PayPal remains one of the most popular payment processing companies in the world and for a time was one of the most popular methods of buying bitcoins.
In this guide, you’ll find the best ways to buy and trade bitcoin with PayPal.
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Leading PayPal to Bitcoin platforms include mainstream regulated exchanges, peer to peer cryptocurrency platforms, and bitcoin lending sites. Reputable bitcoin exchanges like eToro continue to process PayPal-to-bitcoin conversions for individuals without access to such other payment processing methods as credit/debit card or bank transfer. So, Why are exchanges shunning bitcoin purchases through PayPal?
PayPal adopts a customer-first mode of operation that one may consider biased towards the customers. It allows for charge-backs (cash refunds) to customers for goods and services rendered by businesses. In a conventional business-environment, goods often have to be returned to the sellers. But in the case of irreversible bitcoin transactions, exchanges would find themselves on the receiving end of a scam trade every time a client asked or a refund on already purchased coins. Rampant cases of PayPal chargebacks and disputes closed in the client’s favor forced most exchanges to quit on the payment service provider.
Why buy bitcoins using PayPal dollars?
- Lack of access to other payment methods:
What happens when your preferred bitcoin exchange service provider doesn’t accept deposits in the form of your country’s currency or direct deposits from your local bank? You can always count on PayPal to help you convert your native currency to acceptable global currencies like USD, EUR, or GBP. This is especially ideal if you consider PayPal’s currency exchange rates that range from 3.5% to 4% cheaper compared to your local bank currency conversion charges.
- Buying from a peer to peer forum:
The bitcoin rush hasn’t just birthed exchange companies, it has also contributed to the mushrooming of numerous peer-to-peer crypto exchanges around the world that match bitcoin buyers and sellers. In most cases, these P2P forums are inclined towards payment systems that guarantee faster processing speeds. They, therefore, won’t accept such payment methods as bank wire transfers or credit card payments whose pay processing takes days. Most will almost always have PayPal as their primary payment method.
- If the bitcoin exchange supports PayPal deposits:
None of these bitcoin exchanges will release tokens to you before your payments, whether cash or in the form of other cryptocoin, reflects on their end. This means that the faster the money processing company one uses to deposit the funds, the sooner you will have your coins. It also means that you are better off purchasing bitcoins with PayPal if you are looking for speedy access to your coins. This will, however, only be possible if your preferred exchange accepts PayPal deposits.
What are the pros and cons of buying bitcoins using PayPal?
- PayPal provides near-instant cash transfer service
- Highly secure and convenient
- You can always file a dispute and request for a refund (chargeback) if you suspect foul play
- Offers immediate in-app currency conversion services
- PayPal-to-bitcoin transactions are prohibitively expensive with fees as high as 10%
- Most exchanges and P2P firms intentionally delay transaction processing to deter scammers
- Banned by most popular bitcoin exchanges
Criteria used to rank reliable sites that accept bitcoin purchases through PayPal:
- Regulation and reliability
- Transaction processing speeds
- Maximum daily and monthly transaction limits
- Privacy and system security
- Transaction charges
- Ease of use
- Customer support
Leading platforms that offer PayPal to bitcoin exchanges
1. eToro – Best overall
eToro remains one of the few reputable bitcoin exchanges that still accept direct PayPal deposits. Unlike most other exchanges where you first have to go through such intermediaries like Virxowx, you can buy bitcoins on eToro with direct PayPal deposits. PayPal transactions here are also instant and support different popular currencies like USD, EUR, and GBP. The minimum you can deposit with PayPal on the multi-asset trading platform is $200 while the maximum daily transaction stands at $20,000 (or its other currency equivalent). You will also be interested to note that unlike most other bitcoin exchanges that accept PayPal deposits, eToro doesn’t impose a transaction fee on PayPal deposits.
eToro also stands out from the rest of PayPal to bitcoin transaction processing companies because the sale process can assume the form of either token or CFD purchases. Bitcoin token purchases are currently available for the United States residents while CFDs remain available for the rest of the world. And these two features have played a key role in making the platform one of the safest exchanges currently available.
This is achieved by the fact that when CFD trading, there is no actual bitcoin token exchange or transfers. You are purely speculating on the price of bitcoins and this ensures that you are not targeted by crypto hackers. When it comes to actual bitcoin token trading, eToro recently launched a platform-integrated bitcoin wallet that is availed for free to its trading account holders. They have gone on to fortify the online wallet with several security features that include the two-factor authentication protocol, effectively transforming it into an impenetrable bitcoin fort.
