8 Best Ways to Buy Bitcoin in the UK (2021)

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What are the best ways to buy bitcoin in the UK?

There are loads of options available, but many aren’t competitively priced.

In this quick list, I’ll show you where you can buy bitcoin in the UK without getting completely and unnecessarily ripped off.

Here’s a peek at the best options in the UK:

Ready? Let’s go!

8 Best Ways to Buy Bitcoin in the UK

1. Coinbase Pro

Since the introduction of British Pound (GBP) deposits via Faster Payments, Coinbase Pro has been one of the cheapest ways to buy bitcoin in the UK with a UK bank transfer.

Coinbase was the first major bitcoin exchange that was granted an e-money license. This was a big deal at the time, as no other (major) cryptocurrency exchange used to offer GBP deposits via Faster Payments. It means that you can make a simple UK bank transfer to deposit GBP into Coinbase.

The bottom line?

  • You can now send GBP to Coinbase and it’ll be credited within minutes.
  • You’ll be able to buy bitcoin at the best possible rate and without incurring high fees (max 0.5% trading fee).

There’s only one catch. If you’ve never used a cryptocurrency exchange before, it might be a little intimidating to buy bitcoin using something like this.

If you want more details about this, check out my guide to buying bitcoin in the UK. (It includes a walkthrough of the entire process.)

Coinbase WebsiteGuide: Buy Bitcoin in the UK

2. Kraken

Kraken allows you to buy bitcoin (and lots of other cryptocurrencies) at the real exchange rate without paying more than 0.26% in fees.

You can deposit GBP into Kraken with a UK bank transfer (via Faster Payments) without incurring any fees. After your initial deposit, anything you transfer over to Kraken from the same bank account should be credited on the same day (but there’s no guarantee of this).

Kraken also allows you to deposit GBP instantly with a credit or debit card. Although this is convenient, it’s NOT one of the cheapest ways to buy bitcoin with a debit card or credit card in the UK.

You’ll be charged 0.0005 BTC (about £12) to withdraw any amount of bitcoin from your Kraken account. This seems a little steep. To put this into context, I’ve recently been charged less than a few pounds to withdraw bitcoin from Coinbase Pro.

Check out Kraken’s website to learn more about what they offer.

Kraken Website

3. CoinJar

CoinJar is a cryptocurrency broker (founded in 2013) which makes it easy to buy bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) with a UK bank transfer.

You’ll be charged a 1% fixed fee when you buy or sell bitcoin on CoinJar, but you’ll also be quoted bitcoin prices that are a little above the real exchange rate. When I tested it out recently, I found that I’d paid a total of about 1.2% in fees (which is competitive).

Deposits are credited in minutes and its intuitive interface makes it simple and easy to use.

Read my review or check out their site for more details.

CoinJar WebsiteCoinJar Review

4. Luno

Established in 2013, Luno is a UK-based cryptocurrency broker that’s made it simple to buy bitcoin (and a small number of other cryptocurrencies).

If you deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer, you’ll be charged a fixed fee of 1.5% when you buy or sell bitcoin. When I’ve used Luno, I’ve found that they quoted prices that were close to the real exchange rate.

You can also buy bitcoin with a debit card or credit card on Luno. But if you do, you’ll be charged a fixed fee of 3.5% instead. I don’t see much point in paying a premium like when GBP I deposited with a UK bank transfer was credited in about 20 minutes.

Read my review for more details.

Luno WebsiteLuno Review

5. Gemini

Gemini was founded in the US in 2014, but has only been available in the UK since August 2020. It currently allows you to buy bitcoin and 39 other cryptocurrencies with GBP.

You’ll be charged a 1.49% transaction fee if you buy more than £150 of bitcoin, but the prices you’re quoted include an extra 0.5% in fees. If you’re looking to buy smaller chunks, then you’ll be charged higher fees than this.

You can deposit GBP into Gemini for free with a UK bank transfer, but I’ve found that it takes hours for it to be credited to your account – which is slower than many other places I’ve tested.

It’s also not the cheapest place to buy bitcoin with a debit card or credit card (3.49% extra fees).

