Buy Bitcoin London 2021

Making Crypto Simple

The idea behind Bitcoin is to reduce any geographical limitations, but trading is still easier from particular locations around the world. So, consider yourself lucky if you’re about to join the crypto game from London, UK. As one of the world’s Bitcoin hotspots, London offers a great diversity of Bitcoin purchase methods and a supportive crypto community to rely on.

Besides, our team has prepared a super-informative guide to the most convenient ways of buying Bitcoin. Once you get familiar with their basic features, you’ll be able to embrace a BTC purchase method that satisfies your needs as a customer. Take a closer look at our article on How to Buy Bitcoin in the UK for a general overview before we dive into our next Bitcoin lesson.

London, United Kingdom

How to Buy Bitcoin in London

If you’re asking this question for the very first time, the answer will be simple: find a reputable crypto exchange and deposit some GBP as instructed on the exchange. However, there are several alternative ways to buy Bitcoin in London that include cash, Bitcoin ATMs, or decentralized Bitcoin escrow services. The last is known as peer-to-peer exchanges and they’ve been intentionally omitted from our list due to low customer protection and a history of scams. 

We will only focus on secure Bitcoin purchase methods, with particular attention to: 

  • Buy Bitcoin on Cryptocurrency Exchanges 
  • Buy Bitcoin with Cash (via OTC Broker)
  • Buy Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM (BATM)

Buy Bitcoin on Cryptocurrency Exchanges

In the UK, you will find a handful of great crypto exchanges that allow users to trade Bitcoin and other blockchain-based currencies for fiat money or other digital currencies. What qualities make a great crypto exchange? Our professional team chose the 10 Best Crypto Exchanges in the UK based on security and support, ease of use, transaction fees, liquidity, and volume. 

We also considered factors that determine how long a single transaction takes to be processed and whether the exchange complies with local financial regulations and/or accepts local currency respectively. Therefore, we came up with CEX.io as the best choice among UK traders. Because its interface is considered encouraging for beginners, let us use CEX.io as an example to explain how a Bitcoin purchase process looks like. You can visit their website or download the mobile app available for free on Android and iOS.

Create and Verify Your CEX.io Account

  1. Go to the CEX.io registration page, enter your email and create a password.
  2. Choose the UK from the dropdown list, accept Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, and click Create Account.
  3. Don’t forget to enable 2FA authentication.
  4. You’ll receive a confirmation link from CEX.io to verify your email address.
  5. Complete the account setup by providing the required personal information and click NEXT.
  6. Complete the verification process by submitting additional personal information and supporting documents in compliance with CEX.io AML/KYC policy. 

Deposit GBP and Buy BTC

  1. Find Buy/Sell on your dashboard.
  2. Insert a custom amount of Bitcoin you want to buy or select a precalculated pack. 
  3. Choose a payment option. Currently, CEX.io supports SWIFT and domestic bank transfers (SEPA, ACH, Faster Payments), and Visa/Mastercard debit or credit cards. 
  4. Click Buy to confirm the transaction. 

Buy Bitcoin with Cash

We’ll focus our attention on the over-the-counter (OTC) desks as the most beneficial Bitcoin purchase method for large investments. Regular Bitcoin exchanges usually set restrictions on the amount of Bitcoin you can buy to prevent the market balance from serious disturbances. Thus, investors with large capital face significant financial losses when executing high volume orders on regular exchanges. 

On the other hand, OTC desks offer a personalized approach, high liquidity, and what’s more, a fixed price. The established price ensures you’ll avoid slippage at all costs, i.e. the negative effect arising from the difference between the initial market price and the actual price upon execution. OTC desks don’t allow high-volume orders to be divided into smaller, separately-priced “chunks” as they keep the order off the public ledger.

OTC services are often provided by leading exchanges like Coinjar, Coinfloor, Kraken, Binance, and Coinbase. In London, you can also rely on specialized trading venues both local (B2C2, CCOTC), or international (Genesis and itBit).

Buy Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM

If the number of Bitcoin ATMs signals a popular Bitcoin community, then the current 118 BATMs make London one of the top ten Bitcoin destinations. With BATMs, you’ll find the Bitcoin purchase process way more comfortable than any other method available. Even though Bitcoin machines differ according to the manufacturer, all of them provide full assistance and clear instructions during the purchasing process. As might be expected, you will have to pay an 8-10% commission for this convenience.

Contrary to popular belief, BATMs aren’t a completely anonymous alternative for buying Bitcoin. You may not be required to expose any sensitive bank information, but you’ll have to scan your digital wallet QR code and undergo an ID verification process. If you possess a hardware wallet, you’ll need a portable device to pair the hardware wallet with a watch-only software one. You can avoid the verification process with some BATM models if your purchase doesn’t exceed the amount of 2,000 USD.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to the official government statement, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not considered official currency in the UK. Even though the UK lacks specific cryptocurrency laws and regulations, Bitcoin has been treated as property and its status and taxation can change based on its type and usage. In addition, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England have issued various warnings about the use of Bitcoin and other altcoins.

LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer escrow service available in the UK, where buyers and sellers agree on trade terms individually without an intermediary. As private and easy as they may seem, P2P decentralized exchanges are not a recommended way of buying Bitcoin due to the lax customer security and protection.

You can sell your Bitcoin on any exchange that supports GBP withdrawals. Most of the well-known exchange platforms in the UK (CEX.io, Coinbase, Coinmama) allow selling Bitcoin in exchange for fiat money or other crypto assets. Besides Bitcoin, some of the platforms accept other popular altcoins like Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Zcash (ZEC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). All you have to do is create an account on the supporting exchange platform and pay careful attention to the instructions, withdrawal fees, and selling restrictions.

Only a restricted number of cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase Pro and eToro support Paypal in the UK. It means that PayPal still isn’t a broadly accepted Bitcoin purchase method. Apart from the limited supporting exchange platform, buying Bitcoin with PayPal has considerably higher fees.

Coinbase is an internationally recognized cryptocurrency platform available in over 100 countries worldwide including the UK. UK traders have access to both a GBP and a EUR wallet as part of their Coinbase account, and the Bitcoin wallets can be topped up using different payment methods including wire transfer, PayPal, and SEPA. Keep in mind that Coinbase doesn’t accept physical checks for Bitcoin purchases.