How To Buy Bitcoins Anonymously

Bitcoin itself is not truly anonymous.  When you think about its anonymity, there is that mini heart-attack one gets: that anybody can see how much bitcoins you have for a given address; plus, they can follow how the bitcoins move from that address to another.

Even so, perhaps this is not the biggest worry for most bitcoin holders and potential buyers. What terrifies many is: having to verify one’s personal identity when buying or selling bitcoins – Some people are not comfortable with submitting their passport photo and selfies.

If that sounds like you, you probably want to know how to buy bitcoins anonymously without verification. This article discusses how to go about it. Read on.

The Struggle of buying bitcoins anonymously without ID

You are probably reading this article because you have tried to buy bitcoins with most exchanges but they asked for verification before you could make any order. That can be disappointing; After all, bitcoin was meant to be a peer-to-peer digital currency. You could be wondering: what does verifying your Identity have to do with it? Honestly, some of us just want to buy some bitcoins, and move on with our lives.

However, that is not how the system is currently wired.  Most exchanges that trade digital currencies, including bitcoin, have to ask for ID verification to protect themselves from fraud and money launderers.  Also, it is not so easy to buy bitcoins anonymously because, in most scenarios, you get to exchange fiat currency with bitcoins. Unless you directly buy from the seller without engaging a mediator, there is no guarantee of anonymity.

Even so, there are several ways to buy bitcoins without undergoing verification.

You can go about it in the following ways:

  • Buy from peer-to-peer trading sites

  • Buy from specific exchanges that ask for no verification.

  • Buy from BTC ATMs.

Please note that the payment method will widely differ depending on the platform you buy the bitcoins. You may opt for credit/debit cards, prepaid vouchers/gift cards, cash deposits, bank wire transfer, and so on -- it will all depend on where you are buying the bitcoins from.

In addition, some of these payment methods are not truly anonymous but at least you do not have to submit your personal details when buying the bitcoins. If I am not mistaken, you probably want to buy the bitcoins and walk away.  It is up to you do decide which payment method you want to use.

Let us look at some of the options at your disposal.

Peer-to-Peer platforms

P2P marketplaces are a terrific option when you want to buy bitcoins without verification.  The advantage of such platforms is that transactions details remain private between you and seller. 

Some reputable P2P marketplaces to check out:

1.) Localbitcoins

LocalBitcoins.com logo

Localbitcoins is one of the P2P marketplaces you can buy bitcoins without verification. At Localbitcoins, buyers can exchange fiat money with bitcoins. You just have to browse the website to see offers from various sellers, along with the payment method they prefer to use.


When a trade is initiated, Localbitcoins locks the sellers’ bitcoins in an escrow account. The coins will be released to your Localbitcoins wallet only when you seller confirms to have received your payment.  If you want anonymity, cash deposit will work fine. Face-to-face meetups are okay, but you can easily get scammed.


To buy bitcoins at Localbitcoins, follow these steps:

Step 1: Register an account with localbitcoins.com.

Step 2: Browse the different offers on the advertisement page.  Make sure to filter the results with a payment method of your choice. It can be cash by mail or cash deposit at a bank.

Step 3: If you come across an advert you like, click on it to see the trade terms, then submit the trade request. Be sure to read through the seller’s terms of trade. In most case, the seller provides a phone number; you can reach out to them to arrange the meetup or discuss the payment destination.

When the seller receives the payment, they will release the bitcoins from Localbitcoins Escrow account to your Localbitcoins wallet.  For each trade you initiate, Localbitcoins will give you a code; you will use this exact code to verify the seller has released the bitcoins. If  you ask the seller for the code, and their code does not match with yours, the seller has not released the bitcoins.

In case you pay the seller but they fail to hold down their end of the deal, Localbitcoins will release the bitcoins to your account. This security measure ensures you do not get scammed.

Here is a video on how to buy bitcoins anonymously at Localbitcoins.com.

