Buying coins in the UK? Try Bittylicious

Thursday 02 July 2015

If you live in the UK then buying bitcoins isn’t easy. These guys are a good workaround.

The UK’s government might be vocally pro-crypto, but its banks aren’t. That means there are few decent bitcoin exchanges around, and the ones that are haven’t had time to become well established. You’ll probably also find yourself hit by high fees for deposits/withdrawals. Of course, you can still send money to Bitstamp or another Euro exchange, but again that’s expensive - especially for small amounts. It you want to buy 0.1 BTC, you’ll end up paying almost the same fiat equivalent in bank charges.

Read also: PayExpo - what FinTech really wants from crypto

Bittylicious

Bittylicious: helping bitcoiners avoid bankster-sanctioned extortion since 2013

Bittylicious are a great service for near-instant purchases. It’s all done peer-to-peer, with a reputation system of approved sellers to make sure you don’t get caught out by fraudsters. 

It’s really simple to buy coins from them. I earn my crypto nowadays, but back in January 2014 when I first decided to find out what all the bitcoin buzz was about, these guys made it really easy for me to spend a few pounds and get hold of my first fractions of a bitcoin (and it was a small fraction: those were still the $900 days).

For small amounts, you don’t even need to sign up. You will need online banking and/or a form of mobile money like PAYM, Barclay’s Pingit, or Natwest’s Pay Your Contact. (You can use a credit or debit card, but you’ll need to have it 3D verified and you’ll need to sign up too.)

All you do is enter the amount you want to buy, the payment method you want to use and an email address, and hit the buy button. You’ll then be taken to a page of payment details, with a countdown timer (typically 30 minutes) to make the transaction. When you’ve done it, the vendor transfers to coins to your address. The whole thing can take as little as 2 minutes.

One caveat: you have to follow instructions carefully. If you’re not someone who reads the fine detail, you risk trouble. For example, you’ll be given an exact payment reference to use if you’re doing an online transfer, along with the warning: ‘If you send a payment to us with a reference of Bitcoin,Bittylicious or similar, you risk your account being closed. Please use the reference listed below.’ (Yes, the banks really do hate bitcoin that much.)

The other thing to remember is that there’s a bit of a premium over the most liquid exchanges. You probably end up paying 5 or 6% more than on Bitstamp, which is fair enough for this kind of service. Even for large sums, that’s probably the hit you’ll take transferring money to Bitstamp anyway, given the extortionate fees and ludicrous exchange rates imposed.


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