These days cryptocurrencies are downright mainstream. But they did not start off that way. Bitcoin was invented as a purely digital currency that was meant to function globally and work like cash or as barter exchanges. In many ways, this is still the case. Bitcoin is truly borderless and has allowed many of the estimated 1.7 billion unbanked adults to grow their economic means.
Presently, when most people buy Bitcoins in Canada, they do so through a cryptocurrency exchange. If you want to buy Bitcoins in Canada without a bank account, there are several ways to go about it.
- The easiest way to buy without a bank account is to use a credit card. You will need an exchange that accepts credit as a method of payment.
- You can also use decentralized exchanges. These typically require cryptocurrency investors to interact peer-to-peer, and then decide on the terms of the transaction. Some of these exchanges offer escrow services, but not much else.
Using a professionally managed exchange that accepts a credit card is likely the easiest way to get around the need for a bank account. But there are a few other methods that allow you to buy Bitcoin. Full disclosure, without the aid of a managed exchange, the users take on a lot more responsibility. These include finding legitimate interested buyers/sellers and agreeing to the terms of sale and methods of payment.
Here are several ways to buy Bitcoin without a bank account:
CoinSmart is a Canadian exchange that allows you to buy Bitcoin with your credit card. Using a credit card means that you do not need to attach a bank account. As such, this is an excellent option for those who do not have a Canadian account. Or for those who would just rather not link a bank account to a crypto-exchange. CoinSmart has a $100 minimum purchase for credit card buys and charges a 6% transaction fee.
LibertyX is available at a reported 2500+ convenience stores across North America. Using a PIN number, which you must get from the store clerk, you can retrieve your Bitcoin once you have paid for them. And although you do not need a bank account, you will need to give the convenience store clerk your personal information, which is used to check against public records.
Wall of Coins
With Wall of Coins, using a phone number and cash, you can buy Bitcoins. Once you put in your zip code or postal code and phone number, you will receive a text message with a password. By following the link sent to you, you can deposit your cash in the buyer’s bank account via the Wall of Coins website. Wall of Coins acts as an escrow, so once your cash is received, they will release your Bitcoins.
Paxful offers a live chat room where Bitcoin buyers and sellers can connect with each other. Once you have found someone willing to make an exchange, the terms of payment are decided upon between the two parties. So, you can use whatever method of payment that you both agree to. Paxful is totally hands-off and simply provides a digital space to connect with other Bitcoin investors.
Local Bitcoins connect you to interested buyers and acts as your escrow agent. Then, it is with the other party that you decide on the terms of exchange. That means buyers can pay with any means of electronic methods. Or, you can meet in person with cash or real goods.
Mycelium Local Trader
Mycelium is dedicated to connecting you to Bitcoin traders within your physical local. All of the terms of payment and exchange are left up to the parties involved. Mycelium acts to connect and then record the buyer’s and seller’s ratings for the transaction, with the interest of protecting future investors.
Bitcoin-OTC is short for over the counter, and is slightly more technically complicated than the other methods listed. In order to use this chat room, users must download and operate the browser-based version of OTC. The chat room is designed for buyers and sellers to find each other, as well as track users’ reputations. Otherwise, each transaction is executed on its own terms.
Using Bitcoin ATMs, you deposit your cash into the machine in exchange for Bitcoin. However, this is hit or miss when it comes to anonymity. An increasing about of Bitcoin ATMs require more personal information, which often includes a photo and handprint.
BitQuick is another service that requires a bank, but they also act as an escrow with proof of reserve requirement. Once you have decided on the terms of your transaction, you can use cash or a Western Union transfer to buy your Bitcoin.