How To Buy Bitcoin Without ID

Anonymity and privacy are two of the main reasons that individuals become attracted to Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency. It would be fair to say that the original appeal of Bitcoin was its ability to provide anonymous transactions. Today, there are cryptocurrency investors that are not as concerned with concealing their identity. Still, many people want to know how to buy Bitcoin without ID. This seems to be especially true in the United States.

It has become harder to make Bitcoin purchases without some type of identity verification, but it is not impossible. Here is a look at some ways to purchase cryptocurrency without going through the identity verification process.

Why Buying Bitcoin and Crypto Without ID is Difficult

Let’s be honest. Getting your hands on Bitcoin and other digital tokens without going through some type of identity verification has never been easy. What we mean is that even when one manages to find an exchange or other source to buy tokens with a debit card or bank account, a paper trail is created that could ultimately lead back to the buyer. The difficulty of getting tokens has always been a barrier for some people that want to own some Bitcoin.

This is not necessarily improving, although there are many cryptocurrency exchanges available today where transactions can be processed instantly. As long as you have the willingness to submit the proper ID documents, that is. Why are cryptocurrency exchanges so vigilant about identity verification?

The answer is regulation attempts by governments around the world. Many countries are struggling to deal with the decentralized and unregulated world of Bitcoin. It makes them uncomfortable. They have taken measures to rein in digital tokens and those who possess them. Even in the US lawmakers are now having hearings about the impact of Bitcoin on financial systems, and this has led to regulations that cryptocurrency exchanges must follow.

In a nutshell, a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange is going to have to submit to Know Your Customer (KYC) and other rules which mandate the verification of identity. This is discouraging to those who have the perception that Bitcoin is anonymous and that anyone can buy Bitcoin without ID.

Bitcoin Is Not Anonymous, It’s Pseudonymous

There is a fundamental misunderstanding about Bitcoin which has persisted from its earliest days. Most people believe that the cryptocurrency is anonymous. In reality it is pseudonymous, and there is a significant difference.

It is possible to send Bitcoin to someone or receive it without revealing one’s true identity. That much is true. But that does not make Bitcoin anonymous. Instead, it would be better to say that that Bitcoin is pseudonymous. An ID is created for Bitcoin transactions in the form of the Bitcoin address or private keys that are needed to make a transaction. These addresses become part of the blockchain, a public ledger which tracks every Bitcoin transaction that has ever been made for all eternity. Once it becomes a part of the blockchain, there is no way to remove or alter it without altering the entire chain.

Let’s say that you wrote a book that included controversial subject matter. You decided that maybe it was best to publish that book under a pseudonym. That’s a fancy word for a fake name. You can do that. In fact, many famous authors like Stephen King have done it. Ultimately, though, someone real has to deposit the checks for the money that the book earns. It is then but a short leap to the real identity of the writer. It’s not so different with Bitcoin.

The moment that you use a debit card or your bank account to make a Bitcoin purchase or withdraw money from a cryptocurrency exchange you have created a link between the Bitcoin addresses and your personal identity. In theory someone with enough reason and resources could connect the dots and link you to the address. This would then render your anonymity useless.

Why Buy Bitcoin Without ID?

Here is a valid question. Why would someone want to buy Bitcoin without an ID in the first place? The first answer that is going to come to mind for most people is that the person buying is engaged in some sort of criminal enterprise.

That perception is largely due to the Silk Road fiasco that occurred on the Dark Web, a collection of hidden websites that visitors can only access with a special browser called TOR. Silk Road was a black market where people used Bitcoin to buy illegal drugs, guns, unlicensed software, and more. Eventually, the site was shut down and its founder imprisoned. All of the Bitcoin held by the founder was seized.

These events are a matter of record, but that does not mean that there aren’t legitimate reasons for buying Bitcoin without an ID. Perhaps the biggest reason is that some cryptocurrency investors don’t want to keep all of their holdings in an exchange where hackers could possibly steal it.

There are other people who just don’t trust the government. It’s hard to put too much blame on them for how they feel. Yet, there is one major reason why people want to buy Bitcoin without an ID. They don’t have one.

The most recent numbers suggest that there are about 1 billion people in the world who have no identification. Imagine the difficulty these people have managing their daily affairs? Traditional banking is not possible for them. Beyond that, many of them are homeless and lack the ID needed to get a regular job. For these people, Bitcoin may be a source of income that they can earn without an ID.

We’ll also add here that getting verified by a cryptocurrency exchange can take forever. They can make you feel like you are jumping through hoops, and some people just don’t want to feel that way.

Buying Bitcoin Without ID

The options for buying Bitcoin without an ID are limited. There are essentially three ways that this can be possible that are effective. Before we list those methods we should say that individuals should proceed with caution when moving beyond the ways that we will suggest. There are plenty of scammers out there who will be happy to separate you from your Bitcoin by making false promises.

Here are three methods of buying Bitcoin without ID:

  • Peer-to-peer exchange. The best example for this would be to buy some Bitcoin from a family member or friend. In that case you only need a wallet address to receive the Bitcoin. You simply hand over cash in exchange for the amount of Bitcoin you want. If you don’t have a friend or family member, you can use web services like Local Bitcoins to get connected with a seller.
  • Using prepaid debit cards. Some people have stated that they have had success with this method. They use the prepaid card to buy Bitcoin at an exchange that does not require identity verification. It should be stated that many prepaid debit cards today also require identity verification before the card can be issued.
  • Select instant cryptocurrency exchanges. Sadly, these are becoming few and far between. At the time of this writing there may still be some that will allow you to buy Bitcoin without ID.

As you can see, the only reliable method in the above list is a peer-to-peer exchange. The other methods may or may nor work. Before you use a peer-to-peer exchange we should address some of the concerns around this method.

Never agree to meet someone that you have not met or do not know to exchange Bitcoin. That should go without saying. Also, you should do your due diligence before any Bitcoin transaction is made to insure that it will go smoothly. Remember, if you lose your Bitcoin because you acted unwisely that cryptocurrency is gone forever.

The Pros and Cons of Buying Bitcoin Without ID:


  • Those who do not have an ID can send and receive cryptocurrency and use it for their needs
  • Increased privacy and anonymity
  • No need to reveal banking or other personal information


  • Limits your ability to trade cryptocurrency on exchanges
  • Can be more costly, poorer exchange rate
  • Some exchanges limit buying without an ID

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