🦲 How to buy Bitcoin in the UK: A Step-by-Step Guide

There are several guides on the internet explaining how to buy Bitcoin in the UK. However, a careful review of these articles shows that they miss some components and sometimes, end up confusing people instead of showing them how to buy bitcoins with GBP.

In this article, we strive to do it differently, beginning with a quick guide on how to buy bitcoin in the UK using Binance.com, a leading cryptocurrency exchange.

How to Buy Bitcoin on Binance (quick-guide):

  1. Create a private bitcoin wallet using an app like Trust Wallet or Coinomi, and generate a new address.
  2. Sign up for a Binance.com account, and verify your identity to be able to use their fiat channels.
  3. Deposit your funds using any of the fiat gateways that support GBP deposits.
  4. On Binance use the BTC/GBP pair to place an order to swap GBP to BTC.
  5. Alternatively, you can buy BTC with GBP using the credit and debit card options available.
  6. Transfer the purchased bitcoins to your private BTC address.

Where to buy Bitcoin in the UK?

The above quick guide on how to buy bitcoin in the UK using Binance is only one of the numerous options available to investors who want to invest in the new asset class. The rest of this article will focus on other platforms that allow equal access, including using Bitcoin ATMs to swap GBP to BTC.

CEX.IO – the best place to buy Bitcoin in the UK

Buy BTC on CEX.IO

Launched in 2013, CEX.io is one of the oldest places to buy bitcoin. The platform recently simplified the buying process, meaning transactions could be completed within five minutes after arriving on the website.

Steps to buy :

  1. Switch currency dropdown from BTC to USD to BTC to GBP.
  2. Insert the number of bitcoins you want to buy (minimum purchase is £20 while the maximum is £7500).
  3. Complete the registration process and confirm the email.
  4. Verify your identity and add a debit or credit card or use fiat payment options.
  5. Complete BTC order and send it to your designated non-custodial address or simply leave it on your CEX.io account.

Supported Payment Options: Visa, Mastercard, Paypal Debit Card, Bank transfer (SWIFT, SEPA, ACH, Faster Payments for large purchases), and other cryptocurrencies.

Pros

  • Reputable and trusted exchange platform to buy bitcoin in the UK
  • Zero fees on bank transfers and a low cost for credit and debit card purchases
  • Offers reasonable limits for retail investors to buy BTC.
  • Allows users to sell bitcoin to credit and debit cards.

Cons

  • The identity verification process is extensive and could waste time for first-time users.
  • Not suitable for users who want to buy bitcoin anonymously.

Coinmama

Buy Bitcoin on Coinmama

Also founded in 2013, Coinmama is another popular platform that provides the easiest way for UK users to buy bitcoin. The operating company is based in Israel while the Coinmama platform itself is registered in Slovakia.

Coinmama allows users from almost every country to buy BTC using credit and debit cards, and other fiat payment channels.

Steps to buy:

  • Create a non-custodial wallet using Coinomi or Trust Wallet and backup your seed phrase.
  • Open an account on Coinmama and verify your email address.
  • Log in to your new account and complete the identity verification process.
  • Select your preferred deposit option
  • Input the number of bitcoins you want to buy
  • Provide the receiving BTC address to receive funds to your non-custodial wallet.
  • Enter debit or credit card information and complete payment.
  • If successful, your bitcoins will arrive at your address within one hour or earlier depending on network activity.

Supported Payment Options: Visa, Mastercard, SEPA, SWIFT, Apple Pay.

Pros

  • Highly trusted and reliable platform.
  • It offers a reasonable threshold on card purchases, up to £7500 for verified UK users to buy BTC with GBP.

Cons

  • There is low privacy attached to an exhaustive KYC process.
  • Charges high fees on debit/credit card transactions compared to other websites.

Coinbase

Buy Bitcoin on Coinbase

Based in San Francisco, Coinbase launched in 2012 and has become one of the most used cryptocurrency exchanges. The platform boasts over 35 million users and supports over 100 countries, including the UK.

Steps to buy:

  1. Create a Coinbase.com account
  2. Complete identity verification to access fiat payment options.
  3. Navigate to the Accounts and select the GBP wallet.
  4. Fund your account using Bank Transfer or other methods.
  5. Once the deposit is complete, go to the Buy/Sell page and select GBP to BTC.
  6. Select your preferred amount and wallet address for deposits.
  7. Change the deposit wallet to your address outside Coinbase if that is your preference.
  8. Complete the purchase.

Supported Payment Methods: Bank wire, SEPA transfers, Debit cards.

Pros

  • Buy BTC with GBP on a secure platform.
  • There is high liquidity for GBP to BTC markets on Coinbase.
  • Highest purchase limit compared to competitors.

Cons

Localbitcoins

Buy Bitcoin with GBP on LocalBitcoins

Unlike the platforms we’ve considered so far, LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer marketplace. What this means is that you’re buying bitcoin from another person that wants to sell, instead of the platform’s operator.

As you would expect, how to buy bitcoin in the UK using Localbitcoins is slightly different from using other exchanges.

