With the increasing regulatory requirements pertaining to cryptocurrency exchanges and transactions, it is ironically getting more and more difficult for people to maintain their financial activities over blockchain platforms which were meant to be the very epitome of privacy.
If the appeal of Bitcoin in the early days was that it was the digital form of cash, having similar properties, properties that allowed individuals to transact in a relatively anonymous manner.
Yet, it seems that as the years have progressed, the privacy aspects of Bitcoin (and cryptocurrencies in general, for that matter) is continuously being stripped away.
Governments across the world are swiftly clamping down on privacy in all regards. The officials are taking different actions such as introducing more stringent requirements across the board, adding more KYC-AML laws and slowly doing away with privacy coins.
In addition to these different events and movements, governments are also slowly criminalizing a key aspect of the industry, peer to peer trading. Anyone would be able to see that different aspects of the decentralized revolution might be slowly dissipating.
This is yet another interesting aspect of the decentralized system that is slowly being chipped away at.
Take for instance the fact of decentralization, one of the core aspects of the Bitcoin system, a fact that could allow for the possibility of more liberty and freedom, a trend that could have (still could) led to the truth of the sovereign individual.
Different aspects that were enjoyed in the past are slowly being minimized and have quite a few effects.
The effects have gotten profound to the point where cryptocurrency transactions that were once considered private can now be tracked if people know where to look for pertinent information.
For instance, it has been reported that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is working to track Bitcoin transactions, starting at the point where an exchange identifies a user’s blockchain address with their name, which makes it very easy for anyone looking through public ledger transactions to know if the corresponding address made any other transactions.
The report mentioned above remains only one simple example out of many where various methods are now being employed by different institutions and entities to track the transactions of cryptocurrency users.
The transactions are especially easier to track when you are using a public blockchain, which while using conventional privacy options such as cryptographic addresses and no usage of your name on the network still has its transactions traceable through other means.
This is why it is getting increasingly important for people to ensure that when they buy a cryptocurrency, they can protect their identity to the best of their ability.
A prime example of this would be users who want to purchase Bitcoin without jeopardizing their privacy.
While it is not as easy to buy Bitcoin anonymously as it was a year or even a few months ago, there are still choice options to achieve this feat.
For the ease of our readers who might be looking for a way to get their hands on Bitcoin without divulging their details, we have put together a brief yet helpful guide outlining the most effective ways to accomplish this task.
The guide will serve as a primer to enter into the world of anonymous Bitcoin trading.
The goal is that by the time you get to the end of the piece, you should be able to know which places to go and why these places are right for you uniquely.
Furthermore, for the sake of being prudent, we have also outlined methods that would require your ID, but which will let you buy Bitcoin either without divulging further details or making the transaction instant without extensive verification.
It is also prudent to note that no matter how anonymous or non-private your Bitcoin transaction is, you will need to have a safe and secure wallet to store the access information for your digital assets.
Some of the most popular options for Bitcoin wallets remain to be Blockchain, Electrum and, Exodus in software wallets, with Ledger, Trezor and, BitLox being the recommended choices in hardware wallets.
Places to Trade Anonymously
Below, you will find a variety of places that facilitate direct peer to peer transactions. A few key characteristics of these type of exchanges are that they typically have some sorts of methods of security and safety.
A few of these mechanisms can that of escrow holdings, they may also have a ratings system for added trust and safety.
A word of caution: Not all of these peer to peer exchanges can be classified as premium, we will elaborate further on the pros and cons of these places to the best of our ability.
So now that we’ve covered a few key characteristics, let’s start with the first one!
Based out of Finland, LocalBitcoins is to the cryptocurrency market what eBay is for e-commerce.
An online marketplace for cryptocurrencies that is expanded across more than 245 countries,
LocalBitcoins facilitates peer-to-peer trades through classified ads where buyers and sellers can reach payment transfer agreements and execute them between themselves without having to go through any verification.