Read my review for more information about them.

Gemini WebsiteGemini Review

6. Solidi & Bittylicious

Solidi and Bittylicious are both well-recommended UK-based options that allow you to buy bitcoin in the UK with a simple GBP bank transfer.

Both operate in much the same way:

  • You plug in how much you’d like to buy and then you’ll be matched with the cheapest registered broker (who can fulfil that order).
  • Once you’ve sent the money to the broker’s bank account, the funds are released from an escrow (held by Solidi/Bittylicious) to your wallet.

Using either option is fast, easy, and painless.

I’ve used both options interchangeably – depending on who is the cheapest. Rates usually float somewhere around 1.5 – 2% above the actual BTC-to-GBP exchange rate (which is competitive).

Check out my Solidi review or Bittylicious review for details.

Solidi Review Bittylicious Review

7. Coinfloor

Coinfloor has been around since 2013, which makes it the longest established UK bitcoin exchange. They’re a reputable exchange, which seems especially popular with traders, brokers, and large investors.

It supports UK bank transfers (via Faster Payments), which means that GBP deposits should be quickly credited to your Coinfloor account. It provides you with access to the real BTC-to-GBP exchange rate, but there are trading fees of 0.3% for low-volume users. On top of this, there’s a fixed fee of £2.50 for each deposit you make.

This isn’t too bad if you’re buying large chunks. If you deposited and bought £1000 worth of bitcoin on Coinfloor, you’d only pay about 0.55% in fees. That’s about the same as Coinbase. However, it currently has a 0.0005 BTC withdrawal fee.

Coinfloor Website

8. Localbitcoins

Localbitcoins homepage header

Localbitcoins is a peer-to-peer (P2P) trading site which allows you to exchange local currencies for bitcoin. It allows buyers/sellers to post adverts which set the exchange rate and the desired payment method. Other sellers/buyers can browse and reply to these adverts.

There are many different payment methods available. Some examples:

  • Bank transfer (Faster Payments)
  • Debit & Credit Card
  • PayPal
  • Western Union
  • Altcoins (e.g., DASH, XRP, XMR)
  • Gift cards

You’ll have to verify your identity to buy more than a small amount. Lots of bitcoin sellers will ask for ID verification (to comply with rules/regulations).

Localbitcoins was founded in 2012 and still remains popular in the UK and around the world.

Localbitcoins Website

What Do You Think?

What do YOU think is the best way to buy bitcoin in the UK?

Is there somewhere cheaper, faster, or easier which I should check out?

Let me know in the comments section below!

Notes

Disclaimer

I’m not a financial advisor and nothing I write on this website should be construed as financial advice.

For more details, check out my full disclaimer.

What do other websites recommend?

If you search for “Buy Bitcoin in the UK”, you’ll find some strange recommendations sprinkled around.

I was interested in what popped up the most, so I counted up all the services mentioned at least twice in the top 10 search results.

In aggregate, these suggestions don’t look too bad.

WebsiteMentions
Coinbase3
Binance3
Kraken2
CoinJar2
Gemini2
Crypto.com2
Localbitcoins2
CEX2
Coinmama2
Bitcoin ATMs2
Revolut2
Why isn't my favourite service included in this list?

Let me know in the comments section below if your favourite option isn’t listed!

47 thoughts on “8 Best Ways to Buy Bitcoin in the UK (2021)”

  1. Hello Dean – I am so daunted by Crypto but your insightful guide has shed much needed light. Sorry for this utterly novice question but I want to invest some money in Bitcoin and I’m not in it to make a quick killing, I’m in it for as long as it takes essentially, however assuming my UK bank will honour a transfer of funds to one of these Crypto exchanges, when it is, in my view time to sell Bitcoin, will the Crypto exchange simply credit back my bank account, less withdrawal trading fees etc ?

    Reply
    • Glad you’ve found this post useful, Philip!

      There are some exceptions, but you should be able to exchange your bitcoin back to GBP in the same place you originally bought it. You can then withdraw these funds to your bank account with a UK bank transfer.