Pros:
  • You deal with an actual person.
  • Safe and fast if you adhere to their terms.
  • Offers diverse payment methods.
  • No set limits          
Cons:
  • Too many scams.         
  • Face-to-face transactions can be insecure.
  • Local meetup not possible for people in different geographical locations.
  • Fees can be high sometimes.  

Paxful has been around since 2015. If you are having trouble buying bitcoins in your country, perhaps you could try out Paxful – they welcome people from all over the globe. Being a peer-to-peer exchange, traders can freely exchange digital currencies without going through rigorous verification steps.  Paxful is a platform that connects both bitcoin buyers and sellers.

For anonymity, cash deposit and prepaid vouchers are the best alternatives since you do not have to upload your ID.

Step 1: To buy bitcoins, simply register an account with Paxful. Activate your account by confirming a link that will be sent to your email.

Step 2: Go to the offers page to browse through the different listings; select cash deposit or prepaid vouchers as the payment method if do not want to submit your ID. Once you see an enticing ad, click on the ‘Buy’ icon to see the terms of trade, and even chat with the seller.

Once you complete the payment, the bitcoins will be released from the Escrow account to your Paxful wallet.

Pros:
  • No limits or verification on the amount you can buy.
  • Easy to buy bitcoins.
  • Responsive support.
  • Shows seller’s reputation.
Cons:
  • For buyers, the exchange rate for most trades is high.
  • Seller may attempt to scam you.

Hodlhodl is a P2P cryptocurrency exchange that requires no KYC/AML compliance. To buy bitcoins, you just have to create your account.  This platform truly hopes to make a difference. User control funds in their escrow, and the fees payable are extremely low – approximately 0.6% per trade.  Another advantage is that Hodlhodl has a Testnet; with a Testnet, you can learn how to trade without real currency. Also,  the Exchange plans to integrate Lightning Network to their platform to speedup transactions.

To buy bitcoins anonymously, you may opt for cash in person, cash deposit at a bank, or cash by mail.  Depending on where you are, you may be lucky to find someone accepting cash as the official payment method; otherwise, you will have to settle for other payment methods.

Head over to hodlhodl to create your account. You just need to provide an email and a unique password to start buying. Once you have activated your account by confirming a link sent your inbox, navigate to the ‘Buy Bitcoins’ tab.  From there, you can filter the search to match your location and payment method. If you find an offer that you like, click on the seller’s profile to place an order.

Pros:
  • No verification needed. 
  • Low fees.
  • Secure; users control funds.
  • Segwit support. 
Cons:
  • U.S. citizens not allowed.

Remitano is yet another P2P bitcoin marketplace. Just like most P2P marketplaces, it uses an Escrow service to make tradings swift. First, the buyer opens a trade, specifying the amount of bitcoins they want to buy.  Then the seller transfers the bitcoins to Remitano’s Escrow account, where they will be locked until the seller verifies they have received the payment.

To buy bitcoins without verification at Remitano, register an account (you need an email address), then go through the list of sellers to pick an option of your choice. From, there click on the offer to see the trade terms, and how to make payment. The bitcoins will be release from Remitano’s Escrow account to your bitcoin address.

Pros:
  • No KYC/AML requirement for cash deposits.
  • Shows the reputation of the seller.
  • Uses an Escrow to Protect traders.
  • Low fees.
  • thumbs-up
    Responsive customer care.
Cons:
  • It is off-shore based.
  • thumbs-down
    Not easy to find a seller who accepts a cash deposit.

BitQuick was previously known as BuyBitcoin.US. Here, you can only purchase a small amount of bitcoins because the purchase limit is capped at around $500 worth of bitcoins.  Above that limit, you may have to verify your ID. If you hope to buy small amounts of bitcoins, BitQuick is a fine start. You only need to verify your phone number to start buying.

How to buy:

Step 1: Click on the  ‘Buy’ button, and specify the amount you wish to buy. Alternatively, you can navigate to the orders’ list.