The payment methods depend upon each seller, and include options such as paying through other cryptocurrencies, PayPal, and cash deposits.
Buyers can, of course, have several choices among hundreds of new ads each week to find an offer which best matches their requirements, and execute a transaction to transfer their newly obtain Bitcoin to their wallet.
In Summary: A couple of the benefits of this peer to peer exchange is that transactions can be processed in a simple, fast, secure and private manner.
Transactions can be processed quickly, many transactions can be processed within an hour or so and it is available internationally.
In addition, the platform has a great online ticket support system. But as always, since you are dealing with individuals directly, so always watch out for scammers.
So far, LocalBitcoins remains as one of the best options to obtain Bitcoin anonymously.
Formerly known as BitSquare, bisq.network is yet another peer-to-peer trading platform that is available to its users as a desktop client or an open-source application, from where they can instantly start executing trades to exchange Bitcoin for other means of value.
The bisq client supports various operating systems namely Windows, Mac, Linux, and Ubuntu. Once users have installed the application, they can enter their account information and start buying or selling Bitcoin amongst users just like them.
The network operates in a decentralized manner so that all users can ensure that their information is not being controlled by a central authority even as they perform trades across several different payment methods involving fiat and cryptocurrencies.
In Summary: The Bisq.network is not a company but a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, seeks to stay true to the spirit of Bitcoin and therefore doesn’t hold any of your information and does not control any of your cryptocurrency.
They do have an arbitration feature and have a variety of cryptocurrencies that are traded on the platform. Yet, the platform might be somewhat complex, thus not finding a large user base, leading to not as much activity. This may not be best for those who are just entering into the realm of crypto.
With multiple locations in Chicago, Saint Louis and, Dallas, BitQuick is another good option to buy Bitcoin anonymously through peer-to-peer trading.
The platform works the same way as LocalBitcoins and bisq, where it connects buyers and sellers for a peer-to-peer trading system while supporting cash deposits across multiple financial institutions.
Users can make deposits to the seller’s specified bank account, and upon confirmation of funds, BitQuick facilitates the transaction by sending Bitcoin to the buyer’s wallet accordingly.
In Summary: Individuals can make quick transfers through SEPA transfers or through cash and the process is pretty simple.
The process consists of the buyer choosing the offer, sending the payment through a deposit at the bank, then confirming with the seller that funds were sent and the seller sends the respective Bitcoin. Bitquick has great customer service but only supports a few countries.
Built to cater to the Chinese audience, BitKan offers peer-to-peer, over-the-counter cryptocurrency transactions to the users of its web platform or its mobile app, through which it allows them to execute trades in a private and safe environment.
In case providing a mobile number enters the area of disrupting privacy concerns, users can opt to sign-up through email instead and start connecting with hundreds and thousands of users across the platform who are ready to buy and sell Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies through BitKan’s trustless environment.
The payment methods on BitKan also vary. Users may opt to pay either in other cryptocurrencies or through fiat, where the amount is directly credited to the end user’s account without having to hold the information with BitKan.
In Summary: BitKan is built primarily to cater to the Chinese audience, it has a wallet and also acts as an exchange platform, bitcoin trading application, over the counter trading and more. It has been around for a while and seems like it has been a stellar experience for most.
Wall of Coins
Headquartered in Florida, Wall of Coins remains a highly anonymous method to purchase Bitcoin and can easily be touted as one of the most popular ways to achieve this feat.
Operating solely in the U.S., the platform only accepts cash deposits in its specified bank accounts with no other transfer or payment methods in play for its users to buy Bitcoin.
According to Wall of Coins, it maintains this policy for the safety of its sellers and in order to maintain anonymity at all costs.
Users can search by their location to see where they can deposit cash for the amount of Bitcoin that they want to purchase from the platform.
Once the specified amount of cash has been deposited into the pertinent bank account, users receive their Bitcoin in their wallet address accordingly.
In Summary: The platform is simple, it has great customer service but the number of offers are subject to individuals and can vary by location.
