7 min read

🎭 How to Buy Bitcoin Anonymously in the UK

Anonymous Bitcoin

People have different reasons why they don’t want to release their identity while purchasing cryptocurrency. If you want to protect your privacy, buying Bitcoin anonymously with no verification is actually a good idea and lots of people would like to use this opportunity.

Is it possible to buy Bitcoin without verification?

As lawmakers around the world gradually introduce tighter regulations on cryptocurrency trading, it’s becoming more difficult to buy Bitcoin without ID.

However, if you value your privacy, there are still some sites where you can buy cryptocurrency without going through a verification process.

Please note: Bitcoin is pseudonymous rather than anonymous. Everything is recorded on a publically shared global ledger called blockchain. And it is only a matter of enough dedicated time and resources to de-anonymize your Bitcoin transactions, even if you didn't verify your identity while buying crypto.

8 ways to buy cryptocurrency anonymously

CoinCorner

CoinCorner is a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2014 and with headquarters located in the UK. The exchange operates in over 45 countries all around the globe and its main advantage is the possibility for both UK and EU citizens to buy Bitcoin without ID verification. The maximum amount to buy crypto without a check is £900 (and the EUR equivalent).

CoinCorner is a traditional exchange that allows buying, selling, and storing Bitcoin. The service is trusted by over 200K people and allows buying coins with as little as £10 spending a minimum of time (less than 10 minutes on average).

The purchasing procedure is quite simple. It is enough to register on the platform, make a deposit and buy Bitcoin on the respective page. The exchange supports several banking options including credit or debit card, bank transfer, SEPA, or Neteller as well as offers the Auto Buy feature for more convenience.

CoinCorner has a number of advantages over other platforms. It is an award-winning exchange that allows purchasing Bitcoin with GBP or EUR and has a user-friendly mobile app available on Android and iOS. However, its main drawback is the support of Bitcoin only, other tokens are not available.

CoinCorner

LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins is a significant crypto exchange. It is a real peer-to-peer trading platform that matches the buyers and the sellers.

I am not sure if you know, but Localbitcoins (LBC) was the original P2P exchange, the first one among all the available today P2P platforms.

Earlier this year, LBC updated its terms of service to require additional identification for traders who exchange a significant volume of coins. Furthermore, LBC does require basic levels of trust to facilitate trading; a mobile number, or email address for example, although these things can be easily modified to keep your privacy.

If you don’t want to enter your bank details, you can set up a meeting through the local bitcoins messaging platform. To do this, just go to a local seller’s trade, filter for those who offer cash payment, message them, and arrange a meeting to complete the purchase in cash in-person.

LBC’s greatest function, from a privacy perspective, however, is its ability to facilitate cash transactions in person. Once you’ve met and established trust with an LBC trader, subsequent transactions can be conducted in confidence and in privacy, without broadcasting your desire to buy bitcoin to the whole world.

LocalBitcoins

Changelly

Changelly is a decentralized crypto-to-crypto exchange platform that does not require an ID card to use its services. You don’t even need to register an account. But you already should have some crypto coins in your pocket to use this exchange to buy Bitcoin.

Here are the simple steps for crypto trading:

  1. Choose the crypto pair you want to trade
  2. Pick up a temporary wallet address
  3. Send the crypto to the generated address
  4. Changelly will forward you the new tokens shortly after

This is the quietest and simplest platform out there in terms of user experience and you will come to the same result once you try it out.

PaxfulPaxful

Paxful is a popular person2person platform where sellers and buyers make trades directly between themselves. The p2p nature of the exchange allows users to keep their real names and identity relatively secret.

The major advantage of using Paxful is the number of payment methods available (300+). The most popular deposit types are iTunes/Amazon Gift Cards, Paypal, Skrill, NetTeller, and Webmoney. Users can also make cash purchases via Western Union, MoneyGram, cash in person, cash deposit to bank, or even using a Bitcoin ATM.

Use Paxful to find someone willing to sell Bitcoins for cash next to your physical location. You can use an alias email address to sign up to Paxful and the verification id process they have is optional. When you use cash, it’s easy to go on untraceable as there is no information for the transaction.

While there are some sellers that ask for your real name for large volumes. But if you deal with smaller orders under $1000 USD, don’t even worry about your ID.

Paxful is definitely one of the best and most reliable sites to buy BTC without verification because of the range of choice for depositing money.

Paxful

Bisq

Bisq is open-source, peer-to-peer software that allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for national currencies. There’s no registration required to use this platform. You can buy BTC without firstly scanning your passport, driving license, or disclosing your financial history.

