Here is another, more in-depth article on this topic.
There are different reasons why many people would like to stay anonymous when purchasing things around the web. The problem with Bitcoin is that it’s not completely anonymous because everything is recorded on a publically shared global ledger (the blockchain). Once a Bitcoin exchange requests identifiable information such as a utility bill, government ID, or an email address, they can track every movement of your Bitcoins. And that’s why more and more people want to know how they can get Bitcoins without using an ID.
That’s why in today’s post I’m going to show you exactly how to buy Bitcoins anonymously.
The Easiest Way to Stay Anonymous – Purchase Bitcoins with Cash
The Local Bitcoins Option
If you’re looking to purchase Bitcoins anonymously then the easiest way would be to purchase Bitcoins by meeting in person and trading cash. Use Local Bitcoins to find someone who lives next to your physical location and is willing to sell Bitcoins for cash.
Local Bitcoins is a Bitcoin start-up based out of Helsinki, Finland that has on the ground buyers and sellers in nearly 15,000 cities across the world. This P2P Bitcoin exchange has been operating since 2012.
Here you can meet sellers online and execute a trade offline. You can pay in cash or send them money via direct bank deposit or SEPA or PayPal o wire transfer (all depending on the seller).
However, Local Bitcoins requires you to register using your email ID, but you can simply use an alias email address to sign up to Local Bitcoins to bypass this. It’s easy to remain untraceable when you use cash because there is no documentation for the transaction. One more thing worth noting is that all the fees are set by the sellers, and LCB acts as an escrow manager.
Keep in mind that most sellers on Local Bitcoins don’t like to do business with anonymous buyers. However, since you’re paying in cash it should be less of an issue.
Note: Be sure to check the reputation of the seller. A higher reputation means a more trustable seller.
The Prepaid Credit Card Option
Another way to stay anonymous when buying Bitcoin is to use a prepaid credit card you can get at any convenience store or supermarket. For example, Coinmama lets you buy Bitcoin with a prepaid credit card, but your purchase limit might be capped at a low amount ($150) if you don’t verify your identity.
The Bitcoin ATM Option
Another way to purchase Bitcoins anonymously with cash is to go to the nearest Bitcoin ATM and purchase Bitcoins from the ATM in exchange of fiat currency (like dollars or euro). A Bitcoin ATM asks you to scan your public address and transfers BTCs to that address. In some cases, if you don’t have a public address, just specify that you don’t have one – in most cases this will just generate a new paper address for you (if it supports that feature) and you’re good to go.
Important Note: The actual anonymity you get with a Bitcoin ATM may vary between locations and machines. For example, there might be cameras at some machines but not others, or the owners of some ATMs might ask you to verify your identity.
Purchasing Bitcoins via a Bitcoin ATM is probably the best way to go about purchasing Bitcoins anonymously. However, the problem is that not everyone has an ATM next to them.
Users in Australia can use FindBitcoinATM to check the location of their closest Bitcoin ATM.
Methods Which Don’t Require ID but Aren’t Anonymous
The Wall of Coins Option
Wall of Coins is a P2P Bitcoin exchange that allows you to purchase Bitcoins without the need to verify your ID. However, you will need to provide your phone number to use the exchange.
Headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, Wall of Coins is primarily a cash-based system where a buyer has to go and deposit cash in a bank.
A Bitcoin seller who has a bank branch near you gives you their bank account details, then you visit the bank’s nearest branch and deposit cash, and once they confirm the deposit, the coins that are held in escrow are released to you.
Wall of Coins is available in the following countries – the United States, Germany, Brazil, Canada, the Philippines, Poland, and Latvia.
The BitQuick Option
Launched in 2013, BitQuick is a Bitcoin exchange that acts as an escrow for Bitcoin transactions via cash deposits at thousands of banks across the United States.
The idea is simple. Buyer and seller agree on an amount, the seller deposits the Bitcoins at Bitquick, and once the buyer deposits the cash into the seller’s account the coins are released. No ID verification is required for this process, but you will need to provide your phone number.
These were some simple ways of purchasing Bitcoins while staying anonymous.
All the methods described above don’t require you to use an ID verification to purchase Bitcoins. However, you can still be tracked with more sophisticated techniques.
Sometimes you might accidentally disclose your Bitcoin public address online somewhere, or you can be identified by your IP or through the private Wi-Fi which you are using, or a seller might track you down from your vehicle or mobile number when you did your face-to-face fiat/Bitcoin deal with them.