Best Place to Buy Bitcoins: Bitcoins are the “hot potatoes” of this decade. It’s the wagon everyone wants go get on, but a lot of basic questions still remain unanswered, and one of them is which are the best place to buy Bitcoins.
Even though there are over a thousand Bitcoin buying/selling/exchange platforms existing on the web, a negligible fraction of them are actually trustworthy.
And even a lower percentile of that fraction is worth buying Bitcoins from, because other factors like “fee” ‘security” “anonymity” join in too when you’re looking for the ultimate, best place to buy Bitcoins.
What Makes an Exchange Best?
Before I can ask you to comprehend the best place to buy Bitcoins, it’s only logical for me to explain what exactly makes one exchange better than the other.
Just because an exchange is offering low buying fee, or no-signup required kind of features doesn’t mean that it’ll necessarily be the best.
And I’m not the most knowledgeable person on the planet on “Bitcoins”, so I wouldn’t directly point out which platform is the “best”, because they all have their own pros and cons.
Instead what I’ll do is, I’ll walk you through what you should be looking for when you’re trying to land on the best place to buy Bitcoins, and then you can compare all the available platforms based on your personal preferences.
The first factor I personally consider before reaching a final verdict about any Bitcoin exchange is the fee it charges for the transactions, as well as the fee I’ll have to pay in order to transfer the bits to my own personal wallet. (Because it’s not advisable to keep Bitcoins permanently on any exchange for long!) We’ve done a detailed piece on the 15 Best Bitcoin Wallets.
Compare what’s the global price-index for Bitcoins, you can do it easily by simply Goggling “1BTC=$” (Or your currency!) and then compare what price the platform you’re on is offering.
It’s best to compare 5+ platforms before zeroing in on any single one of them, because there’s considerable price difference between most of them.
Once you find the lowest-priced platform, wait! Your hunt isn’t over yet. As I said, just the “price” isn’t what makes any platform the best place to buy Bitcoins, so let’s dig in to the other aspects.
Each platform has its own limits, and if it’s not adequate and doesn’t suit your buying packets, it’s no use to you. Also it’s an extremely dynamic factor, meaning a suitable buying amount for you might be too expensive, or too low for another person.
Hence there’s no “perfect buying limit” yardstick. Just check out whatever buying limit the platform is offering, and if it’s under your requirement brackets, you can proceed to verifying other aspects.
The primary reason why Bitcoins are on the edge of overtaking traditional currency is their ability to be “anonymous”. Hence I do not need to re-elaborate how important a role “privacy” plays during Bitcoin transactions. Do I?
Check what kind of data or verification your Bitcoin buying platforms requires off you. Although most platforms require some kind of identity verification, others simply require a real-life photo of yours. (And our #1 platform on this list doesn’t require anything at all!)
So again just compare the platforms and analyze for yourselves which platforms are asking for least identification and weigh in the other factors related to that platform before proceeding.
Mode of Payment
One of the primary factors when it comes to purchasing Bitcoins online is what mode of payment the platforms support. Do they allow buying Bitcoins with Paypal or/and buying Bitcoins with Debit Card / Credit Card? Can you buy Bitcoins with cash?
This also affects the fee structure, there might occur a fee difference based on which payment method you’re going with. Generally Paypal is the cheapest, Credit cards have a slightly higher fee, and the same goes for cash transactions.
So select the platforms which support the payment method you’re comfortable with.
How long does it take for the Bitcoins to arrive in your exchange wallet is another decisive factor you should consider when trying to choose the best place to buy Bitcoins.
The speed might be influenced by your country , mode of payment and certain other factors, so make sure you dig deep enough and get a clear picture of exactly how long the coins would take before arriving in your wallet.
So that’s pretty much it. Once you’ve pondered over the above factors you can decide which platform suits your needs the best.
And to make the hunt easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best place to buy Bitcoins over here. I’ll be making the above factors transparent for the mentioned platforms, and then you can simply match the one which seems the most suitable to you.
Top 5 Best Place to Buy Bitcoins
Let’s select any available bitcoins market store, where you can buy bitcoins with your local currency, credit cards, Debit cards, PayPal and etc.
Talking about the best place to buy Bitcoins and not looping in Cex.io just can’t happen. Being one of the oldest Bitcoin exchange platforms in the industry, it has built up quite the reputation for itself.
