Digital currencies such as Bitcoin are usually purchased online, but that doesn't mean you can't buy them with cash. Here are the 5 best ways to purchase Bitcoin with physical money.
Bitcoin is currently the largest cryptocurrency with a rapidly rising popularity since its launch day in 2009. Although the last few months have been a roller coaster ride for Bitcoin traders, many people are still taking interest in Bitcoin. Crypto coins are becoming more accessible and open to traders with various backgrounds, countries of origins, and levels of expertise, so it doesn't come as a surprise that Bitcoin manages to maintain its popularity.
If you're planning to buy this famous cryptocurrency, there are a few options that you can choose from. In fact, now it's easier than ever to buy Bitcoins as more options keep showing up. The fees are relatively lower than before too. Currently, the most common method to purchase Bitcoin is through an online exchange or brokerage. You can do it virtually by using credit cards or other similar means.
However, some people want to pay with more conventional methods like cash. Despite being a form of digital currency, Bitcoin can actually be purchased with cash and it's not as hard as it may seem. Here we're going to elaborate more on how to buy Bitcoin with cash and why you should consider trying it.
Why Buy Bitcoin with Cash?
Although it may sound outdated as nowadays almost everything is processed online, buying Bitcoin with cash actually has several benefits such as:
It's Private and Anonymous
Unlike using a regular Bitcoin exchange, cash purchases are usually anonymous because it doesn't require you to give out your personal information in the various documents that you must submit in the verification process. Thus, it can give you more sense of privacy and it is safer too, given the rising risk of identity theft these days. In addition, you can also use it to avoid crackdowns by tax authorities.
Buying Bitcoin via cash doesn't take much time because there's no need to wait for the duration of bank transfers or verification from an exchange. Regular Bitcoin deposits usually take about 1 to 3 business days, while verification can take up to 3 weeks in total. So using cash can save you a lot of time, which is undoubtedly significant when trading as Bitcoin price can move very quickly. Even a day or two can bring a huge difference to your trades.
See also: Bitcoin Price Today
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchanges
P2P Bitcoin cash exchange basically acts as an escrow service, so it can provide a secure and comfortable way to buy Bitcoin via cash. The steps are very easy: you just have to find a good P2P exchange, sign up, find a reputable local BTC buyer or seller who wants to deal in cash, and then arrange further details of your trade.
In P2P exchanges, you are free to use other payment methods as long as all parties involved agree on it. For example, you can use cash deposits or arrange to meet the seller in person and exchange your cash for Bitcoin.
See Also: How and Where to Buy Bitcoin in USA
There are some advantages of using P2P exchanges. First, no verification is required because you don't need to submit any personal details to the site. Second, cash payments are irreversible. Once the buyer deposits cash into the bank account, there is no way to reverse the transaction.
Here are some recommendations for P2P exchanges:
Using Bitcoin ATM
Another convenient way to buy Bitcoin via cash is by using Bitcoin ATM (also referred to as BTM). You can exchange your cash for Bitcoin at any time of the day, and it won't take long to process. There are many Bitcoin ATMs worldwide, but some regions may not provide them so make sure to check if they're available in your area. If your country provides Bitcoin ATMs, the next thing to do is to find the one nearest to you.
In the US, you can use the Coin ATM Radar or CoinFlip to locate a nearby BTM. If you click on the BTM button on the site, it will show you the precise location, fees, limits, and ID requirements (if there are any). The site will also show you the contact details of the operator, which should be helpful in case you find any issues.
Before going to the Bitcoin ATM, it's best to have a Bitcoin wallet already downloaded to your mobile device and ready to go. That way, when you need to go to buy, you can generate a Bitcoin wallet address in no time. Now once you arrive at your local BTM, you just have to tap the screen and select the option for buying coins. Depending on the BTM, the process might be slightly different for each type, but in general, the process is similar.
A typical process of buying Bitcoin via BTM is as follows:
- Place an order. Usually, the BTM will ask you how much Bitcoin you want to buy and instead of using cards, you can verify yourself by entering your phone number and receive a text message to confirm.
