If you’ve taken the leap and bought some Bitcoin, it’s equally important that you know how (and when) to cash out and sell. Selling your Bitcoin with low fees is the best way to get the most return on your investment, which is why we’ve done the research of comparing 50+ crypto exchanges to help you find the best match.
So long as you have access to your private keys you can sell your Bitcoin at any exchange you’d like. Compare exchanges using deposit methods, fiat currency support and accepted cryptocurrencies to find the best match for your needs.
Step-by-step guides on selling Bitcoin
There are two main options available when selling your BTC holdings:
Selling Bitcoin for fiat currency, such as Indonesian rupiah (IDR)
For many people, the main aim when selling Bitcoin will be to cash out for IDR, so you can find instructions on how to do that below. However, if you want to trade your BTC for another crypto, we’ve included a step-by-step guide on how to do that as well.
Selling BTC for Indonesian rupiah
If you want to sell BTC for fiat currency, here’s an example of how you can do it:
Register on an exchange that lists the BTC/IDR trading pair To satisfy government regulations, most exchanges will also require you to provide your full name, address and proof of ID.
Deposit Bitcoin into your account Before you can sell your Bitcoin, you’ll need to transfer it into the wallet of your chosen exchange. Find the deposit address for Bitcoin and then transfer BTC from your external wallet to that address.
Sell Bitcoin Once your transfer has been completed, you can then search for the currency pair you want to trade on the exchange you’re using. In this case BTC/IDR, and enter all the details of your transaction.
Selling BTC for cryptocurrency
If you want to exchange your Bitcoin for another cryptocurrency, here’s how you can do it:
Deposit BTC into your account You’ll first need to find the BTC deposit address, so head over to your wallet and use the address you’ve just copied as the destination for your BTC transfer.
Sell BTC Navigate your way to the trading section of your chosen platform and then enter the full details of your sale. You can then type in how much BTC you want to sell, review the details of the transaction and click “Sell BTC.”
Transfer your new cryptocurrency into a secure wallet Consider finding a crypto wallet that supports your new digital currency and allows you to control your private key.
How to sell a large amount of Bitcoin
If you’re looking to sell a large amount of Bitcoin, such as US$50,000 (approximately IDR709,802,500) or more, conducting the transaction through an ordinary crypto exchange may not be the best way to go about it. Not only may there not be sufficient liquidity on a traditional exchange, resulting in slower processing times, but you’ll also need to battle “slippage” — which is when the market moves against you before your trade can be completed.
The transaction limits on these exchanges may also be too low for your needs, so anyone looking to sell a large amount of Bitcoin should consider an over-the-counter (OTC) trade. OTC trades are those that take place away from a conventional, regulated exchange, and they offer a simpler and more cost-effective way to buy and sell large amounts of Bitcoin.
There’s no such thing as a best way to sell Bitcoin for everyone, because what works well for one person might not necessarily be a good fit for the next. Instead, it’s all about working out which option is the right choice for you. You can do this by asking yourself a few important questions:
Do you want to sell Bitcoin for IDR or another cryptocurrency?
How quickly do you want to sell your Bitcoin?
Are you willing to accept a price well below the market rate, or do you want to negotiate the best price possible?
If selling for IDR, how do you want to receive payment?
This should help you decide how you want to sell your Bitcoin, and you can then figure out which platform has all the features you need. When comparing your options, make sure you consider:
Price – How does the exchange rate you’ll get compare to those offered by other platforms?
Fees – Compare any trading fees that apply and whether there’s a fee for withdrawing funds into your bank account or crypto wallet.
Trading and withdrawal limits – Is there any limit on the amount of Bitcoin you can sell, or on how much IDR you can withdraw from your account?
Security features – Are there any security measures in place to help protect your funds and your private data, for example 2-factor authentication or a reputation system for buyers and sellers?
Customer support – If something goes wrong with your transaction, how will you be able to contact customer support? During what hours is support available?
Reputation and reviews – Seek out online reviews and check crypto forum posts from other users to find out whether they’d recommend a particular exchange, trading platform or Bitcoin ATM provider.
