While cryptocurrency regulations are fairly lenient in the United Kingdom, it can still be difficult to find a reputable website to buy Bitcoin (BTC). In this article, we help overcome this problem.
Below, you’ll find a navigatable table of content with 11 different websites where you can buy bitcoins in the UK using a BTC/GBP trading pair. Some of these websites also allow other cryptocurrencies to be purchased with more fiats than just the pound.
There are even websites which host their own wallets and mobile apps. Furthermore, Coinbase has its own stablecoin while Bitpanda allows cryptocurrency vouchers to be bought with cash and CoinCorner has a forthcoming Visa crypto card.
To learn more, take a look at our table of contents below. You can skip ahead to any of the marketplaces, brokerages, or exchanges listed if you’d like or scroll through them all.
Registered UK Bitcoin Exchanges, Marketplaces, & Brokers
While there are technically no defined regulations for cryptocurrencies in the United Kingdom, the most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges, marketplaces, and brokers in the UK are registered with the proper financial and legal authorities.
In this section, we define different types of websites where bitcoins can be bought in the UK. We also highlight other cryptocurrencies that can be bought on the site as well as other fiats which can be used to buy them. Furthermore, we highlight other services and services offered by these sites.
The websites we discuss include Coinfloor, CEX.io, Bittylicious, Bitbargain, and QuickBitcoin UK.
Coinfloor is the first and oldest Bitcoin exchange in the United Kingdom. It was incorporated as a private limited company by Companies House—the United Kingdom’s registrar of companies—on Apr 18, 2013.
Users were first able to buy and sell Bitcoin on Coinfloor beginning on Nov 5, 2013. While other Bitcoin exchanges already existed, this was the first exchange that allowed bitcoins to be purchased with sterling pounds directly.
Bitcoin can also be purchased on Coinbase using USD or EUR. Other cryptocurrencies which can be purchased with GBT on Coinfloor include:
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- XRP (XRP)
- Litecoin (LTC)
While this is an overall limited listing, it does include some of the most well-known coins on the market.
In addition to hosting a crypto exchange, Coinfloor also has an over-the-counter (OTC) brokerage for those seeking to buy a large number of bitcoins.
One thing to note is that Coinfloor uses the exchange ticker XBT for Bitcoin rather than BTC. Both XBT and BTC are considered ticker symbols for Bitcoin, but XBT is less often seen or used.
CEX.io is another Bitcoin exchange registered in the United Kingdom. Incorporated as a private limited company on Nov 1, 2013, CEX.io has been operational for over 5 years.
Competitively, CEX.io allows bitcoins to be bought using Visa or Mastercard whereas Coinfloor does not. However, this is not necessarily a unique feature. Many websites listed in this article allow purchases with debit and credit cars.
To use a payment card requires that a minimum of £20 must be spent with a maximum of £7500.
Large purchases require a buyer to complete Know Your Customer (KYC) identity verification. In addition, bank transfers can be used to purchase larger sums of money after identity is successfully verified.
Similar to Coinfloor, bitcoins can also be purchased with other fiat currencies. While both exchanges include the United States dollar (USD) and euro (EUR), CEX.io also allows bitcoins to bought with the Russian ruble (RUB).
Also like Coinfloor, CEX.io allows four other cryptocurrencies to be purchased with GBT, but the offerings are a bit different.
On CEX.io, pounds can be used to purchase:
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- DASH (DASH)
- Zcash (ZEC)
Unlike Coinfloor and CEX.io, QuickBitcoin UK is not an exchange. It is an online bitcoin brokerage firm.
Bitcoin brokerage firms function by having brokers act as third-party intermediaries to pair buyers and sellers together directly. ON an exchange, however, buyers and sellers are be paired randomly based on their bidding price.
QuickBitcoin and similar brokers list the price of a bitcoin—including a commission rate—in an easy-to-use interface:
This allows bitcoins to be transferred into a buyer’s wallets in minutes rather than hours or days. The process to buy bitcoins at QuickBitcoin is also fairly simple:
- A buyer inputs their wallet address and the total number of bitcoins they wish to buy.
- The price is immediately calculated.
