While it’s possible to buy Monero (XMR) directly with GBP (e.g., LocalMonero) it’s not the cheapest way of getting your hands on it (10% fees when I checked).
For the absolute cheapest rates, you’ll want to buy it on a cryptocurrency exchange (e.g., Binance) with Tether (USDT).
In this post, I’ll outline the BEST places to buy Monero (XMR) if you’re from the UK.
Cheapest Route: Buy Monero (XMR) on a Crypto Exchange
If all you care about is buying Monero (XMR) at the best possible price (i.e., mid-market rate) without paying high fees, then Binance is an option to look at. It charges low trading fees (max 0.1%), some of the highest volume Monero (XMR) markets around, as well as competitive withdrawal fees for XMR.
While you can currently deposit GBP directly into Binance, this won’t be possible from 22nd May 2023. This has happened a few times, so I prefer to just use somewhere else to get GBP into the crypto-ecosystem.
While this is the cheapest route, it’s slower and less convenient than the alternatives that I describe later in this post.
Note: There’s a temporary 72-hour hold on funds when you deposit cash into your Kraken account for the first time. This only impacts your first deposit, not subsequent ones.
This is how the process looks for me (as a UK resident):
- Signup to Kraken (if you’re not already registered). You’ll need to verify your identity to unlock GBP deposits – but this doesn’t shouldn’t take long.
- Send GBP funds to your GBP wallet on Kraken. This is free. Because it supports Faster Payments (FPS), GBP deposits should usually be credited within an hour.
- Buy Tether (USDT) on the USDT/GBP spot market on Kraken. You should get quoted the real USDT-to-GBP exchange rate and will pay maximum fees of just 0.20%.
- Signup to Binance (if you’re not already registered). Your functionality may be limited until you verify your identity.
- Transfer your Tether (USDT) from Kraken to Binance. If you withdraw Tether (USDT) using the Solana Network, then you’ll currently be charged a fee of 0.2 USDT. There’s no fee to deposit USDT into Binance.
- Once the Tether (USDT) is credited to your Binance account, you can buy Monero (XMR) with it on the XMR/USDT market. Trading fees are just 0.1%. If you use Binance Coin (BNB) to pay your fees, then you’ll pay a lower rate of 0.075%.
- Withdraw Monero (XMR) to an external wallet. Binance charges low fees (0.0001 XMR) to withdraw Monero (XMR). Whenever possible, I don’t leave significant funds on any exchange. I keep my Monero (XMR) on my Ledger Nano X. (If you don’t have a hardware wallet yet, check out my overview of the best hardware wallets.)
In total, you shouldn’t pay more than about 0.30% in trading fees (plus withdrawal fees) if you take this route.
It is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT that you’re using the same network to withdraw Tether (USDT) from Kraken and deposit it into Binance. If you mess this up, then you might lose your funds.
For that reason, I send small test transactions when doing something like this for the first time – just in case I mess something up.
If you don’t want to use Binance to buy Monero (XMR), then there are a few other popular cryptocurrency exchanges where you can exchange Bitcoin (BTC) for it:
|Exchange||Withdrawal Fees (XMR)||Max Trading Fees (%)|
You could also use ‘instant’ cryptocurrency exchanges like Changelly or ChangeNOW. Both of these places (and other places like them) allow you to more easily exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) or stablecoins like Tether (USDT) for Monero (XMR).
The downside? They tend to work out quite expensive.
At the time of writing this update, I was quoted prices that were about 2% higher than the exchange rate on Binance (this is variable, so it might be lower or higher when you check). You won’t have to pay an XMR withdrawal fee, but it’s still more expensive than using a cryptocurrency exchange.
You can also use Cake Wallet (an open source multi-crypto wallet which supports XMR) to very easily exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) for Monero (XMR). But because this is powered by ChangeNOW, you’ll be charged about the same fees. It’s super convenient though – especially if it’s a wallet you want to keep some Monero (XMR) in.
Monero (XMR) is becoming increasingly harder to find on cryptocurrency exchanges that have fiat currency (i.e., GBP) on-ramps.
Here are a few popular places where you can’t buy Monero (XMR) in the UK:
- Crypto.com App
Fastest Route: Buy Monero (XMR) with GBP
I couldn’t find any cryptocurrency exchange that had XMR/GBP pairs.