There are several other important features to consider, such as where an exchange is regulated and the payment methods accepted by peer-to-peer trading sites, so check out our cryptocurrency exchange guide for more tips on how to choose the right platform.
How to sell Bitcoin: what are my options?
The step-by-step guides above take you through the process of selling Bitcoin on an exchange. However, this is just one of several options available when you want to cash out your Bitcoin, so let’s take a closer at what other options you have.
Why might you choose this option? If you’re looking for a convenient and simple way to turn Bitcoin into IDR or the cryptocurrency of your choice.
Pros: Convenient, quick and easy, allows you to exchange BTC for fiat or a huge range of cryptocurrencies
Cons: Withdrawal fees can sometimes be steep, ID verification process can cause delays
This is the most popular option for anyone looking to sell Bitcoin. As the guides above show, it’s quite easy to sell Bitcoin on a crypto exchange and you can do it all from the comfort of your couch. Exchanges act as an intermediary — which means both you and the buyer will need to entrust your funds to your preferred platform, and that exchange will impose trading fees to take a cut of each transaction.
Using an exchange means you have the option to either turn your Bitcoin into IDR and withdraw the funds to your bank account or exchange your BTC for just about any other cryptocurrency in existence. From Luno to Coinbase, there’s a huge range of exchange platforms to choose from, so you can shop around for the one that meets your needs.
However, make sure you’re aware of any trading fees and withdrawal limits that apply before choosing an exchange.
Why might you choose this option? If you want to set your own price and enjoy greater control over the sale process.
Pros: Could help you get a better price, provides you with more flexibility and control over the sale process, may offer increased privacy
Cons: Can take time to find a buyer, risk of fraud when dealing with private buyers
Peer-to-peer trades, which are sometimes also referred to as direct trades, offer the option of selling your Bitcoin to another person. Online peer-to-peer marketplaces give you more freedom and control over the specifics of the transaction — you can set your price, nominate how you want to receive payment, and then wait for the right buyer to come along.
The way the sale actually takes place will vary depending on the peer-to-peer platform you’re using. For example, while some platforms only accept online bank transfers, sites like LocalBitcoins accept everything from cash and credit cards to PayPal and Western Union transfers.
The registration process varies from platform to platform, but some peer-to-peer marketplaces allow you to trade with a certain level of anonymity. However, you’ll need to be willing to accept that selling in this way may take longer than some other options, and you’ll need to compete with other sellers to get the attention of a suitable buyer.
Why might you choose this option? If you want a quick and easy way to turn your Bitcoin into cold, hard cash.
Pros: Quick and easy, a fast way to cash out your Bitcoin when you need fiat currency
Cons: Bitcoin ATMs (particularly those that let you sell BTC) can be difficult to find, and have high transaction fees
Bitcoin ATMs allow you to deposit cash and convert it to Bitcoin. However, some of these ATMs also allow you to transact in the opposite direction — in other words, convert your BTC balance into fiat currency so you can withdraw cash.
The main advantage of this approach is that it offers fast access to cash, providing an instant way to turn your digital coins into real-world money. Unfortunately, Bitcoin ATMs can be hard to find, and even if you stumble across one there’s no guarantee that it will support selling services. You’ll typically also need to provide some form of ID before you can complete a transaction, and be willing to accept high fees compared to other selling options.
Why might you choose this option? If you’re selling to a friend or relative, or if you want to negotiate a better sale price and avoid middleman fees.
Pros: Dealing direct means there are no middleman fees, you can negotiate the price you want
Cons: Very risky if dealing with a stranger, more time-consuming than selling online
Want to sell some BTC to a friend or family member? If they already have a Bitcoin wallet set up, the process is easy. All you have to do is scan their wallet QR code or copy its address, transfer them the BTC, and either accept payment from them in cash or as a bank transfer.