- The buyer clicks the “Place Order” button.
- Bank details are provided and identity is verified.
- Once payment is confirmed, QuickBitcoins releases bitcoins to the buyer.
For larger bitcoin orders, QuickBitcoin offers an over-the-counter (OTC) market. In addition, QuickBitcoin is reported to provide off-site services via a Bitcoin ATM at the Vape Lab in London.
QuickBitcoin only offers one other cryptocurrency for purchase: Litecoin. In addition, QuickBitcoin UK does not offer a wide selection of payment methods. It appears that the brokerage is designed to allow easy Bitcoin purchases with UK bank accounts.
Thus, QuickBitcoin appears to lack the competitive advantage of cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinfloor, CEX.io, and other alternatives due to a limited selection of cryptocurrencies, fiat pairs, and payment methods.
Like QuickBitcoin UK, Bittylicious is also a cryptocurrency brokerage firm, but it offers a much wider selection of digital assets including:
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Bitcoin Cash
- Bitcoin SV (BSV)
- Digibyte (DGB)
- Feathercoin (FTC)
- Groestlcoin (GRS)
- Stratis (STRAT)
- Syscoin (SYS)
- Vertcoin (VTC)
While this is a larger selection of coins than Coinfloor or CEX.io, many are fairly niche. Furthermore, some of the more popular and heavily traded coins like XRP and Ethereum Classic are missing from Bittylicious.
In addition, while Coinfloor and CEX.io allow multiple fiat currencies to be used to buy bitcoins, Bittylicious does not. Similar to QuickBitcoin UK, Bittylicious allows cryptocurrency purchases with the pound alone.
One interesting feature of Bittylicious is that not all sellers have to be registered brokers. If an individual is trying to sell a small number of bitcoins, they can do so fairly easily.
However, sellers may apply to become brokers. This requires a buyer to be able to process banking transactions fairly quickly while providing sufficient liquidity for regular brokering.
To prevent money laundering, unregistered buyers can purchase only a small amount of satoshis—the smallest unit of a bitcoin is one satoshi. However, users can buy or sell larger amounts of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies once they successfully verify their identity.
This is a common practice for many cryptocurrency exchanges, marketplaces, and brokers.
A variety of payment methods are available including debit and credit cards, bank transfers, Barclays Pingit, and mobile payments through RBS/Natwest.
So far we have listed two cryptocurrency exchanges and two bitcoin brokerage firms registered in the United Kingdom. BitBargain is different than both.
As a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace, BitBargain is much more decentralized than brokers like QuickBitcoin UK and exchanges like Coinfloor or CEX.io.
The marketplace model for buying bitcoins enables true peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. On Bitbargain, this is accomplished by allowing sellers to list the number of bitcoins they are willing to sell. The buyer is then able to select the seller they want to buy from.
In other words, the buyer is able to choose the seller. They are not arbitrarily paired together by a third-party broker.
To ensure that transactions can take place between trusted parties, BitBargain has introduced the bitrating. This is described in the FAQ page as:
“Bitrating is an indicator of trade reliability and the probability that a member will go through with a deal without problems.”
It is ranked on a scale of 0-100. A bitrating of “100 requires full verification, experience and a very good track record in trades.” This allows new and experienced buyers to find trusted sellers with ease.
Furthermore, BitBargain includes an internal and escrow wallets for buyers and sellers.
When a seller decides to sell bitcoins, they are entered into an escrow wallet. Once a buyer’s funds are verified, the seller releases the funds from escrow. They are then deposited into the buyer’s internal BitBargain wallet.
In turn, the buyer withdraws the funds from the internal wallet to an external wallet with its own private key. If the funds remain in the wallet for over a week, a fee is charged—encouraging withdrawals.
There are also multiple methods of payment available including UK bank transfer, Barclays Pingit mobile payment, Pay Your Contact through the NatWest/RBS mobile banking app, Paym, Fidor, and Neteller.
BitBargain allows a limited number of other cryptocurrencies to be bought and sold. These include:
- Bitcash (BITC)
- Namecoin (NMC)
Identity verification is also required to use the platform.
