Buy bitcoins for cash at any bank in Europe

Tuesday 22 September 2015

A man walks into a bank and says, ‘Give me some bitcoins.’ ‘Sure,’ says the cashier.

It sounds like a joke, but as it happens it is now possible to buy bitcoins and other popular cryptocurrencies by walking into any bank branch in Europe and making a cash deposit.

Read also: Coinffeine - first decentralised bitcoin exchange

Before you get too excited, it’s worth clarifying that this isn’t a service offered directly by the banks themselves - even the European banks aren’t that enlightened (and the US and UK, well, forget it...).


Remember this: actual physical money? Now, you can take it to a bank and use it to pay for bitcoins.

Instead, it’s a new initiative by Austrian bitcoin outfit Coinimal, which has quickly established itself as a major crypto broker. Unlike exchanges, brokers buy and sell to customers themselves, rather than matching customer buy and sell orders. Amongst other things, that means it’s possible to buy and sell large amounts without slippage, especially with some notice.

Coinimal’s cash2coin service makes bitcoin accessible for anyone with an internet connection. It’s not necessary to use online banking, or even to have a bank account. Customers sign up with Coinimal, then place a cash2coin order on the site. They are given a PDF receipt, which includes a code. This can be printed out, copied down by hand or simply displayed on a smartphone.

All that is then required is to go to any bank branch and fill out a deposit slip, including the receipt code, and pay in the cash value of the bitcoins ordered. When the money clears and is received by Coinimal, the bitcoins are automatically released to the customer’s account. It’s that simple.

It’s not the fastest option for buying bitcoins, because cash deposits in banks can take up to three working days to clear. But it is convenient, and there is a degree of privacy in the process, since no bank account is needed - though Coinimal customers will need regular verification, after which they can trade up to €5,000 per day. It’s the kind of service your granny could use, and a great workaround that combines the convenience of the banking system with the advantages of cash purchase.

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