Owning Bitcoin is a matter of financial independence and sovereignity. Bitcoin gives a unique chance to store and manage your funds without surveillance or dependence on any third parties like banks. Even despite the current volatility and constant changes in Bitcoin price it offers a good way of keeping some of your savings safe.
If you wish to keep your Bitcoin unattached to your name or government-issued IDs you need to use a platform that lets you buy Bitcoin anonymously. Many of the conventional Bitcoin exchanges have implemented or are implementing KYC policies that require you to submit identification documents. Some will just require minimum verification – e.g. a phone and an e-mail. That creates vulnerabilities – if your documents are stored at an exchange they can be hacked, leaked, or required by governments. This guide will help you buy Bitcoin anonymously. Here’s a list of services that let you do it:
This is the oldest peer to peer Bitcoin trading platform that goes way back to Bitcoin’s early days. What it does is match the buyers and sellers together and offer an escrow mechanism that facilitates safe transactions. LocalBitcoins works worldwide and supports hundreds of payment methods. Some of these payments are not anonymous per se (e.g. bank transfers), but the most popular anonymous method of getting Bitcoin is cash payment, when you meet your seller locally and exchange Bitcoin for cash.
To buy Bitcoin anonymously using LocalBitcoins you need to
– sign up to LocalBitcoins
– filter the sellers’ offers for your location
– select “in-person cash” in the payment methods dropdown
– choose a seller that has high rating from past trades and start chatting with them
– agree on a meeting place and meet
– transfer the cash once the seller releases the Bitcoin from Localbitcoins custody in front of you.
Bitcoin transactions are not reversible, but make sure you pay only after you make sure that the seller has released the funds.
Localbitcoins also has a KYC policy in place but so far it’s randomized. You may never be asked to submit any documents, but if you do, consider the following Localbitcoins alternatives:
This is a truly decentralized peer to peer exchange (unlike LocalBitcoins which is a centralized company still). HodlHodl is an app that brings together buyers and sellers and it’s not regulated, which means the platform itself will never ask you for an ID.
In order to buy Bitcoin anonymously using HodlHodl you need to
– download the software client
– find a seller and follow the instructions
– receive Bitcoin to a wallet you specify after the transaction
Here’s a simple explainer video on how to buy Bitcoin anonymously at HodlHodl:
3) Alternative option – Paxful
Paxful is similar to LocalBitcoins – it’s a centralized platform for p2p Bitcoin trading. Use it if Localbitcoins does not work for some reason (e.g. randomly asks you for ID) and you do not wish to figure out how to use HodlHodl (though it’s not hard).
Make sure you carefully vet your seller and pay attention to their reviews.