Identity exclusion, ever heard of it? It’s why the United Nations launched the so-called UN Goal Target 16.9, an initiative aimed giving legal identities to all humans by the year 2030. That’s because there are currently more than 1 billion people on Earth that don’t have official identities as provided by birth certificates, marriage licenses, and so forth.
You can bet that virtually all of these 1 billion citizens are among the globe’s “unbanked” having no access to bank accounts because they don’t have proper I.D. documents to open these accounts in the first place.
This “unbanked dynamic” is prevalent in emerging markets, but so too do we see it just the same in first-world economies. In all of our communities, no matter where each of us hail from, there are many around us who make ado without bank accounts and I.D. cards.
The tragedy is there exists something like Bitcoin which would be perfect as a store of value for unbanked users but that BTC is typically difficult to buy without I.D. verification. Until now, that is.
Whatever your reasons, Today then, we’ll be walking you through the ways in which you can buy bitcoins anonymously, without the prohibitive need for an I.D. card. Let’s get to it!
1) Bitcoin ATMs
- 1 1) Bitcoin ATMs
- 2 2) Try Prepaid Cards with P2P Exchanges
- 3 3) CoinMama
- 4 4) Wall of Coins
- 5 And LocalBitcoins, Of Course
- 6 So Now You Have BTC … What If You Want to Keep Trading Back and Forth Into Bitcoin?
- 7 There’s BitFinex
- 8 Then There’s Changelly
- 9 And ShapeShift Works the Same
- 10 Decentralized Exchanges Are Cool, But Customer Support Can Take Awhile
- 11 On the Other Hand, the Major Downside to P2P Exchanges? Lack of Liquidity
- 12 You’ve Got Options, That Much Is Clear
Bitcoin automatic-teller machines are a natural place to start because they can be found in most larger cities and all you’ll need to use one is a credit or debit card.
Some BTC ATMs will require more intensive buy processes, so some may require some form of “I.D” like scanning your palm print. But many of these ATMs don’t require anything like that, so most are very much buy-and-go stations if you’re looking to nab some bitcoins anonymously.
2) Try Prepaid Cards with P2P Exchanges
If you’re working with cash, then trying going to your local mart and swapping in your fiat for a prepaid debit card. Afterwards, you’ll be able to use your new disposable card to buy bitcoins through peer-to-peer exchanges like LocalBitcoins and other exchanges that don’t require I.D. Let’s get to some of those now.
CoinMama is a great beginner’s exchange for someone without an I.D. who’s looking to make their first BTC purchase. That’s because CoinMama lets users get their first $150 worth of BTC with a debit or credit card with no need to provide an identity card of any kind.
This is obviously a good deal for first-timers because the buy limit is so low. But it’s a great entryway for those looking to enter into the crypto space. Some users may be asked to upload a selfie while holding up their purchasing card, but that’s not common. Most won’t have to bother.
Read our full review of CoinMama if you would like to find out more details.
4) Wall of Coins
Wall of Coins uses a unique model, in that it’s a peer-to-peer exchange like LocalBitcoins, but it uses SMS text codes to facilitate purchases. Here, you won’t need an I.D: just a phone.
And the cool thing is that Wall of Coins operates in many places around the world. You can currently use it in places like:
- United Kingdom
- United States
And LocalBitcoins, Of Course
We’ve already mentioned LocalBitcoins, and it’s perhaps the largest and most popular of the world’s P2P crypto exchanges, so you’ve probably heard about it before as well.
It functions much the same as Wall of Coins: you link up with buys and sellers on an individual basis.
LocalBitcoins can help you facilitate local meetups, too. Let’s say you find a seller on LB and you both live in London. Through the P2P exchange, you’ll be able to link up somewhere convenient and get the deal done. No I.D. required, naturally.
Read our complete review to find out more.
So Now You Have BTC … What If You Want to Keep Trading Back and Forth Into Bitcoin?
Most major exchanges like Bittrex won’t let you do much if you don’t verify your account with an I.D, although Binance does allow you to withdraw up to 2 BTC per day before having to verify your account.
A great way to get around this prohibitive dynamic is by using exchanges (mainly decentralized exchanges) to get the BTC trading pair options you’re looking for without these exchanges needing to know anything about you.
Let’s list off a few so you can know where to look.
Beware: use BitFinex at your own peril, as there have been recent allegations of nefarious tomfoolery at that exchange as of late. But even still, BitFinex is one of the few larger centralized exchanges that lets users forego I.D. verification if these users are just relying on crypto deposits.
Something to think about, right?
Then There’s Changelly
Changelly is a decentralized exchange. As such, you don’t need an account or anything like that to use the platform. You simply configure the trade you’d like to make, and Changelly will give you an address. Send your desired crypto to that address, and Changelly will ship you what you’re owed in minutes.
And ShapeShift Works the Same
You can try ShapeShift out too for the same kind of trading. They’ll give you an address, and you just send whatever crypto you’re selling to that address. You’ll promptly get your BTC or whatever it is you’re trading for in no time.
Decentralized Exchanges Are Cool, But Customer Support Can Take Awhile
It’s totally understandable, too, because operations like ShapeShift and Changelly aren’t massive centralized operations with huge hierarchies of employees.
And most of the time these decentralized exchanges are a total breeze to use.
But on the off chance you have any troubles during your trading, just be prepared to wait for a handful of days for a response. Both ShapeShift and Changelly usually have a backlog of support tickets, so your problem will eventually be resolved — it may just take some time. Be patient!
On the Other Hand, the Major Downside to P2P Exchanges? Lack of Liquidity
If you’re trying to make a large buy, it’s going to be harder on P2P exchanges because they’re not centralized. You have to link up with an individual seller that has enough bitcoins for what you’re trying to buy.
You can understand how in most cases that might be a challenge. Not impossible, but a challenge.
Making big buys is a lot easier on decentralized exchanges because they have access to considerable liquidity. But you’ll need crypto to use these exchanges in the first place, which is worthless to you if you’re trying to buy BTC with fiat.
All in all, then, you might just have to take what you can get in the various P2P marketplaces. Between multiple sellers, you should be able to scrounge up however much you’re gunning for.
You’ve Got Options, That Much Is Clear
As this post has illustrated, you’ve got a few different routes you can take in your pursuit of anonymously buying bitcoin without the need for having an I.D. for verification.
This early on, there are many who want to buy bitcoins but who don’t have access to the traditional means through which to do it. For instance, you need a bank account to use the popular exchange Coinbase.
That’s why it’s important to take note of these alternative and private ways of buying bitcoin. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. As we suggested earlier, if you have a debit or credit card, we recommend BTC ATMs as a good starting point.