As already stated, most Bitcoin exchanges require some kind of verification these days in order to prevent money –laundering and fraud transactions.
So ultimate privacy is somewhat of a rare delicacy. But as its universal, there’s no one single platform you can blame or count this as a “negative factor”.
Cex.io too requires identity verification via a national Identity card as well as they might ask for a picture of the credit/debit card which you use for your transactions.
There are two kind of fee and you need to pay just one of them based on the type of purchase you’ve made.
While if you’re trading and buying Bitcoins from other traders, you’re charged 3.5%+0.25% if you deposit the trading amount via a VISA card.
Although bank transfers, as you can see are free while Bank-withdrawals are charged at $50/transaction.
And if you’re the “Taker” of the trade there’s an extra 0.2% fee you need to pay Cex.io for making the trade happen.
Bottomline, the fee is acceptable considering the professionalism and ease of buying Bitcoins you get with Cex.io and hence it has earned its place as one of the best place to buy Bitcoins.
Mode of Payment
It supports a wide-range of payment methods, including the most common ones used in daily lives:-
- Bank Transfer
- Credit Card
- Debit Card
- As well as Crypto capital for some currencies.
The Bitcoins arrive instantly in your Cex.io account. The same can be said for when you transfer them to a personalized wallet. Obviously, all the platforms on this list offer instant deliverability or else they wouldn’t be on this list on “ best place to buy Bitcoins .”
The buying limits on Cex.io are influenced by your “verification level”. The better verified your profile is, the more coins you can spend or buy.
There are four verification levels, and limits associated with them are:-
- Basic – Daily limit $500, monthly $2000.
- Verified – Daily limit $10,000 monthly $10,0000
- Verified Plus – Unlimited
- Verified Corporate – Unlimited
The “Withdrawal” limits are the same as deposit limits on Cex.io
If you’re a bulk buyer, in that case unrestricted buying limits are exactly what you need. And it’s one of the reasons which convinced me of Cex.io clearly being one of the best place to buy Bitcoins.
Paxful without an iota of doubt is one of the best places to Buy Bitcoins online. It not only is one of the easiest, but also one of the most feature-rich.
It’s primarily an “Advanced Escrow service”, and isn’t an automated buy-sell service alike some other options on this list. Rather is People-run platform where Buyers and Sellers can find each other, and conduct trades in full confidence and security.
Paxful is only as demanding as the “other party” you’re conducting deals with. The sellers from whom you wish to buy Bitcoin decide what level of Privacy they offer you.
If your current seller requires identity verification, you can easily search for another more privacy-respecting seller.
In other words, the KYC or identification isn’t mandatory. You can conduct trades without revealing the least bit of personal data about yourself. The mandatory, Paxful-induced KYC-verification only kicks in if you wish to buy Bitcoins worth more than USD $1500.00.
Tip: You can always buy from Multiple accounts, from sellers who require no KYC verification to remain completely anonymous despite having to buy USD $1500.00 worth of coins.
The Fee on Paxful is only charged to the “Sellers”, and depends on which mode of payment they accepted for receiving their payments. Here’s a list detailing the fee for each mode:
Also note that the price for which you’ll get Bitcoins depends on each individual seller, hence you may have to pay a significantly higher price than BTC’s market-price if there are no cheaper sellers for your mode of payment or location.
The withdrawal fee (sending BTC out from your Paxful wallet, to an external wallet) is set at 0.0005 BTC/withdrawal.
Mode of Payment
If there’s a mode of payment that one human can use to pay another human on the planet, Paxful probably supports it. It supports roughly 300+ payment methods.
Some of the most commonly used and available payment options on Paxful are:
- Bank Transfers (Needs Identification).
- Google Pay and other local payment processors.
- Credit/Debit cards.
- Gift Cards.
- And even Cash.
Note that that the full list is a lot more extensive. Infact, they’re also set to soon launch the direct trade of commodities and goods on the platform.
Being a P2P exchange, the limits on Paxful are mostly controlled by each Individual Seller. The minimum and maximum amounts you can buy and Sell coins for is set by them.
Although the buyer can still control the limits by simply going with a seller with higher or lower requirements.
Compared to some other platforms on this list, the speed of buying Bitcoins online on Paxful is slightly slower.