How to buy bitcoin using PayPal on eToro
Step 1: open and fund your eToro trading account
Purchasing bitcoins starts with opening and verifying your trading account. In most cases, trading platform administrators will require you to send over a clear selfie and a photo of your government-issued identification document. Funding a verified eToro trading account is quite straightforward and starts with clicking on “deposit funds” icon on the account dashboard that then lets you decide on the amount you want to deposit and your preferred currency.
You then have to choose PayPal as the preferred deposit method. After this, you will be redirected to the PayPal login area where you key in your login credentials and confirm the eToro payment invoice.
*Note: While you can buy a fraction of Bitcoin of as low as $25, the minimum initial deposit required here stands at $200.
Step 2: Decide on bitcoin CFD or token purchases
After funding the account, you can now decide on the amount of Bitcoin tokens you wish to purchase if you are in the United States or CFDs for eToro traders in the rest of the world. Either way, the purchase is near-instant and your tokens are deposited into your eToro wallet.
- Fast and near-instant bitcoin purchases
- You only have to pay the PayPal processing fees as eToro offers free bitcoin transactions
- You get access to a free and highly secure bitcoin wallet
- One may consider their $25 transaction charge on all withdrawals rather expensive
2. LocalBitcoins – Best for localized transactions
First off, understand that LocalBitcoins is not your typical bitcoin exchange. It is more of a peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace that was initially meant to help individuals find local bitcoin sellers in their commune and match them up for face-to-face transactions. The sparse number of bitcoin sellers in any one locality willing to send their coins, however, made this theorem impractical.
The speedy transaction processing times for PayPal would, also, step in to ensure that you can still send and receive bitcoins from peers across the world and fund the transaction via PayPal. Unlike the more straightforward bitcoin purchases on eToro, LocalBitcoins purchases are rather complicated and a tad expensive. Most sellers will often hike the bitcoin price by as much as 20% with the exchange platform charging an extra 1% fee for every transaction.
How to buy bitcoins using PayPal on local bitcoins:
Step 1: Create an account and search for sellers
You can only transact on LocalBitcoins with a verified trading account. Once logged onto the P2P platform’s website, you will have to click on the buy bitcoin icon that directs you to the search area. Here you will have to key in such details as the number of bitcoins you want to purchase (or the amount in USD you wish to spend), the desired country of the seller, and filter the search to only include sellers that accept PayPal payments.
*Note: LocalBitcoins was meant to link buyers and sellers originating from the same locality and, therefore, doesn’t feature a worldwide search.
Step 2: Verify the seller’s authenticity (very important)
You search result list will list all bitcoin sellers within your selected country, the limit of how much they can transact a day and their selling prices. You will want to click on as much as sellers links as possible and vet their legitimacy before contacting them to initiate the transfer. By clicking on each seller’s name, you are directed to their profile that features such details as to how many successful sales they have made, their terms of trade, such as requiring a selfie and photos of government-issued ID, and how many users have blocked them. The key here is to go with the most affordable seller with the highest number of sales, friendliest terms of trade, and minimal to no blocks by other users.
Step 3: Lock a transaction and initiate PayPal dollar transfers
If satisfied by a seller, their fees and terms of trade, you can lock a transaction and proceed to send them the PayPal funds on the given address and such other documentation as your selfie holding an ID or any of their terms of trade requirements. You will then have to wait for them to confirm the reception of payment and send over the bitcoins.
- Relatively fast compared to most mainstream bitcoin transactions
- High likelihood of scoring a trader from your neighborhood for the more secure face to face transactions
- You can always rely on the user reviews and transaction history to check the authenticity of the trader
- Highly risky and flooded with cases of scammers
- Highly inflated bitcoin prices
3. xCoins – Best for bitcoin lending
xCoins describes itself as a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency lending marketplace where you can gain access to bitcoins using PayPal. Unlike local bitcoins and eToro that adopt a direct approach to the sale of bitcoins on their platform, xCoins is rather ambiguous as it claims to offer bitcoins loans to different individuals across the world. But how does this work?
Theoretically, xCoins was designed to be a platform where bitcoin owners can ‘loan’ bitcoins to other cryptocurrency enthusiasts across the world. Getting the ‘loan’, however, demands that you deposit cash that is the equivalent value of the bitcoins you are purchasing plus the transaction processing fees as well as interests due before accessing the digital coins.
