The Easiest Ways to Buy Bitcoins with Cash or Cash Deposit

Despite the fact that the popularity and worldwide acceptance of Bitcoin is growing with every day, getting ahold of your first Bitcoin isn’t easy.  It may seem like purchasing a “digital currency” should be as simple as pie, and that it must be available through the means we all have gotten used to, such as PayPal, credit card or cash. But if you’re like thousands of beginners, you’ve discovered the surprising, disappointing truth – it is much more difficult than that. In reality, it involves either cosmic fees or a widely used identity verification procedure. The problem is that Bitcoin is currency, which means that it requires that third parties do the job of conversion and securing the deals.

In the article, we will try to show you that it might be easier than you think to buy Bitcoins. We’ve collected the best exchanges currently available on the market and listed them for you below.

 

Introduction

Why should I purchase Bitcoins with cash?

  • It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to get Bitcoins.
  • It’s private.

For real:

Converting your cash to Bitcoin is private and it can get you Bitcoins within a few hours.

Many of the exchanges below do not require you to provide sensitive personal details or verify your identity.

By the way:

Some of the exchanges below require a Bitcoin wallet, so make sure you have one before you buy.

Many exchanges are simply trying to steal your personal information (like your password), so we suggest using the exchanges listed below or doing research before purchasing from any exchange. We do research on every exchange we list. We are also very careful not to include scam exchanges on our site.

Cash Bitcoin Exchanges

  1. BitQuick
    BitQuick

  • Ease of Use: Average
  • Speed: Fast
  • Fees: Average
  • Limits: Average
  • Privacy: High
  • Reputation: Trusted

BitQuick is only available in the United States, and connects you with sellers who want cash for their Bitcoins. BitQuick works like this:

  • Find a seller who accepts cash and agree on a price for the Bitcoins.
  • Go to the seller’s bank and deposit cash into the seller’s account.
  • Upload your receipt to the seller in order to prove you made the deposit.
  • Once the seller gets your receipt, he/she will release Bitcoins to you.

This process can be done at a significant number of banks in many states across the United States.

Bitcoin purchases made with cash deposit are usually delivered within two hours. However, in many cases they can be delivered in under an hour!

Pros

  • This is one of the quickest ways to purchase Bitcoins
  • More physically secure than other cash payment methods

Cons

  • Prices vary and can be much higher than the current Bitcoin price
  • 2% fees for buyers are a bit high for cash trading

  1. LocalBitcoins
    Localbitcoins

  • Ease of Use: Hard
  • Speed: Fast
  • Fees: Low
  • Limits: Average
  • Privacy: High
  • Reputation: Trusted

LocalBitcoins allows users to buy Bitcoins with cash via cash trade in-person or with cash deposit.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to purchase Bitcoins with cash on LocalBitcoins:

  • Find a seller in your area that accepts cash, select amount of coins and place an order.
  • Receive a bank account number from the seller.
  • Make a cash deposit into the seller’s account.
  • Upload your receipt in order to prove you made the deposit/trade.
  • Once the seller gets your receipt, the coins will arrive in your LocalBitcoins wallet.

LocalBitcoins is private and does not require any personal details or verification. However, specific sellers may request this info.

It’s very important to buy only from sellers with previous trade history and positive feedback. LocalBitcoins is definitely one of the easiest, fastest and most private ways to purchase Bitcoins in any country. They charge a flat 1% fee on each purchase, while transactions to wallets of other LocalBitcoins users are free.

Pros

  • Easy, fast, and private
  • Purchases of Bitcoin can be done fast with cash deposit
  • In-person trades require no personal details

Cons

  • Can be more difficult to purchase large amounts of Bitcoins compared to large exchanges
  • Beware of scams. Make sure to always follow the rules
  • Slightly to significantly higher prices than regular exchanges

  1. LibertyX
    LibertyX

  • Ease of Use: Average
  • Speed: Average
  • Fees: Average
  • Limits: Average
  • Privacy: Average
  • Reputation: Trusted

LibertyX is a Boston-based, bitcoin-powered FinTech company that allows you to buy Bitcoin with cash at a number of retail stores across the United States.

It’s important to note that you’ll have to verify your identity before purchasing. This makes LibertyX less private than some of the other options.

You can buy up to $1000 worth of Bitcoin and the great news is that your Bitcoin should arrive a couple of minutes after your payment is made. You will be charged a 1% fee on all purchases.

Get this:

You can buy your first $1000 fee free if you sign up with Facebook.

