How To Buy And Sell Bitcoin In 2024: From Exchanges, to ATMs, to P2P

Explore Blink's blog for a quick guide on buying/selling Bitcoin, covering KYC, payment options, and global services.

How To Buy And Sell Bitcoin In 2024: From Exchanges, to ATMs, to P2P
February 13, 2024
Eduardo Prospero

It’s never too late to learn how to buy and sell Bitcoin. And for people who already know, the space moves so fast that a refresher course is always a good idea. As a whole, Bitcoin is complicated. To begin to understand it, the user has to enter a maze that touches on technological innovation, monetary history, Austrian economics, philosophy, mathematics, ethics, and several additional rabbit holes. 

One thing is simple, though: to buy and sell Bitcoin. All you need is a method of payment, a wallet, and a broker of some kind. We at Blink have ulterior motives for producing this guide, because we recently unveiled our long-awaited buy and sell Bitcoin feature for people in El Salvador. And it might soon be available near you, as we plan to expand to more countries. 

Let’s explore all of the other available options.  

KYC or No-KYC? That is the Question

Different methods of buying and selling require the users to divulge different levels of information. Financial services all over the world are often required by law to collect documents, keep a profile, and have a file available for the Security Exchange Commission or similar institutions. The procedures’ code name is Know Your Customer or KYC, and they’re a part of the Anti-Money Laundering or AML policies. The intensity of the data collection varies from case to case, but at a minimum users need to provide one or two government-issued IDs and some kind of proof of residence. 

Do your own research to decide which methods are best for your individual needs. However, take into consideration that there are legal ways to obtain non-KYCed Bitcoin.

How to Buy and Sell Bitcoin: Payment Options

Users can pay for precious Bitcoin with wire transfers, credit cards, PayPal, Stablecoins, and even good old cash. It all depends on the service the user decides to put his or her faith into. Plus, every form of payment comes with its trade-offs. For example, credit cards are expensive to use because banking institutions usually mark those buys as a “cash advance,” and the interest rate on those is even higher than regular charges.

Another important factor relates to the previous section; all of the user’s bank accounts are linked to his or her identity. That means that Bitcoin bought through wire transfers, credit cards, and PayPal could also be. Once again, it all depends on what service the user chooses to make the transaction.

How to Buy and Sell Bitcoin: Available Services

Let’s be honest, it has never been easier to buy and sell Bitcoin, but it’s still complicated. Blink’s service for Salvadoreans aside, the transactions still require work and know-how. This is also true: it will only get easier in the future. The healthy and vibrant Bitcoin developer community comes up with newer and simpler services by the hour. Or so it seems.

At the moment, these are your main options.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

This is the classic way to buy and sell Bitcoin. Open an account in a cryptocurrency exchange by going through the KYC process, fund it through the available payment options, and buy or sell your coins through their service. Rest assured that they will charge a commission and sell at a higher price than they buy.

Cryptocurrency exchanges come in all shapes and sizes, and have different KYC policies. Among the most popular are Binance, Coinbase, Bitfinex and Kraken. Neither one is Bitcoin-only, though. Buying and selling other cryptocurrencies is too profitable. 

For users who are more comfortable with exchanges that are focused entirely on driving Bitcoin adoption, Swan in the US, CoinCorner in the UK, and Bull Bitcoin in Canada are Bitcoin-only options.

Bitcoin ATMs

These machines look and work like regular ATMs. Through them, users can buy and sell Bitcoin with cash, debit, and credit cards. Usually, the user will have to go through some sort of KYC procedure, although this varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Also, Bitcoin ATMs are infamous for charging expensive fees. Buyers beware, some of them go as high as 30%!   

ATMs were more popular in the recent past, it’s not easy to find one near you in the Bitcoin ATM maps of yore. However, they’re still around and could make a comeback at any time. The Lightning ATM Pocket Edition and similar projects are testimony to that. 

The Chivo ATMs in El Salvador are a special case, because they’re government-operated and a crucial part of the country’s Bitcoin strategy. The Chivo ATMs are not as expensive to use but come with their own set of problems, which are outside of the scope of this article.

P2P Services

If users want to go the non-KYC route, peer-to-peer networks are their best bet to buy and sell Bitcoin. Here, the service acts as an escrow and holds the funds while two people transact with each other. Once Person A confirms the payment from Person B, the service releases the Bitcoin and the cycle is complete. Some people use cash and in-person meetings, but in the majority of cases, the payment method of choice is wire transfers. The identity of each person is almost removed from the equation because the service participation in the transaction is minimal.

