How to buy Bitcoin with cash

Quick and easy ways to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with cash.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are often bought online, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy them with cold-hard-cash. It may involve a few more steps than usual, but thankfully there are several ways to buy Bitcoin with cash in the UK.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

How to buy cryptocurrency with cash

Peer-to-peer

  • How it works: Meet a seller near you in person, and buy Bitcoin with cash in hand, or any other payment option you agree on.
  • Available exchanges:
  • What to consider: Both the buyer and seller can be nervous about this kind of transaction. Make sure you only meet in a public place, and try to only deal with sellers that have a good reputation on the site.

Cash transfer at banks

  • How it works: Go to a bank and pay with cash over the counter for the bank to transfer into the exchange’s account.
  • What to consider: This is a good way buy Bitcoin with cash with minimal fees. However, different coin providers might have their own requirements, such as using a specific bank.

Prepaid cards and Flexepin vouchers

  • How it works: Buy a prepaid card or Flexepin with cash at local store. This can then be widely used to buy Bitcoin.
  • Available exchanges:
  • What to consider: It’s a convenient way to buy anonymously and with cash in hand, but your options may be limited. It’s typically not very cost-effective, and you might be limited to relatively small individual transactions.

Bitcoin ATM

  • How it works: Deposit cash into a machine which will then deposit Bitcoin into your wallet.
  • Available exchanges:
  • What to consider: If there’s a Bitcoin ATM near you, then this might be a quick and convenient way of getting Bitcoin deposited to your wallet. However, it might involve significant fees.

Pay cash at a money transfer service

  • How it works: Go into a Western Union or MoneyGram branch (or equivalent), and pay the cash for transfer to the specified recipient.
  • Available exchanges
  • What to consider: As long as there’s a branch near you, this is a very easy way to pay cash for the service of your choice. The downsides are that you lose some anonymity and you might get caught by fees.

What are the pros and cons of buying cryptocurrency with cash?

Like most things, paying with cash has both benefits and downsides. Depending on your preferred method above, you might experience the following.

Pros

  • Quick
  • Convenient
  • Anonymous

Cons

  • Typically not the most cost-effective option
  • You will generally be limited in the amount you can buy
  • Your platform options will be more limited

What are the fees relative to other payment methods?

Your fees will vary depending on your exact cash payment method. You’ll also find different standard commissions and fees depending on your method. For example, you can generally expect premium prices and relatively high commission fees for the convenience of paying with a Flexepin voucher.

  • Peer-to-peer cash in hand. Zero fees other than what’s included in the transaction cost.
  • Flexepin and prepaid cards. The cost of the card itself, which is usually around £5.
  • Bitcoin ATM. The fees and costs will vary between ATMs, but you can probably expect them to be relatively high compared to the most affordable options.
  • Money transfer service. The fees will depend on which service you use, and whether there are also currency exchange fees involved. You can compare Western Union fees vs MoneyGram fees here for an example of how much they vary.
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.

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