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How to Buy Bitcoin With Cash

Michael Graw
Last updated: | 9 min read

Buying Bitcoin with cash is a way to purchase cryptocurrency completely anonymously. It’s one of the few ways to maintain complete privacy in crypto now that most crypto exchanges require ID verification.

Purchasing BTC with fiat isn’t as straightforward as buying crypto from an exchange, but it also isn’t too difficult. In this guide, we’ll explain how to buy Bitcoin with cash using 5 different methods.

5 Easy Ways to Convert Cash To Crypto


Let’s take a look at 5 ways to buy Bitcoin with cash in 2024.

1. Buy Bitcoin with Cash from a Bitcoin ATM

Buying Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM is the fastest, easiest, and safest way to buy BTC with cash. Here’s how to use a Bitcoin ATM:

  1. Find a Bitcoin ATM: You can find a Bitcoin ATM using sites like CoinATMRadar or Coinmap.org. Both sites offer maps that show where thousands of Bitcoin ATMs are located.
  2. Start the Purchase Process: Once you arrive at a Bitcoin ATM, select BTC as the cryptocurrency you wish to buy. Some Bitcoin ATMs require you to submit a phone number, but many do not.
  3. Enter the Amount of Bitcoin to Buy: Enter the amount of Bitcoin you want to buy in USD.
  4. Enter Wallet Address: If you already have a Bitcoin wallet, you can scan your wallet’s QR code. If you don’t have a Bitcoin wallet, the Bitcoin ATM will create one for you. Make sure to write down the new wallet address and password details.
  5. Pay: Insert cash to complete your payment. The machine will confirm your deposit, transfer Bitcoin, and print out a transaction receipt.
  • Ease: 4.5/5
  • Efficiency: 5/5
  • Cost: 3/5

Bitcoin ATM photo by GENERAL BYTES on Unsplash

Is There a Bitcoin ATM Near Me?

There are tens of thousands of Bitcoin ATMs around the world. If you live in a city, chances are there’s a Bitcoin ATM near you.

The best way to find your nearest Bitcoin ATM is to enter your location on CoinATMRadar or Coinmap.org.

Bitcoin ATM Map

2. Buy Bitcoin with Cash in Person

It’s possible to buy Bitcoin with cash through an in-person transaction. Here’s how to buy Bitcoins with cash in person:

  1. Join a meetup site: There’s no single forum for coordinating in-person crypto swaps. Instead, you can post that you want to buy Bitcoin with cash in groups on Facebook or Reddit. You can also join an already-planned Bitcoin-themed meetup on sites like Meetup.
  2. Negotiate a deal: If someone responds to your swap request, explain how much Bitcoin you want to buy and ask what price they will sell it for. Sellers may request a price higher than the current market price of BTC to account for the added risk of an in-person meetup.
  3. Meet up to swap: Once in person, have the seller transfer Bitcoin to your crypto wallet. Then give your cash to the seller once the transaction is confirmed.

In-person meetups can be risky since they require trusting a stranger you meet over the Internet. To stay safe, follow these tips:

  • Always conduct Bitcoin-for-cash swaps in public locations.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash. If you need more Bitcoin, organize multiple smaller transactions.
  • Ensure transactions are confirmed on the Bitcoin blockchain before paying.
  • Ease: 3.5/5
  • Efficiency: 3/5
  • Cost: 4.5/5

3. Buy Bitcoin with Cash Deposit from a Bank

Most banks don’t offer cryptocurrencies, so you can’t change cash for Bitcoin directly at a bank. However, you can deposit cash to a bank account, then transfer it to a crypto exchange to buy Bitcoin. This process is very similar to the standard way to buy Bitcoin.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open a Checking Account: Open a checking account at a bank that has branches or ATMs near you. Look for banks that offer free checking accounts with no minimum deposit requirements.
  2. Deposit Cash: Visit a bank branch or ATM to deposit cash into your checking account.
  3. Open a Crypto Exchange Account: Open an account with a trustworthy crypto exchange that accepts bank transfers. Options include MEXC, Coinbase, Binance, and other major exchanges. You will likely have to verify your identity during this process.
  4. Transfer Cash: Set up a bank transfer to your crypto exchange account. Choose the amount to deposit, then use ACH, SEPA, Direct Deposit or SWIFT to make a transfer.
  5. Buy Bitcoin: Once your deposit has settled, purchase Bitcoin from the exchange. You can hold it in your exchange account or transfer it to a crypto wallet.
  • Ease: 4/5
  • Efficiency: 4/5
  • Cost: 4.5/5

Which Banks Let You Buy Bitcoin with Cash?

Currently, you cannot buy Bitcoin with cash directly from any banks. You can deposit cash at a bank, then transfer it to a crypto exchange to buy Bitcoin.