      For example, UK users can sell bitcoin on Coinbase Pro at the real exchange rate without paying more than 0.5% in fees. You can then withdraw that GBP to your bank account without paying any fees (and it should normally arrive within 24 hours).

      Reply
  2. Hi thanks for all the info, very helpful.

    A mate in Australia uses an App called Acorns I think, it rounds up purchases and trades in shares/crypto for you, it waits until there is say £25 dollars saved then buys stock in background, is there any app in UK that offers this? Looking for a regular investing method on money I wouldn’t miss if you know what I mean.

    Thanks
    Phil

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting, Phil!

      Check out Revolut’s “Vaults” feature. Whenever you buy something using your Revolut debit card, you can configure it to convert the spare change from the transaction into bitcoin or more than a dozen other cryptocurrencies and store it in a separate area (i.e., the vault) inside the app. You can also multiply the spare change that is saved (up to 10x).

      The downside is that you’ll pay 2.5% in fees (if you’re not a premium member) whenever you make a cryptocurrency trade on Revolut. As highlighted in this post, there are multiple places where you can get a better deal! For this to work, you’d also have to make all your day-to-day transactions through your Revolut account.

      Check out this comment in a /r/Bitcoin thread for some alternative options. I haven’t explored any of these options in-depth yet, but I am a little concerned with how much visibility they would have of users’ accounts and transactions.

      Reply
  3. Hello,
    Firstly, big thanks for making cryptocurrency more accessible to the masses!

    My question is whether the above suggestions for Bitcoin also apply more generally to other coins as well. I was interested in trying Coinbase as this is probably the most popular one for Bitcoin. Overall, would you say that Coinbase is one of the best for beginners and for other coins other than BTC?
    Cheers!

    Reply
    • No worries, Gavin – I’m glad you’ve found it useful!

      FYI: there’s an important distinction between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro:

      • Coinbase has a simple and easy-to-use interface that’s great for first-time buyers. However, you’ll be charged quite high fees (about 2% if you deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer and use that to buy bitcoin).
      • Coinbase Pro is aimed at more experienced users, which probably means it’s going to be harder for a beginner to use. However, you’ll be charged lower fees (max 0.5%).

      In short, Coinbase is decent. However, I’d also consider CoinJar and Luno. Both have beginner-friendly interfaces, but charge lower fees than Coinbase.

      However, Coinbase supports more cryptocurrencies than CoinJar (which currently supports 24) and Luno (which currently supports 6) – which might make the difference if you’re looking to get your hands on things other than bitcoin.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any follow-ups!

      Reply
  4. Thanks for this article,

    Just a quick question, i’ve started to buy some Crypto on Coinbase as i had account already set up couple years ago… but it doesn’t cover all the coins… what other platform would you suggest? only buying in small amounts for now.

    Reply
  5. Hello there I am so happy to find this, which offers UK specific and beginner-friendly information. I started to learn a lot.

    Now I am seriously considering investing cryptocurrency (mainly bitcoin?) regular basis with a small amount (a couple of hundred pound max per month) for next 5 to 10 years. Are there any way to invest daily/weekly with a fixed amount of money automatically in a cost-effective way? (Dollar-Cost Averaging)

    Are there any brokers/banks offer this kind of automatic regular investment?

    I am a newbie; any input is welcome, thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Glad you’ve found the site useful, Sutem!

      Check out Coinfloor Autobuy. Just requires a standing order from your bank account to them. You’ll then pay 2% in fees (and be charged the real exchange rate) whenever a purchase is made. Simple and hands-off approach, but only supports bitcoin.

      There are a few places that allow you regularly buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (i.e., dollar-cost average), but they tend to pull funds from your cash balance on the service (which means you need to top it up) or your debit/credit card (which usually means you’ll pay higher fees). If you don’t mind this, then three alternatives are Coinbase, Gemini, and Luno.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  6. Hi Dean,

    Firstly, thank you for doing and maintaining this site. It is by far the best resource for beginners like me.

