How To Sell Bitcoins
When you've decided you want to sell some of your bitcoins, it isn't quite as simple as buying, but this article will get you up to speed. You will have to decide whether you'd like to sell online or in person, and each choice has its pros and cons.
Selling Bitcoins Online
Selling bitcoins online has become the most common way to move your digital currency. You can accomplish this in any of three ways: trade it directly with someone else, through an online exchange, or by buying something.
A direct trade is set up online by an intermediary such as LocalBitcoins or Coinbase, where you register and announce that you want to sell, and you're notified when someone wants to buy your coins. Then you do the trade by dealing directly with the buyer, through the website.
An exchange trade again requires registration, this time with an exchange that acts as a go-between and holds both parties' funds. You announce how much you want to sell, and the price you want in return. When someone meets your price, the trade is made through the exchange, and your account is credited. If you want fiat for your coins, try to get your cash out quickly in case the exchange is having financial problems, or might get hacked.
A peer to peer trade is more of a new idea: a Bitcoin business matches someone who wants to use his bitcoins to buy products from a site that doesn't yet take digital funds, with someone who uses his bank card to purchase those items and asks for delivery to the buyer. The coins are then freed from escrow and delivered to the other person's wallet.
Withdrawing Funds Challenges
You may have used a wire transfer to send money to another country. That seems to be the most used method, and in fact most Bitcoin companies use this method too.
The European Union uses the SEPA (Single European Payments Area) system to move money between their various countries, and this can also be used to get your exchanged money into your bank account after selling bitcoins.
But it can take days to complete the transfer, and can cost as much as 25 pounds (31 Euros).
A lot of banks worldwide will simply refuse to let you open an account if they know you are going to be trading bitcoin. Or close an existing account. This happens regularly. This is because banks are terrified of bitcoin, and how fast, inexpensive, and decentralized it is.
You will see this changing as more and more Bitcoin companies and exchanges enter the industry and make things even easier to do business with them worldwide.
Proof of ID
If you're a buyer, you're in luck, because you won't need to show hardly any identification. If you're a seller, it's just the opposite… although it's not legally mandatory yet, most companies in the Bitcoin world expect future regulations to require the collection of data, so they're already doing it. You might want to review the rules of a site before actually joining it, to speed things up. You'll probably have to provide a photo ID and a couple utility bills to prove who you are. If you don't trust the business that requires these, you may not be able to sell bitcoins online.
Selling Bitcoins in Person
For the easiest way to sell your coins, sell in person. Scan someone's QR code from his phone, get the money from him, and you're done. Or set up a wallet for a friend, send the coin to him, and cash out.
- Become more widely known as a seller; users get ranked like on eBay, so if you get a good reputation, you might even get a higher trade rate
- You can remain anonymous
- You can use escrow to protect yourself during online transactions, but not face-to-face
Safety and Price Considerations
- Use a popular Bitcoin exchange to determine a fair price you agree with
- If a lot of money is changing hands, meet in a public place or take a friend with you
- Prices can vary locally, or country to country, because of government obstacles to getting bitcoins
- Make a trade at a Bitcoin Meetup, which happens regularly, where everyone loves to talk about cryptocurrencies