Bitcoin is an electronic payment method. Just because bitcoin is electronic, however, doesn’t mean you can’t buy bitcoin with cash. In fact, there are a number of easy ways to purchase bitcoin using cash.
In this chapter, we’ll explain everything you need to know about buying bitcoin with cash, including how to do it, how to protect yourself, and how to securely buy bitcoin for cash.
Yes, You Can Buy Bitcoin with Cash
There are a number of easy and affordable ways to buy bitcoin with cash, including:
- Meet someone in-person for a peer-to-peer transfer (you give someone cash, they transfer bitcoins)
- Deposit cash into a bitcoin ATM, then receive bitcoin in return
- Use one of several major exchanges that accept cash
- Deposit cash into someone’s bank account, then receive bitcoin in exchange
These are your basic options for buying bitcoin with cash. Let’s take a closer look at how each option works.
How to Buy Bitcoin with Cash Through P2P Trades
Buying bitcoin with cash in-person is one of the most anonymous ways to buy bitcoin. You don’t need to disclose your identity to the seller. You can just meet up, provide cash, and walk away with bitcoins. You don’t need to enter your information into an exchange, and your bitcoins can be stored locally in your wallet – whatever wallet you’re using.
The best way to buy bitcoin with cash in-person is to use a reputable website like LocalBitcoins:
- Sign up for LocalBitcoins
- Enter your location and your preferred method of payment in the search parameters (choose cash)
- On the next page, you’ll see a number of sellers willing to accept that mode of payment
- Compare sellers based on their reputation, statistics, and terms and conditions
- Once you’re satisfied with your seller, you can make an offer, and they can choose to accept it
Typically, LocalBitcoin sellers aren’t in the business of meeting people on the streets to exchange cash for bitcoin. Instead, they’ll request you to deposit cash into a bank account number. You visit a bank to deposit that cash, and then the seller transfers bitcoins to you when the cash is in the account. This method is anonymous and easy.
However, if you feel uncomfortable using a bank, then you may be able to find sellers willing to meet for in-person cash transfers. Obviously, try to meet in a safe, public place if you plan on walking around with lots of cash.
There are other options for buying bitcoin with cash through P2P trades. Websites like BitQuick, for example, let you deposit cash into the seller’s bank account and then receive bitcoin in return. Wall of Coins offers similar service.
Whether you’re depositing cash into a bank account or meeting up with someone in-person, you can easily buy bitcoin with cash using any of the options listed above.
How to Buy Bitcoin with Cash at a Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin ATMs are another popular way to buy bitcoin using cash. Any bitcoin ATM will let you deposit cash to purchase bitcoins.
You treat a bitcoin ATM just like a regular ATM. You place cash inside the ATM, and then the ATM will send a certain amount of bitcoin to your desired address.
Bitcoin ATMs may ask you to verify personal information. Many bitcoin ATMs, for example, require you to scan government-issued photo ID.
Another drawback of bitcoin ATMs is the high fees. Bitcoin ATMs charge fees of 5% to 10%. That’s higher than most other bitcoin purchasing methods online and it’s more than most sellers will charge on websites like LocalBitcoins.
Nevertheless, bitcoin ATMs have their advantages. Once you’ve deposited cash into the machine and verified your identity, the machine will transfer bitcoin to you by scanning a QR code. You can use a paper wallet if you wish. However, it’s best to use a mobile wallet – like an app on your phone. Just display the QR code from that wallet to the ATM, then wait for your bitcoin to appear.
How to Buy Bitcoin with Cash Using LibertyX
LibertyX is another popular way to buy bitcoin with cash. The main restriction with LibertyX is that it’s currently only available at a small number of retail stores across the United States. You’ll also need to verify your identity before completing the purchase, so it’s not an anonymous cash transfer.
With LibertyX, you can buy up to $1,000 worth of bitcoin while being charged a 1.5% fee on all purchases, although individual retail stores may also charge their own fees.
If there’s a LibertyX retailer near you, then you can walk in with cash and walk out with bitcoin at a cheaper rate than you’d pay with many LocalBitcoins sellers or bitcoin ATMs. However, the transaction is far from anonymous.
How to Buy Bitcoin with Cash from an Exchange
Many cryptocurrency exchanges accept bank transfers as a deposit method. You can transfer money from your bank account to the crypto exchange’s bank account.
However, some exchanges specifically offer cash deposits. Wall of Coins, for example, is a cryptocurrency exchange available to customers in the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Latvia, and the Philippines. You can make a cash deposit at 100,000+ deposit locations, then receive your bitcoin within 15 minutes.
The main advantage of working with Wall of Coins is that you don’t need to provide any personal data: you just need to verify a mobile phone number.
Buying bitcoin with cash isn’t always easy. Fortunately, there are a number of websites, exchanges, and online platforms where you can purchase bitcoin with cash and enjoy competitive rates, anonymity, and high security.