4. Buy Bitcoin with Cash at a Retail Store

While many retailers host Bitcoin ATMs, you cannot buy Bitcoin directly from any retail store. However, you can buy gift cards, which you can then redeem for Bitcoin online. Here’s how:

  1. Buy Gift Cards from a Retail Store: Visit a retail store that sells gift cards, such as Visa or American Express gift cards. Purchase gift cards with cash.
  2. Open a Crypto Exchange Account: Open an account with any crypto exchange that accepts credit cards. You may be asked to verify your identity.
  3. Redeem for Bitcoin: You can redeem Visa gift cards for instant Bitcoin purchases. Simply enter the gift card’s number as your credit card number to buy Bitcoin. You can store the Bitcoin in your exchange account or transfer it to a self-hosted crypto wallet.
  • Ease: 4/5
  • Efficiency: 4/5
  • Cost: 4/5

Which Stores Let You Buy Bitcoin with Cash?

You cannot buy Bitcoin with cash directly at any store. However, you can buy Visa gift cards at most retailers, including CVS, Walgreens, and most major grocery stores.

5. Buy Bitcoin with Cash by Mail

Buying Bitcoin with cash through the mail is possible, but not recommended. You run a high risk of sending money and never receiving crypto in return.

That said, if you do want to buy BTC with cash by mail, here’s how to do so:

  1. Find a Seller: Several crypto peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces, including Bitpapa and AgoraDesk, offer a ‘Cash by mail’’ payment option. Create an account on one of these sites and use that filter to find Bitcoin sellers.
  2. Negotiate: Negotiate with the seller to lock in a price for Bitcoin and get their mailing address for cash. Make sure that they put Bitcoin in an escrow account before you send money.
  3. Mail Cash: Mail your cash to the address provided by the seller. Once they acknowledge receipt, Bitcoin will be released from the escrow account to your wallet.
  • Ease: 2.5/5
  • Efficiency: 2.5/5
  • Cost: 3.5/5

Pros and Cons of Buying Bitcoin with Cash


Buying Bitcoin with cash has its advantages as well as its drawbacks.

Pros

  • You can buy Bitcoin while remaining anonymous
  • You don’t need a credit card or bank account
  • You can buy Bitcoin locally
  • May reduce fees to buy Bitcoin (in-person and cash by mail)

Cons

  • Bitcoin ATMs have very high fees
  • Not all methods offer full privacy
  • Finding sellers willing to accept cash can be challenging
  • You risk being scammed or robbed
  • Large cash transactions can create legal issues if not properly reported

Alternatives to Buying Bitcoins with Cash


Buying Bitcoin with cash isn’t the only way to get Bitcoin—and for most buyers, it’s not the easiest or most efficient way, either.

Instead, the easiest way to buy Bitcoin is to make a purchase through a crypto exchange such as MEXC, Binance, or Coinbase. These popular crypto exchanges enable you to buy Bitcoin in minutes with a credit card, debit card, or bank transfer. You don’t have to leave your home or coordinate a meetup with a seller.

Exchanges also have very low fees. At MEXC, for example, you can buy Bitcoin with a fee of just 0.1%. That’s 100 times less than the 10% fee that many Bitcoin ATMs charge.

You also don’t need to manage a crypto wallet when using an exchange. Instead, you can store your Bitcoin in your exchange account. The advantage to this is that it’s easy to swap your BTC for another token or sell it whenever you want.

Another benefit to using a crypto exchange is that most major exchanges offer free mobile apps for iOS and Android. You can easily buy Bitcoin on the go with your smartphone.

You May also be interested in How to Buy Bitcoin with PayPal

Conclusion – The Best Way to Buy Bitcoin with Cash?


If you want to buy Bitcoin with cash, the best way to do so is to use a Bitcoin ATM. Bitcoin ATMs have high fees, but they’re safe and easy to find. They also let you buy Bitcoin anonymously. Methods involving swapping cash for Bitcoin with another person can work, but they are also significantly more risky.

In most cases, you’ll save time and money by buying Bitcoin from a crypto exchange. At MEXC, you’ll pay a fee of just 0.1% to buy Bitcoin with a bank transfer. You can also buy crypto with a credit card and store your BTC in your exchange account for safekeeping.

Cash to Crypto FAQs


What are my top options for buying Bitcoin with cash?

The best way to buy Bitcoin with cash is to use a Bitcoin ATM. There are Bitcoin ATMs in every major city and they’re very safe. If you don’t want to use a Bitcoin ATM, the next best option is to buy Bitcoin with cash through an in-person meetup.

What is the cheapest way to buy Bitcoin with cash?

The cheapest way to buy Bitcoin with cash is to arrange an in-person swap with a seller. You and the seller can negotiate a price for the transaction, so you may be able to buy BTC for less than its current market price. There are also no fees involved in in-person swaps.

Where can I buy Bitcoin with cash?

You can buy Bitcoin with cash at a Bitcoin ATM. There are thousands of Bitcoin ATMs around the world. They’re often located in grocery stores and pharmacies like Walgreens or CVS.

How do I find a Bitcoin ATM near me?

You can find a Bitcoin ATM near you using a site like CoinATMRadar or Coinmap.org. These sites have maps that show all of the world’s Bitcoin ATMs. You can enter your address to see nearby ATMs.

What are the best alternatives to buying Bitcoins with cash?

The best alternative to buying Bitcoin with cash is to buy BTC through a crypto exchange. Exchanges accept credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers, and they offer very low fees for buying Bitcoin. At MEXC, for example, you’ll pay just 0.1% to buy Bitcoin.

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