One of the simplest and most effective ways to buy Bitcoin without leaving a digital footprint is to use cash and to do it in person. There are several peer-to-peer marketplaces such as LocalBitcoins and Paxful that can connect you to people in your area who are willing to sell Bitcoin for cash. Some buyers also accept gift cards or prepaid debit cards as a means of payment.
2. Bitcoin ATMs
Bitcoin ATMs, also known as BTMs, serve a different purpose than traditional ATMs. Instead of allowing customers to withdraw funds, BTMs enable users to buy Bitcoin and other altcoins by exchanging cash.
The transaction is processed through the blockchain and the purchased cryptocurrency is sent to the user’s wallet through a QR code. If you don’t want to use your Bitcoin wallet, the BTM can generate a paper wallet for you that you can import a private key from, allowing you to send the Bitcoin anywhere you like.
There are over 38,000 BTMs spread out across 81 countries, with a majority located in the United States. However, the transaction fees for using a BTM can be high, ranging from 7% to 20%.
While many BTMs have become subject to regulations, there are still a handful that allow users to buy Bitcoin anonymously with cash. You can visit Coin ATM Radar to locate a BTM near you, and to check for any KYC requirements.
3. Decentralized exchanges
Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are peer-to-peer exchanges that allow you to trade Bitcoin without the need for a centralized authority. This means that you can buy and sell bitcoin anonymously without having to provide any personal information.
Some popular DEXs that allow users to trade Bitcoin without having to verify their identity include Uniswap, 0x Protocol, Bisq, and Hodl Hodl. Keep in mind that these platforms may have limited liquidity compared to centralized exchanges.
4. Cash by mail
Platforms like BitQuick allow users to buy Bitcoin by mailing cash to the seller. Charging a 2% fee, the platform acts as an intermediary, releasing the Bitcoin to the buyer once the cash has been received and verified.
By using prepaid debit cards and a broker that does not require identification, it is possible to buy Bitcoin anonymously. For example, P2P services like SimpleSwap accept prepaid cards from Bitcoin buyers without them needing to register first. eToro also helps facilitate anonymous Bitcoin buying by allowing users to fund payment methods like PayPal with a prepaid card.