However, it is possible to use LocalMonero.co to buy Monero (XMR) directly with GBP. But keep in mind: You’ll pay a significant premium over the mid-market rate that’s quoted on cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance.
When I checked, I was quoted prices that were about 10% higher than the mid-market rate to buy Monero (XMR) on Binance.
Summary: Best Place to Buy Monero?
If you want the absolute cheapest rates, then I’d buy Monero (XMR) using Tether (USDT) on Binance.
It might take an hour or two to complete this process, but you’ll be able to buy Monero (XMR) at the real exchange rate without paying more than about 0.3% in trading fees. (But remember, the first deposit into Kraken is subject to a 72-hour hold on funds.
Alternatively, you could use something like LocalMonero.co. However, you’ll be charged a premium (about 10% when I checked) for the little bit of extra convenience.
I don’t think the little bit of extra convenience is worth it, but the option is there if you want to use it.
What is Monero (XMR)?
Monero (XMR) is a privacy-focused digital currency that operates on the Monero network. The Monero network lets you send and receive funds from around the world without compromising your privacy. XMR is used as a store of value on the Monero network and to pay for transaction fees.
It was created in 2014 by a group of seven anonymous developers. Monero got its start with a 2014 fork of Bytecoin. Both Monero and Bytecoin were created on CryptoNote, an application layer protocol that was first described in a whitepaper by Nicolas van Saberhagen (a presumed pseudonym).
To learn more about how Monero (XMR) works, check out this video:
Monero (XMR) lets anyone send or receive crypto without having to disclose their wallet address, the address of their transaction partner, or the value of the transaction.
This is how it’s made possible:
- Ring signatures obscure the address of the sender in a transaction. They work by combining the signature of the sender with past signatures on the Monero blockchain. As a result, an outside observer can’t determine who sent the XMR in a transaction.
- Ring Confidential Transactions (i.e., RingCTs) obscure how much XMR is sent in a transaction. They conceal how much XMR is sent in a transaction by transmitting the information as a secure code that only the recipient’s wallet can understand. However, this code is written in a way that lets the network confirm the validity of a transaction without ever knowing how much was sent.
- The final piece of Monero’s privacy system is stealth addresses, which obscure the receiver in a transaction. When you send funds to someone’s Monero (XMR) wallet, you’re actually sending funds to a one-time-use address that’s derived from a user’s real public address. The private key in your Monero wallet has access to all of your stealth addresses aver they’ve been used, so you can never spend more XMR than you have. As a result, stealth addresses prevent anyone from knowing how much is in your wallet and from knowing who you transact with on the Monero network.
Additionally, to help obscure your IP address when you send and receive XMR, the Monero network is compatible with Tor. This is important as it reduces the chances that a public address could be traced back to a user’s computer.
All of these different features give Monero (XMR) an edge privacy-wise over cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC).
Although both Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC) public addresses are technically “anonymous,” all transactions on both networks are recorded on publicly available blockchains. Anyone with the right time and resources could connect transactions back to a single person.
On the other hand, Monero’s privacy features make tracking transactions back to an individual very difficult, if not impossible, if you do your due diligence to protect your private keys and true public addresses.
Monero (XMR) was designed specifically with privacy in mind and it has a lot of features that make it more private than other similar coins like ZCash (ZEC) or Dash (DASH).
The biggest advantage of Monero (XMR) over other privacy coins is that Monero forces all transactions to be private.
Meanwhile, most ZEC transactions (approximately 99%, to be specific) are processed publicly. According to one group of researchers, the vast majority of ZCash (ZEC) transactions are actually traceable (even if you make a private transaction).
These same researchers found that only about 30% of Monero (XMR) transactions are traceable. Of course, the fact that 30% of Monero (XMR) transactions might be traceable isn’t a great thing, but a lot of the issues that caused these privacy concerns were fixed with a 2017 network update.
There are also ways to make your XMR transactions more secure, such as by using Tor or a VPN to obscure your IP. It’s also important that you do your due diligence to protect your private keys and to avoid associating your name with your real Monero public address on the internet so no one can trace your transactions.
One thing that I really like about Monero is that the network is frequently updated and improved to ensure user privacy. But, as is the case with anything crypto-related, the steps you take to protect and anonymise your own online activity will go a long way toward keeping your transactions private.
Best Monero (XMR) Wallets
There’s no official Monero (XMR) wallet, but it’s supported by a number of popular hardware and software wallets.