    Please can you help with the following:

    • What is the cheapest and safest way to purchase a bitcoin? I have read your post and looking at either Coinbase Pro or Crypto.com. Revolut only allows £1k per month before charging but I’m assuming bank transfer of EUR to Crypto.com still okay?
    • You mentioned Kraken but it’s not listed on your preferred list?
    • Is Crypto.com cheaper to sell/withdraw bitcoin than Coinbase?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Sorry for the slow reply, Pete!

      I prefer Coinbase Pro for a few reasons:

    • You can deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer (free).
    • Buy BTC and other cryptocurrencies directly with GBP.
    • You can get the real exchange rate and the fees are low (max 0.5%).
    • BTC withdrawal fees are super-competitive. Other places (including Crypto.com) are charging over £10, but Coinbase has managed to keep them low (under £5 whenever I’ve used it recently).
    • Customer service on cryptocurrency exchanges tends not to be the greatest. If you have a problem, it can take a while to get solved.

      Kraken is good too. Just as reputable as Coinbase Pro, with slightly lower fees and support for more cryptocurrencies. I don’t use them much – mainly because I’m more familiar with alternatives. I don’t think their interface is great either. Regardless, still one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in the UK.

      Coinbase Pro doesn’t have a fixed Bitcoin (BTC) withdrawal rate, but I’ve been charged under £5 when I’ve checked recently. The Crypto.com app charges a fixed rate of 0.0004 BTC (about £15). Binance charges about the same.

      Thanks for the great comment!

      Reply
  7. Thanks a lot for the guide!!

    What are your thoughts on LocalCoinSwap? It seems similar to Localbitcoins but the platform looks nicer and has more payment options. I used them for my first BTC purchase and the seller was very helpful.

    Also fo you have any recommendations on wallets that I can access on both my mobile and my computer?

    Reply
    • Glad you liked it, Anna!

      LocalCoinSwap doesn’t seem like it has competitive prices (the cheapest I can currently see is 3.8% above the real exchange rate). If you want to use a peer-to-peer market, I think that you’ll normally find more competitive rates on Localbitcoins or Paxful.

      I’m quite liking Blue Wallet (available on iOS, Android, and macOS) right now. But I’ve added some of the other bitcoin wallets I like to this resource list.

      Reply
  8. Thanks for your very informative article. I have never invested in cryptocurrency but after reading your article. I am thinking of doing so but need a bit more information.

    How do I know when is the right time to sell or to buy more cryptocurrency? In other word how do I intelligently follow the market and what signal will guide my investment decision such as when to buy and when to sell?

    Some people talk about never selling their cryptocurrency. What is the benefit of keeping ones cryptocurrency indefinitely?

    Ibrahim

    Reply
    • Glad you found the post useful, Ibrahim!

      Head over to this post – I think it might help.

      And why wouldn’t some people want to ever sell? It really comes back to the approach/goals of the person. If you have long-term belief in a project and think the price of its coin/token will go up, then why would you ever sell? Although you can attempt to trade cryptocurrencies and time the market perfectly, you might mess it up and end up losing some of your holdings. Is it worth the risk? Some people think it is, some don’t – it all comes down to your situation (e.g. do you have the time and ability to trade and reduce this risk?) and preferences (e.g. thoughts about technical analysis, your goals, etc).

      These are great questions, but the answers depend on your situation/goals. Regardless, hope this helps a little!

      Reply
    • Hi Marcus!

      The minimum amount depends on which platform you’re using – but it tends to be quite low.

      For example: On Coinbase Pro, the minimum order amount on BTC markets is currently 0.001 BTC (about £25 at the time of writing).

      Reply
    • Hi, let me know one thing.I want to buy and hold dogecoin 🐕 but confused about where to buy it and what’s the future of dogecoin?? I am in UK so guide me if this is possible to buy digital currency through a bank??? What is a wallet?

      Reply
  9. Hey thanks for such a great guide! Ive found cryptocurrency quite daunting but have wanted to get involved for sometime. I stumbled across this blog while researching crypto via Revolut – something I will now be stopping.

    I was just wondering if buying through Crypto.com is all I need to do or do I need to source a wallet as well? I apologise for the beginner level question. Any advice would be great

    Reply
    • Glad you’ve found it useful, Ciaran!

