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How to Buy Cryptocurrency in the UK in 2024

By Chris Morris - Updated 02 May 2024
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Anyone looking to buy cryptocurrency in the UK has a wealth of options. There are many cryptocurrencies available, and a large variety of purchasing platforms. It has definitely been an excellent time to get involved with the cryptocurrency market, due to the vast increases in value experienced by many of the top tokens. A wide number of payment methods are also supported by most platforms in the UK.

So in this article, we’re going to assess all of the issues related to purchasing cryptocurrencies in the UK, as well as discussing some of the most important investment options.

Table of Contents

Buy Cryptocurrency

Best Places to Buy Cryptocurrency in the UK

There is a significant amount of evidence that purchasing cryptocurrency as an investment is becoming popular in the UK. For example, a recent poll found that nearly 20% of the British people have now purchased tokens. This figure has increased massively in recent years, as only 3% of the population had owned a token back in 2018.

This popularity of cryptocurrencies means that they have become a particularly viable investment niche. You can purchase coins through a broker or an exchange, so we have shortlisted our recommendations of the top platforms in the following table.

How to Buy Cryptocurrency in the UK

There is a range of reasons to purchase cryptocurrencies via crypto exchanges in the UK, and this is definitely becoming a more popular activity. There are nearly 2 million UK owners of altcoins at the time of writing, and over 500 shops and bars in the UK now accept Bitcoin as a payment method. The FCA also found in a study that in 2020, 27% of UK residents learned of cryptocurrencies through traditional media.

It’s therefore important to familiarise yourself with the crypto market if you wish to maximise your potential as an investor.

1. Set up a Wallet

Setting up a wallet for cryptocurrency trading is relatively straightforward, and there are usually instructions provided by the developers. However, there are decisions to be made regarding whether you opt for a software or hardware wallet, or indeed choose to store cryptocurrencies on an exchange website. Hardware wallets with cold storage are usually considered to be the most secure option.

2. Choose and Join an Exchange

Registering with an exchange simply requires an investor to provide some personal details, before confirming identity and address. Fees and security are important factors that tend to differ between platforms and should be factored in during any decision over the best deal available. Regulation can also be an issue, with, for example, certain platforms are not always available in all territories. Select an exchange that meets your needs.

3. Choose Your Payment Methods

Most payment methods are available with cryptocurrencies, such as direct bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards, and even Bitcoin itself.

Credit cards are widely available but can incur fees, whereas debit cards tend to be free, but don’t offer the same protection and policies associated with credit cards. Bank transfers are slow but incur lesser fees as compared to other methods.

4. Place an Order to Buy Cryptocurrencies

Placing an order to purchase a cryptocurrency involves several steps, but isn’t as complicated as one might imagine. Firstly, you need to register for the site in question, which will require you to confirm your identity and address. Next, you will need to deposit funds on the website, via one of the approved payment methods. The next part of the process will be to locate your required investment, which can be achieved via the user interface included on the website.

Then you will purchase the coin by clicking on the buy button but confirm that all details are correct before finally placing the order.

5. Safely Storing Your Cryptocurrency in a Wallet

Storing your cryptocurrencies in a wallet requires you to go through the following process. Firstly, log on to your exchange of choice. There is usually a sidebar available on one side of the screen, which will include a wealth of options. Typically you will need to pick “withdraw”, before choosing an appropriate currency.

Next, select “My Wallet” in the Destination Address field, or another similar option depending on the platform. Enter the amount and hit “Send”. It should be noted that this is entirely optional, and probably only necessary for those investors that are dealing with large amounts of tokens.

What if I Want to Buy Cryptocurrency With Cash in My City in the UK?

Although it is possible to purchase cryptocurrencies with cash through a peer-to-peer platform, there is simply less protection than with other payment methods. It’s also difficult to find someone willing to sell crypto tokens for cash payments, which means that it’s generally much better to purchase through a regulated platform.

Nonetheless, there are several avenues available for purchasing altcoins via cash, such as ATMs, peer-to-peer exchanges, or even simply face-to-face meetings.

Crypto ATMs are available at many locations in the UK. Some of the prominent cities where crypto ATMs are available are Aberdeen, Basildon, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, and Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Newcastle upon Tyne and Oxford.

Cryptocurrencies are regulated in the UK for money laundering purposes. The Financial Conduct Authority is responsible for any laws related to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing activities.

The buying and selling of cryptocurrencies is perfectly legal in the UK, but recent regulatory moves made by the UK authorities have seen the trading of cryptocurrency derivatives outlawed.

It should also be noted that any profits made from cryptocurrency trading are deemed taxable, as they are legally considered to be commodities.

3 Tips to Buy Cryptocurrency

Next in this article, we will assess three important tips to purchase crypto effectively.

Choose the Right Time and Do Your Own Research

Firstly, it’s important to select an opportune time in the market, as this will lead to improved profits. Researching the market diligently is certainly an important part of this process. In doing so, investors should take into account factors that could move the market in the immediate future, while technical analysis of stock charts is also possible.

Comparing Costs to Buy Cryptocurrency

Comparing costs across crypto platforms is also useful, as it can enable investors to acquire the best deal possible. Different platforms impose varying fees for cryptocurrency purchases, so it’s important to clarify these before progressing. The fee structure can really make a big difference to profits, particularly if you are implementing a short-term trading strategy.