- Scan the QR code to add your Bitcoin wallet. The machine would ask you where you want to send the Bitcoin, which is where you enter your Bitcoin wallet address. In this case, you can use a QR code from your wallet to receive coins, so you should just hold the QR code for the BTM to scan.
- Insert your payment. Once the address is confirmed, you would have to insert the cash into the machine. Some more information will pop up, like the amount of Bitcoin that you will get.
- Receive Bitcoins. When you're ready, finish the transaction to send the Bitcoin and print the receipt. Once it's done, you will receive the Bitcoin in your wallet within a couple of minutes.
Cash in Person
If you don't want to use third-party services, you can buy Bitcoin from individual sellers and pay them in person. It would be more convenient if you have trusted friends that are willing to sell some Bitcoins. You can place advertisements on local ad boards, websites, social media, or forums. Furthermore, you can consider attending local Bitcoin meetups in order to find like-minded people. Perhaps some of them might want to sell their Bitcoins to you.
See Also: Top Bitcoin Scams You Should Watch For
However, remember that this method is probably the riskiest compared to other options, so make sure to put safety first. Do not reveal your real name or where you live in your advertisements because being known for holding Bitcoin can be quite dangerous these days. Also, once you agree to meet the seller in person, always choose a safe public space such as local bank lobbies, courthouses, or other places with many people. If it's your first time dealing with a seller or buying in large amounts, it's best to choose a location with guards and security cameras around. Maintain a low profile and don't easily trust someone you just met.
Cash Deposit Service
Some Bitcoin trading platforms like LocalBitcoins and Paxful offer cash deposits as a payment option. In the US, you can make bank deposit purchases in BitQuick and Liberty X. Meanwhile, Wall of Coins provides the same service in the US, the UK, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Poland, Philipines, and Romania.
A transaction via cash deposit services usually works like this:
- The seller provides the bank details. Some of them have their own requirements, such as using a specific bank.
- The buyer and seller use a certain P2P exchange and agree on a price.
- The seller's Bitcoins are held by the site and only released to the buyer once payment confirmation is made.
- The buyer must go to the relevant bank, fill in a deposit form and deposit the cash into the seller's bank account via the teller.
- The seller confirms the payment. In this case, buyers usually are required to send the receipt to prove that cash was successfully deposited into the seller's account.
- The site receives the confirmation and releases the Bitcoin to the buyer.
This method can give you more privacy and anonymity compared with centralized crypto exchanges. It is also more secure than meeting a stranger in person. However, the downside is that this method is only available within banking hours and much slower than face-to-face transactions. You should also be aware of scams too, so always read the seller's reviews and feedbacks from previous customers.
Cash in the Mail
The last option is to buy Bitcoin via cash in the mail. Some platforms like Paxful also offer services for finding sellers who accept cash through the mail. You can also find sellers on darknet markets. As with the previous methods, you should choose a reputable seller to avoid fraud.
However, it is clear that this method has some obvious downsides in terms of processing time because mails are slow. Also, there's a chance that the envelope may get lost or stolen along the way.
But if you must use this method, always remember to wrap the bills in a couple of layers of paper so they can't be easily detected from the outside. Some sellers may compensate if the mail never arrives or arrives empty. Usually, they would ask you to take a photograph of yourself placing the money inside the envelope, sealing it, and mailing it. For more safety, use a registered mail and then have the seller sign it once they receive the mail.
Buying Bitcoin with cash may provide you anonymity, but it's still riskier than online methods such as credit cards or wire transfers, assuming that you purchase through a reputable crypto exchange.
If you still want to use cash to buy Bitcoin despite the drawbacks, the best option is perhaps the Bitcoin ATM, as it is more reliable and secure. But for other methods that involve buying coins from sellers, you must ensure that the seller is trustworthy and if you should meet them face-to-face; always pick a safe location with many people around. Also, it's better to avoid buying in big amounts via cash because it's very risky to carry around that much money without protection, especially if you don't know who you are dealing with.