Buying Bitcoin (BTC) With Cash

Mon 15 Feb 2021 ▪ 1h04 ▪ 7 min read - by William Proctor

Of all the ways to buy bitcoin, cash is probably the most appropriate for those wishing to avoid entering their banking details on a website, especially those who wish to act in complete confidentiality. Cash offers the chance to bypass the payment methods which require KYC (Know Your Customer) authentication, meaning that no personal information has to be submitted to any exchange platform for validation. So, how can you buy BTC with cash?

Just like a platform or seller can send bitcoins directly into your digital wallet, a buyer can just as easily transfer cash through a dedicated intermediary.

Buying bitcoin with cash using a postal order

Post Office branches normally will offer this effective, yet traditional way to send or receive cash. Sending cash to a third party’s bank account is also possible via postal order. Unlike a bank transfer, you can send cash without going through your bank account. It is therefore accessible to all, and it is possible to send cash to anyone in your home country or to a post office abroad.

A postal order can be sent online or in branch. In the UK, you will need to go to your local Post Office to buy BTC with cash, where you’ll fill in a form with your contact details and other necessary information, as well as the receiver’s details. You will also have to fill in how much you’re transferring and pay the amount in cash plus the fees. Be aware that there is a cap on the amount that can be sent (only £250 in the UK per order at the time of writing, in France however it is €1,500).

There are several sites allow postal order as a means of payment when purchasing bitcoins, these include:

  • ZeBitcoin
  • LocalBitcoins
  • BitBoat (euros only)

Buying bitcoin through Western Union or Moneygram

Based on the same principle as postal orders, Western Union and MoneyGram, among others, offer a service where you can deposit cash to a beneficiary in your own country or abroad. The procedure is similar to the first one and also makes it possible to transfer cash without having to use a bank account and thus relatively anonymously.

You can find Western Union and MoneyGram branches all across the UK and the world. The best thing about these kinds of services is that you can transfer cash into a range of currencies. 

In terms of cryptocurrency platforms, CoinMama, for example, allows BTC to be purchased both through a Western Union or a MoneyGram transfer.

Buying bitcoin with cash from a private seller

Buying bitcoin through a peer-to-peer service is also possible. Some platforms such as LocalBitcoins allow individuals and sellers to meet up to complete a transaction. It’s simple: make an appointment with someone who wants to sell and buy their bitcoin for cash.

To minimise the potential risk of being scammed, LocalBitcoins gives active sellers using the platform a rating, which allows buyers to choose a seller with confidence.

Hint: choose a public place during the day to meet and perhaps it’s a good idea to take someone with you too.

Buying bitcoin with cash using an ATM

Withdrawing bitcoin from an ATM like you would pounds also works! That being said, some countries in the EU are lagging behind others. In 2020, there are only about ten Bitcoin ATMs in France (Paris, Lille and Nice) while there are over 260 in the UK. Use to locate your nearest one!

They operate just as you would expect. On the Bitcoin ATM (BATM) screen, select ‘buy BTC’ and choose how much you want to buy, which can be chosen in amounts of whichever currency of the country you find yourself in, but usually smaller notes (so no £50 notes!). Insert your cash into the machine and select the crypto you want in return.

Obviously, bitcoin is a virtual currency and not one based on cash, so don’t expect to receive BTC notes or coins in return! If you don’t have a digital wallet, the BATM will offer you a cryptocurrency wallet, the digital way in which to store bitcoin. For more information about wallets and how to get one, please refer to this guide. The funds are then deposited into your new bitcoin wallet, or into the one of your choice. The machine prints an invoice detailing the transaction (including the public key with its QR code and the private key). 

Good to know: These vending machines are also a way to sell your bitcoins for cash.

Buying bitcoin with cash using prepaid cards

The idea is to buy a prepaid card with cash and then use it to purchase bitcoin. These prepaid cards are usually sold in petrol stations, supermarkets or corner shops.

Buying bitcoin with a Paysafecard

The Paysafecard is sold from a minimum £10 in many shops across the country and allows you to buy BTC online via several cryptocurrency exchange platforms, including:

  • LocalBitcoins (It’s up to you to find a Bitcoin vendor that accepts the prepaid card to complete the transaction)
  • VirWox (With a cash payment, you can convert SLL (the currency of the online game Second Life) into bitcoin)
  • Paxful

Buy bitcoins with a Neosurf card

The Neosurf prepaid card can also be purchased with cash in many shops across the country. Sold for fixed amounts of pounds, this card is accepted for purchasing BTC on several platforms such as ZebitCoin, LocalBitcoins, Bitit, Bitboat or CoinHouse. A PIN code allows you to pay for your online BTC purchases.

As we’ve just seen, you can buy bitcoin in cash without using your account or any credit card details. From using a postal order to prepaid cards or even through an ATM, there are many solutions available. It’s also the ideal way to buy your bitcoins completely confidentially! The only thing you need is a wallet to store your bitcoin in once you’ve completed the purchase. While in the UK there are Bitcoin ATMs in most towns and cities, other countries in Europe are lagging behind. Don’t forget there are more than 7,000 of them worldwide!

William Proctor

Hi, Привет & Salut! I’m interested in two things: crypto and languages. So I’m really excited to be part of the multinational CoinTribune team, where I can share my crypto knowledge with people from around the world, one article at a time.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.