How to buy bitcoins
The best method to buy btc is to not reveal your identity. Unfortunately most major btc exchanges require ID, or ones that will keep you anonymous have very high fees. If you have to use your ID, or are just buying with a card that is attached to your real identity it is okay. We will be covering how to break the chain of custody to your identity by converting to Monero later on.
It is your choice to pick the path you want to go in order to obtain bitcoins. If you are just a personal buyer, it will be still fine if you use a non-anonymous method, like a bank wire transfer, as long as you follow the instructions on converting later on.
Can I use fake names/email addresses/. . .? Sometimes you have to give a real name or other identifying data to create an account on the bitcoin exchange. While buying BTC is not illegal, you do not want to make it too easy for law enforcement in case they investigate you. So the general rule of thumb is to use fake/throwaway data as long as you do not break the law with that. For example it is better to create a new email address than using your existing one for creating an account at the exchange. But do not, for example, buy a fake ID to avoid showing your real ID. Keep in mind to not use obvious fake data, i.e. avoid using names like “John Smith.”
Methods - How & Where to Buy Bitcoins
LocalBitcoins.com is one of the most popular methods of buying bitcoins. On this site, you will find lots of sellers and the price per bitcoin they offer. You can get some great deals on bitcoins, but make sure you check the rate before you buy, do not get ripped off!. It is best to choose sellers that already have some positive feedback to reduce the risk of you getting scammed. There are many methods which you can use to buy bitcoins: the easy and fast ones (e.g. wire transfer) are pretty common and the rates are lower. You normally get your bitcoins within a short space of time. You can then move your bitcoins from your LBC wallet to any wallet of your choice. More on that in the following chapters. Some of the most often used and more anonymous payment methods are:
- Bank deposit - open a trade, and the seller gives you their bank and account info. You deposit cash into their bank account, upload a picture of the deposit slip, and they send you bitcoins. Some banks will require ID from you to make the cash deposit into any bank account.
- Cash in the Mail - you send cash to the seller through the mail, and they send you bitcoins. Be aware of the risks of sending large amounts of cash through the mail.
Paxful.com is a P2P trading platform similar to LocalBitcoins where sellers and buyers exchange directly and Paxful provides escrow. It is possible to buy coins without providing ID verification, though the rates are usually higher.
BitQuick.co is a US-based hybrid P2P exchange where BitQuick provides escrow service between you and the trader, or you can buy directly from BitQuick. BitQuick will sell you bitcoins (up to $400 without ID verification), or you can trade with one of the independent sellers who sells bitcoins on their platform by cash deposit at banks and credit unions, MoneyGram payment, or Western Union transfer. It is like LBC and Paxful but with fewer payment options.
Bisq Bisq, available from Bisq.network (formerly BitSquare.io) is an open-source desktop application that allows you to buy and sell bitcoins in exchange for national currencies, or alternative cryptocurrencies and supports cash transactions. Quoted from their website:
• Instantly accessible – no need for registration or approval from a central authority. • Decentralized – there is no single point of failure. The system is peer-to-peer and trading can not be stopped or censored. • Safe – Bitsquare never holds your funds. Decentralized arbitration system and security deposits protect traders. • Private – no one except trading partners exchange personally identifying data. All personal data is stored locally. • Secure – end-to-end encrypted communication routed over Tor. • Open – every aspect of the project is transparent. The code is open source. • Easy – we take usability seriously.
Mycelium Marketplace (previously called “Mycelium Local Trader”) is the P2P bitcoin trading marketplace within the popular Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet available on Android devices. There is a Mycelium Wallet for iPhones, but the Mycelium Market portion of the app is not allowed by Apple. In the app, go to Buy / Sell Bitcoin and then hit Mycelium Marketplace, and you will see any local bitcoin traders for a specified area who posted an ad on Mycelium Market and their feedback on previous trades. Trades are handled through the app, but you meet the trader in person at a public place to make the transaction - usually settled in cash. Mycelium’s headquarters are in the EU, but the app is used worldwide.
LibertyX.com operates the largest cash-to-bitcoin onramp network in the US. It allows you to purchase bitcoin in-person up to $1,000 per day at over 13,000 local stores with only a phone number for SMS verification. For more information, please visit their website, LibertyX.com.
There are also Bitcoin ATMs in some places which can be a very easy and reliable way to get bitcoins. Simply search for “Bitcoin ATM map” or “Bitcoin ATMs near