Bitcoin security

How to buy bitcoin without ID in Australia

Step-by-step instructions on how to buy bitcoin and other cryptos anonymously.

As lawmakers in Australia and around the world gradually introduce tighter regulations on cryptocurrency trading, it’s becoming more difficult to buy crypto without ID.

However, if you don’t have suitable proof of ID or if you simply value your privacy, there are still some sites where you can buy cryptocurrency without completing a verification process.

Keep reading to find out how.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

Buy bitcoin without ID verification on these exchanges

The exchanges in the table below generally allow you to buy small amounts of cryptocurrency without ID. However, once you exceed the threshold amount specified by the exchange, you’ll likely need to provide proof of ID.

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
Credit card
Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, ETH, XMR, ZEC, DASH, XRP, ETC, LTC, DOGE, XLM,1ST, ADX, AMP, ANT, BAT, BCN, BNT, BTG, CFI, CVC & 70+ more
Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for more than 35 cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.
LocalBitcoins P2P Exchange
BPAY
Cash
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Flexepin
iDEAL
Neosurf
Neteller
PayPal
Perfect Money
Bank transfer (SEPA)
SWIFT
Western Union
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC
Trade fiat currency for bitcoin in person or online with this peer-to-peer exchange offering competitive fees and wide delivery options.
Paxful P2P Cryptocurrency Marketplace
Cash
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Flexepin
iDEAL
Neosurf
Neteller
PayPal
Perfect Money
SWIFT
Western Union
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC
Connect with bitcoin buyers and sellers through this peer-to-peer marketplace that accepts cash, credit and more than 300 other payment methods.
ShapeShift Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, FUN, 1ST, ANT, BAT, BNT, BLK, CVC, CLAM, DASH, DCR, DGB, DNT, DOGE, EDG, EOS, FCT, GAME & 25+ more
A global exchange where no account is needed to begin trading cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency.
Livecoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Payeer
Perfect Money
Qiwi
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, BCH, ETH, LSK, LTC, XMR, XEM, DASH, BCC, CLOAK, EMC, NEO, TIME, SHIFT, STRAT, DOGE, DTR, DGB, VOX, ESC, MONA & 140+ more
Trade at an exchange that has an extensive offering over 160 coins and numerous fiat and altcoin currency pairs.

Compare up to 4 providers

Quick guide to buying bitcoin without ID

  1. Register for an account on a P2P bitcoin marketplace.
  2. Search the list of open offers for sellers that accept in-person cash payments.
  3. Find a seller close to you.
  4. Check the seller’s reputation on the platform.
  5. Agree on a price.
  6. Arrange a time to meet somewhere public.
  7. Complete your transaction.

Three ways to buy cryptocurrency anonymously

If you want to buy cryptocurrency without ID verification, there are only a few options to choose from:

Peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces
  • Buy crypto without ID, cut out the middleman to deal direct with the seller, negotiate for the deal you want
  • You may need to settle for a higher price, could take time to find the right seller

These platforms, such as LocalBitcoins and Paxful, allow you to interact directly with other users who want to sell their crypto. Many sellers don’t require you to provide any ID before you buy, so you can arrange to meet up in person and pay cash to a local seller. Online trades are also available, but many of the payment methods used for these trades may be linked to your identity.


Why is it difficult to buy crypto without ID?

There’s a widespread misconception that cryptocurrencies are simple to purchase anonymously, but this simply isn’t true for a couple of reasons:

Increased regulation

Regulators in Australia and around the world are gradually introducing legislation that governs digital currency exchanges and the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. These laws regularly include a requirement for exchange operators to identify their customers in line with Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) regulations.

For example, since April 2018, digital currency exchanges in Australia have been required to:

  • Register and enrol their business with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
  • Adopt and maintain AML/CTF programs
  • Report suspicious matters and transactions over $10,000 to AUSTRAC
  • Keep records relating to customer identification, transactions, and their AML/CTF program

As a result of this sort of legislation in Australia and several other countries, many exchanges will now require you to provide proof of ID before you can start trading.

Bitcoin is pseudonymous, not anonymous

Because it’s possible for bitcoin users to send and receive BTC to one another without providing proof of ID, the currency is sometimes described as being anonymous. However, a more accurate way to refer to bitcoin is as a pseudonymous currency.

