If you thought that getting into the crypto space was hard, try exchanging Bitcoin to fiat for the first time. You will come face to face with a number of twisted issues from choosing the best platform to sell location-wise, to comparing all sorts of cashing out methods. What exactly are you looking for? Good old cash or bank transfer? Or maybe bank card withdrawal is the only option you consider? What price are you willing to pay for your safety?

Choosing a perfect Bitcoin exchange is hard enough and finding the right Bitcoin exchange to sell your Bitcoin is twice as hard. But don’t worry, we are here to help you out. 

Sell Bitcoin via Exchanges

Exchanges, aka the holy sites of the Bitcoin industry, might come in handy when you want to sell your digital assets and get fiat in exchange. Despite being reliable intermediaries, they have a couple of downsides.

  • Lack of privacy
  • You need to trust them with your sensitive data
  • Variety of commission fees and limits
  • Dependency on locations and only a few Bitcoin withdrawal methods

Technically, the process of selling Bitcoin via exchanges is not that difficult and very safe. 

KYC

Creating an account on a legitimate Bitcoin exchange will require you to share some info. When dealing with fiat through the centralized Bitcoin exchanges, prepare to pass the KYC. Apart from taking a photo of your ID, you may be asked to provide a selfie with a bank card or a proof of address doc. The set of documents will vary depending on the exchange itself, its local legal obligations or how suspicious your documents look. Occasionally, exchanges go as far as organizing a video call. But if you’ve got nothing to hide, that shouldn’t scare you off. Although we do admit that it might be inconvenient. 

Sealing the deal

Once this step is finished, you will be able to place your price offer (this basically means the amount of Bitcoin or other crypto you’re willing to exchange and how much fiat you’re willing to get in exchange). As soon as the exchange finds an appropriate match for your offer, it finalizes the deal. 

Withdrawing fiat

Major exchanges usually do not have liquidity problems and you won’t have to wait for ages when you want to cash out your Bitcoin. However, there are limits on how many Bitcoin you can exchange daily or monthly. 

Different exchanges offer different withdrawal methods from direct transfer to your bank card, to SEPA or SWIFT transfers. The payment options depend heavily on your location. Sometimes, it can be wise to look for better local alternatives. 

And then, obviously, there are the fees. When you’re selling Bitcoin, prepare for higher commissions than usual. Some exchanges work with a fixed price amount which can be as high as $50, which is clearly unreasonable if you want to cash out a small amount. 

Check the Bitcoin withdrawal price fees beforehand!

Finally, we want to remind you not to store your assets on exchanges. Always use a safe wallet – like, for instance, Lumi Wallet – to hold your funds. 

Sell Bitcoin via ATM

Everything is great about Bitcoin ATMs, except for two things: you need to find one, and their commission fees. The good news is that you can sell Bitcoin for cash, but cash comes with a higher price. Unfortunately, these days when you try to sell Bitcoin via ATM, full anonymity is no longer a thing. You’re going to need to verify your identity one way or another. 

Bitcoin ATMs might be few, but there is certainly no lack of services that allow you to find the nearest Bitcoin ATM. Go ahead and try your luck, there is a chance that there’s that rare Bitcoin ATM in your neighborhood so selling Bitcoin will never be an issue for you anymore (just kidding, you still need to beware of the fees and high prices they set)!

Some of the Bitcoin ATMs offer only the buying option, while others allow you to sell Bitcoin and get instant cash. You will need to use your Bitcoin wallet in order to send funds to the address provided by the machine, and prepare to wait for a little. Usually, you need to go through just one confirmation but it may take up to 6 confirmations. Once that’s done, you get your cash and walk away happily. 

The reality is that until now, it’s a lot easier to buy Bitcoin via ATM than to sell it for cash. And if you do manage to find a machine that does that, prepare to pay the price. Additionally, the business is getting more and more looked into and is becoming strictly regulated, so you have to mind the ATM location as well.

Sell Bitcoin via Over-the-Counter Platforms (localbitcoins)

Localbitcoins is one of the pioneers of the over-the-counter Bitcoin trade. Platforms like this allow you to exchange your Bitcoin for fiat (via cash, bank or credit card transfer) directly with another person. The role of the platform is to provide a safe environment so that both parties are confident they can trust each other.

Localbitcoins started as an anonymous and independent platform, but at the moment you have to pass KYC procedures to use it. After that, you can set up a seller’s account and roll out your Bitcoin selling offers and set your own prices. Potential buyers will contact you to discuss the details of the exchange. Another good thing about localbitcoins is that you can choose between a whole variety of payment options from cash to specific bank cards. And just like with everything else, it all comes down to your location. 

Although it seems like quite a reliable way to exchange your Bitcoin to fiat in your country of residence, the price of the deal is usually not the most attractive one. The rates depend mostly on the payment method and the cheapest ones like bank transfers or cash are, at the same time, the riskiest. 

Moreover, cash payments obviously assume meeting a buyer in person which can be quite dangerous despite the website being a reputable system. 

Although localbitcoins is a reputable platform that has been around for quite some time, you should never forget about common sense. 

Sell Bitcoin in Person

Here’s our advice: don’t try to sell Bitcoin to another person for cash, unless it’s someone you know well. The idea of completely anonymous transaction avoiding any banks or other third-parties is brilliant, we get it. This is what Bitcoin is supposed to be about. However, dealing with strangers does not always end well and it’s basically as safe as gambling. 

All kinds of scammers come out when there is no bank or other authority involved. Don’t chase a better price, your safety should always come first.

The Bottom Line

Exchanges remain the safest solution for all your Bitcoin-related needs, selling and exchanging to fiat included. Decide which cash-out option fits you most (bank transfers or credit card withdrawals) and choose the one that works best for your location. Bitcoin ATMs could be a decent alternative, although the prices are higher and the biggest quest is to find one nearby. Marketplaces like localbitcoins offer a huge variety of payment methods, some of which are quite pricey. Avoid selling your Bitcoin directly to some random people online or in person.

Regardless of which Bitcoin selling option you choose, make sure you keep your digital funds safe. 

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