Simply because the process isn’t automated and rather depends on the two parties replying to and processing each other’s requests on time.
A lot has changed in the Crypto industry since last year; Changelly skipped my notice back then; well it certainly made an impression now. Why?
On an average, Changelly makes over 2000+ transactions each day and gets around 20,000-30,000 traffic hits. So we decided it’s time for us to try and include the platform as a solution for users seeking answers to questions like How to Buy Bitcoin in 2019.
Also, the User-Interface is pretty impressive; not a major factor maybe yet it matters.
Changelly does require users to enter an E-mail ID in order to Signup, and Signing up is mandatory. Although the E-mail can be anything random (and even anonymous if you use services such as ProtonMail) which keeps things private and anonymous.
Although; if privacy isn’t your primary requirement it also lets users signup using social media profiles such as Facebook/ Google+ and Twitter.
The platform is completely anonymous as long as you’re using other Cryptocurrencies (which you already own) to pay for Bitcoins (which you wish to buy).
The problem however arises if and when Credit/Debit Card or Bank cards are to be used as payment methods; then Simplex (the payment processor) requires not just an E-mail verification; but also a cell verification by sending a 4-digit OTP to the phone.
Stating the obvious; if you’re buying Crypto using Credit/Debit cards or Bank cards, the anonymity goes down a drain anyway.
Changelly isn’t just a buying-selling platform; but also works as an exchange. Meaning you can use any of the 130+ Cryptocurrencies which it supports to convert your currencies to Bitcoin.
In addition to that you can also pay using:
- Credit Cards.
- Debit Cards.
- Bank Cards.
The fee to convert any other currency to Bitcoin is 0.5%.
In case you wish to buy Bitcoins using Credit Cards on Changelly, there’s a 5% Changelly fee followed by another 5% fee charged by Simplex; which adds up to a total of 10% total. Also; in case the 10% charged by Simplex doesn’t add upto USD $10, they’ll charge it anyway meaning USD $10.00 is the minimum fee charged by Simplex.
While buying Bitcoins using other Cryptocurrencies; there’s no specific limit set, instead it differs based on each currency you’re trading with and is shown at the time of exchange. It just has to be enough to cover the network fee in most cases.
Although when buying Bitcoins using Credit/Debit cards; there’s a first-transaction limit and it must be worth USD $50 minimum; and USD $10,000 maximum.
The Daily maximum purchase is shackled at USD $20,000 and a monthly maximum limit of USD $50,000 has been placed as well.
The limitations on Bank card payments however are harsh:
- If you’re a Citizen of USA, Canada or Australia: First transaction limit- USD $50.00. Next purchase can only be made 4 days later, and has to be less than USD $100. Also a maximum of 3 transactions are allowed in the first week.
- If you’re a Citizen of European Union or other countries: First transaction is limited at USD $100.00. Next coins can only be purchased 4 days later, and no more than USD $200.00. Coins worth USD $500 can be purchased only after 7 days of the first-purchase. 6 maximum purchases are allowed in a month.
- Citizen of CIS: First transaction is limited at USD $200.00. The limit is increased 24 hours later. Maximum purchase possible in first week and first month is USD $2000 and USD $10000 respectively.
There’s no time-requirement for trades officially stated; however they do claim the speed to be 5-30 minutes for most transactions.
Although for obvious reasons it may exceed well beyond the 30-minute time-frame in case the transaction is of a larger amount, 1BTC+ per se.
As far as privacy goes, CoinMama is slightly better than most other platforms on this list, but not as good as LocalBitcoins. It requires you to verify your identity by filling in a form, and your cell phone numbers as well.
And it require some kind of National identification, or a driver’s license as well. So it’s not big on Privacy, but unless you’re sending money off to Al-Qaida, there isn’t a lot for you to worry about.
Also because CoinMama has publicly guaranteed “privacy” by stating that all your personal data stays on an ultra-secure, dedicated server so it isn’t for anyone to just get their hands on.
CoinMama includes a 6.75% fee with the Bitcoin prices it shows you when you enter the amount of Bitcoins you wish to buy. Meaning the price is pre-included with the fee.
And then there’s an additional 5% fee which is charged by “Simplex” (CoinMama’s payment processor). So in total it adds up to 11.75% fee which is higher than some of the platforms in this list.