One commonly repeated comparison likens transacting with bitcoin to an author writing under a pseudonym – if their true identity is ever discovered, anything they wrote while using the pseudonym can be linked directly to them.

Your bitcoin address is like an author’s pseudonym, and every BTC transaction you make is stored for all eternity in a public ledger known as the blockchain. So if your bitcoin address is ever linked to your identity – something cybersecurity researchers say is quite straightforward to do – all your transactions could be traced back to you.


Why might people want to buy crypto without ID?

In the court of public opinion, there’s a widely held belief that the main reason anyone might want to buy cryptocurrency anonymously is so they can pay for all manner of illicit goods and services in the hidden corners of the dark web.

But while there’s definitely some truth in this idea – after all, anyone involved in illegal activities would have good reason to want to cover their tracks – there are also plenty of legitimate reasons why someone might want to buy bitcoin or some other crypto without any ID.

For example:

  • If you’re worried about crypto exchanges being targeted by hackers and your personal information (including your driver’s licence/passport details) being stolen
  • If you own a lot of crypto and don’t want to be targeted by thieves
  • If you don’t trust the government (this may be less of a concern in Australia, but can be a real issue for people living under authoritarian regimes)
  • If you don’t have any ID (an estimated one billion people around the world don’t have proof of identity)

Finally, there’s also the simple fact that the ID verification process on some platforms can be frustratingly slow, particularly during times of increased demand. If you want to purchase crypto as fast as possible to take advantage of an anticipated price change before it occurs, buying without ID verification might be a quicker option.


More ways to protect your privacy

If privacy is important to you, there are several steps you can take to protect your identity when sending and receiving cryptocurrency. These include:

    • Using a new address for each transaction. Using a new address for each crypto transaction is a simple way to prevent separate transactions being linked back to you as the common owner. Hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallets like the Ledger Nano S allow you to generate a new address every time you receive bitcoin.
    • Using multiple wallets. Another option to increase your anonymity when transacting with crypto is to open and maintain multiple wallets.
    • Using a mixing service. Bitcoin mixing services rely on a data anonymisation method known as CoinJoin, which basically jumbles payments from multiple users together into a single transaction. This is designed to make it much more difficult for prying eyes to determine who sent money to whom.
    • Hiding your IP address. Your IP address is a unique address for your computer that reveals where you’re connecting to the Internet. To prevent it being linked to your cryptocurrency wallet address of transactions, you can consider ways to hide your IP, such as using a VPN service or encrypting and rerouting your Internet traffic through a service like Tor.
    • Using a dedicated privacy coin. Coins like Monero and Bytecoin have built-in privacy features designed to provide anonymous transactions.
    • Taking simple privacy precautions. Be mindful of your footprint when using the crypto buying methods listed higher up this page. For example, avoid giving someone your phone number when paying cash for bitcoin on a local exchange.

Pros and cons of buying cryptocurrency without ID

Pros

  • You can keep your financial information private
  • You don’t need to go through a time-consuming ID verification process
  • Makes cryptocurrency accessible to the estimated one billion people around the world who don’t have proof of ID

Cons

  • Can often be more complicated and inconvenient than simply buying with ID on a conventional crypto exchange
  • You may need to settle for a higher price
  • You can usually only buy a small amount of crypto before being asked to provide ID
  • Many cryptocurrencies aren’t actually anonymous, so your transaction could potentially be linked to your identity
  • There’s always the risk that your desire to remain anonymous attracts suspicion and unwanted attention

Bottom line

Whatever your reason for wanting to buy crypto without ID, there are several options available. However, each of those methods comes with a varying level of risk and its own pros and cons, and you’ll usually need to pay an additional premium to get the privacy you want. Make sure you research all of your options before deciding on the safest approach.

Compare exchanges that don't require ID

FAQs

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Image: Shutterstock

Disclosure: As of October 2018 the author holds ADA, ICX, IOTA, POWR and XLM.

Tim Falk

A freelance writer with a passion for the written word, Tim loves helping Australians find the right home loans and savings accounts. When he's not chained to a computer, Tim can usually be found exploring the great outdoors.

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