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The price of Bitcoin seems to move in a geometric progression. In fact, since the start of the year, the price has quadrupled, and we don’t know how far or in which direction it will go next.

More and more people want to jump on the Bitcoin rollercoaster and give it a try even though most experts and investors warn that its price is extremely volatile. The UK doesn’t sit on the sidelines of this phenomenon. Moreover, the country has become a crypto-friendly environment with lots of places to spend cryptocoins.

In this article, we would like to present the most popular and trusted Bitcoin exchanges that offer their solutions to UK citizens and accept deposits in pound sterling. 

5 UK Exchanges for Bitcoin

Bitcoin exchanges are the online services that help you buy or sell Bitcoin in exchange for fiat money, such as GBP. Each service accepts different payment methods, but most of them deal with bank wire transfers.

We will offer five reviews of the most trusted exchanges providing their services to UK citizens. Some of these platforms are based in the UK.

If you mean to ask which of them is best for you, we will be honest and say that we don’t know. However, you should check the comparison table to see our rating.

So, let’s get the exchange reviews rolling.

Coinbase

Coinbase is among the most popular crypto exchanges. It is available in 32 countries, including the UK.

Coinbase accepts three payment methods from UK citizens:

  • Credit or debit card (3D secure) – this is probably the most convenient deposit method for those who plan to buy Bitcoin. You can only use VISA, MasterCard, and Maestro with 3D secure authentication. The downsides of this payment option are the lower limits, higher fees, and buy-only option.
  • SEPA – you can also use a bank account compatible with SEPA payments to deposit and withdraw funds from your Coinbase account.
  • PayPal – while you cannot buy cryptocoins with your PayPal funds, you can at least transfer your Coinbase funds to PayPal, which is convenient and fast.

Coinbase charges a 1% fee per trade and other commissions for the transfers in and out.

To increase your buying limits, you will have to pass through some verification levels.

Kraken

Kraken is the largest exchange in terms of liquidity in euro. It also accepts British pounds from UK residents. It is a full-service crypto exchange, allowing operations with a broad range of altcoins.

You will have to go through some verification procedures before buying Bitcoin. There are four verification levels called tiers, where each subsequent tier offers more privileges than the preceding one. Tier 2 should be enough for you. It will require of you to submit the following personal details:

  • Name and surname
  • Date of birth
  • Country
  • Phone number
  • Address verification

Kraken accepts only bank wire transfers as a payment method for deposits and withdrawals, which automatically includes a transaction fee related to the bank you deal with. You should also consider the Kraken trading fees, which vary depending on the transaction volume.  

Bitstamp

Bitstamp is a Slovenia-based, London-headquartered Bitcoin exchange that started its activity back in 2011, becoming one of the first services of its kind.

Bank wire transfers and SEPA used to be the only payment options for depositing and cashing out money. Recently, Bitstamp introduced credit and debit card payments in many countries, including the UK. However, the fee with VISA or MasterCard reaches 8%, which is among the highest out there.

Since 2015, Bitstamp has been offering their clients GBP, USD or EUR denominated virtual or plastic cards, which lowers the transaction fees and increases security and convenience.

Quickbitcoin

Quickbitcoin is a London-based crypto brokerage service that allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin. The website is not fancy at all, but it provides all the solutions in a simple and clear manner.

One can deposit money with UK Faster Payments or a wire transfer from a bank account. Quickbitcoin also offers a Bitcoin ATM at The Vape Lab, 232 Shoreditch High Street.

As the brand name suggests, the service provides quick processing of all the operations so that you could buy Bitcoin in under an hour.

They also have a blog where you can read about how to buy Bitcoin from the UK with their service.

Coincorner

Coincorner is a British exchange headquartered on the Isle of Man. The service mixes the exchange format solutions with peer-to-peer marketplace benefits.

After creating a CoinCorner account, you can deposit money in it and start buying Bitcoin and altcoins. The service has recently introduced credit and debit cards with 3D secure authentication.

There is a ten-pound fee on GBP withdrawals. The good news is that there is no fee for deposits with wire transfers.

Coincorner is known for its ease of use. It also provides mobile versions for iOS and Android.

Check the table below for comparison of the five exchanges we’ve just reviewed:

 

Coinbase

Kraken

Bitstamp

QuickBitcoin

CoinCorner

Margin Trading

No

Yes

No

No

No

Reputation

Very Good

Very Good

Very Good

Average

Good

Security

High

Very High

High

Average

High

Fees

Average

Low

Average

Average

Low

Payment methods

Credit Card,

Wire transfer

Wire transfer

Wire, Credit card, AstroPay

UK Faster Payments, Wire transfer

Wire transfer, 3D credit/debit card

ID Verification

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Our rating

94%

92%

86%

70%

80%

 

UK’s Number One Bitcoin Broker

If you want to trade Bitcoin for profits, you can look for a service that provides more than just exchange solutions. Most of the exchanges offer you the possibility to buy and sometimes sell Bitcoin at the current price. A Bitcoin broker will add trading services as an extension to the typical exchange solutions.

The biggest UK-based Bitcoin broker is Coinfloor. It focuses on Bitcoin and has a lot of great features for British citizens. You can read our short review below.

Coinfloor

Coinfloor is known to offer the highest liquidity in terms of GBP. Its platform allows you to meet expert brokers ready to place trades on the exchange on your behalf. You can place market and limit orders and enjoy the lowest possible fees. In fact, there are no fees for most of the regular trading operations.

Note that you should deposit at least 1,000 pounds with a five-pound fee. There are no fees for deposits in Bitcoin. If you want to deposit in GBP, you can do it by wire transfer.

When it comes to withdrawals, you will pay a ten-pound fee per transaction, the minimum withdrawal being 15 pounds.

Coinfloor holds all of the costumers’ Bitcoin amounts in multi-signature cold storage. No single person can access the private keys, which are distributed to many underground vault stores.

The service is very transparent, publishing regular reports about clients’ funds and solvency state. It is also the first exchange in the UK to be registered with HM Revenues and Customs. Coinfloor is headquartered in the City of London, 1 Quality Court, WC2A 1HR.

Clients cannot enjoy margin trading and short selling solutions, which is an obvious drawback.

Peer-To-Peer Marketplaces

Peer-to-peer services are different from regular exchanges since they offer platforms to connect with other users, the latter imposing their own buying or selling terms and conditions. These services act as social media networks for cryptocoin transactions.

We will review two of the most popular and reliable peer-to-peer exchanges in the UK.

Bittylicious

Bittylicious is a UK-based crypto exchange that matches buyers and sellers. At its core, Bittylicious is a peer-to-peer marketplace which offers escrow solutions for the security of funds. Besides Bitcoin, UK citizens can operate with ten more cryptocoins.

You will not be able to purchase Bitcoin anonymously – Bittylicious will require of you to pass through a verification procedure.

The website is quite basic and lacks supportive information. You may expect an exchange service interface to look more professional. Anyway, the service is known as trustworthy.

You can buy Bitcoin and altcoins with your credit or debit card or through SEPA transfers. 

LocalBitcoins

Localbitcoins is the most popular and widely accepted peer-to-peer exchange. It allows you to trade Bitcoin anonymously from any region of the world, including the UK.

The site offers dispute resolution and escrow solutions. However, it doesn’t mean you should blindly trust anyone posting ads. Generally, you should check the history and feedback of the person you want to trade with, whether you are buying or selling Bitcoin or other cryptocoins.

Localbitcoins takes a 1% percent fee for any transaction, charging the seller.

The great thing about this service is that you can use PayPal along with bank wire transfers and credit/debit cards as payment methods.

Buying Bitcoin with ATMs

There is a great alternative to buying Bitcoin, potentially more convenient and faster than regular exchanges. We are talking about Bitcoin ATMs, which are special machines where you can put cash in exchange for Bitcoin or convert your cryptocoins into fiat money.

The UK is one of the first countries to introduce these machines, and today you can find many ATMs in London and other cities.

There are three easy steps to follow with most Bitcoin ATMs:

  • Scan your QR code. You should use a secure wallet to store your Bitcoin.
  • Insert the banknotes of your fiat money.
  • Press “Send” or “Send Bitcoin.”

That’s it! There is nothing more convenient and easier than an ATM. However, you should expect high fees, sometimes as high as 20%. Not all ATMs impose such high fees, the average being 6.5%.

When using a Bitcoin ATM for the first time, you might be required to go through a basic verification procedure, which depends on the provider.

Besides the amazing speed of processing, another advantage of ATMs is that you need not hold a bank account or card, which is the case with most regular online exchanges that require deposits.

Now, how can one locate Bitcoin ATMs? Well, there is nothing complicated about that. You can use one of the popular ATM maps such as Coin ATM Radar or this page.

For example, if you use Coin ATM Radar, the most reliable and informative service of its kind, you can locate all the Bitcoin ATMs in London and other UK cities. When clicking on the ATM sign, you will find detailed info about the ATM provider, available cryptocoins, possible operations (buy and sell), limits, fees, and more. Check the image below to get an impression.

Buying Bitcoin via these ATMs is becoming a more popular choice.

Safety & Security Tips

Bitcoin is a great source of profit as its price has more than quadrupled since the beginning of the year. This is why you should be really careful in all the operations you conduct.

Here are a few basic tips that may help you develop the right approach when it comes to Bitcoin:

  • Bitcoin is super-volatile – it is so volatile that it cannot be compared to any standard currency pair, commodity or stock. It can rise or drop by a few hundred dollars within hours. This is why you should not consider it as a short-term trading opportunity.
  • Keep your Bitcoin in more wallets – keeping all your eggs in one basket may be risky. Having more Bitcoin wallets will help you diversify the storage solutions.
  • Use a hardware wallet – the hardware wallet looks like a USB flash drive and can store your Bitcoin offline. This is one of the best storage methods you can think of. We have reviewed some Bitcoin wallets, including hardware ones, in this article: link to wallet reviews
  • Never leave your Bitcoin in exchanges – the exchanges provide you with great services to buy Bitcoin, but you should never leave your crypto-funds there. You should immediately move your purchase in a Bitcoin wallet.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about buying Bitcoin in the UK and in general:

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that is based on a distributed peer-to-peer system known as blockchain. Since it is a digital currency, Bitcoin cannot be exchanged in real life but only on the internet. The specific thing about the Bitcoin network is that it is a decentralized one, suggesting that no entity controls it.

Where did Bitcoin come from?

It may sound weird to you, but no one actually knows who created Bitcoin. All we know is that an entity using the nickname “Satoshi Nakamoto” created the virtual currency. However, it will probably remain a mystery whether this is a person or a group of individuals. Still, it doesn’t mean that we cannot enjoy the great concept of digital money.

Why should you buy Bitcoin?

There are two main reasons why people buy Bitcoin – for spending and for speculation. In the first instance, people can pay for many online and offline services or products with their Bitcoin. In the second case, one can buy Bitcoin and hold it until its price goes up so that he/she could sell it for a higher price and make a profit.

Where can you spend Bitcoin in the UK?

There are countless merchants on the internet. You can check this site to find places in the UK where you can spend your Bitcoin.

How should one select an exchange?

Many exchanges provide different solutions for buying and selling Bitcoin, which makes it difficult to choose the best one. However, you should check a few things before dealing with one of them:

  • Reputation;
  • Fees;
  • Payment methods;
  • Proposed rate;
  • Buying and selling limits;
  • Speed of processing.