Thus, while BitBargain is very similar to exchanges and brokers, it does offer several important differences. It enables decentralized P2P transactions on an easy-to-use website. It encourages trust with the bitrating reputation system and escrow system. Nonetheless, the relatively few coins that can be purchased does diminish its competitive advantage.
Other Websites with a GBP/BTC Trading Pair Outside the UK
The GBP/BTC trading pair is also included on several websites outside of the United Kingdom. These include CoinCorner, Binance Jersey, Coinbase, Coinbase Pro, Coinbase Prime, and BitPanda.
In June 2014, CoinCorner was founded to be a safe and trustworthy Bitcoin exchange in the UK. It is registered with the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.
The Isle of Man is an island located in the Irish Sea. It is a self-governing British dependency and not part of the United Kingdom.
CoinCorner extends beyond the limitations of CEX.io and Coinfloor to offer a more comprehensive exchange and cryptocurrency services across multiple platforms and devices
Shortly after launching the exchange, CoinCorner launched a mobile app. It is available for both Android and iOS mobile devices. Multi-signature cold storage is also available for most cryptocurrencies sold on the site as well.
In addition to Bitcoin, users can use the CoinCorner website or mobile app to buy, sell, and store:
- XRP—which CoinCorner lists as Ripple
However, only the pound, euro, and bitcoin can be withdrawn from or deposited to CoinCorner.
Despite these limitations, however, CoinCorner is making strides to allow bitcoins to be spent with the ease of euros or pounds.
Sometime in 2019, a CoinCorner is expected to launch its own debit card via Visa. Theoritically, when using the card, bitcoins stored on the card will be converted into pounds or euros whenever a sale takes place.
On Jan 15, 2019, Binance announced the launch of Binance Jersey for European consumers.
Binance Jersey is registered on the Bailiwick of Jersey. Like the Isle of Man, Jersey is a self-governing British Crown dependency, but it is not part of the United Kingdom.
To use the Binance Jersey platform requires registration and identity verification via KYC. Once verified, euros or pounds can be deposited on the platform. Once funds are deposited, they can be used to purchase bitcoins and ethers. No other digital assets may be purchased on Binance Jersey.
While this does appear as a limitation, the primary Binance exchange has the third largest selection of digital assets of all exchanges on the market. Inconveniently, neither fiat nor cryptocurrency can be directly transferred from Binance Jersey to the main Binance exchange.
Instead, bitcoins or ethers will have to be withdrawn to an external wallet and then deposited on Binance to be used to buy other cryptocurrencies within the Binance ecosystem.
Thus, while Binance Jersey is a useful addition to the Binance ecosystem, the inability to directly move funds between Binance Jersey and the primary Binance exchange coupled with the limited selection of cryptocurrencies lessens the overall competitiveness of this exchange.
Read our review of the full Binance exchange by clicking on the green button below:
In October 2012, the Coinbase exchange was launched as a place to buy bitcoins with the USD. Several years later, Litecoin and Ethereum were added to the exchange.
As of September 2018, users in the United Kingdom can use Coinbase to buy, sell, and store bitcoins, litecoin, and ethers with GBP.
Coinbase offers multiple payments methods including debit and credit cards—with higher limits for 3D secured cards—and UK bank transfers. GBP and EUR can also be withdrawn from Coinbase onto Paypal.
Furthermore, Coinbase has created its own stablecoin the USD Coin (USDC) which is available on other exchanges as well. In addition, Coinbase has released its own mobile app and hosts a wallet that can be accessed via the mobile app as well as the Coinbase website.
It is important to note that as with other exchanges on this list, users must complete identity verification to receive full access to the services and features of Coinbase.
To read our full review of Coinbase, click on the green button below:
The Coinbase exchange discussed above is one of three digital asset exchanges carrying the Coinbase name. Coinbase Pro is another.
Where the traditional Coinbase is designed for the general or novice trader, Coinbase Pro is designed for more advanced traders.
Coinbase Pro includes a more extensive offering of cryptocurrencies, but most of these can only be purchased with other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Using Coinbase Pro, the pound can be used to buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ethereum Classic.
Some of the cryptocurrencies available for the USD on Coinbase and Coinbase Pro cannot be bought with the GBP. This includes XRP and Stellar lumens.