The fact that there is no contractual agreement between the lender and the ‘loanee’ or a preset return date effectively qualifies the transaction as a bitcoin sale. Charges here include the inflated bitcoin price, plus the transaction fees, and the ‘interest on the loan.’ Conservative estimates place the average bitcoin transaction cost here at 26% above the market rate.
Here is the process breakdown on how to buy bitcoins using PayPal on xCoins:
Step 1: Register and verify your account
After signing up and verifying your xCoins trading account, the bitcoin lending website will direct you to a page where you get to fill in the loan details.
Step 2: Fill the Bitcoin application form and make the payment
Here, you fill in the number of bitcoins you wish to ‘borrow’ or the amount of PayPal dollars you wish to spend. Upon hitting send, a pop u window appears breaking down the ‘details’ with such section as a security deposit that translates to the actual bitcoin cost, lenders fees, origination fees, and transaction processing fees. You then have to accept the loan agreement after which you are directed to the lender’s PayPal page. Here you are only required to key in your PayPal login details and pay the auto-generated invoice.
- A straightforward bitcoin purchase process
- Beginner friendly user interface
- No hidden fees
- Bitcoins price here is way higher than the global market rates
4. Paxful – Best for escrow services
Paxful is a peer-to-peer exchange platform that allows for the purchase of bitcoins using PayPal balances. The platform features one of the most efficient and straightforward ways of purchasing bitcoins using the all-popular payment processing services provider. Some of its most unique features include an inbuilt escrow account that acts as a safe conduit for the exchange of bitcoins and PayPal funds between sellers and buyers.
The P2P exchange also maintains one of the most simplistic and easy to use user interfaces that make it beginner-friendly. Like in most other peer-to-peer exchanges, bitcoin prices here are inflated significantly above the market rates. Buying bitcoins on Paxful is free as the sellers have to settle the escrow fee.
How to buy bitcoins using PayPal on Paxful
Step 1: Register account and key in details about the bitcoin purchase
Purchasing bitcoins on Paxful starts with registering and verifying your account. You are then directed to a search page where you key in the specifics about your intended purchase. These include how much bitcoin you wish to acquire, your preferred currency, and payment method.
Step 2: Chose a seller from the list provided
The site will then direct you to the results page that lists different bitcoins sellers who match your criteria. Go through their profiles checking such details as the number of successful trades, time spent on the platform, and selling price. You then have to decide on the seller from whom you wish to buy bitcoins from, after which the system will automatically move their coins to an escrow account where neither of you can access the coins.
Step 3: Fund the escrow account
After initiating the transaction, you will have no more than 30 minutes to fund the escrow account. If successful, the transaction will be marked complete and the bitcoins released to your wallet. Should you fail to pay within this time, the system automatically releases the coins back to the seller’s wallet and the marketplace.
- Buyers aren’t subjected to transaction fees and other charges
- Escrow account guarantees the safety of the coins and eliminates cases of scam
- The P2P lender maintains an active dispute resolution center to address any disagreements
- Expensive to buy bitcoins here as sellers pass on escrow fees to buyers in hiked prices
- Not immune to such fraud cases as chargebacks
5. Wirexapp – Best for low-cost transactions
Wirex is an all-around crypto exchange platform that lets you buy and sell bitcoins or even store them securely in their cold storage wallets. The most interesting thing about this is that they don’t impose additional transaction charges on bitcoin purchases and this makes them competitively affordable. You only have to pay a small $1.50 fee per month for card management. It also presents you with one of the most secure ways of purchasing bitcoins securely using your PayPal balance.
However, purchasing bitcoins here isn’t as straightforward as it is when using such other bitcoin exchanges as eToro or xCoins. Additionally, buying the coins using PayPal isn’t as direct as payments have to be passed through a linked virtual card. You will also have to wait up to 7 days before making your first bitcoin purchase
How to buy bitcoins using PayPal on Wirexapp:
Step 1: Create an account and request a card
The process of buying bitcoin on Wirexapp starts with registering an account with the payment processor and requesting for a virtual visa card. You can also request for a plastic card to be shipped to you, but this only serves to delay the process.
Step 2: Fund the card ($3) and link it with your PayPal account
After getting the virtual card, you are then required to link (or add) it to your existing PayPal account under the “add another card” section. Before adding it here, it is advisable that you fund with at least $3 from your wirex app as this will be used by PayPal during verification. This can take up to two days.