But it charges that for its “credit card” services, and as you know the question of “How to buy Bitcoins with Credit Card” has been a leading problem in the industry for quite some time now so that’s a convenience fee for Coinmama.
Mode of Payment
Coinmama supports three primary methods of payment:-
- Credit Card
- Debit Card
And considering those three also are the most commonly used methods of payment for any individual on the planet, I’d say this definitely is one of the best place to buy Bitcoins from.
Coins arrive instantly on during business hours to your CoinMama account, from where they again can be transferred to any other Wallet of your choice without a second’s delay.
Although on non-business hours there’s a delay possibility ranging from couple minutes to couple hours.
You can buy upto $5,000/day and $20,000/month which is a pretty decent limit if you ask me.
It’s a good choice if you can ignore the slightly higher fee rates and the verification procedure.
I was acquainted with Virwox on the grounds that it helped me buy Bitcoins with Paypal. Back in those days there weren’t any exchanges which allowed a direct transaction of Paypal for BTC, and Virwox gave me away around it and I’ve been with it ever since.
This is the best part about Virwox and the primary reason why it’s here on this list as one of the best place to buy Bitcoins from. It doesn’t have any AML or KYC check going on. Meaning there’s no verification they’d require off you.
You just need to Signup which you can obviously do from an E-mail which doesn’t have your name or address on it. Apart from the E-mail there isn’t any other kind of “Verification” required.
I’ll admit the fee structure from Virwox isn’t very pocket-friendly. That’s for several reasons, like they trying to cover their losses (as they experience a lot of fraud activities), and also because buying Bitcoins using Paypal from Virwox is a multi-step process, you first need to buy SLL and then convert it to BTC (Here’s the Step by Step guide).
Each step has a fee of its own, hence you pay for “two” transactions instead of one (Paypal > SLL and then SLL> BTC). But if its strictly “Paypal” you’re looking for as the mode of payment, I’d say Virwox is one of the best place to buy Bitcoins.
It charges a fixed fee of 0.49USD + 3.5% fee on all “Credit/Debit Card’ transactions. It varies slightly with other currencies but the difference is negligible. Also if you’re exchanging SLL for BTC, in that case the fee is 50SLL + 3.90% of the transaction.
And then there’s the withdrawal fee of 0.01BTC/Withdrawal.
Mode of Payment
It’s really big on the mode of payments it accepts. Apart from Paypal, other payment methods include:-
- Credit/Debit cards
The buying limits on Virwox are based on your “Verification level”, and as they do not require any kind of “identification” for verification, it’s instead decided based on your account’s age and trade-volume.
- New Accounts: 90EUR/24 hours and 270 EUR/30 days.
- 10 days old account: 120EUR/day and 900EUR/month.
- 45 days old account: 200 EUR/day and 2000 EUR/month.
- 90 days old account: 400/day and 4000EUR/month.
There’s an additional level 4 which can be activated after completing level 3 (90 days) and it allows 1,000EUR transaction/day and 10,000/month!
Virwox has been in the business for over a decade now, making them a contender as one of the best place to buy Bitcoins, so obviously there can’t be any deliverability issues.
Most transactions with Credit/Debit cards, Paypal and other methods are instant, while bank transfers might take couple days.
I don’t think CoinBase needs an introduction if you’ve been in touch with the Bitcoin market lately. It’s one of the most popular names that pops up every now and then and is clearly a perfect platform to land on while digging for the best place to buy Bitcoins.
It has a user-base of over 6.8 MILLION! Obviously if they’re managing a client-base as big as that, they ought to be cautious as well as careful. So yes you do need to verify your identity as well as credit/debit card ownership.
A photo ID of yours works for the former, while for the latter they make two small charges to your card which you can verify in order to verify the cards.
It charges a fee of $3.99 on most transactions, although a slight variation might occur depending on your country of residence. It’s one of the lowest fee any Bitcoin exchange is offering currently.
Mode of Payment
They support a number of payment methods, including:-
- Bank Transfers / Wires
- Credit Cards
- Debit Cards
The above payment methods are for US and European customers only. For UK customers, they earlier supported GBP wire transfers which was recently revoked. So the only payment methods for you if you’re in the UK are via:-
- SEPA transfers.
