It has not always been easy to purchase Bitcoins if you live in the UK, thanks to the strict rules and regulations surrounding the trading of cryptocurrency; but, the good news is that it has become easier than it once was. You have probably read about the advantages of trading Bitcoin, namely they speed at which you can send payments between countries and continents; however, in the UK, one of the main problems that we face is that traditional banking systems have not always caught up to this, which in turn, makes them very reluctant to service the Bitcoin companies. Like we said, it has got easier, as several UK exchanges have been launched in the past few years, which has allowed Brits to purchase Bitcoins, without having to send their money to a European bank, which is how many got around it before.
So, what issues do we face?
The main problem we face in the UK when it comes to purchasing Bitcoins is the British banks. They are so reluctant to service Bitcoin companies, which means that many companies are having to bank elsewhere in the UK; like we briefly mentioned above. Because of this, the buyer will often face lengthy delays in receiving their Bitcoins, not to mention the higher fees that they face for the international transfers. Often, you will have to wait between two to five days for your funds to arrive, which is not the speedy payments that you have heard about at all. The good news is though that the British government is slowly working to make the UK a cryptocurrency friendly environment. That said, many are debating whether a UK exchange that provides SEPA bank transfer actually offers many advantages, other than the fact that you can deposit in GBP. Regardless of this though, many new banking partnerships are being formed slowly, that allow Bitcoin exchanges to add local deposit options for customers in the UK. So, just wear can you turn if you want to buy Bitcoin and you are a UK resident? The first thing to bear in mind is just how volatile Bitcoin is. The price often climbs and drops again significantly in very short time frames, so before you buy any Bitcoins, and most certainly afterwards, you need to ensure that you are keeping a close eye on price charts. Most buyers will time their purchase well, and get Bitcoins when the value is low.
Bitcoin Exchanges that cater for the UK:
Bitcoin exchanges offer you a way to buy and sell Bitcoins and other currencies. Although this is one of the easiest ways to purchase Bitcoins, you need to take a few steps beforehand. For most exchanges, you will be required to register and provide a proof of residency and identity. This is for anti-money laundering purposes. You then need to set up your bank payment, that have been provided by the exchange, which allows you to fund your account and then begin to purchase your Bitcoins. Even though the UK is slowly moving towards a crypto friendly environment, you should avoid using the word, ‘Bitcoin’ in any payment references. Some banks are so reluctant to have anything to do with cryptocurrencies that they have even been known to shut down accounts.
- Bitstamp is a Slovenia based exchange that allows cash deposits via SEPA and eCheck. In January 2016, it announced that it will accept Visa and Mastercard payments for UK customers.
- Coinfloor is a Bitcoin exchange that is based in London. It places an emphasis on security, thanks to the 100% multi-signature cold storage for Bitcoin holdings.
- Coinfloor is an HMRC-approved bureau de change.
- There is a charge of £5 to deposit GBP and £10 to withdraw.
- Coinbase is a popular exchange that has just introduced a facility for UK users to purchase Bitcoins.
- CoinCorner is an exchange that is based in Isle of Man, and is between a full exchange and a peer to peer marketplace.
- You can deposit funds into an account, and then buy and sell Bitcoins. No fees are charged on deposits, but there is a £10 fee for GBP withdrawals.
- This is a London based Bitcoin brokerage, which enables its customers to buy and sell Bitcoins in any amount.
- You can make deposits by UK Faster Payments, or by cash deposits at a bank.
It is worth noting that there are a number of different peer to peer platforms that allow individuals to buy, sell and trade Bitcoins. These include, Bittylicious, BitBargain, LocalBitcoins, Coinfloor Market and CryptoMate. The above shows that there are a number of different avenues that you can go down if you are a UK resident who is looking to purchase Bitcoins, and it goes someway to show that the UK is becoming more welcoming to Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Over the last year, Bitcoin ATM’s have started to pop up around London and other areas, and in certain areas you can even purchase Bitcoin vouchers. This shows that it is becoming more accessible and that it is completely possible to purchase Bitcoins if you live in the UK.
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