Step 3: Withdraw PayPal funds to your Wirex card
Given that you cannot deposit funds directly into your wirex account, you will have to fund it by withdrawing from your PayPal balances and into the wirex card. The process is rather straightforward as you only have to click on withdraw on your PayPal account and select the wirex card as the funds destination.
Step 4: Use the wirex card balance to buy bitcoin
You can then log into your wirexapp and buy bitcoins using the funds deposited into the virtual card. The best thing about this is that Bitcoin transactions are free – at market rates with no markups – and you only have to pay the monthly card management fee.
- Totally free bitcoin transaction processing
- Low card management fees
- Straightforward purchases upon linking cards and withdrawing funds
- Complicated card linking and funds withdrawal process
- Withdrawing from PayPal to wirex can take between 5 and 7 business days
The PayPal CEO may have termed bitcoin and cryptocurrency investments as a scam and even listed bitcoin transactions as a breach of policy. Crypto exchanges, on the other hand, may have decried PayPal’s refund policies and even denounced it as a form of payment on their sites en-masse. But one fact still holds true, they both remain on the list of the most impactful advancements in the future of finance. This explains why bitcoin enthusiasts are always looking for ways to bridge, even when this bridging process carries with it numerous risks and heavy transaction costs. eToro and its bitcoin CFD trading service, however, remains the only reliable bitcoin exchange platform that still accepts direct PayPal deposits that you can then use to fund bitcoin purchases.[/su_note]
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Glossary of Investment Terms
A bond is a loan made to an organization or government with the guarantee that the borrower will pay back the loan plus interest upon the maturity of the loan term. It can be advanced to the national government, corporate institutions, and city administration. It is an investment class with a fixed income and a predetermined loan term.
A mutual fund is a professionally managed investment vehicle that pools together funds from numerous investors and invests it in such securities as stocks, bonds, and other money market instruments. They are headed by portfolio managers who determine where to invest these funds. They are highly regulated and invest in relatively low-risk money markets and in turn post lower rates than other aggressive managed funds.
Peer-to-peer lending (p2p lending) is a form of direct-lending that involves one advancing cash to individuals and institutions online. A P2P lending platform, on the other hand, is an online platform connecting individual lenders to borrowers.
Bitcoin is the legacy cryptocurrency developed on the Bitcoin Blockchain technology. It is a new form of money primarily developed to solve some of the inherent challenges associated with fiat currencies like inflation and over-production. It is virtual (online) cash that you can use to pay for products and services from bitcoin-friendly stores.
An index fund refers to the coming together of individuals to pool in funds that are then invested in the stock and money markets by professional money managers. The only difference between an index fund and a mutual fund is that the index fund follows a specific set of rules that track specific investments and index stocks.
An Exchange-traded fund refers to an investment vehicle that is publicly traded in the stock exchange markets – much like shares and stocks. The fund is expert-managed and its portfolio comprises of such investment products as stocks, bonds, commodities, and more money market instruments like currencies.
Retirement refers to the time you spend away from active employment and can be voluntary or occasioned by old age. In the United States, the retirement age is between 62 and 67 years.
Penny Stocks refer to the common shares of relatively small public companies that sell at considerably low prices. They are also known as nano/micro-cap stocks and primarily include any public traded share valued at below $5.
Real Estate can be said to be the land and buildings on a given property as well as other rights associated with the use of the property like the air rights and underground rights. Real estate can be either commercial if the land, property, and buildings are used for business purposes or residential if they are used to non-business purposes – like building a family home.
REITs are companies that use pooled funds from members to invest in income-generating real estate projects. While a REIT may specialize in one real estate niche, most diversify and invest in as many high-income real estate projects as possible. They are especially interested in commercial real estate projects like warehouses, prime office buildings, residential apartments, hotels, timber yards, and shopping malls.
Asset simply refers to any resource of value or a resource that can be owned and controlled to produce positive value by an individual or business.
A broker is an intermediary to a gainful transaction. It is the individual or business that links sellers and buyers and charges them a fee or earns a commission for the service.
Capital gains refer to the positive change in the price of a capital asset like shares and stock, bonds or a real estate project. It is the difference between the current selling price of the asset and its lower original buying price and it is considered a taxable income.
A hedge fund is an investment vehicle that pools together funds from high net worth individuals and businesses before having professional money managers invest it in highly diversified markets. The difference between mutual and hedge funds is that the later adopts highly complicated portfolios comprised of more high-risk high-return investments both locally and internationally.