Safety and Security

Safety and security are also extremely important criteria when it comes to the cryptocurrency market, and so it’s therefore vital to investigate the security provisions made by a platform before committing to an investment. Any credible cryptocurrency platform should have this information included on its website, but you can also approach customer services to clarify key details.

Can I Buy Cryptocurrency With Pound Sterling?

Virtually all brokers accept popular currencies such as dollars, euros, and pound sterling. Thus, there is no reason to expect any platform to disallow purchasing cryptos with pounds. It is particularly attractive, and there should be no exchange rate issues for pound sterling purchases. Simply use the methods described above and start your crypto journey.

Other Ways to Buy Cryptocurrency in the UK?

Use a Cryptocurrency ATM to Buy Cryptocurrency:

As mentioned previously, there are numerous cities in the UK in which cryptocurrency ATMs are available, and this is thus a viable option for UK investors.

Other Ways to Get Cryptocurrency:

Other possible ways of purchasing cryptocurrencies include mining the coin directly from the source, staking, and P2P exchanges.

In conclusion, purchasing cryptocurrencies in the UK has become extremely popular, due to its convenience and increasing media profile. Most veteran investors believe that it is an excellent time to invest in cryptocurrencies and begin your investment journey.

What is the Best Payment Method for Buying Cryptocurrency in the UK?

Your choice of a payment method depends on factors such as security, transaction speed, convenience and affordability. Since each one of us has unique preferences, the definition of “best,” in this case, is entirely subjective.

As mentioned earlier, the UK is the global headquarter of finance, and every payment method imaginable is available.

  • Buy Cryptocurrency with Cashcheapest means for buying crypto anonymously in the UK.
  • Buy Cryptocurrency with Credit Card: vendors offer instant crypto purchase services with credit cards.
  • Buy Cryptocurrency with Bank Transfer: most secure payment method supported by all platforms.
  • Buy Cryptocurrency with PayPal: not all platforms support PayPal, but clients enjoy top-notch convenience for those that do.
  • Buy Cryptocurrency with Bitcoin: most exchanges accept Bitcoin for other digital currencies.

Is it Legal to Buy Cryptocurrency in the UK?

The UK does not have specific cryptocurrency laws, but regulators do not prohibit their sale. In 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) labeled cryptocurrencies as property, which seemed like a step toward official recognition of the industry. The Bank of England does not deem cryptocurrencies to be money; hence the assets are not a danger to the country’s banking system. Perhaps this is why the authorities are approaching the sector in a measured manner.

Where Can I Use Cryptocurrency in the UK?

A few businesses around the UK accept cryptocurrency as money, although most of them are small and little known. They include CarReg.co.uk, Diamonte Jets, Project D, etc. However, there is a high likelihood that big-name brands have stayed away from accepting crypto as currency because of a lack of official recognition. Also, big banks like HSBC refuse to facilitate crypto-based transactions.

Nevertheless, digital currencies are a common feature in video games. As more people interact with the tokens and the government unveils concrete regulations, there is a chance that crypto will gain money status.

Additionally, at the time of writing, there were 194 cryptocurrency ATMs in the UK. All of the tellers accept the conversion of cash into Bitcoin and vice versa. A few of the ATMs accept tokens such as Ethereum, Monero, Litecoin, Tether, Ripple, Dogecoin, Zcash, Dash, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it advantageous to purchase cryptocurrencies with pound sterling as opposed to US dollars?
Generally speaking, there is no particular advantage to buying cryptocurrencies with US dollars over pound sterling. However, this can be dependent on the exchange rate, as there can be market conditions during which it is preferable. Furthermore, the US dollar is the most recognised currency in the world and may be available as a payment method in some areas where the pound sterling cannot be used.
Do I need to verify my identity before buying cryptocurrencies in the UK?
Yes. Most platforms will insist on identity checks as part of the KYC norms.
Can I use cryptocurrencies as a payment method for purchasing goods?
Yes, in some cases. The biggest coins, particularly Bitcoin, are accepted by many retailers, but this also depends on the policy of individual retailers.
Where do I acquire a hardware wallet for cryptocurrency storage?
These are widely available from major retailers. In the UK, a hardware wallet typically retails at around £50.
What transaction fees are associated with acquiring cryptos?
This is dependent on many factors, including if you're buying or mining (there are no direct fees associated with mining) and where you're buying them from. If you purchase from an exchange, they should have transparent information available on fees.
Are cryptocurrencies legal in the UK?
The UK does not have specific cryptocurrency laws, nor do authorities proscribe their sale. This measured approach has enabled the crypto ecosystem in the UK to thrive.
Can I use cryptocurrency as money in the UK?
Cryptocurrencies are not officially recognised as money in the UK, but authorities do not criminalise their usage. As such, some merchants accept them. So, you cannot use digital assets as money, from an official sense, but unofficially, the coins are in widespread use.
Can I trade cryptocurrency in the UK?
Yes. There are plenty of crypto brokers in the UK that offers trading services. However, we advise that you make sure the broker is correctly licensed before signing on.
The Bank of England and the FCA discourage investing in cryptocurrency. Should I be worried?
Regulators in the UK do not recognise cryptocurrencies as money and cite the volatile nature of the market as an indication of fundamental risk. However, digital assets are risky when you get in without proper information. Therefore, it is best to always conduct exhaustive due diligence before exposing yourself to any digital asset.
Will cryptocurrencies supplant traditional money?
It depends on whether the masses will accept cryptocurrency. Recall that money is any item that society agrees upon to store value and facilitate the transfer of value.