- Credit/Debit Cards
The limits are influenced by various factors, including:
- Age of account.
- Levels of identity verification
- o Just identity verification.
- o Bank verification.
- o Credit/Debit card verification.
But on a general note, it allows buys up to $500/week. (It will definitely vary according to your account, it’s just to give you a general/average idea!)
Needless to say, if CoinBase is on this list of best place to buy Bitcoins, obviously it offers instant deliver-ability on the buys.
CoinsBank is a semi-anonymous platform. Meaning, it doesn’t need KYC, as in identity verifications or document uploads for Crypto trades, deposit or withdrawals.
However, registration does require a user to verify their mobile numbers which kills the anonymity we’ve been hoping for. Also, all fiat deposits need a user to be verified as well.
But if you were simply going to buy Bitcoin using some other Cryptocurrency, it only requires the cell-verification from you.
Modes of Payment
One of the primary features which earns CoinsBank its title of being one of the best places to buy Bitcoins online is its wide range of payment methods.
It lets users buy Bitcoins using:
- Bank transfers.
- Perfect Money.
CoinsBank allows buying Bitcoins using USD, EUR and GBP. The fee depends on the specific currency being used, as well as the mode of payment. However using Bank transfers to buy Bitcoins online is free on CoinsBank.
Buying Bitcoins using Credit cards has a fee of 3%, with an additional USD/GBP/EUR 9.95/purchase. Qiwi and Perfect Money have a fee of 5% and 10% respectively.
The minimum or maximum amount of Bitcoins you can buy on CoinsBank depends on the mode of payment you’re using.
If you’re using a Credit/Debit card, a minimum of 20USD/EUR/GBP and maximum purchase worth 5000 in either currency is allowed.
SEPA allows a minimum 10 and maximum 500 USD/EUR/GBP purchases. Qiwi is limited at a minimum 10 and maximum 10003 USD/EUR/GBP. Perfect Money purchases are limited at 100-10006 USD/EUR respectively.
9. Agora Desk
TOR URL: agoradeska6jfxpf.onion
Agora Desk markets itself as a LocalBitcoins alternative. Which also means it can be used as a Paxful alternative as well. It has both a clearnet, as well as TOR presence boosting anonymity.
It can be used not only for buying/selling Bitcoin, but also Monero (XMR).
There’s no mention of it requiring KYC documents, or identity verification of any kind (that would kill the entire purpose of TOR, wouldn’t it?)
Mode of payment
Being a LocalBitcoins and Paxful competitor, it too offers similar modes of payment. Basically, “anything” can be used to make a payment as long as it’s used by both the buyer and the seller.
The list includes (but isn’t limited to) PayPal, web wallets, gift cards, cash at ATM, cash deposits, bank transfers, QIWI, Apple Pay, Web Money and a dozen others.
There’s no geo-restriction either. It can be used throughout the globe, in any country, as long as the country has a seller willing to sell and a buyer willing to buy.
It’s largely free for the buyers. Free as in, the seller pays a 1% fee for creating advertisements, but they’ve probably spiked the price to reflect that. However, technically, it’s free for the buyers.
Depositing and withdrawing is 100% free except the Network fee which is required for obvious reasons.
8. Local Bitcoins
If you’ve gone through any of our other Bitcoin buying guides, you must have noticed Local Bitcoins topping the chart almost everytime.
And that’s not because I’ve some kind of personal feelings towards the platform, it’s simply for the fact that they are one of the most trusted platforms to buy Bitcoins from, offering the most diverse payment methods, which includes almost every payment method known to man, including Cash, NEFT, Paypal, Paytm, Western Union and what not and requiring zero verification!
LocalBitcoins earlier didn’t need any verification, which isn’t true now. KYC is now mandatory which is a major downer personally for me. It’s a platform where you trade with real-humans from around the globe.
I’ve personally had over 100 trades with 0 identification in the past, not even a photo was required and that’s the kind of ultimate privacy which made me list Local Bitcoins at the #1 position for this list on the best place to buy Bitcoins initially. But the lack of the same is what forced us to slide it down to the very end of this list.
A Signup is required, which isn’t tracked by the actual Bitcoin Seller, it’s just to manage your funds so that’s acceptable.
They recently integrated a KYC update, it is required for most high-volume trades. It’s divided into 4 Tiers.