Step 2: Select the nearest bank to you, then make the cash deposit.

Step 3: Take a picture of the receipt from the transaction and send it to the seller via email.

Step 4: The seller will release the bitcoins from the escrow once they verify the authenticity of the receipt. 

Pros:
  • Convenient for small amounts. 
  • It is fast; at most an hour to get the bitcoins.
  • Fast and responsive customer support. 
Cons:
  • Privacy is limited; requires identification for high amounts. 
  • thumbs-down
    High fees; 2% for cash deposits.
  • thumbs-down
    Limit for those without ID. 

Wallofcoins is another P2P Exchange where you can buy bitcoins without ID.  To protect the identity of its users, this platform uses only cash deposit at a bank.  You just need an email and a working phone number to buy bitcoins with Wallofcoins - there are no limits whatsoever on how much bitcoins you can buy.

To buy bitcoins, simply click the ‘Buy’ button, enter your ZIP code to enable the system to locate the nearest payment destinations.  Then, provide your bitcoin address, the amount you wish to buy, and then make the order. Wallofcoins will guide you, through an SMS system, how to make payment to the chosen payment destination.

This video explains how to go about it.

Pros:
  • No limits. 
  • You can buys as low as $5.
  • Low fees. 
Cons:
  • Most sellers unwilling to sell high amounts of BTC. 
  • thumbs-down
    The seller confirming payment determines the delivery speed. 
  • thumbs-down
    The fees charged are not publicly displayed. 

Bitsquare logo

Bisq is an open-source, peer-to-peer decentralized application.  Using this application, anyone can exchange fiat currency with bitcoins. Since there are no centralized servers to rely on, users control their funds. You do not need to provide personal information to buy bitcoins using the Bisq application. Plus, all transaction details remain private between you and seller.

Step 1: Download the Bisq application, and install it in your PC.

Step 2:  Link a payment method to your  Bisq account. You can select from a variety of payment methods including bank transfer and cash deposit.

 

Step 3:  After you have linked a payment method,  navigate to ‘Buy BTC’ tab to Start browsing for offers. Click on the ‘Buy BTC’ tab to complete the offer requirements: how much BTC to buy, the amount to pay in USD or Euros, and fees + security deposit payable.  You have to fund your trade with a small amount of BTC; this covers for the security deposit, trading fees, and the mining fees. You can fund your wallet either from the Bisq application or from another wallet.

Step 4: Wait for the  Bitcoin blockchain to confirm your BTC transaction (at least six confirmations are required), and then proceed to make the payment for the bitcoins you are buying. Once you make the payment, wait for the seller’s confirmation. You should receive your bitcoins, along with your security deposit, once the seller confirms receipt of payment. In case of a dispute, the application has built-in arbitration system.

Pros:
  • It is decentralized; no registration needed. 
  • Open-source, secure, and fast.
  • Transactions are fully anonymous.
  • thumbs-up
    Has an arbitrator system. 
Cons:
  • Users may have trouble running the client at first. 
  • thumbs-down
    Not practical if one does not have some BTC to offer a collateral. 

Buy bitcoins anonymously with credit cards/debit cards

Buying bitcoins anonymously with credit/debit card is a hard task.  That is because of the rising fraudulent cases that involve plastic money; therefore, Exchanges have to ask for KYC/AML details to avoid getting caught up in this mix up. Exchanges that ask for no verification most probably have a limit on how much bitcoins you can buy with your credit card or debit card.

If you do not mind verifying your Identity, here are five Exchanges you can buy bitcoins with a credit card.

To buy bitcoins without ID, using credit cards, try out these two Exchanges.  Also, take note that credit cards and debit cards are not the only payment options accepted. Cash deposits and even prepaid vouchers are an alternative as well.

247Exchange

247Exchange is one of the platforms where you can buy bitcoins without ID by using credit cards or debit cards.  However, they have a starting purchase limit for new users. New accounts have a daily/monthly limit of $100. To increase your limits, you would have to buy bitcoins worth equivalent of at least $15; this should raise your daily limit to $150; your monthly limit would go up to $300. 

