Before Bitcoin became famous, people used to believe that Bitcoin was anonymous. But because everything is recorded on a publically shared global ledger (the blockchain), it is actually not anonymous at all!
Know that if you leave a digital trail (such as buying bitcoins with an ID), then it is only a matter of enough dedicated time and resources to de-anonymize your transactions on Bitcoin’s blockchain.
And that’s why more and more people are finding ways to enhance their anonymity when they interact with the Bitcoin network. Lots of people want to know how they can get bitcoins without using an ID.
To support such demands, some companies offer anonymous buying/selling of bitcoins. And there also are certain tricks and tips one should follow to stay anonymous.
So to fulfill the needs of such users, today I am going to discuss some of the best ways to buy bitcoins without an ID.
But one needs to keep in mind that nothing is a free lunch, and this extra anonymity comes with a cost. These methods are 5- 10% more costly than other conventional ways of buying bitcoins.
That said, let’s begin!!
Top 6 Ways To Buy Bitcoin Without ID
1. Local Bitcoins (aka LBC)
Local Bitcoins is a Bitcoin start-up based out of Helsinki, Finland and has been operating since 2012. It is a P2P Bitcoin exchange. It has on the ground buyers and sellers in nearly 15,000 cities across the world.
You can meet sellers online and execute a trade offline. You can pay in cash or send them money via wire transfer or PayPal or SEPA or direct bank deposit (all depending on the seller).
However, LBC requires you to register using your email ID, but you can simply bypass this using an alias email.
All the fees are set by the sellers, and Local Bitcoins acts as an escrow manager.
Caution: Be sure to check the reputation of the seller; a higher reputation means a more trustable seller.
Consider reading our step by step guide on purchasing bitcoins with cash.
2. Mycelium Local Trader
Mycelium Local Trader is brought to you by Mycelium, which is a popular Bitcoin wallet. It is a feature built into the Mycelium mobile app and is available globally. It uses your phone’s location to get you connected to traders nearby, making a listing of sellers who are on the app.
The buyer and seller meet in person to exchange cash/bitcoins, and there is no requirement of IDs or verifications to use Mycelium. Here is the official step by step guide to help you out in buying your bitcoins from Mycelium’s Local Trader.
Caution: Make sure the seller confirms the receiving of cash in front of you on the Mycelium app, and then the trade will be executed automatically.
3. Bitsquare (aka BISQ)
Bitsquare is a peer-to-peer marketplace for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins. It is a fully decentralized exchange which requires no name, email ID, or verification.
To be a truly anonymous peer-to-peer network, it uses Tor and doesn’t hold fiat or bitcoins on their servers or in their account. Every aspect of this exchange is decentralized from placing the order, to matching the order, to executing it.
Currently, it supports 126 cryptocurrencies (including BTC) and is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, but trade volumes are low.
How Bitsqaure works is beyond the scope of this article. But in the future, CoinSutra is going to cover all important aspects of Bitsquare…
Note: Bitsquare was recently rebranded to Bisq due to copyright issues.
Here is Bitsquare’s introductory video:
4. Bitcoin ATMs
The trend of Bitcoin ATMs is not very prevalent. But it is still one of the best ways of buying Bitcoin without an ID. Some BTC ATMs don’t require you to disclose your identity and they don’t require facial or fingerprint identification.
You can simply buy bitcoins from such ATMs in exchange of fiat currency.
A Bitcoin ATM asks you to scan your public address and transfers BTCs to that address in the equivalent fiat you deposited in it. In some cases, if you don’t have a public address, just select the option of “don’t have an address” and the ATM will generate a paper wallet for you (if it supports that feature).
5. Wall of Coins
Wall of Coins is also one of the best ways to obtain bitcoins without disclosing your identity.
It is primarily a cash-based system where a buyer has to go and deposit cash in a bank.
A Bitcoin seller who has a bank branch near you gives you their bank account details. Then, you can then visit the bank’s nearest branch and deposit cash. Once they confirm the deposit, the coins which are held in escrow are released to you.
Like LBC, the fees are set by individual sellers.
As of now, Wall of Coins is operating in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Latvia, Poland, and the Philippines.
6. ShapeShift or Changelly Exchange
Another popular way of buying bitcoins is through ShapeShift or Changelly.
Both of them require no ID verification to start with.
However, Changelly requires you to sign up with an email ID, but you can use an alias one. ShapeShift doesn’t need an email. I personally use Changelly for their competitive exchange rates and viewable transaction history for tracking.
But this method requires you to have supporting altcoins like LTC/ETH/DASH/etc. to exchange for BTC. If you have altcoins, then you can buy bitcoins in seconds with no verification.
All the methods described above don’t require you to use an ID verification to buy bitcoins, but even still, with more sophisticated techniques, you can be tracked. Sometimes you can be identified by your IP or through the private wi-fi which you are using.
Or you might accidentally disclose your Bitcoin public address online somewhere. Or a seller might track you down from your mobile or vehicle number when you did your face-to-face fiat/Bitcoin deal with them.
These are possible methods of demasking anonymity, so for more serious users of Bitcoin, I suggest you read our guide 6 Ways To Guarantee Anonymity When Making Bitcoin Transactions.
In the near future, CoinSutra is preparing to share some more proven ways of dealing anonymously with Bitcoin. So keep checking back for all the latest tips and tricks!
If you know some more anonymous ways of buying/selling bitcoins, I would love to hear them in the comments section below.
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