The first-tier is just info-based verification asking or E-mail IDs, Phone numbers etc. The only hardcore verification on this level is phone-verification via OTP. No document uploads required.
The next tier (Tier 1) verification requires uploading of an identity proof. Tier-2 verification requires documents proving the address of the user. Tier 3 verifications too exists which require a liveliness test.
Both T1 and T2 verification require multiple forms to be filled as well.
Bitcoins arrive instantly to your wallet once they’re released by the seller. And if you transfer them to your own personal Bitcoin wallet, even then they take a maximum of 30 minutes to arrive.
Mode of Payment
Again something which justifies LocalBitcoins being listed at the very top of this list. LocalBitcoins allows you to search for the payment methods you’re comfortable with.
And the best part is, it’s the only platform on this whole list which supports “every payment method” that exists on the planet! And not just “payment method”, but it also supports 99% of the global countries so doesn’t matter which part of the world you live in, you can buy Bitcoins from LocalBitcoins.
The fee on LocalBitcoins is divided in two sections. First there’s the fee (profit) which the trader /seller charges, so you might find that the prices are slightly higher for coins over at LocalBitcoins because most traders seek to make a profit out of it. Although unless you’re buying 1BTC+, the fee doesn’t really effect you (because the overall % is much lower on lower amounts of BTC!)
And then in case you wish to transfer your Bitcoins to a more secure wallet, Local Bitcoins charges a slight fee based on network blockchain usage. It’s dynamic but it’s not the “lowest fee” on this list that’s for sure.
But considering all the other services and facilities LocalBitcoins offers, I’m more than happy to spend couple extra bits.
The buying limit too is impressive and a reason why LocalBitcoins is on top of this list. The limits are set by the “sellers” who are selling the coins.
So you can buy anything from 0.00001BTC to 100BTC+ depending on the seller’s and your trust level. (Trust-level is built based on your previous trades, verification-level etc!)
An additional factor making LocalBitcoins a much better option than most others on this list is its country-support. Being a P2P exchange, there almost always is a person who’s willing to buy or sell Cryptocurrency in your country.
The two partners do not even have to be from the same country to trade with each other. This is what makes it a go-to platform when you can’t find a place to buy Bitcoins online in your country.
Precautions after buying Bitcoins online
If you’re on this piece, you’re clearly new to the whole “buying Bitcoins” thing, aren’t you? Now, there are a few mistakes you must avoid which most people make when buying Bitcoins for the first time.
- Never keep your funds in the exchange where you bought your coins. Meaning, even if you bought your coins on CEX.io, Paxful or any other exchange, these are just “exchanges” and not actual wallets. Hence, always use a dedicated Bitcoin wallet to store your funds. It’s best to use Hardware wallets. They’re hack-proof.
- While buying your Bitcoins, try not to use traceable modes of payments if you need anonymity. Meaning, avoid paying with cards, bank transfers etc. Rather, buying Bitcoins with cash or at least gift cards offers you a lot more anonymity.
- Try to use multiple wallets. Or, at least addresses. It’s not wise to keep all your funds in the same wallet and at the same address, especially if you have a substantial amount.
- Use a VPN when purchasing the funds. In fact, you should start using it right away before even leaving this article. It’ll keep your activities anonymous. The govt. agencies or independent hackers wouldn’t be able to link your purchase or storage of funds to you personally. The VPN will also make your connection hack-proof, and help you unlock blocked websites/exchanges.
- Do not deal with any individual/group on social media/Youtube claiming to sell Bitcoins. Also, do not agree to cash deals at isolated locations. Always invite a few friends for a such a cash deal, and make sure it’s at a public location (parks, restaurants etc.)
- Scam-exchanges are very common. Do not trust any website claiming to sell you Bitcoins at a “discounted” price, or with any other benefits. In fact, it’s best if you stick to established, reputed and regulated exchanges like CEX.io.
So the final question hits up, which Bitcoin exchange is the best?
To be honest, there isn’t any one best exchange as such. It all depends on where you are, how much currency you wish to trade, how flexible you’re on the privacy and verification procedure and so on.
So I’d just say all the platforms on this list are worth it, you can simply pick one or the other and make couple trades with them. After some time you’ll figure out for yourselves the platform which is in most sync with your requirements and then you can stick to it.
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