The Monero community developed an open-source desktop wallet called the Monero GUI Wallet that you can use to send and receive XMR.
If you’d prefer to use a multi-currency software wallet instead, you have plenty of options to choose from, such as:
- Atomic Wallet
- Cake Wallet
However, keep in mind that some third-party XMR wallets may not offer the same privacy features as the Monero GUI Wallet. If keeping your transactions completely private is important to you, do your research so you know the risks associated with using third-party wallets before you start sending and receiving XMR.
Prefer a hardware wallet instead?
Monero-compatible hardware wallets include:
To manage your XMR using a Trezor or Ledger device, you will need to connect them to the Monero GUI Wallet (as you can’t access them directly via the Ledger Live or Trezor Suite).
What Do You Think?
Thanks for checking out this guide to buying Monero (XMR) in the UK.
Have a question? Or want to share other places where you can buy Monero (XMR)?
Let us know in the comments below!
35 thoughts on “How to Buy Monero (XMR) in the UK (2023)”
Why go from litecoin -> Tether -> monero
Instead of just: Litecoin -> monero?
Thanks for commenting, Paul!
This is because it’s not possible to directly convert Litecoin (LTC) to Monero (XMR) on Binance.
However, I’ve now updated this post with a new process. In short, I now think it makes more sense to:
Kraken has a 72 hour withdrawal lock after your first cash deposit. This doesn’t limit you trading on the platform, although you can not withdraw cash/cryto in the lock period.
This is probably something to mention in the text above for those looking to trade straight away.
Thanks for pointing this out, Michael! Really appreciate it.
I’ve added a little notice to highlight this in the post.
Don’t think Kraken will be viable for anyone in the UK looking for XMR for much longer. Just an FYI below in case you weren’t aware.
We are reaching out regarding an update to trading and funding of Monero (XMR) on Kraken.
In compliance with UK regulations, Kraken (Payward Ltd) will no longer be supporting Monero (XMR) on its platform.
On the 26th of November, all Monero (XMR) trading on Kraken will cease in the UK. This includes Instant Buy/Sell Services as well as order book trading on XMR/BTC, XMR/USD, and XMR/EUR.
Any deposits of Monero (XMR) in the UK will no longer be credited after 26th of November. Thereafter, Monero (XMR) balances can be withdrawn to a personal wallet or to an alternative exchange.
On the 23rd of November, 2021, your Monero (XMR) margin positions will be set to reduce only. This means that you will not be able to increase or open new Monero (XMR) margin positions. You will only be able to reduce open Monero (XMR) margin positions.
We kindly ask that you close any open margin positions involving Monero (XMR) by the 26th of November, 2021. On 26th of November, all open margin positions will be force liquidated and any open orders will be cancelled.
We appreciate your understanding and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our support team.
The Kraken Team”
Thanks for sharing this, Benji! Appreciate the nudge on this.
I’ve updated this guide to reflect this change.
The TLDR is that the cheapest route is now:
With this route, you won’t pay more than about 0.5% in trading fees. Sadly, it’s nowhere as near as quick/easy as before.
People could skip a few steps in the middle by moving value between exchanges using Bitcoin (BTC). However, the withdrawal fees tend to be higher than Litecoin (LTC) – which is why I stuck with that in the process above.
But if anyone does want to move value using Bitcoin (BTC), then Coinbase Pro has a variable BTC withdrawal fee that tends to work out quite cheap (between £1-2 when I last checked). The downside is that the trading fees on Coinbase Pro are 0.5%.
How are you guys able to purchase xmr through kraken? I’m with 2 banks and both have put a block on buying crypto. I’ve been in to branch to ask if it was just my account but apparently it’s all accounts.
Any advice simplified would be much appreciated
Thanks for commenting, Kyle!
If you’re having a problem with using a high street bank in the UK, then check out one of the neobanks. One common one you’ll see mentioned a lot is Revolut, which 100% currently allows GBP transfers (via UK bank transfer) to Kraken.
Revolut also supports transfers to other cryptocurrency exchanges (see here for a non-exhaustive list).
Hope this helps!
Another couple of quick questions if I may?
Can I do all my purchases online immediately or do I have to wait for a card and pin? Also will I have to send my xmr to a site like kraken or can I purchase it and send it straight to my virtual wallet? I use mymonero as my VW
No worries at all, Kyle!