However, you may also be considering selling your Bitcoin to a random person, perhaps someone who contacted you through a peer-to-peer marketplace or who you arranged to meet via an online forum. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that this can be a risky move, so it’s a good idea to arrange your meeting through a site that has some sort of rating system to help you gauge the legitimacy of the other party.
Taking normal safety precautions, such as arranging to meet in a public place, is also a must.
Withdrawing your funds after the sale
Even after you’ve sold your Bitcoin, your transaction hasn’t been fully completed. The final step is to withdraw the proceeds of your sale into either your bank account or your cryptocurrency wallet.
If you’ve sold Bitcoin through a platform that permits IDR withdrawals, check to see what withdrawal methods are supported. Options include:
When choosing your withdrawal method, make sure you consider:
Fees. Many (but not all) platforms impose a withdrawal fee, and the fee charged usually varies depending on the withdrawal method selected.
Limits. Are there any minimum or maximum limits on how much you can transfer? How do they differ between withdrawal methods? Can you increase these limits by providing additional verification or ID?
Processing times. How long will it take for the IDR to arrive in your wallet or bank account? For example, while cash withdrawals are instant, bank transfers can take several days to arrive.
Any other restrictions. For example, some exchanges will require you to withdraw funds using the same payment method with which you made your deposit.
Storing your cryptocurrency on an exchange for the long-term is not recommended. Exchanges control the private keys to these wallets and are also popular targets for hackers, so the safest option is to transfer your crypto into a secure wallet that lets you retain ownership of your private keys. It’s a good idea to set this wallet up well in advance of selling your Bitcoin, and make sure you double-check your wallet address before depositing any funds.
Once again, check whether there are any limits on the amount of crypto you can withdraw per-transaction or in any 24-hour period. You’ll also need to factor any withdrawal fee into the total cost of the transaction.
When is the right time to sell Bitcoin?
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question.
Timing is crucial to maximising the success of any trade – anyone who sold Bitcoin at or near its ~US$20,000 peak in December 2017 can attest to this fact – but working out the right time to sell can be a tricky task. From crypto regulatory developments and broader economic factors to Bitcoin hype levels and even your own appetite for risk, there are many factors that can affect whether you should or shouldn’t sell your BTC.
You can sell Bitcoin for cash by using a Bitcoin ATM that allows you to exchange your BTC for an IDR cash withdrawal. Alternatively, you could arrange to sell your Bitcoin through a peer-to-peer marketplace that accepts cash as a payment option, either meeting someone in person to accept payment or asking them to send a cash transfer through a payment service such as Western Union.
Bitcoin debit cards are linked to your cryptocurrency balance. They allow you to load your card with BTC, which is then converted into fiat currency by the card provider so you can use it to buy goods and services in-store and online, or withdraw cash from an ATM.
You can sell Bitcoin through a peer-to-peer marketplace that accepts PayPal payments, such as LocalBitcoins or Paxful, or use an exchange like VirWox. Alternatively, some exchanges may also allow you to sell Bitcoin for IDR, then withdraw it to the credit card or bank account linked to your PayPal account.
Yes, some multi-currency wallets (such as Coinomi and Jaxx) come with an in-built exchange service that allows you to quickly swap Bitcoin for another crypto within your wallet. However, this convenience usually comes at a price, as the exchange rate you’ll get will typically be lower than the price you could get on an open exchange.
Yes. If you make a capital gain when you sell BTC for IDR or exchange it for another crypto, an Income Tax event occurs as capital gains are considered ordinary income and are taxed at the standard income tax rate.
Look at the current sell offers listed on your chosen platform to get an idea of the average price. However, remember that you’re competing with the other sellers on that platform and will need to make a compelling offer. The price you set could vary depending on what else you’re bringing to the table, such as being in a convenient location for buyers or accepting cash payments.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly
volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of
future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information.
You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory
requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ADA, ICX, IOTA and XLM.
Andrew Munro is the cryptocurrency editor at Finder. He was initially writing about insurance, when he accidentally fell in love with digital currency and distributed ledger technology (aka “the blockchain”). Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, and has written guides about everything from industrial pigments to cosmetic surgery.
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