What makes Paxful different from other contenders on this list is the platform’s amiability towards accepting almost any gift card in exchange for Bitcoin.
Whether you have a gift card from Amazon, Apple or even Burger King, Paxful stays true to its policy of keeping an open mind and would trade any of these or any other gift card happily for Bitcoin.
Apart from this interesting payment method, Paxful also allows its users to deposit cash into its specific bank accounts without having to provide any verification or identity information.
By using this mode of payment, users can receive Bitcoin directly in their cryptocurrency wallet, which Paxful also provides through its website.
If someone is comfortable enough to let anonymity go, then Paxful also allows them to purchase Bitcoin through online payment transfers and debit/credit cards.
Verification is required for these payment methods, but the process remains easy to follow.
In Summary: Paxful provides safety and security through its escrow service and ratings system, it also operates in a variety of places across the globe and has a vast variety of payment options. Oh, you also get a free wallet with Paxful.
Just watch out for exchange rates, get accustomed to maximum and minimum amounts and be smart about transactions.
Based out of Spain, Coinffeine also offers peer-to-peer trading through its platform. However, its interface is not available through its website.
Similar to bisq, in order to make use of Coinffeine’s offer to transact directly with the seller and without channeling funds through a third-party, users need to install the platform’s desktop client that is available for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu operating systems.
However, Coinffeine remains mostly without an online footprint with no associated social platforms available for it save for a Twitter page, which remains out of date with the last post made on August 31, 2015.
In Summary: You may not want to start off trading with this site as it may not be as easily accessible and as robust as other platforms.
Also coined by some as the Tinder of Bitcoin trading, mycelium facilitates in-person peer-to-peer trading by connecting users who are near each other.
Anyone can connect through mycelium’s mobile app and search for users who are selling Bitcoin in their area.
If a trade offer catches a user’s interest, they can initiate messaging with the seller in order to choose a method of payment, and depending upon that option, choose a place to see the seller in person to hand over cash in exchange for Bitcoin.
The transacting parties can then meet up at their agreed upon place and execute the trade accordingly.
However, it needs to be mentioned here that this method could be risky and make one prone to malicious attacks, since they would be knowingly carrying a large amount of cash to the meeting place to execute a trade with a stranger.
While not a conventional method to buy Bitcoin, VirWoX has gained popularity among those users who want to benefit from its services of facilitating various methods of deposits and withdrawals without any verification, with Bitcoin being one of them.
Originally and officially an exchange platform for Linden Dollars, the virtual currency of simulation game Second Life, VirWoX lets users deposit funds to its account through methods such as Bitcoin, PayPal, bank transfers and PaySafecard (a prepaid credit card) without any requirement for verification.
Therefore, some individuals who want to procure Bitcoin choose VirWoX, where they transfer their funds via the prepaid card method to maintain anonymity, and then withdraw funds in Bitcoin to a cryptocurrency wallet of their choice.
This way, users get to have some Bitcoin to their name without having to go through any sort of verification procedures.
However, since one Bitcoin in itself is trading at $7,370 at publication time, transferring that amount of funds to procure a complete Bitcoin would be a hassle through this method.
Other Methods to Buy Bitcoin Anonymously or Instantly
Apart from these tried and tested methods, users can also go the unconventional route to buy Bitcoin through other cryptocurrencies or through steps that require some sort of verification.
However, since the methods involve extended steps or do not allow complete anonymity, users are advised to first consider the aforementioned solutions and only go with the following in case the above processes do not seem to be feasible to execute for them.
Buy Monero for Cash and Exchange It for Bitcoin
Another method to obtain Bitcoin is to first buy Monero (XMR) for cash through Monero for Cash or Local Monero, services that are counterparts to LocalBitcoins but with the difference of being focused on Monero rather than Bitcoin.
Since Monero is a privacy-centric cryptocurrency which provides confidentiality features which mask the recipient and sender addresses as well as the transacted amount from everyone.
