Like the idea of buying Bitcoin but not thrilled at having to jump through the hoops of identity verification? We feel you.
Lucky for us folks, there are a number of ways to buy Bitcoin anonymously that are a little too long to get into here. So you’ll want to check out this article for full details on how to buy Bitcoin anonymously – without ID or verification.
Pros and Cons of Buying Bitcoin Anonymously
Every method of buying Bitcoin comes with advantages and drawbacks – and buying Bitcoin anonymously is no exception. So here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of anonymous Bitcoin purchases so you can go into this with eyes wide open.
- Higher fees.
- Caution/street smarts.
How to Buy Bitcoin Anonymously
There are two main exchanges you can use to buy Bitcoin anonymously. Let’s dive into them here.
LocalBitcoins is the most established and longest-running peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange. It’s based in Finland but operates internationally so you can find buyers and sellers around the world to transact in your local currency. And best of all, since the platform doesn’t sell Bitcoins itself, it doesn’t ask for ID verification.
That means registration is quick and easy – all you need is your email and if you’re looking for anonymity, you can even use an alias email address to sign up.
The platform simply provides a way for sellers and buyers of Bitcoin to transact with one another in almost any way that’s agreed upon. That includes domestic bank deposits, Western Union, Skrill, Moneygram, Payoneer and so on. You can even buy Bitcoins anonymously by using LocalBitcoins to find a local seller who is willing to do an in-person cash transaction.
Just keep in mind that this is a peer-to-peer platform so the seller’s reputation really matters. LocalBitcoins only acts as a platform to bring sellers and buyers together as well as an escrow manager. The majority of the actual exchange – i.e. choosing the best offer, selecting the most reputable seller – is up to you so be smart and choose wisely.
LocalBitcoins is like the Craigslist of Bitcoin exchanges while Paxful is a little more like eBay. It’s also a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange but it simply…looks better. And thanks to its polished interface, it’s also incredibly easy to use.
But it’s not just a pretty (inter)face. Where Paxful really excels is in terms of payment methods – it currently offers over 300+ ways to buy and sell Bitcoin, including PayPal, Western Union, debit/credit cards, national bank transfers, and even a variety of gift cards.
The platform also makes it easy for users to add nearly any custom payment method on the fly, which is what makes it possible for the platform to adapt to local markets around the world. Thanks to this, Paxful is available globally and there are deals in pretty much every currency you can think of.
The signup process is also quick and painless – taking just 2 minutes – and doesn’t require ID verification of any kind. Just an email will do.
Again, the same precautions for all peer-to-peer exchanges apply here: choose your seller wisely and know the ins and outs of navigating the platform so you can stay clear of scammers.
Paxful vs LocalBitcoins
If you’re thinking that the two main options to buy Bitcoin anonymously sound awfully like – you’re right: both Paxful and LocalBitcoins (as well as a handful of other platforms) are peer-to-peer exchanges that work on the same principle.
LocalBitcoins has more experience and reputation in the field. In the end, it all boils down to the sellers. Whatever platform supplies you a seller that suits your needs (i.e. payment methods, exchange rate, reputation) I would use that platform. Functionality-wise they are pretty much the same, so no clear winner at the moment.
One thing on the other side is that LBC has a ton more people doing deals on the site, anyway on here that can shine some light on the positives for LocalBitcoins that make them such a popular pick over a nicer site with (probably) better customer support?
Because it is a peer-based marketplace, exchange rates and terms can vary depending on the individual seller.
The user interface for Paxful is so much better – if LocalBitcoins is like Craigslist, Paxful has a more polished, easier-to-search interface that makes them like eBay.
Update: Coinmama used to offer the option of buying up to $150 worth of Bitcoin without verification. They no longer do this – now all user accounts must be verified.