Since its beginnings, Bitcoin has made a revolution and has worked slowly but surely towards becoming a real-world currency. And it seems like it’s on the right track—at the time of writing this article, Bitcoin is exceeding the price of $17,000.
This suggests a bright future for this digital currency, and even those not touched by the Bitcoin phenomenon yet will find the topic interesting. And knowing that there’s only a limited number of Bitcoins in circulation and a limited number ever to be produced, makes the topic of how to buy or sell them even more interesting.
What Are the Options?
If you are thinking of selling Bitcoins, you should know that the process is a bit more complex than buying them. Still, it’s far from being overly complicated. There are two basic ways to do that¬—online and offline.
1) Selling Bitcoin Online
Selling Bitcoins online is the most popular method, and it includes three different solutions:
1) Direct trade.
2) Online exchange.
3) Peer-to-peer marketplaces.
Those who wish to perform a direct trade with another individual will be able to do so at platforms such as LocalBitcoins, Coinbase, Bittylicious and BitBargain.
LocalBitcoins is at the very top of Bitcoin trading platforms.
1) Before performing any transaction at LocalBitcoins, you should register an account so you can create your Bitcoin wallet.
2) Select the option QUICK SELL on the main page. Fill in the amount you want to sell and choose a payment method.
3) Based on the reputation score and the number of completed trades, choose a trader from the list. Note that every payment is irreversible, so always choose a trustworthy trader.
4) Press the Sell button so you can see some additional information about the offer. Pay extra attention to terms of the trade because if you proceed, there is no going back.
5) If you agree with the terms and conditions of the trade, enter the amount you are planning to sell in the blue box. Then, type a message to the buyer and click Send trade request.
6) At this point, your Bitcoins will be moved to the escrow from your wallet.
7) The remaining step is to send the buyer some specific payment details. After you are certain that the money has arrived to your account, click the Release bitcoins button.
BitBargain also deserves its mention as the first U.K. marketplace for instant bank transfers and one of the largest marketplaces which escrows and secures transactions in the U.K.
Note that BitBargain serves only to facilitate the exchange, and the users who wish to buy/sell Bitcoins via this platform are encouraged to immediately transfer their coins to an external wallet.
1) Setting up an account on BitBargain is simple and requires only your name and password on the main page.
Most users are free to buy a certain (limited) amount of Bitcoin after providing only their name and password. However, if your plan is to sell Bitcoins, there is an application process which requires you to pass a test for sellers and to complete your account verification.
2) After enrolling in the seller’s program, here’s how you complete your first transaction:
• Offer the price at which you would like to sell.
• Choose the payment option.
• Wait for the buyer to enroll.
• Keep your online/offline status updated at all times, because if you don’t respond to the buyer in 200 seconds, your SLA reputational score will be significantly lower.
• Once you respond, the desired amount of Bitcoins will be moved from your account to escrow.
• In the next 30 minutes, the buyer has to make the payment to your account (if the buyer doesn’t fulfill the transfer within this time frame, your coins will be re-sent to your account and the buyer will get a low reputational score).
Sellers are charged a 1% commission.
Bittylicious is also a trading platform servicing U.K.-based Bitcoin users. It acts as a match-maker to buyers and sellers via an online interface. Bittylicious does not provide wallet services; instead, it offers an escrow system that serves as a guarantee that both buyers and sellers will receive their Bitcoin or fiat.
1) After setting up an account…
2) … The next step towards selling your Bitcoins is to choose Sell mode and select the desired digital currency by clicking on the Bitcoin drop-down box since Bittylicious offers an additional 11 cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin.
3) Specify the amount of BTC you wish to sell. This way you will see the price offered for your Bitcoins.
4) You also need to choose how you wish to be paid depending on your situation—bank transfer, by mobile phone, or cash.
5) When you have set every parameter according to your needs, click on the Sell some coins button at the bottom of the page.
6) You can proceed with your transaction after confirming it. You will be prompted to fill in some details:
• Name on your bank account (if you chose bank transfer as your preferred payment option).
• Sort code.
• Account number.
7) After all the information are entered, click on the Validate payment information button.
8) Since Bittylicious is the transaction mediator, you must send your Bitcoins to them. You will do that by going to the place where you stored your Bitcoins and sending the desired amount on the provided address (the QR code corresponds to the same Bitcoin account as the address).