If you buy at least $100 worth of bitcoins, your daily limit will jump to $250 while the monthly limit will go up to $500.  Typically, the longer you can use your credit card with 247Exchange, the higher your purchase limit. 247Exchange will make you go through verification if you wish to raise your purchase limit beyond $3,000 (daily limit ) and $30,000 (monthly limit).  

Paying with a credit is not the only option. You also have the option to pay via cash deposit and prepaid vouchers.

To buy some bitcoins, register an account 247Exchange. You just need an email address to get started.  From there, choose your location, the payment method you prefer, and then make your order.

Pros:
  • Buy bitcoins with any credit card/debit card.
  • It supports cash deposit and prepaid vouchers/cards.
  • Fast and easy.
  • thumbs-up
    Reliable support.
Cons:
  • Transaction limit for unverified users.

Buysomebitcoins

Buysomebitcoins is yet another Exchange where you can buy bitcoins with a credit card without submitting your ID. However, they do ask for verification from those who want higher limits. To buy bitcoins, you just need to verify your number; they will send you a code for verification. Also, they will debit $1 from your card to verify it, an amount that is non-refundable.  

Although it has a straightforward and user-friendly interface, some users have complained about the Exchange having hidden fees. Also, it is not clear whether their customer service is responsive.

Pros:
  • Buy bitcoins with a credit card without ID.
  • The transaction is instant.
Cons:
  • Not regulated.
  • thumbs-down
    Users do not control funds.
  • thumbs-down
    Users complain of hidden fees.
  • thumbs-down
    The website does not look secure.

Buying at Bitcoin ATMs

Another quick way to buy bitcoins anonymously is through Bitcoin ATMs.  However, there is a downside to this approach: there are limits on how much you can buy anonymously; Also, this option is not available to everyone. 

With most bitcoin operators, you do not have to verify your identity for low limits. Limits and verifications vary depending on the type of machine and the operator.  

Use Coinatmradar.com map to locate an ATM near you.  Currently, there are over 3,000 ATM machines spread across the globe. Chances are; there could be one nearby your city.  If that is the case, you just need to follow the following procedure to buy bitcoins without ID.

How to go about it:  

  1. Locate a bitcoin ATM near you using the https://coinatmradar.com/ map.
  2. Walk up to an ATM; on the UI interface, select your language, and navigate to the “Buy Bitcoins” option.  Next, define the amount of BTC you wish to buy.
  3. Next, enter your phone number or an Email address (This step will vary depending on the type of machine). The verification code will be sent to this number or email.
  4. Again, depending on the type of machine, you can provide an existing bitcoin address or you may have to create a new one. If you choose to use an existing bitcoin address, you have the option of scanning its QR code.  
  5. Next, insert fiat cash into the system, and check out of the transaction to get the bitcoins.

Note: Some machines do not print bitcoin addresses. This means you need to have a bitcoin wallet address before you buy with particular machines. If you do not have a clue on how to set a bitcoin wallet, this guide will come in handy.

Conclusion

Buying bitcoins without submitting personal information today is a challenge. That is because the majority of Exchanges that make it possible to buy digital currencies ask for KYC/AML details.  Still, if you are not comfortable giving your personal details to third party websites, there is a small window you can exploit -- either buy the bitcoins from the websites we have listed above or consider mining bitcoins using mining pools.

Mining is a different ball game; with the rising network difficulty, and energy costs incurred to run ASIC miners, mining is probably not for all. See a our step-by-step guide on how to mine bitcoins in 2018.

How To Buy Bitcoins Anonymously
5 (100%) 1 vote
Lincoln Ndirangu
 

Lincoln Ndirangu is a freelance copywriter based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is an ardent follower of cryptocurrencies and anything blockchain related: bitcoin, altcoins, smart contracts, DApps, ICOs, faucets, masternodes, and so on.

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