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What’s the fastest way to buy bitcoin?

Where to buy crypto when you just can’t wait.

In a hurry?

If there’s a bitcoin ATM near you, that’s probably the quickest way to buy bitcoin.

To buy bitcoin fast, the main thing to know is that verification is almost always the slowest part.

  • Verification is when a bitcoin service confirms your identification and details.
  • It frequently takes several business days to get verified.
  • After verification, you can usually buy bitcoin in a few minutes.

The fastest way to buy bitcoin is to do one of the following:

  • Already be verified
  • Buy somewhere that doesn’t require verification
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. 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.

Where to buy without verification

There are three main ways to buy bitcoin without verification. If any of them work for you, that might be one of the fastest ways to buy bitcoin.

    • Low-limit exchanges. Many services will let you buy a limited amount of bitcoin without verification, such as US$150 worth of bitcoin at Coinmama. If you only want a relatively small amount to start with, that might be the most efficient option.
    • Local bitcoin buying. Peer-to-peer bitcoin services, such as LocalBitcoins, are matchmakers between buyers and sellers. You can find and contact sellers directly, and pay using whatever method you agree on. This might be a good option if you can find a suitable seller and don’t mind paying a bit more than elsewhere.
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges. On some exchanges, verification is only required for fiat currency deposits or withdrawals. If you have other cryptocurrencies, you can often trade them for bitcoin with no verification. For example, you can do this at Bitfinex or Changelly.

Other than verification, you also need to consider any applicable transfer times.

How to find the quickest transfer times

To buy fast, the main transfer to worry about is your deposit. This is where you send money to the seller.

Your purchase will typically not be processed until payment is received, so a speedy deposit is important.

  • You should typically expect processing on business days and during business hours only.
  • Make your deposits earlier in the day for quicker processing. Afternoon transfers might be processed the next day instead of on the same day.

The transfer times are mostly down to your preferred payment method. Different exchanges will support different payment methods.

Payment methodHow long it usually takes
POLi bank transferNext business day
Credit card0-3 business days depending on the card, the bank and the bitcoin service
Cash at a newsagent (blueshyft)Instant
Cash at a bank branch or ATMNext business day
Flexepin voucherInstant
BPAY1-2 business days
Money transfer service (eg, Western Union or MoneyGram)1-2 days (may vary by destination country)
Wire transfer1-2 business days

How long do bitcoin transfers take?

At their fastest, bitcoin can be sent and received within minutes. However, it depends on the network load and your transaction fees.

Fortunately, once the deposit is received, you’ve locked in the order for the cryptocurrency. Even if it takes a while to arrive, it’s on its way.

How do I buy bitcoin fast after verification and deposit?

Once you’re verified and your deposit has arrived on the exchange, you can typically buy at market rates almost instantly.

To make near-instant purchases as needed and at a decent price, you might want to maintain a verified account on an exchange, with money ready to go.

What’s the downside to buying fast?

When you want to buy fast or with no verification, you’ll often need to pay premium prices. You will typically find the best value for money on large low-fee exchanges.

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