Pros

  • Low 1.5% rate for cash purchase method (plus store fee)
  • Fast and easy way to purchase Bitcoins with cash
  • $1000 limit per day is fairly high for a convenience service

Cons

  • Some verification is required. This lowers the expected privacy level of cash purchase
  • Facebook account further degrades privacy
  • Participating stores add their own variable fee

  1. Wall of Coins
    Wall of Coins

  • Ease of Use: Easy
  • Speed: Fast
  • Fees: Low
  • Limits: Average
  • Privacy: High
  • Reputation: Trusted

Wall of Coins is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange that offers one of the highest privacy standards and lowest rates available. The exchange offers a number of payment methods, but cash deposit is the most common payment method.

There are currently over 100,000 deposit locations available all over the United States.

Wall of Coins also supports Germany, Canada, Poland, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Poland, Latvia, and Argentina.

After a cash deposit is made you’ll usually only have to wait about 15 minutes to receive your Bitcoins.

Pros

  • Fairly private way to buy Bitcoins. Only your phone number is required.
  • Easy way to buy Bitcoins

Cons

  • Can be difficult to find sellers who are offering high volume
  • It is currently limited to only 12 countries

  1. Bitit
    Bitit

  • Ease of Use: Average
  • Speed: Fast
  • Fees: Average
  • Limits: Low
  • Privacy: Average
  • Reputation: Trusted

Bitit is slightly different than the other options in this post, because instead of purchasing directly with cash, you need to use a voucher like Neosurf or Flexepin. The fees are round 8% for purchasing with Flexepin or Neosurf.

Pros

  • Available in 50 countries worldwide
  • Unique way of buying offers extra privacy over other options
  • €10,000 initial weekly Neosurf cash payment limit
  • 8% Neosurf or Flexepin fee is slightly better than Coinhouse’s 10%
  • Bitcoin gift cards are also available. However, they are more expensive than other options

Cons

  • In-person buying methods offer more privacy. However, these methods can be confusing
  • €500 initial weekly debit/credit card limit
  • Identity verification is required for purchasing amounts over €25

  1. Bitcoin ATMs
    Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs are not that easy to find and usually only major cities in a limited number of countries have them, so you can use our Bitcoin ATM map to help you find a Bitcoin ATM in your local area. They are unproportionally concentrated in some parts of the world, mostly in the US and Europe.

You can purchase Bitcoins with cash ONLY by using Bitcoin ATMs.

The average ATM charges a fee of 5-10%. However, this is what people are willing to pay to purchase Bitcoins privately and with no verification.

Each ATM is different because there are many Bitcoin ATM manufacturers. Some Bitcoin ATMs require verification, although most do not.

Pros

  • With our map it’s super easy to find a Bitcoin ATM near you

Cons

  • Bitcoin ATMs often charge a fee of 5-10% per purchase

Exchange Comparison

 ExchangeCountriesFeesID Required
BitQuickUSA2%Yes
LocalBitcoinsGlobal1%Sometimes
LibertyXUSA1.5-8%Yes
Wall of Coins12 Countries~1%No

 


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Don’t worry if you are still a bit confused. Buying Bitcoins with cash is confusing and difficult and that’s why I wrote this article. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section below should answer all of your remaining questions.

  1. What risks are involved in purchasing Bitcoins with cash?

Purchasing Bitcoins with cash involves very low risk.

If purchasing Bitcoins with cash via cash deposit, it’s recommended to use an escrow service like BitQuick or LocalBitcoins to ensure that the seller must send you the Bitcoins.

On the other hand, if making a trade in-person, it’s strongly recommended to meet in a public place in order to reduce the risk of theft or scamming.

  1. What are the advantages and benefits?

Buying small amounts of Bitcoin with cash is easy and fast, because there is no verification to slow down the process.

It’s also private, since in most cases, no personal information is required. This is especially true if trading in person or at an ATM with no verification.

  1. What are the disadvantages?

Buying large amounts of Bitcoins with cash can be difficult, especially with cash deposit.

Bitcoin ATMs also have limits. Some Bitcoin ATMs also require verification if more than a certain amount is bought.

PRO TIP

If you want to buy larger amounts of Bitcoins, you should try buying with a bank account and you’ll save on fees, too.

  1. Why do Bitcoin ATMs and LocalBitcoins have a higher price than other exchanges?

The average buy price on Bitcoin ATMs and LocalBitcoins is usually 5-10% higher than the average global rate, but this 5-10% premium is simply the cost people are willing to pay for privacy when purchasing Bitcoins.

Other exchanges require ID verification and personal information. On the other hand, Bitcoin ATMs and Local Bitcoins don’t require any information like this.

  1. Should I leave my Bitcoins on the exchange after I buy?

It’s highly recommended to store any Bitcoins you want to keep safe in a wallet you control.

Many Bitcoin exchanges have lost customer funds because they have been hacked, so if you don’t want to fall victim to these hacks, then the easiest way is to store your Bitcoins in a wallet you control.

  1. Is it risky giving up my ID in order to buy?

Well, this depends on how much you trust the exchanges.

