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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.
Coinbase is the world's largest Bitcoin (BTC) broker. They represent an easy and fast way for new users to purchase bitcoins. Coinbase supports customers in over 30 countries, including the United States, Europe (besides Germany), UK, Singapore, Canada, and Australia.
Customers in the above-mentioned countries can purchase bitcoins by debit card, bank transfer, SEPA transfer, and more.
Bittylicious is a Bitcoin exchange located in the United Kingdom. Customers can purchase bitcoin instantly via Barclays Pingit, Faster Payments-enabled bank transfer, Paym, or credit/debit card.
Coinmama allows customers in almost every country to buy bitcoin with a credit or debit card. They charge a ~6% 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.
Luno is a Bitcoin exchange based in Singapore. It originally launched to support countries like South Africa and Indonesia, but recently expanded to Europe and supports the purchase of bitcoin through credit, SEPA transfer, SOFORT and iDEAL.
Bitpanda is a Bitcoin broker based in Austria.
They have high payment limits and low fees across their wide range of payment methods.
Bitpanda offers customers the option to buy bitcoins with credit card, debit card, SOFORT, Skrill, NETELLER, giropay, eps, SEPA, and Online Bank Transfer.
Our guide will show you how to buy bitcoins with a credit card on Bitpanda.
Coinbase's exchange, Coinbase Pro, is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the United States. Users can fund their accounts via bank transfer, SEPA, or bank wire. Coinbase Pro offers good prices and low fees, but their confusing user interface may initially prove difficult to navigate.
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.
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.
Bitcoin.de is a major European peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange. Users can buy bitcoin online from other Bitcoin.de users through SEPA bank transfers.
BitBargain is peer to peer marketplace for buying and selling bitcoin in the United Kingdom. The company vets its sellers to ensure that only those with positive buyer feedback are allowed to trade.
QuickBitcoin lets you buy bitcoins in the UK in under an hour, utilising online bank transfers. They also offer a unique anti-ransomware service to help you unlock a computer affected by such malware.
Paymium was the first European Bitcoin exchange, founded in 2011. It provides a EUR/BTC exchange service, and complies with all relevent European Regulations. Customers can purchase bitcoins via SEPA, wire transfer, or credit card.
Bity is a Bitcoin exchange and ATM operator, based in Switzerland. Their 5 ATMs allow for a quick first purchase and only require phone verification for an initial buy limit of 1,000 EUR or CHF. Their online service accepts wire transfers, SOFORT and online bank transfers.
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.
Safello is a Bitcoin exchange based in Sweden and fully-registered as a financial institution. It offers a wide range of payment methods - Swish, SEPA, SWIFT, Faster Payments, Bankgiro and iDEAL - to European residents.
BL3P is a product of Dutch Bitcoin broker Bitonic, which has been selling bitcoins since 2012. BL3P is available in all European countries. BL3P charges a fixed fee 0.25% per trade.
Bitrush is a Bitcoin exchange based in the Netherlands. Its customers can buy bitcoins with iDEAL, Bancontact, and MyBank.
BitStamp is one of the world's largest and most well-known Bitcoin exchanges. Deposits can be made through bank transfer, SEPA transfer, international bank wire, and now even credit cards.
Founded mid-2013, Kraken is the world's largest Euro-denominated Bitcoin exchange, based on daily average trading volume. It supports deposits from US, European, Canadian, British, and Japanese customers. Deposits can be made via bank wire, SEPA, SWIFT, and bank deposit (Japan only).
CoinCorner is a Bitcoin exchange based on the Isle of Man. They cater to first-time buyers in the UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, and certain African, Asian, and South American countries. CoinCorner users may purchase bitcoins with SEPA, credit/debit card, GBP bank transfer, and now Neteller too. No verification required for purchases under £100.
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%.
Coinhouse will let you buy bitcoin via 3DS-secured credit/debit cards and Neosurf prepaid cards. Neosurf cards can be purchased at over 50,000 locations across Europe. Coinhouse charges a 10% fee for all purchases made with a Neosurf card. Coinhouse is located in Paris, France and is operated by Ledger, a Bitcoin security company.
Bitit lets you purchase bitcoin online with a 3DS-enabled credit/debit cards or with cash via Neosurf, Flexepin (coming soon) and Cashlib vouchers, available in over 150,000 local stores across Europe.
itBit is a global Bitcoin exchange, licensed with the New York State Department of Financial Services. It also operates a global OTC trading desk, making it easy for customers to buy large amounts (100 BTC and up) of bitcoin. It supports all US states besides Texas.
CryptoPay is a Bitcoin broker based in the UK. Residents of the UK can purchase bitcoins in minutes via local bank transfers. Customers from other European countries can purchase bitcoins with SEPA transfer.