Once you’ve created a Revolut account and passed through verification, you should be able to use a virtual card (which can be accessed via the app) while waiting for a physical card (see here).
However, you’ll also be able to deposit GBP into Kraken (or elsewhere) using a local bank transfer (via Faster Payments) – which is how I deposit into broker accounts and exchanges.
Kraken enforces a 72-hour withdrawal hold the first time you make a cash deposit (see here). However, you’re able to buy XMR within that window, wait 72 hours, and then withdraw it to an external wallet. After this initial holding period, you should be able to buy and withdraw immediately in the future.
Let me know if there’s anything else!
Hi, not sure if the info here is up to date, isn’t the FPS option suspended for GBP?
Thanks for commenting, Mark!
You’re correct – I’ve just gone ahead and updated this guide to reflect that.
You can still deposit GBP into Binance with a bank card, but it works out quite expensive (1.8% + normal trading fees). You could also buy Bitcoin (BTC) elsewhere (e.g., Coinbase Pro, Gemini ActiveTrader), transfer it over to Binance, and then buy Monero (XMR) with that BTC.
However, it’s going to be simpler and quicker to just switch to using Kraken for the whole process instead.
I read that the FCA has just banned Binance from operating in the UK.
The best option would now be GBP to Kraken, buy Monero, withdraw? Or is there a better new option?
Thanks for posting this comment, Simon!
The FCA notice on the 26th June 2021 referenced Binance Markets Limited (its UK entity), not the Binance Group (i.e., Binance.com). But regardless of that, it has meant that GBP deposits and withdrawals have been severely impacted. You can still deposit GBP with a debit card, but it’s not really worth bothering with this route (1.8% fees).
Because of that, it’s going to be easier, quicker, and cheaper to just deposit GBP into Kraken using a UK bank transfer (via FPS), buying Bitcoin (BTC) or Euro (EUR), then exchanging that for Monero (XMR) on Kraken’s exchange. Trading fees are max 0.26%.
When I checked, Monero (XMR) withdrawal fees on Kraken were low (0.0001 XMR)
You can’t reliably use Binance – you can deposit money, buy a crypto, then convert to XMR, but often can’t withdraw it to your own wallet. They’ve had a “technical issue” going for days, but won’t provide any information as to what is going on.
They keep saying to check their announcements page, which has no service information on. Seems like they’ve fixed it now, but still no announcement to explain what the issue was, or to confirm that’s its been properly fixed and unlikely to reoccur.
Thanks for commenting, David!
From what I can see, Binance has previously blamed network congestion when suspending for XMR – but that doesn’t seem to fit.
In this thread on Reddit, there is some speculation that they’re running fractional reserves. As Binance don’t run proof of reserves, we can’t verify that either way.
Is there a way to send Monero to another wallet? I can’t seem to work out how to do this. Have purchased Bitcoin and bought XMR just can’t work out how to send it to another wallet address?
Thanks for commenting, Ed!
If this is on Binance, then follow these instructions:
Hope this helps!
Hi Dean, Thanks for the updated post – you made the process so easy to understand. I used this pre-updated post last year to buy Monero and at the time I had to also open an account with CEX – as it was nearly a year ago I cannot remember why I had to use CEX! I assume I can now forget about CEX and just use Binance?
Thanks for commenting, Jess! Great to hear you’ve found this post useful 🙂
You couldn’t previously deposit GBP directly into Binance, which was probably why you picked up a CEX account (as we had to buy BTC elsewhere, transfer it to Binance, then buy XMR with it).
You can deposit GBP directly in Binance, so you can just complete the whole process there. However, you will have to verify your identity and address with Binance to unlock GBP deposits/withdrawals.
Another place that supports GBP deposits/withdrawals, as well as XMR, is Kraken – which I continue to hear good things about it.
Hope this helps!
Hi Dean, currently the BTC transaction fees are really high. Does this mean a cheaper route to get to XMR would be to use a different ‘intermediate’ coin in Binance? i.e. GBP -> USDT -> XMR (or something different?)
Maybe I’m misunderstanding fees etc. (new to this).
Thanks for the comment, Randy!
If you want to buy Monero (XMR) with Bitcoin (BTC) that you’ve already purchased elsewhere, then it might be cheaper to just exchange it for a stablecoin like Tether (USDT). However, you’ll have to check the exchange fees of wherever you have it stored. This could make it cheaper to just swallow the BTC transaction fees.
