People can have a variety of reasons for choosing to buy Bitcoin with cash, including the desire to remain anonymous. Others may be concerned with using any type of electronic transfer over the Internet for fear of exposing their account information to hackers.
Cash transactions have their own risks, and care needs to be exercised anytime you are carrying cash. This is of particular concern since the amount of cash necessary to purchase even a small amount of Bitcoin can be significant. The risk that comes from this reality may make some of these methods more attractive than others.
How to Buy Bitcoin with Cash?
It’s easy to buy small amounts of BTC with cash. And it’s also private since no personal information is required in most cases, especially if trading in person or at an ATM with no verification.
However, it can be hard to buy large amounts of bitcoins with cash, especially with a cash deposit. Bitcoin ATMs also have limits and some require verification if more than a certain amount is purchased.
If you are going to pay cash for bitcoins, you should consider the following key points:
- Safety Comes First
It is reasonable to put personal safety at the top of the list of considerations when purchasing BTC for cash.
Each of the different methods of buying digital coins for cash has a different lower and upper limit on the amount that can be purchased. This is clearly a determining factor in choosing a platform.
The market for BTC has different prices. A review of the options for personal sales, as an example, shows Bitcoin offered at various prices. Other platforms have only a single price. The volatility of the price at the time of purchase may make one option more attractive.
Fees are difficult to evaluate because they are not always transparent. Of course, this is unfortunate since lower transaction fees are attractive.
This factor can mean both the location of and travel time to the exchange or Bitcoin ATM, but it can also mean the level of anonymity provided by the platform. Some purchasers will prefer to travel in order not to provide identification.
For those who are interested in buying Bitcoin with cash only, here are the best ways to do that.
Where Can I Buy Bitcoins with Cash?
These sites connect independent buyers & sellers, and they use the P2P platform to do the transaction. The downside is that you need to ensure the safety & security of the transaction on your own.
Here are a few important tips to keep yourself secure when dealing with bitcoins for cash:
- Make sure you buy bitcoins from a seller with a high reputation.
- Meet the seller at a public place in broad daylight.
- Do not exchange unrequired personal details when you meet with the seller.
- Wait for the transaction to confirm at least twice. Sometimes it takes about 5-15 minutes for the transaction to confirm multiple times.
LocalBitcoins is an intermediary that allows individuals to buy (and sell) Bitcoin to other individuals. It matches people based on location and provides quotes that specify price and quantities of Bitcoins available from each seller. Individuals make their own arrangements for meetings, which increases the element of risk.
The website has acknowledged that it has listed scam transactions, and fees are generally higher than on other exchanges. However, many sellers do not require any identification at all, making this a completely untraceable transaction. The website also lists online alternatives to meeting in person.
One major advantage of LocalBitcoins: Once you have done some transactions, your profile gets a higher reputation, and in the future, you can also start selling bitcoins for profit.
Wall of Coins
WallofCoins connects buyers and sellers while acting as an intermediary. It lists sellers like LocalBitcoins, but works off bank deposits like BitQuick. This means that the most convenient banking location may not be associated with a seller who offers the lowest price.
Wall of Coins prices include fees, which can make comparisons with prices on other platforms more difficult. However, it also offers a live chat feature and a toll-free number for customer service. These features make it an attractive option for first-time buyers.
BitQuick matches buyers and sellers but is functionally more like an exchange. Sellers place Bitcoin into escrow and buyers deposit the funds for the purchase in the bank account of the seller. The transaction is completed when the buyer provides evidence of this deposit.
The fact that money changes hands at a bank and the parties do not meet makes this a safer transaction. However, the website does require registration with identification and is only available in the United States (excluding New York).
LibertyX is an exchange that comes close to a retail operation. The website directs you to an affiliated retail location based on your zip code. A mobile app is available to find locations when you are on the road. The payment and transfer take place at the retail location, increasing personal security.
However, identification is required and the service is only available in the United States. In addition, the participating locations add their own fees on top of those charged by LibertyX. Each location also sets its own minimum, and there is a $1,000 maximum platform daily limit.
Paris-based Bitit aims to make buying bitcoin as fast and easy as possible no matter where in the world you are. Its most notable feature is the ability to make quick purchases with cash or card, from almost anywhere in the world.