Bisq does not hold any bitcoins. It means that all cryptocurrencies are held in multi-signature addresses rather than a Bisq-controlled wallet. Additionally, Bisq does not hold any fiat currency (i.e. Dollars, Euros). Fiat is transferred directly from one trader to the other. In other words, it is a cryptocurrency marketplace.

All you need to do is to download Bisq’s desktop software As its FAQ explains, “Bisq does not know the traders. No data is stored on who trades with whom. Bisq does not require registration. This means privacy is maintained, there are no “approval” wait times, and identity theft becomes impossible.”

Bisq

ShapeShift

ShapeShift exchange functions just like Changelly.it will set up a temporary wallet for you whenever you require making a trade. And no registration or verification is required!

A thing to keep in mind while practicing shapeshift is that not all currencies are available. Check and make sure that the crypto token you get is open for swapping. It should be mentioned that Shapeshift takes a fee on the crypto swap so you will get a little less of the pair currency you have exchanged for.

BitFinex allows users to buy bitcoins with credit cards and no verification, using ShapeShift. The only criteria to buy Bitcoins using ShapeShift is to deposit any Cryptocurrency, i.e you will have to deposit altcoins or any other digital tokens in order to buy Bitcoins using ShapeShift.

ShapeShift

HodlHodl

HodlHodl is a global P2P Bitcoin exchange, that allows users to trade directly with each other. The site doesn’t hold user’s funds which allows it to avoid KYC and ID verification processes. HoldHold locks user funds in multi-sig escrow that minimizes the possibility of Bitcoin asset theft and reduces trading time.

HodlHodl

Openbazaar

Online marketplace Openbazaar (OB) is a portal for buying all sorts of goods, from apparel to recreational drugs. It’s also a great place to buy cryptocurrency with no questions asked. After downloading the OB client, users are able to integrate their preferred BCH, BTC, or ZEC wallet and start trading.

OB’s commitment to privacy and desire to support the principles upon which cryptocurrency was founded makes it a popular choice with individuals who wish to purchase Bitcoin without being forced to provide personal information and going through the ID verification.

OpenBazaar

Bitcoin ATM

If you don’t know anyone willing to sell you some Bitcoin, the first place to look for is a Bitcoin ATM. Bitcoin ATM’s are fairly easy to use and let you purchase Bitcoin anonymously with your credit or bank card.

Most large cities have a Bitcoin ATM machine and some even have several! That’s where CoinATMRadar gets super handy. This website features an interactive map of global bitcoin ATMs (aka bATM). Simply search for your location, select the nearest machine, and check the requirements for buying.

Note that there are over 55 ATM manufacturers and 125 operators around the globe. Knowing who made and who operates your chosen bATM will give you extra insight into the buying process. I say this because some do sell bitcoin without ID being requested, while others will need a passport before exchanging cryptocurrency for your fiat paper money.

Keep in mind that just like buying with cash, Bitcoin ATMs take a higher commission relative to the spot price. Expect premiums of 10 to 20 percent, depending on the machine operator.

Bitcoin ATMs

Why is it difficult to buy crypto without ID?

Regulators around the world are gradually introducing legislation that governs digital currency exchanges and cryptocurrency trading. While the UK is still a fairly unregulated country when it comes to cryptocurrency, exchanges often require ID verification so that they’re able to operate globally.

How to protect your privacy while buying crypto?

All the methods described above don’t require you to use an ID verification to buy bitcoins, but even still, with more sophisticated techniques, you can be tracked. Sometimes you can be identified by your IP or through the private wi-fi which you are using.

Or you might accidentally disclose your Bitcoin public address online somewhere. Or a seller might track you down from your mobile or vehicle number when you did your face-to-face fiat/Bitcoin deal with them.

So here are a few techniques to add an extra layer of privacy to your crypto transactions:

    1. Privacy-focused Bitcoin wallet

      Bitcoin wallets that implement CoinJoin technology (like WasabiWallet) helps you break the linkability or traceability of your transactions.

    2. Tor browser and .onion links

      Use Tor browser to connect with the Bitcoin network and trade coins on one of the above-listed platforms.

    3. VPN

      A log-less virtual private network (VPN) is a network that doesn’t store the history of your activities on their servers. It encrypts all of your Internet traffic and routes it through multiple servers of your choice at different locations before arriving at the final location.

    4. New Wallet Address

      This is a good practice to ensure anonymity when using Bitcoins on a regular basis. This way, it would be hard to link to 2 or more transactions to you.

Summing Up

It is not that easy to buy Bitcoin anonymously due to multiple regulations that are being introduced around the world.

Luckily, there are still workarounds that allow you to move around and buy BTC without ID. And to support such demands, some companies offer anonymous buying and selling of bitcoins. However, extra anonymity comes with an extra cost. These methods are 5-10% more costly than other conventional ways of buying bitcoins.