Home How to Buy Bitcoin in the UK: The Ultimate Guide

If you want to learn everything you need to to know about how to buy Bitcoin in the UK, the process is actually much simpler than you might think. All you need is to open a trading account with a trusted online broker or Bitcoin exchange and start trading. However, there are lots of different providers out there, so finding the best one for you isn’t always easy.

To help you out, we’ve reviewed the best UK platforms on which you can obtain the Satoshi Nakamoto digital currency, Bitcoin. We’ve also provided a step-by-step guide that walks you through how to purchase Bitcoin in the UK. Let’s get to it!

How to Open a Bitcoin Trading Account in the UK

Opening a Bitcoin trading account in the UK is fast and easy with the best Bitcoin brokers. Let’s take a look at the top platforms on which you can buy and sell Bitcoin.

1. Changelly: Great Up-And-Coming Cryptocurrency Exchange

Changelly is a relatively new cryptocurrency exchange set up in 2015 and that allows users to buy, sell and exchange over 50 cryptocurrencies against over 20 currencies.

Changelly offers a great and intuitive exchange platform and remarkably low fees (0.5% per trade) vs. peers, although fees to buy and sell Bitcoin can be higher given the below-market exchange rates.

Users can pay via debit and credit cards, and Changelly closes transactions usually in under 30 minutes, depending on the nature of the trade.

One of the main features of the Changelly user experience is the intuitiveness of the platform and its anonymity. Users who want to buy or exchange cryptocurrencies quickly and anonymously will find that the platform offers just that, with very few unnecessary thrills.

Our Rating

  • Easy to use and anonymous
  • Low fees for cryptocurrency trades
  • A very wide selection of coins
  • Below-market exchange rates to buy Bitcoin from fiat
  • Not FCA-regulated
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

2. Coinmama: Best Bitcoin Exchange for Instant Delivery

Coinmama is a Tel Aviv-based cryptocurrency exchange that started in 2013. It offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin, that can be bought against major fiat currencies like USD, EUR, GBP, CAD and AUD.

Coinmama does not provide a platform for trading cryptocurrencies; its primary function is to allow users to purchase cryptocurencies with a debit or credit card. However, it is one of the fastest exchanges to get your hands on Bitcoin quickly

Users will need their own Bitcoin wallets to invest in Bitcoin on Coinmama, but several layers of safety will ensure that your Bitcoins arrive in your digital wallet safe and sound.

Last, while Coinmama's fees are quite high compared to the competition (around 5.5% fees for BTC or ETH), it has very high purchasing limits, with verified users able to purchase up to $5,000 per day (maximum of $30,000 per month).

Our Rating

  • Quick and easy to buy Bitcoin
  • High purchase limits
  • Emphasis on safety in buying BTC
  • High fees
  • Buy orders only
  • Not FCA-regulated
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

4. Binance: One of the Most Trusted Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Binance is a Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange that has become of of the largest and most trusted exchanges in the world. With millions of users around the world, Binance offers all the most popular cryptocurrencies and a wide variety of crypto pairs (BTC can be traded against over 30 cryptocurrencies).

Binance charges very low fees compared to its peers, with an average fee of 0.1% per trade. There are no limits on the number of coins you can deposit, but you cannot withdraw large sums unless you verify your account.

Users can select two different trading accounts, Basic and Advanced, which differ in terms of the number of analysis and charting tools you can use. Either way, the Binance platform offers a multitude of great tools to make crypto trading a seamless experience

Our Rating

  • One of the most trusted crypto exchanges in the world
  • Very wide panel of coins and crypto pairs to trade
  • Low fees
  • Interface may be confusing to beginners
  • Fewer fiat-crypto pairs than peers
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

5. Coinbase: The World's Best-Known Crypto Exchange

Launched in San Francisco in 2012, Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange that boasts over 10 million customers worldwide and that has facilitated over $40 billion in crypto transactions.

As one of the largest crypto exchanges, Coinbase commerce allows users to buy and sell almost all of the most popular cryptocurrencies. Users can acquire Bitcoin and other currencies with fiat currency via credit cards, debit cards and PayPal. In the UK, users can connect their bank account to Coinbase commerce for even faster transactions.

Last, Coinbase offers Bitcoin wallets via the great Coinbase Wallet mobile app, which allows users to easily manage most of the top cryptocurrencies.

Our Rating

  • One of the largest and most trusted exchanges
  • Easy to use with plenty of great features
  • Plenty of safety features
  • Fees can be high
  • Customer support not always great
  • Not FCA-regulated
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

Learn How the Bitcoin Market Works in the UK

Before you learn how to acquire Bitcoin online, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of how the market works. Here’s some background information to get you up and running.

What is Bitcoin and how do you trade it?

Buying Bitcoin OnlineBitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto and is the world’s most famous cryptocurrency which gained worldwide fame in 2017 and 2018 during its spectacular rise and fall, peaking at close to £20,000 in December 2017 before crashing to below $4,000 in November the following year.  The value of Bitcoin has since returned to more reasonable levels with it sitting at just over $9,300 at the time of writing.

Bitcoin is a form of decentralized, digital currency that is exchanged on a p2p exchanges known as the Blockchain technology. Bitcoin transactions are tracked on a public ledger with Bitcoin “miners” verifying each transaction and updating the ledger for everyone.

While the maximum number of Bitcoin that can exist is 21 million, it is possible to trade Bitcoin in fractions, down to 0.00000001 BTC, known as a Satoshi.

You can buy and sell Bitcoin directly via a Bitcoin wallet, where you exchange BTC or fractions that you own. This is done either via an online broker or cryptocurrency exchange. Alternatively, you can trade Bitcoin CFDs (contracts for difference), meaning you speculate on the price volatility without owning the underlying assets. This is exclusive to online brokers.