One of the features that truly sets BitIt apart is its ability to accept a long list of payment methods you will not find on other cryptocurrency exchanges. Use credit cards, e-wallets, wire transfers, or even cash.
Instead of buying directly with cash, you instead need to use a voucher like Flexepin or Neosurf. The fees are about 8% for buying with Neosurf or Flexepin.
You don’t need to verify your identity to create an account and may be able to buy a limited amount of bitcoin without verifying your identity.
You’re limited to €500 every seven days without verifying your identity, and the per-order limits are €25 to €250. There’s no limit on the number of orders you can place, though.
There is a second method of purchasing Bitcoin for cash that does not involve meeting with the seller, either in person or through an intermediary. This is the Bitcoin ATM. These are Bitcoin kiosks that are connected to the Internet and which accept cash as the means of payment.
Because they operate on several different platforms there is no standard procedure on how to use a Bitcoin ATM. However, each version is equipped with a touchscreen and provides step-by-step instructions. Bitcoin ATMs are clearly designed for the beginning purchaser.
A Bitcoin ATM asks you to scan your public address and transfers BTCs to that address in the equivalent fiat you deposited in it. In some cases, if you don’t have a public address, just select the option of “don’t have an address” and the ATM will generate a paper wallet for you (if it supports that feature).
The paper wallet is a QR or alphanumeric code that includes both the public key and the private key. The BTC coins are actually stored on the blockchain, and the information on the paper contains all the necessary information to access them. This is vital information and should be treated carefully.
Several trading platforms offer Bitcoin ATMs, and the number of locations is increasing rapidly. Although they are most prevalent in the United States, most countries offer at least one location. It is not unusual to find the ATMs located in convenience stores and gas stations in the United States since they generate revenue for the store owner with little to no maintenance.
The fees and costs will vary between ATMs, but you can probably expect them to be relatively high compared to the most affordable options.
Buy Bitcoin with Cash Deposit at a Bank
Cash Deposit offers a legal, effective, and reliable way to get your payment to a Localbitcoins or Paxful seller without an in-person meeting. In the US, there are two more services which specialize in arranging and securing bank deposit purchases: BitQuick and Liberty X (which require smartphones). And Wall of Coins provides this same service within the US, the UK, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Poland, the Philippines, and Romania.
You may have previously deposited cash into your own bank account by filling in a deposit slip and handing both cash and the slip to a teller at a local branch. It turns out that anyone who knows your bank account number can give you money by doing the same thing. Banks generally don’t care whether you own the account. Cash can be deposited in any branch nationwide – not just the one the account owner normally uses.
Localbitcoins uses this standard banking service to eliminate the need for an in-person meeting between buyer and seller. Cash Deposit offers these advantages:
- Buyers are protected from fraud by Localbitcoins escrow.
- Buyers can arrange a payment time that best suits their own schedule.
- There is no need to maintain a bank account at the payment bank branch.
- The payment bank branch can be chosen to be close to the buyer’s own bank or ATM.
- The buyer’s risk of being assaulted or threatened is reduced.
Buying Bitcoin with cash in the mail
LocalBitcoins, Paxful and darknet markets also offer services for finding sellers who accept cash through the mail. As with in-person purchases, try to only trade with established users who have a good reputation. Choosing a reliable seller is your best protection against fraud, and escrow should always be employed.
However, this method involves lots of risk that your envelope may get lost or stolen en route. For greater safety, you should use registered mail, then having the seller sign after they receive it. This method creates a degree of proof that you paid via escrow, although the amount of cash within the envelope may still be disputed.
This definitely not the best option and only cash buyers who are too remote for other purchase methods should use it.
Pros & Cons
Like most things, paying with cash has both benefits and downsides. Depending on your preferred method above, you might experience the following:
|Quick||Typically not the most cost-effective option|
|Convenient||You will generally be limited in the amount you can buy|
|Anonymous||Your platform options will be more limited|
Buying cryptocurrency with cash is faster and more anonymous than conventional methods. Nevertheless, it’s high-risky. If you don’t have to use cash, it would probably be safer to use an online method assuming you purchase through a well-known and reputable exchange. If cash method is the only one acceptable for you, find a bitcoin ATM or a reliable seller on the P2P exchange.