Steps to buy:

  1. Sign up for a LocalBitcoins and verify your identity
  2. Navigate to the buy BTC with GBP page (United Kingdom)
  3. Select a Buy offer that falls within the limit of GBP to BTC that you want to purchase
  4. Input the amount for GBP to BTC page and initiate the transaction.
  5. Provide your BTC
  6. Complete the GBP bank transfer within the payment window and receive the Bitcoins in your Localbitcoins wallet.
  7. Send BTC from your LocalBitcoins wallet to your non-custodial wallet.

Supported Methods: National Bank Transfer

Pros:

  • You can transact up to £1000 per year without ID
  • Local bank transfer option means minimal fees.
  • LocalBitcoins charges only 1% of the trading fee from the seller.

Cons:

  • The presence of fraudulent sellers means P2P transacts pose higher risks than buying crypto from an exchange.

BC Bitcoin

BC Bitcoin

BC Bitcoin is another excellent platform to consider if you’re looking for how to buy bitcoin in the UK. Although not as popular as its counterparts, BC Bitcoin provides the cheapest and easiest way to buy BTC in three simple steps.

First, though, you need to create a non-custodial wallet using either Coinomi or Trust Wallet.

Steps to buy:

  1. Sign up for an account on BC Bitcoin and complete verification.
  2. Navigate to the Buy Page and complete the form, including your receiving address.
  3. Complete the payment and receive bitcoins in your wallets within a few minutes.

Supported Payment Options: UK Faster Payments, SEPA Transfer, Debit/Credit Cards (Visa and MasterCard)

Pros

  • A streamlined process and best website for converting GBP to BTC.
  • Relatively low fees for transactions.
  • Supports crypto-to-crypto swaps.

Cons

  • BC Bitcoin is a relatively new platform when compared to competitors.
  • It caters mainly to European to UK users and not open to users from other jurisdictions.

Binance Jersey

Binance Jersey

Binance Jersey is the UK and Europe-focused version of the leading cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance. Being focused to serve this audience allowed Binance Jersey to offer the best way to buy Bitcoin in the UK. There are meagre charges on deposits.

Steps to buy:

  1. Signup for a Binance Jersey Account
  2. Verify your identity (should take less than 10 minutes)
  3. Navigate to the Funds>Deposit page on your dashboard and select GBP deposit
  4. Specify the deposit amount and proceed to make payment.
  5. Once the deposit is confirmed, navigate to the BTC/GBP pair.
  6. Place a market “Buy” Order for BTC and complete the transaction.
  7. Transfer purchased bitcoins to your BTC address outside of Binance.

Supported Payment Options: Bank Transfer, Debit, and Credit Cards.

Pros

  • Reliable and trusted exchange with liquid order books for GBP to BTC trades.
  • Excellent customer support service
  • It is the cheapest way with a 0.1% trading fee and low fee on deposits.

Cons

  • You need experience with crypto trading to complete the transaction.
  • KYC-process is fast but compromises user privacy.

Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin ATMs are becoming a famous sight these days and also offer a great choice if you’re searching for how to buy bitcoin in the UK. CoinATMRadar reports that there are some 289 Bitcoin ATMs located in the United Kingdom. London, Birmingham, and Manchester are home to most of these terminals.

Although the user interface may slightly differ, you can take the following steps to convert GBP to BTC if you follow these steps.

Steps to buy:

  • Initiate a “Buy Bitcoin” transaction on-screen and specify an amount.
  • Scan the receiving BTC address on your mobile device.
  • Feed the machine with cash to the equivalent amount, or use your bank card to complete the payment.
  • Confirm the transaction and receive BTC to your address within minutes.

Supported Payment Options: Fiat, Debit, and Credit Cards.

Pros

  • Bitcoin ATMs are relatively private since some don’t require that you verify your identity.
  • Transactions are settled on the spot, making it convenient to buy BTC on the go.

Cons

  • Lack of adequate customer service means transactions could be stuck if any error occurs.
  • Fees are usually high when compared to other options considered so far.
  • Bitcoin ATMs are still not widely available in some jurisdictions.

How to Buy BTC in the UK: Privacy and security tips to Keep in Mind

Now that you know where to buy BTC with GBP in the UK, here are some privacy and security tips to keep in mind:

  • Always enable two-factor authentication (2FA) when using an exchange to buy BTC. This reduces the risk of hackers accessing your account and stealing your assets.
  • Do not leave substantial amounts of BTC on an exchange. We recommend using a non-custodial wallet, and preferably a hardware wallet like Ledger or Trezor.
  • Always backup your seed phrase securely, and double-check a website's URL and addresses before confirming transactions. We’ve also included links to the recommended resources for your convenience.

Conclusion

Going back a decade ago, how to buy Bitcoin in the U.K was a challenging process. There were not many exchanges and a highly liquid market like we have today. One can easily buy BTC online and even offline using their bank cards on any of the recommended marketplaces provided in this article.

After acquiring your bitcoins, it would be best to keep them as safe as possible, with the chance of prices going wild in the next few years on the cards.