It’s important to note that there is always the risk that your personal information can be stolen or hacked from the site you give it to.

However, Bitcoin exchanges are constantly under attack, so they have some of the best security and protections in place to protect against the hacking of your personal information.

There is always risk with anything related to information online, and even Yahoo was hacked and information on 1 billion accounts was stolen.

  1. Can you sell your Bitcoins?

Out of the exchanges we listed, BitQuick, Wall of Coins, and LocalBitcoins all allow you to sell your Bitcoins for cash.

 

Tutorials: How to Buy Bitcoins with Cash

How to Use BitQuick
BitQuick

BitQuick is one of the best and easiest ways to purchase Bitcoins with cash via cash deposit in the United States.

It charges 2% per buy. However, the exchange rates are generally better than LocalBitcoins.

Check the tutorial below to see how to make your first purchase.

It’s important to note that you will NEED a Bitcoin wallet before you can buy from BitQuick. Read our guide if you don’t have one.

Go to BitQuick and you will see the home page. Click the “Quick Buy” button.
BitQuick

Enter the amount you want to spend (you can enter the amount in BTC or dollars, the fields will update automatically).
BitQuick

Now, you will see a list of banks with prices:
BitQuick

You can choose any bank. The banks with the lowest prices will show up first.

Once you chose a bank, you will be required to fill in some details, including your phone number, email, and Bitcoin address. There is also an option that allows you to change the amount of Bitcoin you want to receive.

BitQuick

Put in your phone number and press “SEND VERIFICATION”, and the system will send a PIN code to your phone that you need to confirm.

Once you filled in your details, press “PLACE HOLD”, and this will lock in your order.

The next step is to find a bank branch of the bank you chose in your area, go into the bank, make a deposit, and save the receipt.

Go back into BitQuick and upload the receipt to the seller, which will prove you made the deposit.

Bitcoins should arrive within three hours to the address you entered earlier.

LibertyX Review

We’ll show you how to use LibertyX in the tutorial below. Once you’ve downloaded the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, open it.  You should get a screen looking something like this:

LibertyX

Enter the amount of Bitcoins you want to purchase, press “NEXT”, and you should now see a screen with some options. Click “Find Store” button if you want to find a store near you to buy. Once you click the button, you will see a zoomed out map.

You can allow the app to see your current location or you can put in your location. Once you put in your location, you should see a zoomed in map with pins displayed the many locations you can purchase from:

LibertyX

Tap on a pin and then click “SELECT THIS LOCATION” button:

LibertyX

You will see a card full of useful information about that location, like the store’s hours, phone number, and fees. You will also get instructions for buying the coins:

LibertyX

After that, you will need to login with Facebook or make an account:

LibertyX

In the next step you will need to link your phone number.

Once you confirm your phone number, you can get your LibertyX code. You will show the code to the cashier at the store and pay for the amount of coins you want. The cashier will then print out another code that you enter into the LibertyX app, and once you enter the code from the cashier, you will receive Bitcoins!

 

Buy Bitcoins with Cash at Wall of Coins

Wall of Coins is a peer-to-peer cash exchange that allows you to buy Bitcoins with cash. It is currently available in the United States, the Philippines, Poland, Latvia, Argentina, Germany and Canada.

Mycelium Local Trader – Trades Near You

Mycelium Local Trader is a decentralized in-person exchange and is part of the Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet for Android.

If you live in a city, you’re in luck because there may be many sellers in your area.

Make sure you meet in a public place and bring your best friend too. Make sure you take precautions when buying because there have been reports of robberies and scams.

Download the app, and click Buy/Sell Bitcoin button:

mycelium

Enter your location and you will see a list of local sellers:

Mycelium

For more information, click on a seller:

Mycelium

Again, make sure you purchase from sellers that have long trading history and good feedback! If you meet, meet in a public place and bring your best friend or a family member!

How to Buy Bitcoins with Cash from Bitcoin ATMs

Another great way to buy Bitcoins with cash is using Bitcoin ATMs.

You may have to physically walk or drive to the Bitcoin ATM. However, once you reach the ATM you can purchase Bitcoins instantly.

You’ll need to be lucky enough to have a Bitcoin ATM in your area, but this Bitcoin ATM map  makes it easy to locate a Bitcoin ATM in your area.

Do the following to check if there is a Bitcoin ATM in your area:

  1. Go to the Bitcoin ATM Map
  2. Search by Location

Type in the name of your city or country in the search box in the top left and click enter.

Bitcoin ATMs

  1. Find a Bitcoin ATM

While you search for a Bitcoin ATM, you’ll be taken to the location you entered on the map. If you see map pin markers, you’re in luck, because that means that there are Bitcoin ATMs near you.

Bitcoin ATMs

  1. Choose a Bitcoin ATM

For more details about a specific ATM, you should click on one of the map markers. If you need even more details, you can also click on “Read More” button at the bottom.

Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs make it easy to purchase Bitcoin with cash. However, there are also some downsides:

Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs generally sell Bitcoins at a mark-up of 5-10%, so before you purchase Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM, you should check the ATM’s price against a Bitcoin price index like the CoinDesk BPI or Bitcoin Average.

Also:

Some Bitcoin ATMs may require verification, like a finger print scan or a picture of an ID (although most don’t).

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchange Explanation

The exchanges mentioned above (Bitquick, Wall of Coins, and LocalBitcoins) all work in almost the same way, so in this section we’ll try to provide more clarity on how a trade might work using one of these exchanges.

The peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin exchanges offer anonymous ways to buy Bitcoins with cash. Here is how a P2P trade usually works:

  1. A seller and a buyer use a platform like Wall of Coins or LocalBitcoinsand agree on a price.
  2. The seller’s Bitcoins are held by the exchange. They are only released to the buyer upon confirmation of payment.
  3. The buyer deposits cash into the seller’s bank account, and he/she usually sends the seller a receipt to prove that cash was deposited into the seller’s account.
  4. The seller confirms the payment.
  5. The platform (Wall of Coins or LocalBitcoins) releases the Bitcoins to the buyer.
  6. The buyer got Bitcoins, and the seller got cash. This means that the trade is complete.

This was just an example.

Through LocalBitcoins and other exchanges mentioned above you are free to agree on other payment methods besides cash deposit.

For example:

You can use LocalBitcoins to exchange that Starbucks gift card from Christmas a couple of years ago for Bitcoins, or you can arrange to meet in person and exchange cash for Bitcoin.

Why Are Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchanges Good?

  • These exchanges don’t require verification. There is no verification process that takes up time and you don’t need to submit any personal details.
  • Cash payments are irreversible. Once cash is in someone’s bank account, the buyer of Bitcoins has no way to reverse the transaction, which means that the seller can feel confident that he received payment for Bitcoins, and release them to the buyer.

Exchange Rates

P2P Bitcoin exchanges offer a quick way to purchase Bitcoins.

However, P2P exchange rates may be slightly higher than the global average Bitcoin exchange rate. But for most people that’s not the problem because they are willing to pay more to purchase Bitcoins both faster and more privately.

The markup is usually somewhere about 5-10% on LocalBitcoins, while Wall of Coins generally has rates close to market.

You can check the price against a Bitcoin price index like the CoinDesk BPI or Bitcoin Average.

Best Practices for In-Person Cash Trading

It’s very important to take some precautions if you decide to meet up with another person.

You should arrange meeting in a public place. Most trades will go through fine. However, a search on Google shows people getting scammed or robbed at in-person trades.

Also, you should bring a friend or a family member just so you’re not alone.

There is nothing wrong with trading Bitcoins and these tips are not meant to scare you, but when dealing with any amount of money or trade it’s best to be safe.

Scams, Theft, and Storage

I hope that if you got one thing from this guide, let it be this:

Never store your Bitcoins on exchanges!!!

I’ve been purchasing Bitcoins for about four years, and I’ve never lost any money to thefts or scams. You’ll be able to do the same by following the guidelines in this article. 

 Here are two examples where users left their Bitcoins on exchanges and got screwed:

And there are many more cases where users lost their money by leaving Bitcoins on exchanges.

However, you won’t have to worry about this if you’re purchasing with cash from an ATM, because ATMs always send Bitcoins directly to a wallet or Bitcoin address.

On the other hand, if you’re purchasing from LocalBitcoins or BitQuick, make sure to move the coins you purchased to your own wallet right after you buy!

Get a Good Bitcoin Wallet to Secure Your Coins

It’s highly recommended to get yourself a good Bitcoin wallet that will securely store your Bitcoins.

There are many scam exchanges out there that will steal your Bitcoins and/or your personal information.

You should avoid theft, scams, and any other loss of funds by following these two basic principles:

  1. Make sure to do research before purchasing on any exchange.You should check ratings, reviews, and regulation information.
  2. Never store your coins on exchanges!This is already mentioned above but it’s worth repeating.

Below are the most secure Bitcoin hardware wallets:

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CaptainAltcoin's writers and guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the mentioned projects and businesses. None of the content on CaptainAltcoin is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CaptainAltcoin.com

Felix Kuester works as an analyst and content manager for Captainaltcoin and specializes in chart analysis and blockchain technology. He is also actively involved in the crypto community - both online as a central contact in the Facebook and Telegram channel of Captainaltcoin and offline as an interviewer he always maintains an ongoing interaction with startups, developers and visionaries. The physicist has couple of years of professional experience as project manager and technological consultant. Felix has for many years been enthusiastic not only about the technological dimension of crypto currencies, but also about the socio-economic vision behind them.

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