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You'll need a Bitcoin wallet before you buy since some exchanges require one.
Don't have a wallet? Read our guide on the best Bitcoin & cryptocurrency wallets.
Coinmama allows customers in almost every country to buy bitcoin with a credit or debit card. They charge a 4.9%-5.9% (depends on volume) fee on each purchase.
Customers in Europe can also purchase bitcoins with SEPA transfer for a lower fee.
Want to buy using Coinmama? This step-by-step guide will show you how to use Coinmama.
CEX.io lets you buy bitcoin with a credit card, ACH bank transfer, SEPA transfer, cash, or AstroPay. Purchases made with a credit card give you access to your bitcoin immediately. CEX.io works in the United States, Europe, and certain countries in South America.
Founded mid-2011, Kraken is the one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and the largest in Europe based on daily average trading volume. It is available in almost all countries. Deposits can be made via bank wire, SEPA, ACH and SWIFT.
LocalBitcoins is an escrow service which also helps to match bitcoin buyers and sellers. The most common method of payment for purchase is cash deposit. However, users may advertise trades for whichever payment method they prefer.
Buying bitcoins via an in-person meeting, secured and facilitated by LocalBitcoins, may be one of the fastest and most private ways to buy bitcoins in any country.
BTCC is China's second largest Bitcoin exchange and the longest-running Bitcoin exchange in the world. You can fund your exchange account online via bank transfer.
OKCoin is the largest Bitcoin exchange in China. Customers can make deposits to their exchange accounts via bank transfer.
Huobi is the third largest Bitcoin exchange in China. You can fund your exchange account online via CNY bank transfer or with USD via OKPay (1.5% fee) or international wire transfer (1% fee).
LakeBTC is the fourth largest Bitcoin exchange in China. They operate internationally, in around 40 different countries. LakeBTC is one of the top 15 global exchanges based average daily trading volume. Customers can deposit via cash, bank wire, Western Union, MoneyGram, OKPay, Perfect Money, PayPal, Payza, Skrill, Neteller, Leupay, CHATS or LakePay, although not all methods are available in all countries.
You can use our Bitcoin ATM map to buy bitcoins with cash. Bitcoin ATMs can be a quick and easy way to buy bitcoins and they're also private. That convenience and privacy, however, comes with a price; most ATMs have fees of 5-10%.
Hong Kong-based Bitfinex has long been one of the largest USD Bitcoin exchanges in the world. Bitfinex accounts may be funded by bank wire only, their fee on accepting such transfers is low at only 0.1%.
In August 2016, however, it was hacked and lost around 30% of its users funds. While Bitfinex can be helpful for buying large amounts of bitcoins, it is probably best to not use the exchange until it fully compensates affected users.
Mycelium Local Trader helps you find local Bitcoin sellers. Once you locate a seller, you meet up in-person and conduct the trade. Mycelium charges absolutely no fees. While Mycelium Local Trader works great in highly-populated areas, users in low population areas will have trouble finding sellers.
Changelly lets you buy bitcoin with Litecoin, Dogecoin, altcoins and many other digital tokens. Changelly works in nearly every country but you will need another cryptocurrency in order to purchase bitcoins. Exchanges happen almost instantly because Changelly never actually controls your tokens but just exchanges them.
There was once a time when China had absolute dominance over Bitcoin trading. Back in 2017, Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges accounted for more than 90% of global cryptocurrency trading. But the country’s hostile attitude toward exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs) means that China has lost its impetus in the Bitcoin space.
Thanks to China’s ban on exchanges and ICOs, the Yuan’s share global Bitcoin trading is less than 1% now. That’s not surprising as the Chinese government’s crackdown on Bitcoin led to the closure of 88 cryptocurrency exchanges and 85 ICO platforms since the end of 2017. What’s more, the government’s step of blocking offshore cryptocurrency exchanges through its firewall in February 2018 dealt further blow to Bitcoin adoption in the country.
Let’s take a closer look at the measures adopted by the Chinese government to stifle Bitcoin in the country.
In September 2017, Chinese regulators gave the country’s budding Bitcoin market a big shock by announcing that “all” of the crypto exchanges in the country should close down. Just a few months later, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced a fresh crackdown on the country’s Bitcoin ecosystem by adding foreign cryptocurrency sites to its Great Firewall in order to remove financial risks.
As such, China is one of just 9 countries across the globe where Bitcoin use is considered “restricted.” The government has taken harsh measures to stop Bitcoin related activity, such as police crackdowns on large mining operations by labeling them as power theft, as well as asking banks to inspect customer accounts to ensure that they aren’t being used for trading Bitcoin.
This hostile attitude of the Chinese government has created further risks in China’s Bitcoin landscape by giving rise to pyramid selling, illegal issuance of digital tokens, and fraud. More importantly, the move has led to a big drop in the value of Bitcoin as Chinese investors used to invest substantially in ICOs in the country, so freezing them out has dented the value of the cryptocurrency.
More importantly, it is unlikely that China will raise the blanket ban on cryptocurrencies despite recent developments that have indicated something positive. In October last year, a news source in China carried a story stating that Bitcoin is protected by law as a property according to a court ruling. This created speculation that Bitcoin in the country can be used for making payments, especially considering that certain establishments such as hotels were accepting payments in Bitcoin.
However, that doesn’t mean that Bitcoin itself in China is legal, which gives rise to a weird scenario in which usage and owning the digital currency is considered legal according to the court ruling, but trading in the same isn’t. In the end, it can be said that Bitcoin’s future is not in a solid shape in the country.
The government crackdown in China has made it difficult to buy and sell Bitcoin in the country. So, some people in the country have to engage in offline transactions with one party paying in cash to the other in exchange for digital tokens that the receiver stores in their wallet. Another way to buy Bitcoin in China is through peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platforms such as LocalBitcoins.
On a P2P platform like LocalBitcoins, sellers will post their offer and the transaction will be carried out directly between the related parties without the involvement of any third-party, using Alipay or any other specified platform as the payment method. However, the downside of this is that there are chances of fraud in case there are unscrupulous parties on the platform.
Not surprisingly, the blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in China has given rise to a thriving P2P Bitcoin industry. However, spending Bitcoin in China isn’t very easy. A quick check reveals that there are not many options where you can spend the digital currency in the country. There’s one hotel in China that accepts Ether, but when it comes to Bitcoin, it is usually seen that the cryptocurrency is used by high net worth individuals to purchase luxury items.
In the end, it can be concluded that the state of Bitcoin in China is not very healthy. The government’s hostile attitude has stifled the growth of Bitcoin in particular and cryptocurrencies in general, and the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon.