Buy Bitcoin With Cash: 5 Ways to Purchase Cryptocurrency in Person

Buy Bitcoin With Cash: 5 Ways to Purchase Cryptocurrency in Person

Buying bitcoin online isn’t always as simple and easy as it should be. Fortunately, you can also buy bitcoin in person with cash. Read on to discover five ways to purchase cryptocurrency with cash.

How to Buy Bitcoin With Cash

P2P Exchanges That Offer In-Person Trades

P2P exchanges are one of the most popular ways to purchase bitcoin with cash. On a P2P exchange, buyers and sellers connect online with the platform acting as an escrow to provide that extra layer of security. Moreover, some P2P exchanges connect local buyers and sellers, enabling them to conduct face-to-face transactions.

Below are the steps to purchase bitcoin through P2P exchanges that offer in-person trades:

  • Register on a P2P exchange that allows face-to-face transactions. Some platforms may ask you to complete a KYC verification process.
  • Search for sellers that accept in-person cash trades.
  • Find sellers within your locality and confirm their reputation.
  • Reach a mutual agreement on a price and fix a time to meet in a public place.
  • Complete your transaction based on predetermined terms.

Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs are physical machines that facilitate bitcoin transactions. Unlike traditional bank ATMs, Bitcoin ATMs are not linked to a bank account or bank card. Instead, they allow you to buy or sell bitcoin for cash on the spot.

Before using a Bitcoin ATM, you should consider the transaction fee it charges as some ATMs charge higher fees than other methods of purchasing bitcoin. You may also need to provide a valid ID as some Bitcoin ATM operators now tailor their machines according to the AML/KYC requirements of the states where they operate.

With the following steps, you can purchase bitcoin with cash from Bitcoin ATMs easily:

  • Locate a Bitcoin ATM that’s close to you.
  • Choose ‘buy BTC’ (if it’s a machine that allows both buying and selling).
  • Use the Bitcoin ATM scanner to scan the QR code of your wallet address.
  • Input the amount you intend to purchase and insert your cash.
  • After some time, your bitcoin should reflect in your wallet.

Bitcoin Vouchers

Crypto vouchers are one of the simplest ways to purchase bitcoin in person as they allow you to redeem your bitcoin at your convenience.

Since bitcoin vouchers operate in similar ways to regular credit vouchers (like mobile credit or PlayStation Store gift cards), you don’t necessarily need to have an advanced knowledge of cryptocurrencies to use them. As a result, anyone can use bitcoin vouchers to buy digital currency (provided they have set up a bitcoin wallet on their phone).

You can get started with the steps below.

  • Head over to the store and purchase a crypto voucher with your desired amount.
  • After you receive your voucher card, access the voucher provider’s online platform to redeem it.
  • Enter the code to redeem your bitcoin with your voucher.
  • Enter your bitcoin wallet address and confirm the transaction. After some time your coins should appear in your wallet.

Walk-In OTC Desks

Walk-in over-the-counter desks aren’t so popular but have been around for a while. They offer one of the most convenient ways to purchase bitcoin. These bitcoin storefronts often provide in-person advice and a physical presence, which can instill trust among those who aren’t comfortable investing online. 

Customers can walk-in and purchase various cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, with cash, a bank transfer, or a credit card. Examples of places that offer walk-in bitcoin purchases include the House of Nakamoto in Vienna, Austria, and Genesis Block in Hong Kong.

Below are some simple steps to follow:

  • Find a reputable walk-in bitcoin exchange within your location.
  • Do some research about the legality/regulatory standing of the exchange.
  • Visit the local store to understand the workings of the OTC desk.
  • If you’re comfortable, buy some bitcoin. You may be asked to provide a valid ID by the desk.
  • The desk will transfer your bitcoin to you at the agreed time.

In-Person Trades at Bitcoin Meetups

Ever since bitcoin went mainstream, enthusiasts, miners, and traders have organized a series of meetups where they discuss the potential and future of the cryptocurrency. This also serves as an avenue to purchase bitcoin with cash, especially as such events are frequently targeted at onboarding newbies to the space.

Below are simple steps to get you started on in-person trades at bitcoin meetups:

  • Search for upcoming bitcoin meetups near you.
  • Attend the event and find traders that sell bitcoin.
  • You may want to get to know them more before transacting with them.
  • Agree on a price.
  • Complete your transaction on the spot.

The Pros & Cons of Buying Bitcoin With Cash

Purchasing bitcoin with cash comes with several benefits that make it attractive to private investors looking to buy small amounts. But there are also certain drawbacks to consider before going through with the ways discussed above.

Below we outline the pros and cons of buying bitcoin with cash in person.


  • It enables you to invest in bitcoin without having to reveal too much personal information about yourself.
  • It’s a more simple way to purchase bitcoin especially if you’re a newbie.


  • The possibility of falling for scams is higher than other methods since you may be transacting with total strangers without the security of intermediaries.
  • It’s sometimes hard to decide on a settlement price since bitcoin’s price is highly volatile and differs across exchanges and regions
  • There’s a security risk if you are dealing with a stranger.

Buying bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies with cash is an excellent way to private purchase small amounts of digital currency provided you have found a trusted seller willing to transact with you. Security is the biggest concern for in-person trades, so meeting in a public place to transact is always good advice for in-person bitcoin trades.

Alex Lielacher

Alex Lielacher is the founder & CEO of the Bitcoin-first content marketing agency, RIse Up Media. He regularly contributes to leading Bitcoin media publications and has been following Bitcoin since 2011.