends an agreed amount of bitcoin to your address. You can monitor the transaction using a “block explorer” like this one, which tracks all Bitcoin transactions in real time. When the seller initiates the transaction through his or her Bitcoin wallet, he or she will be given a transaction ID, which you can paste into a block explorer like this:

To buy bitcoin peer-to-peer, you first need to create your own Bitcoin wallet. Please read our guide for how to create and manage a bitcoin wallet. The process works like this:

  • Give the seller your Bitcoin address. A typical Bitcoin address looks something like this: 3Qnnv4tDf2upANvwopHvSgTKCxDB2JEDsf
    The seller then sends an agreed amount of bitcoin to your address. You can monitor the transaction using a “block explorer” like this one, which tracks all Bitcoin transactions in real time. When the seller initiates the transaction through his or her Bitcoin wallet, he or she will be given a transaction ID, which you can paste into a block explorer like this:

  • Once you’ve confirmed the transaction, you can hand over the agreed-upon cash amount to the seller.

 

There are a variety of peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplaces that enable the trading of Bitcoin online. The process works essentially the same as above, except that cash is first transferred online, then the seller sends bitcoin to the buyer’s Bitcoin address. These systems work by reputation, so you’ll need to be vigilant that you choose a trusted buyer. In some cases, a third-party platform will offer an escrow service. This helps with the trust issue but opens up the platform provider to litigation in jurisdictions where Bitcoin trading is banned.