Alternatively, you can now buy BTC with GBP on Binance. If you do this, you won’t pay any transaction fees to exchange it into XMR (just the max 0.1% trading fees).
Does that make sense? Let me know if you need any more clarification.
Hi Dean, i’m new to all of this, it’s overwhelming, glad I found your site!
I’ve followed your suggested steps and now not sure where to transfer bitcoin too in Binance?
I made a mistake and bought the bitcoin on coinbase… doh… transferred that to coinbase pro and now want the funds in binance to get monero…
I will get more bitcoin and actually do that how you suggested!
Quite a learning curve.
Many thanks. Tom.
Thanks for commenting, Tom! Glad you’re finding the site useful 🙂
I’ll be updating this post shortly, as it’s now possible to deposit GBP directly into Binance. This means you don’t have to mess around with buying Bitcoin (BTC) elsewhere with GBP and then transferring it over.
If you still want to deposit BTC into Binance, then (on desktop) click wallet in the navigation bar and deposit. You’ll then be able to choose what you want to deposit and it’ll give you an address that you can send it over to (see this screenshot).
Hope that helps!
(Apologies for hijacking your post Tom but I am also new to all of this)
Dean, can I please check my understanding…
– Sign up to Binance and add a GBP balance
– purchase BTC on Binance with the GBP funds
– Use this BTC fund then to purchase Monero
and that’s where I became unstuck. Your recommendation that you shouldn’t leave your funds on an exchange threw me. What is a hard wallet? How do I watch my crypto then increase/decrease, can you do that in a hard wallet and sell at the most appropriate time. I have a little experience buying and selling crypto on Blockchain. Is that considered a Hard wallet?
So many questions!
Thanks in advance
Thanks for commenting, Dee!
Yes, that process would be correct – it just seems easier and cheaper than buying elsewhere and sending over.
You absolutely could just leave your money on Binance. This is a custodian wallet, which means you’re trusting them to look after your cryptocurrency. It’s in their continued interest to keep it as safe as possible, but they will remain an attractive target for hackers.
In contrast, hardware wallets allow you to take ownership and complete control of your cryptocurrency. They’re well-recommended across the crypto space, because they make it simple and easy to securely store cryptocurrency. If you check out the Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano X, or Trezor Model T pages – they’ll explain how it works in more details. The downside is that these are all products you’ll need to buy (starting from about £55 for the Ledger Nano S). But with all them, you can monitor how the value of your cryptocurrency changes over time.
Blockchain.com is another custodian wallet and wouldn’t be considered a hardware wallet. However, the principle is the same – hardware wallets allow you to send, store, and receive cryptocurrency just like this.
Hope this helps a little. Please follow-up if you need more clarity, as I can point you towards further reading.
Hi there thanks for this invaluable guide. I am a first timer. I noted the hard wallet advice as I start my journey on crypto I was going to been with the trust wallet on binance. I have set it all up but it doesn’t seem to have Monero on the wallet to transfer some bitcoin?
Glad you found it useful, Tristan!
You don’t have to get a hardware wallet, but they’re well recommended because they’re cheap, convenient, and should be more secure than using a mobile or desktop wallet (like Trust Wallet).
Not all wallets support the same cryptocurrencies. Trust Wallet supports lots of other cryptocurrencies, but not Monero (XMR) yet. There are a few dedicated wallets like MyMonero (Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS), but an alternative multi-crypto wallet that supports Monero (XMR) is Coinomi (Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android).
With Binance now accepting GBP & EUR, would you recommend buying Monero using only their platform for all transactions? For example, depositing GBP, then exchanging GBP>BTC>XMR, all through Binance. It would simplify the process, or are there reasons to avoid this approach? Thanks
No reason to avoid doing this, as it looks like you can deposit via a UK bank transfer (with no fees)
Alternatively, you can deposit GBP via a UK bank transfer (with no fees) and buy XMR on Kraken – but it will work out slightly more expensive.
Thanks for the comment though, I need to get this updated!
Thanks for taking the time to write this I appreciate it 😃
Don’t forget you can buy XMR directly via instant bank transfer from Cryptomate.
Hey! Thanks for commenting.
Fees are a little high, but I’ve thrown it into the comparison table.
I just looked and it’s saying this coin is disabled??
Thanks for commenting, Ed!
I’m seeing the same from my side. It might be a temporary thing, but I’ve removed them from the post for now until it comes back.