Identity verification is required to use Coinbase Pro.
The third Coinbase exchange—called Coinbase Prime—is designed for institutional investors and business funds. On the contrary, both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are primarily geared for individual, non-institutional investors.
The same crypto/GBP trading pairs available on Coinbase Pro are also available on Coinbase Prime:
All three Coinbase exchanges require user registration and identity verification.
Founded in Austria in 2014, Bitpanda was designed as a European cryptocurrency and digital asset exchange. Not only does Bitpanda host a BTC/GBP trading pairs, it also allows buyers to purchase many other cryptoassets with the pound.
- Ripple (XRP)
- Bitcoin Cash
- Komodo (KMD)
- Iota (MIOTA)
- EOS (EOS)
- Pantos (PAN)
- OmiseGO (OMG)
- Augur (REP)
- Stellar lumens
- 0x (ZRX)
- NEM (NEM)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- Cardano (ADA)
- NEO (NEO)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Waves (WAVES)
- Lisk (LSK)
- Tether (USDT)
- USD Coin (USDC)
This is a much more extensive list than any other exchange, marketplace, or broker in this list. Furthermore, USD, RUB, and EUR can be used to purchase any of these cryptoassets.
In addition, Bitpanda also allows users to create multiple wallets for different crypto and fiat currencies. This can be accessed via the Bitpanda website or the mobile app.
Similar to Coinbase, the various cryptocurrencies can also be swapped between each other using Bitpanda Savings. Also like Coinbase, users have the ability to create time-based purchases of these cryptocurrencies. For example, a user might schedule weekly purchases of £100 Bitcoin or monthly purchases of £250 Lisk.
For those seeking to buy or sell 1 million or more euros worth of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin has an OTC brokerage service called Bitpanda Plus. Coinfloor has a similar feature.
Unlike other exchanges, however, Bitpanda also offers a unique service: Bitpanda To-Go. Available at around 1750 Post branches and partners, Bitpanda To-Go cryptocurrency vouchers can be purchased with cash. They can then be redeemed online or on the mobile app.
Buying bitcoins or other cryptoassets with Bitpanda To-Go vouchers does incur a slight fee.
In addition to websites hosting exchanges, marketplaces, or brokerage firms, there are other options for buying bitcoins in the UK. Throughout this article, we’ve discussed two of these:
- Mobile Apps
- Bitcoin ATMs
As a supplement to our list of websites to buy bitcoins in the UK, we will now discuss both of these in a little more detail.
Several exchanges have mobile apps including Binance, Coinbase, Coincorner, and Bitpanda. However, not all mobile apps selling bitcoins are associated with website-based services.
It is very important to exercise caution when buying bitcoins on any mobile app. There have been numerous scams involved with cryptocurrency apps listed on both the Android and iOS app stores.
If you’re looking for a mobile app to buy bitcoins in the UK, it would be wise to use one associated with a website on this list. Each has each been around for a considerable time, and all been proven themselves overall trustworthy and reputable.
Using a Bitcoin ATM is another way to buy bitcoins in the United Kingdom. As mentioned above, QuickBitcoin UK maintains a Bitcoin ATM, but there are many others that can be easily accessed.
To find other Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ATMs within the country can be found at Coin ATM Radar.
This service also offers users the ability to find ATMs for a variety of other cryptocurrencies as shown in the image above.
Though it might seem difficult to find a website to buy bitcoins in the UK, there is really no shortage of options. There are registered exchanges, marketplaces, and brokerages within the United Kingdom as well as many other options registered in other countries throughout the world.
Furthermore, there are bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies can be purchased with mobile apps and specially designed ATMs.
Have you tried any of these options? If so, which is your favorite? Are there any other options you think we should add? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below!
If You’re interested in long-term Bitcoin price analysis and predictions for 2019, 2020, and five years from now, click on the green button below:
[Disclaimer: The contents of this article are not intended as financial advice, and should not be taken as such. BeInCrypto and the author are not responsible for any financial gains or losses made after reading this article. Readers are always encouraged to do their own research before investing in cryptocurrency, as the market is particularly volatile.]