Anycoin Direct is a Bitcoin broker based in the Netherlands which services clients across Europe. Customers can purchase bitcoin with SEPA, SOFORT, Giropay, iDEAL, Mybank, Bancontact, and TrustPay.
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.
Belgacoin is a Bitcoin broker based in Belgium. They accept payments via SEPA or international bank transfer. The service requires no verification or even registration, so it's both convenient and anonymous (although bank transfers by their nature are not anonymous).
HappyCoins is a Bitcoin exchange based in the Netherlands which services customers across Europe. HappyCoins accepts a wide range of payment methods, including many instant payment methods; iDEAL, Bancontact, GiroPay, myBank, Sofort and Interac. It also offers SEPA deposits for all EU residents, which take 1 to 3 days to clear.
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.
ANXPRO is a Bitcoin exchange based in Hong Kong. It lets you buy bitcoins with bank transfer.
BitSquare is a decentralized Bitcoin exchange. They facilitate trade by escrowing bitcoins of both buyer and seller, to promote the successful conclusion of trades. It offers high privacy and security, and never controls its users funds.
The United Kingdom’s capital, London, is one of the biggest financial centers across the globe. Unsurprisingly, fintech adoption in the country remains strong with both Deloitte and EY rating London as a leading global hub for fintech.
According to a survey by YouGov late last year, 93% of individuals in the U.K. have heard of Bitcoin. More importantly, nearly a fourth of the respondents to the survey said that they understand Bitcoin “fairly well.” However, only 4% of the respondents in the survey said that they have purchased Bitcoin.
But with what seems like a high awareness level, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bitcoin adoption picking up pace in the U.K., especially considering that the regulatory environment remains on the favorable side.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the U.K.’s financial regulatory body. Though the FCA regulates some crypto-assets in the U.K., Bitcoin is still out of its purview and is not considered legal tender. However, the U.K. government is in favor of Bitcoin being regulated by the FCA in a bid to prevent money laundering and protect the interests of investors.
So far, the FCA hasn’t had jurisdiction over Bitcoin as it doesn’t put virtual currencies into the same bracket as commodities or currencies. According to the FCA, “cryptoassets designed primarily as a means of payment or exchange would not generally sit within the scope of FCA authority.” However, since the agency is tasked with providing protection to consumers and investors, it has followed a wait-and-watch strategy.
But it looks like the FCA could bring Bitcoin under its umbrella this year. According to John Glen, the economic secretary to the Treasury, “The government will consult early next year to explore whether other crypto-assets that have comparable features to specified investments but that fall outside the current perimeter should be captured in regulation.”
Glen further added that the U.K. government believes that “benefits could potentially develop in the future through the use of initial coin offerings as a capital raising tool.” This indicates that the British government is potentially looking at promoting Bitcoin in a more regulated manner going forward by putting structures in place that will provide avenues for investor compensation and consumer grievances.
As it stands, cryptocurrency exchanges are required to register with the FCA, and are subject to the agency’s anti-money laundering standards just like the other financial institutions in the country. So a move aimed at providing investor protection can boost Bitcoin demand in the U.K. going forward as potential buyers will be assured that there interests will be looked after by a governing agency.
It is very easy to buy Bitcoin in the U.K. through one of the many cryptocurrency exchanges. Our guide to buying Bitcoin in the U.K. suggests that there are 38 Bitcoin exchanges available in the country with varying fee structures, limits, and reputations. You can choose one of them based on your requirement to get access to Bitcoin, though it is ideally suggested getting a secure wallet first where you’ll be storing the cryptocurrency.
More importantly, the U.K. gives Bitcoin holders several avenues where they can spend their cryptocurrency. In fact, there are quite a few businesses ranging from web hosting providers, gift providers, car leasing companies, and even a law firm where you can spend your Bitcoin in the U.K. You can even take sushi classes at one of the several Your Sushi locations spread across the U.K. and pay for the same in Bitcoin.
Of course, owners of Bitcoin in the U.K. can use the digital currency for making peer-to-peer payments as well.
Britain’s decision of making an exit from the European Union is expected to boost demand for Bitcoin in the country. That’s because Bitcoin’s purpose of serving as a digital currency that transcends borders will help users make or accept payments, and also hedge their assets in case of a “hard” Brexit. Bank of England governor Mark Carney has warned that the British pound could lose a quarter of its value in case of a no deal Brexit (an event where the U.K. leaves the EU without striking a trading agreement).
This has triggered more interest in an alternative currency such as Bitcoin as its value is not controlled by any government. Cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which recently started its operations in Jersey – a self-governing dependency of Britain – is overwhelmed with registrations on the platform as it allows users to trade pounds and euros with Bitcoin.
In the end, it can be concluded that the state of Bitcoin in the U.K. seems healthy thanks to the variety of reasons listed above that could boost demand for the cryptocurrency going forward.