      Yep, it’s a shame that Revolut has failed to introduce cryptocurrency deposits/withdrawals – even around 3 years after they introduced crypto support inside the app! There are loads of places that have lower fees too.

      Most of the places where you can buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have custodial wallets that you can use. This means that you can send, receive, and store cryptocurrency with them. This is the easiest option, but it does mean that you’re trusting them with your cryptocurrency – which introduces risks (e.g. funds get stolen, they restrict your access to it, etc.).

      Getting your own wallet negates these risks, but you then become responsible for keeping it secure. Lots of people recommend hardware wallets (see here for some of the options available), but you can pickup a desktop or mobile wallet too. If you’re just looking at bitcoin, then check out this for some of the more popular/reputable options.

      I tend to leave small amounts of my cryptocurrency in custodial wallets – just because it’s convenient and I have easy access to it.

      Hope this helps. Good luck in your crypto adventures!

      Reply
    • Hi I’m also a beginner & I use Coinbase they supply an internal wallet which your Bitcoin goes to automatically when you buy it via bank transfer, debit/credit or PayPal. I have been looking around to see if I’m on a good platform & it seems I am according to this site & also Martin at money super saver ( I think it’s called) also what I said above about the wallet on Coinbase I am fairly sure I’m right but maybe double check as I’m a bit of a novice.
      Iv been with the for 2 years but only dabbled now & then till recently and I haven’t purchased a wallet I just use Coinbase & when I buy Bitcoin via bank transfer it goes straight into a place called Bitcoin wallet :). Until recently I wasn’t even aware I should have a special wallet so maybe I’m just lucky or I’m doing it right but Coinbase are strict on security so I think you’ll be safe with them.
      Good luck 🤞

      Reply
      • Thanks for sharing your experience, Cleo!

        Coinbase is a popular and reputable company, with some serious investment in security. It’s obviously in their continued interests to ensure that everyone’s money remains safe too, but there is also insurance for the 2% of consumer cryptocurrency balances that they say they keep online (see here).

        However, I still think that taking custody of your cryptocurrency is important so that you have 100% control over it. But I do understand the reasons why people prefer to just leave it with Coinbase (simpler, easier, and free).

        Reply
  10. The problem at the moment is not which exchange to use but rather how to get YOUR Money onto the exchanges in the first place. It seems that most UK bank accounts are simply either ignoring completely your wish to make a payment to the Exchanges or in the case of Barclays flagging a fraud warning and disconnecting internet banking, involving then at least an hours wait to get internet banking re-instated and still not making the payment. I have had a note put on my account, so now at least they don’t cut internet banking but if I try to make a payment it is credited back to the account before it is taken. Perhaps I should try a payment of around a million pounds and then hopefully earn interest for the fraction of a second that my account is credited 🙂 Anybody else? or has Bitcoin been excluded now from the general masses?

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting, Dazz!

      I’ve read lots of experiences people have had with UK banks and it’s not 100% consistent. For example, I’ve been told by BC Bitcoin that Barclays is one that is more crypto-friendly and they experience fewer issues with!

      Something that I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere is to open a secondary account which is just for buying and selling cryptocurrency. At least then you won’t get locked out of your main bank account (even temporarily).

      Reply
      • Cheers for sharing your experience, Paul!

        To my knowledge, Revolut is still allowing people to send EUR to places like Crypto.com – but I have noticed that more and more places are not allowing money to be credited if it’s sent from this app (e.g. Kraken, Binance).

        Reply
    • Trying to buy Crypto in the UK is a nightmare! The banks are running scared as the ultimate conclusion of the uptake of crypto is that they are redundant and disappear. I hope so!

      Has anyone in the UK managed to buy crypto – I know I can do the Euros route via Revolut but why the hell should I have to jump through so many hoops to spend MY OWN money how I choose!

      I could change bank but how long before they all stop debit card deposits or purchases of crypto?

      Reply
      • Thanks for commenting, Nick!

        I don’t have a HSBC account myself, but it seems like they’re blocking a lot of payments to cryptocurrency brokers and exchanges. Along with Lloyds, HSBC seems quite anti-crypto in the UK.

        Finding a good alternative is difficult though, as you will find a lot of conflicting experiences that people are having with the same banks. I’m working on a more comprehensive post about this, but the most crypto-friendly bank that keeps popping up is Barclays. But even with this, I’ve found reports from people online having issues – but probably your best shot.

        Two warnings though:

        • If you sign-up for a new bank account and then immediately send money to an exchange, it might raise some red flags.
        • If you use a debit card to make a deposit/payment to somewhere crypto-related, then the payment might be more likely to get flagged. This is just another reason to use a UK bank transfer instead.

        Revolut is still a valid option for sending EUR cheaply and easily. I feel your pain though – it’s not ideal.

        Hope this helps a little. Keep me updated with where you end up on this!

        Reply
  11. Hi Dean,

    In your opinion, is Coinbase Pro or Kraken the best to buy Bitcoin in the UK currently with regards to fees and price combined?

    Also what are your thoughts on BlockFi?

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting, Richard!

      Crypto.com is still top of the pack as it’s 0% fees and nothing hidden in the exchange rate. I suspect that will change, but I continue to take advantage of it.

      I’m going to switch over to Kraken in the future – as it now supports GBP deposits, has deposit fees, and has trading fees which are half that of Coinbase Pro (for small volume). On the flip side, I’ve never had a problem with Coinbase Pro and I’ve always been impressed by how quickly deposits are credited once you’ve made your first deposit (within minutes).

      I like BlockFi and use it myself – but I’m still not 100% comfortable leaving too much in there. You can find out more in my BlockFi review, but let me know if you have specific questions about it.

      Reply
  12. Hi Dean.
    Great guides which I’ve come back to many times over the years, thanks!
    Can I ask the most cost-effective way to currently sell BTC in the UK?
    Harry

    Reply
    • Harry, glad you’ve found the site useful over the years!

      The most cost-effective way to sell BTC is still to use something like Coinbase Pro (up to 0.5% trading fees, real market rate) or Kraken (up to 0.26%, real market rate). Both support GBP deposits/withdrawals and have decent trading volume.

      You could also use the Crypto.com app. With this, you can sell at the real market rate with 0% fees. I don’t expect this will last forever, but it seems like a good choice while it does. However, one downside is that they take days to process GBP withdrawals.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Reply
  13. Thanks Dean. Revolut don’t allow transfers to Bitstamp any more. Their customer service just told me that the information on their website is out of date.

    Reply
    • Hi Jon,

      Thanks for commenting and letting me know! I’ll look into it. It’s quite strange, as I believe that Bitstamp was Revolut’s partner for providing cryptocurrency via their app!

      If you don’t want to use Coinbase Pro or Wirex, you could always check out Kraken. They support GBP deposits via UK bank transfer and have reasonable deposit and trading fees.

      Thanks again for letting me know!

      Reply
    • I don’t think that’s accurate. I transferred GBP to Bitstamp from Revolut only yesterday! To be frank though, since Bitstamp started accepting GBP deposits earlier this year, there is no need for the Revolut step to convert to Euros.

      I last sent EUR from Revolut to Bitstamp on 4th June. Been sending GBP ever since.

      Reply
      • Thanks for commenting, Jimbo!

        You’re right. With more exchanges now supporting GBP deposits via Faster Payments, there really isn’t any need to use Revolut to convert GBP to EUR and send SEPA transfers to crypto exchanges.

        And that’s good timing! Revolut’s fee-free exchange limits having slowly been going down unless you upgrade to a premium account. You can now only use Revolut to exchange £1000 worth of currency every month for free (it was £5000 in 2017). They also upped the fees for exchanging currencies on a weekend (was 0.5%, now 1%).

        The only reason I still prefer using Coinbase Pro over Bitstamp is that they don’t charge any BTC withdrawal fees (currently about £5 to withdraw from Bitstamp).

        Reply
  14. Hey Dean,

    Love your site. Would be great to get your thoughts on Blockchain’s exchange they just launched, “The PIT” and how that stacks up for UK customers.

    Reply

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