It remains one of the best options to choose as a starting point towards obtaining another cryptocurrency anonymously.
By connecting through a peer-to-peer marketplace, users can buy Monero using the same methods as LocalBitcoins.
Once they have Monero in their wallet, they can exchange it for Bitcoin through online exchange services that deal in cryptocurrency transfers and do not require any information but the users’ desired amount of transaction and their wallet addresses.
Three of the most popular platforms which provide these services are ShapeShift, Changelly and Evercoin.
The process of exchanging Monero or any supported cryptocurrency into Bitcoin is the same on all of the above platforms.
As explained above, all that users need to do is to specify the amount of Monero they want to be exchanged for Bitcoin, provide details for their sending as well as receiving wallet address, and move forward with executing the transactions.
These platforms do not require any verification or ID to facilitate a cryptocurrency conversion, and users can receive their new Bitcoin in their wallet address without going through additional steps of confirming their identity.
Buy Bitcoin from Credit Card Instantly for Ease of Use
If someone is comfortable in going lenient on surefire privacy for ease of use, then they can buy Bitcoin via credit card at ShapeShift and Changelly, two of the online exchanges which we mentioned above.
However, since a credit card will be required to perform the transaction, the anonymity feature will no longer be available and the transaction can be traced back to the respective through that identification.
Usually, a credit card transaction performed from within the U.S. at these platforms requires the user’s email, phone number and an image of their government-issued ID as verification.
The procedure is near-instant since it usually gets completed immediately. However, in rare cases, the process could take up to 2-3 days if there are any issues with the submitted verification information.
With that being said, interested users can go ahead with the dedicated platforms for ShapeShift and Changelly that allow payments through credit cards.
Both platforms have these functionalities powered by Simplex, a French fintech corporation that is known for facilitating payments and providing financial solutions to several entities across the cryptocurrency industry.
According to Simplex’s procedures, a verified account has a daily transaction limit of $20,000, with the monthly limit being $50,000 (but ShapeShift and Changelly may modify them on their respective platforms).
Another option that gets to be viable here is CoinMama. In order to process credit card transactions and allow users to buy Bitcoin through them, the online cryptocurrency exchange requires an image of a government issued ID as first level verification, with the verification process typically getting completed within an hour.
After successful verification, users can buy up to $15,000 worth of Bitcoin from the platform.
The limit can be increased after completion of additional verification requirements, which users can learn more about form the CoinMama support team at the time of increasing their limits, since the requirements keep getting updated accordingly.
One more entry to this list of credit card purchases for Bitcoin would be Bitit.
Based out of France, Bitit has been in operations since 2015 and allows users to buy Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies by using their credit cards or bank accounts.
However, not only the method of credit card purchases eradicates the sense of anonymity for a user, but Bitit also requires its users to be verified after they have reached the purchase limit of €150 from the platform.
With that being said, the verification process remains easy and allows users to increase their limits to be €700 per week for credit card purchases and €2500 per week for other payment methods.
Use a Bitcoin ATM Near You
A Bitcoin ATM allows users to deposit cash into the automatic teller machine and receive options to “withdraw” their Bitcoin to a wallet address specified by them.
These special ATMs have been installed by various companies throughout the world, but almost all of them require some sort of verification which is usually completed by scanning the user’s ID through the machine.
However, purchases through Bitcoin ATM are near instant and provide a sense of convenience to those who have this technological marvel in their vicinity.
A complete and updated list of Bitcoin ATMs is available by CoinATMRadar.
These Are the Most Widely Used Methods to Buy Bitcoin Anonymously or Quickly
While there are some other methods to buy Bitcoin instantly, they seem to be very limited in their approach and thus do not have the same level of accessibility as the aforementioned platforms do. Hence, the methods outlined above are those which would provide ease of access to almost everyone and remain highly usable.
That being said, users should always be prudent of investing their amount into cryptocurrencies. They should only invest money that they can do without and never those funds which they cannot afford to part ways with.