An index simply means the measure of change arrived at from monitoring a group of data points. These can be company performance, employment, profitability, or productivity. Observing a stock index, therefore, involves measuring the change in these points of a select group of stocks in a bid to estimate their economic health.
A recession in business refers to business contraction or a sharp decline in economic performance. It is a part of the business cycle and is normally associated with a widespread drop in spending.
Taxable Account refers to any investment account that invests in shares and stocks, bonds and other money market securities. The account is offered by a brokerage company and you are obliged to report and pay taxes on the investment income each year.
A tax-advantaged account refers to savings of investment accounts that enjoy such benefits as a tax exemption or deferred tax payment. Roth IRA and Roth 401K are examples of tax-exempt accounts whose contributions are drawn from after-tax incomes with the yields generated from investing funds therein being tax-exempt. Traditional IRA, 401K plan and college savings, on the other hand, represent tax-deferred accounts. Their contributions are deductible from your current taxable incomes but you get to pay taxes on their accrued incomes.
Yield simply refers to the returns earned on the investment of a particular capital asset. It is the gain an asset owner gets from the utilization of an asset.
A custodial account is any type of account that is held and administered by a responsible person on behalf of another (beneficiary). It may be a bank account, trust fund, brokerage account, savings account held by a parent/guardian/trustee on behalf of a minor with the obligation to pass it to them once they become of age.
An Asset Management Company (AMC) refers to a firm or company that invests and manages funds pooled together by its members. Like mutual or hedge funds, the AMC creates diversified investment portfolios that comprise of shares and stocks, bonds, real estate projects, and other low and high-risk investments.
A registered investment advisor is an investment professional (an individual or firm) that advises high-net-worth (accredited) investors on possible investment opportunities and possibly manages their portfolio.
The fed rate in the United States refers to the interest rate at which banking institutions (commercial banks and credit unions) lend - from their reserve - to other banking institutions. The Federal Reserve Bank sets the rate.
A fixed-income fund refers to any form of investment that earns you fixed returns. Government and corporate bonds are prime examples of fixed income earners.
A fund may refer to the money or assets you have saved in a bank account or invested in a particular project. It may also refer to the collective basket of resources pooled from different clients that are then invested in highly diversified income-generating projects.
Value investing is the art of using fundamental analysis to identify undervalued shares and stocks in the market. It involves buying these shares at the current discounted prices and hoping that a market correction pushes them up to their intrinsic value effectively resulting in massive gains.
Impact investing simply refers to any form of investment made with the aim of realizing financial returns while positively impacting the society, environment or any other aspect of life in the process. Investment in solar projects and green energy, for instance, posts profits and helps conserve the environment.
An investment App is an online-based investment platform accessible through a smartphone application. It lets you save and invest your funds in a preset portfolio that primarily consists of shares and stocks, bonds, ETFs, and currencies based on your risk tolerance.
Real Estate crowdfunding is a platform that mobilizes average investors – mainly through social media and the internet – encourages them to pool funds, and invests them in highly lucrative real estate projects. It can be said to be an online platform that brings together average investors and lets them enjoy real estate projects previously preserved for high net worth and institutional investors.
Can I use PayPal balances to buy bitcoins?
No, PayPal doesn’t support bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions. Several bitcoin exchanges like eToro, Paxful and xCoins have however come up with several workarounds that allow you to buy these coins using PayPal indirectly.
How can I transact with PayPal on popular bitcoin exchanges like Bitcoin?
Before January 2019, you were required to use third parties like Virwox, where you would convert PayPal cash into Second Life Lindens (SLL) that you would then use to buy bitcoins on the exchanges. Virwox, however, stopped processing PayPal cash transaction in January making it practically impossible to purchase bitcoins from most exchanges using PayPal funds.
Can I buy bitcoins using PayPal anonymously?
No, your PayPal account has all your personal detail including your name, address, and bank details. These can be accessed by virtually anyone who has your PayPal email address.
Why can’t I buy bitcoins using PayPal from online acquaintance cheaply and more conveniently?
On the surface, it seems like the most convenient and fastest method of buying bitcoins. But the influx of scammers all over the world has made the process impractical as it is virtually impossible to verify the genuineness of the individuals you met online.
Will the PayPal-to-bitcoin exchange company store my tokens?
Yes, reputable bitcoin exchange companies like eToro and Wirex will process your PayPal funds and also store them in their highly secure cold bitcoin wallets online.
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