9) Depending on the service you are sending your Bitcoins from, you have to wait approximately 30 minutes. After Bittylicious has received your Bitcoins, you will be notified:
10) The buyer makes a payment within minutes, which you will be able to check on your account. Once it is done, confirm by clicking I have received payment. Please finish this trade. The buyer will have access to the Bitcoins only after you confirm the payment. Otherwise, the funds will be returned to the buyer and your account will be invalid.
11) The trade is completed when you receive this confirmation:
Coinbase is also an excellent intermediary in the process of selling Bitcoins.
1) The first step is the same as with other platforms — registration (individual or business).
2) After registering, choose the Buy/Sell option on the main page.
3) Fill in the amount of BTC you are willing to sell…
4) … And choose the wallet from which you are planning to make the transaction (usually it is your BTC wallet).
5) Mark the account you intend to deposit to (it can be your bank account or PayPal account). And if the order is correct, click the Sell Bitcoin button.
6) You will then receive a confirmation that your transaction is complete, including information about when the money will arrive in your bank account.
Selling Online Via Exchange Trades
Besides websites that offer to act as intermediaries, you can also choose to sell your Bitcoins via exchanges, and one of the most reliable and popular exchanges in Europe is Kraken.
1) Creating a Kraken account is fast and simple. All you need is an email address, a username and a password:
However, depending on the amount of Bitcoins you wish to sell, additional proof of identity and proof of address are required.
2) In order to sell Bitcoins, select Deposits.
3) Choose the digital currency that you would like to sell — Bitcoin in this case.
This will start the process of selling your Bitcoins for GBT or EUR.
4) After completing the transaction, the Bitcoin balance will be displayed on Kraken’s main page.
5) The next step is to go to Trade and click New Order.
Now you have GBP or EUR on your Kraken platform.
6) Next to the Trade button, there is a Funding tab. Choosing this tab and navigating to the Withdraw option allows you to withdraw your money to your bank account.
Selling Online Through Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces
Bitcoin trading marketplaces connect people with matching needs — that is, people willing to buy things using Bitcoin, with those willing to buy some Bitcoins using their bank card. Here’s how it works:
1) Say Monica wants to buy certain items using Bitcoins, but the online store doesn’t accept BTC. She puts the wishlist on one of the Bitcoin-accepted marketplaces and specifies her desired discount on those items.
2) Now, Jeff would like to buy some Bitcoin but is not a fan of disclosing his ID and address with an online exchange. So, he will be willing to pay a somewhat higher price for the Bitcoins, just so he stays anonymous. Jeff buys items for Monica (using a bank card) in exchange for her Bitcoins and requests that the goods are sent to her address.
3) After the items arrive, Monica informs the marketplace about it, and the BTC funds are sent to Jeff’s wallet.
4) This way, Monica has the desired discount on the goods, and Jeff bought some BTC using the bank card without the need to reveal any personal information.
2) Selling Bitcoin Offline
Selling Bitcoin offline is another option, and it can be done in person or by using an ATM.
Selling Bitcoin in person is certainly far more private and easier than online. It is very simple, especially if this transaction occurs with someone you know. Simply follow the three-step process: “Make” them a Bitcoin wallet, transfer the Bitcoins in their Bitcoin wallet, and finally collect the money.
Although the transaction can be made by simply scanning a QR code on the buyer’s phone, if he/she is a stranger, it is necessary to take some measures of precaution:
• Choose a public location.
• Check the current price of Bitcoin and agree.
• Agree to the terms before the meeting.
• Take someone with you for extra safety.
Some platforms like LocalBitcoins can facilitate the transaction process — if you (as a seller) enable the transaction, both you and the buyer will receive an SMS notification with a secret code. Ask the buyer whether he/she knows the secret code, so you can send the Bitcoins to his/her Bitcoin wallet and receive the money.
Using an ATM
Many Bitcoin ATM machines support only one-way operations, and about 40 percent of them offer a sell option. Although there are several types of Bitcoin ATMs, there are some general, common steps you have to follow:
• Verify your identification details.
• Send Bitcoins by Bitcoin ATM QR code.
• Depending on the machine type, you will receive cash or the redeem code, so you have to wait for the transaction confirmation.
The Bitcoin market is constantly developing to become simpler and more accessible. However, you should always be familiar enough with the system’s flaws when engaging in any Bitcoin transactions.
Many BTC trading options require proof of identity and it may seem annoying but in reality, this is favorable to each party involved in the transaction.
So, be informed and keep in mind that the most important aspect of every trade is safety. Have fun!