How to earn from buying Bitcoin in the UK

To make money investing in Bitcoin in the UK, you have to respect the old adage to “buy low, sell high”. Unless you have a really advanced setup on your hands to allow you to mine Bitcoin, the way to make money via Bitcoin is through buying and selling the asset Bitcoin is highly volatile, so there are plenty of opportunities to trade it profitably. However, it also means there’s a significant risk of losing money when you trade Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is of interest to both day traders who look to make small profits due to its volatility, as well as investors who acquire Bitcoin with a longer-term outlook. As well as buying and selling Bitcoin, you can trade it against fiat currencies, such as GBP and USD, as well as against other cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum and Litecoin.

What regulations are in place for buying bitcoin in the UK?

Like many other countries, the UK does not yet have cryptocurrency-specific laws. Nevertheless, there are several trading platforms that are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and allow users to buy Bitcoin in the UK. Many unregulated, offshore crypto businesses are also accessible from the UK.

We always recommended buying Bitcoin with a regulated Bitcoin exchange, as it ensures your bank account and funds will be protected and you’ll be entitled to compensation should your chosen broker ever cease trading.

A key point to note is that in the UK, realized gains from Bitcoin trading must be reported and are subject to capital gains tax.

What Risks are Involved with Buying Bitcoin in the UK?

Before buying Bitcoin in the UK, there are a few risks you need to know:

  • Bitcoin is highly volatile

The value of Bitcoin can rise and fall spectacularly in a short period of time. The spectacular swings of Bitcoin in 2017 and 2018 showed that buying and holding Bitcoin can be very risky, but also extremely profitable if the timing is right. Consequently, buying Bitcoin can be very risky.

  • You can’t cancel Bitcoin transactions

The nature of the blockchain is such that once a transaction takes place, it no longer can be changed. Consequently, if you trade Bitcoin via a digital wallet, make sure to double-check before buying or selling.

  • Hacking risks

You may have read about hacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and other spectacular thefts of Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin is valuable and anonymous, it is an excellent target for hackers. As a result, choose a regulated broker and make sure to never communicate your private keys with anyone.

What’s the Difference between Trading and Investing in Bitcoin?

If you believe that Bitcoin will continue gaining in value in the long-run, your profile fits more that of an “investor”. As such, you may prefer to order Bitcoin directly, store it in your Bitcoin wallet and hold it for the long run. While you assume the risk of your predictions not materializing when you invest in this way, there are no costs to holding BTC. Furthermore, you will not pay capital gains tax so long as you do not sell.

However, if your strategy is to use Bitcoin’s volatility to your advantage, then you match the profile of a trader. In this case, you will find it more suited to trade Bitcoin via CFDs so as to avoid holding BTC physically. CFD trading will allow you to short Bitcoin, meaning you speculate on prices going down, and use leverage, meaning you borrow capital from your broker to make larger trades.

Learn How to Buy Bitcoin in the UK

There are many ways to obtain Bitcoin in the UK, and most of them are easy. Let’s review a few main ones.

Buy Bitcoin with a Debit Card

Many of the best Bitcoin brokers and exchanges in the UK allow you to acquire Bitcoin with debit card.
How to buy bitcoin with debit card

Debit cards are one of the most convenient ways to acquire Bitcoin in the UK directly from your bank account. Simply create an account with a top digital currency broker (any of the ones reviewed above) and fund your account via debit card to get started. You’ll often be able to do this free-of-charge, and debit card deposits are typically processed instantly so you get Bitcoin straight away.

Buy Bitcoin with a Credit Card

Buying Bitcoin with credit cards is not fundamentally different from buying with a debit card, albeit with a few caveats. The first is that it is not uncommon to see brokers ask for proof of ID to buy Bitcoin via credit, particularly since Bitcoin trades cannot be cancelled.

Some trading platforms also charge you fees when you deposit with credit card, which may be a percentage of the transaction or a fixed amount.

Buy Bitcoin with PayPal

PayPal is one of the most popular methods to fund your account with a Bitcoin broker, as it’s fast, cheap and super secure. Some of the top regulated Bitcoin brokers in the UK accept PayPal as a form of payment, but it’s not as widely accepted as bank cards.

Buy Bitcoin without ID

Many brokers in the UK require ID in order to verify your account before you begin trading. However, if you wish to acquire Bitcoin anonymously, you still have a few payment options.

The first and simplest is to find a broker that does not require ID. Platforms like Changelly, Shapeshift or CryptoRocket allow you to obtain Bitcoin directly (or via CFDs) anonymously.

Another option is to use Bitcoin ATMs and deposit cash anonymously in exchange for Bitcoin in your digital wallet. While this option can be attractive, it is often hard to find  Bitcoin ATMs and is rather time-consuming.

Lastly, you may also choose to get Bitcoin directly without a regulated Bitcoin exchange, for example via peer-to-peer platforms like LocalBitcoins. Nonetheless, this is definitely a riskier proposition, particularly as fraud is rife in the Bitcoin space.


Now we’ve taken you through how to buy Bitcoin in the UK, you can put your knowledge into practice. All you need to do is sign up with one of the best Bitcoin brokers and you can then buy Bitcoin with PayPal, a debit card or credit card. If you do want to acquire Bitcoin, we advise you to research the market and understand the risks of trading this volatile cryptocurrency before you put your money on the line.


What are the main ways to trade Bitcoin?

How volatile is Bitcoin?

Do I need a crypto wallet to trade Bitcoin?

Are there laws on trading Bitcoin in the UK?

How much money do I need to buy Bitcoin in the UK?

Alan Draper Lewis

Alan Draper Lewis

Alan is a content writer and editor who has experience covering a wide range of topics, from finance to gambling.

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