The level of privacy depends on the service chosen. Binance has an extremely popular P2P marketplace, but since everything happens inside its ecosystem, it offers the least amount of privacy. Other choices are:


A decentralized exchange that offers: “Buy and sell bitcoin for fiat (or other cryptocurrencies) privately and securely using Bisq's peer-to-peer network and open-source desktop software. No registration required.” The drawback is that you need to download software. The benefit is that everything goes through Tor, so it’s highly private. Bisq offers on-chain Bitcoin transactions only. The team is working on Bisq 2, a new and improved decentralized exchange that will allow “users to choose between multiple trading protocols,” including Lightning Network transactions.


“An easy way to privately exchange bitcoin for national currencies. It simplifies the peer-to-peer experience and makes use of lightning hold invoices to minimize custody and trust requirements between peers. You can also use RoboSats to perform peer-to-peer swaps.” Since users create a robot for every transaction, the level of privacy is high. This one is Lightning only. 


“A bitcoin exchange system for local currency, enabling easy and secure person-to-person transactions using Lightning Network. It is a Telegram bot that can be used pseudonymously, without user registration or identity verification.” A very popular service in Latin America, the Lnp2pbot has one problem. Everything goes through Telegram, which is a single point of failure. At the moment it works tremendously, but that could change at the drop of a dime.

With that in mind, the creators of Lnp2pbot are hard at work creating Mostro, a similar service that runs over Nostr. This one is not yet ready for prime time, in fact, it's operating with a 20K Sats limit at the moment. In the future, users will be able to create nodes, serve as escrows, and earn commissions for their troubles. Interested developers are welcome to join the cause and contribute to Mostro’s development.

There’s an extreme P2P option that we should explore. If a user wants to go one step further, he or she can head to their local Bitcoin meetup and link up with a real person who needs to buy or sell BTC. If lucky, said user might find a symbiotic relationship that could extend for long periods of time.

How to Buy and Sell Bitcoin: Global Off-ramps and On-ramps

As mentioned, Blink’s buy and sell Bitcoin feature is only available in El Salvador so far. Here’s an ever-evolving list of similar services from all around the world. 


  • Brazil - Stackfy - Telegram-based
  • Canada - Bull Bitcoin - “Buy Bitcoin directly to your own Bitcoin Wallet using e-mail money transfers and other Canadian bank transfer options.”
  • UK - CoinCorner - “We're helping people around the world discover what we believe is a better and more open financial system with Bitcoin.”
  • Belgium/ Switzerland - Relai - “Relai offers a solution for both beginners and experts.”
  • Netherland - Bitonic - “We are here for the long-term thinkers.”
  • Belgium/ Switzerland - Pocket Bitcoin - “No account, no registration, straight from your banking app.”
  • Austria - 21 Bitcoin - “From your dashboard, 4 taps is all it takes to buy your first sats”
  • Austria - Coinfinity - “Buy and sell bitcoin via app in just a few minutes.”
  • Norway - Bare Bitcoin
  • Australia - Hard Block - “Save with bitcoin before the world does.”
  • Australia - Bitaroo - “Bitcoin only. This is the way.”
  • Guatemala - IBEX - “Connect to Bitcoin's Lightning Network today.”

Not Bitcoin-only 

  • Uganda - Onramp
  • Nigeria, Ghana and India - Noones
  • Switzerland - Mt. Pelerin - “Buy crypto on multiple chains in a few clicks, at the best prices and without identification required.”
  • South Africa - VALR - “Be borderless.”
  • Netherland - Blockrise - “Investing, storing and managing crypto for passionate investors.”
  • Brazil - Bipa - “Withdraw for free and make transfers at the speed of light.”
  • Mexico - Bitso - “Buying low and selling high just got easier.”
  • Guatemala - Osmo Wallet - “Create your account in less than ‍45 seconds!”
  • Guatemala - Coincaex - “Optimize your business with our platform.”

What did we miss? Tag us on X and let us know so we can keep this list up to date! 

Regardless of what platform or form of payment you decide to use, remember this precious advice: don’t leave your Bitcoin on an exchange. Where you withdraw to will depend on what you plan to do with the bitcoin. Learn more about choosing wallets that work for you in the article "Choosing The Right Bitcoin Wallet: Payments vs. Savings."

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