With how much it’s developed over the past few years, Bitcoin (BTC) has never been more accessible. Now, there are hundreds—if not thousands—of exchanges out there ready to help you convert your money into BTC.
However, the downside to that is that all the options can get a little overwhelming. If you’re a beginner looking to finally take that leap, the sheer amount of platforms could easily leave you second-guessing your decisions.
Some of the best options nowadays are peer-to-peer (P2P) BTC marketplaces, which allow you to trade Bitcoin with another verified user without needing an intermediary (and the extra fees that come with them) to facilitate the transaction.
Before we get into some of the best peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplaces, let’s first go over the criteria of how we’ll be judging each.
Different platforms will charge different rates, so to find one where you can get the best deals means looking for one that has lower fees.
💡 Ease of use
How easy is it to use that platform’s products and services? How beginner-friendly is their user interface?
When you talk about investments and putting actual money on the table, security will always play a big role in the choice of platform. Of course, you’ll want your hard-earned cash to be safe while it grows inside your digital wallet.
Most P2P platforms will have many payment options. However, the number of options will vary depending on the specific exchange.
The Best in the Business
To help put your mind at ease, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best peer-to-peer Bitcoin platforms on the market:
With over seven million users worldwide, Paxful is one of the best Bitcoin exchanges on the market. It has nearly 400 payment options for you to choose from, allowing you to get your BTC in practically any way you want. These ways to pay range from bank transfers to e-wallets and even to gift cards, which are some of the most popular on the platform.
Whenever you buy Bitcoin on Paxful, there are zero fees charged, making it one of the most accessible Bitcoin platforms out there. The Paxful Wallet is also protected with state-of-the-art security systems and trades are secured with escrow services, allowing you to put your mind at ease when you trade with thousands of trusted traders (who are vetted by Paxful’s moderators).
It only takes a few minutes to get started on Paxful, and you are given a free Bitcoin wallet after registering. From there, you can get right into trading or you can verify your account further to unlock even more benefits.
When it comes to ease of use, features like the Bitcoin Lightning Network allow you to send even quicker and cheaper BTC payments. In fact, many users have fully adopted this and created many real-use cases with Bitcoin. This includes sending remittances, preserving wealth, making payments, and more.
The only con to using Paxful is that sometimes, the number of payment methods, trusted traders, and offers can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are a lot of great indicators on the user interface that’ll help you decide what kind of trade you’re looking for. Additionally, Paxful has many educational materials to help guide newcomers on the platform.
LocalCoinSwap, which is also a global peer-to-peer marketplace, is also a decent option if you’re looking to buy some Bitcoin. Although they don’t offer as many payment options as Paxful, over 300 payment options are still a wide variety.
In regards to the fees on LocalCoinSwap, you only pay 1% when you create your own offers. If you’re choosing from a list of suitable offers, you won’t be paying any fees. And just like most peer-to-peer platforms, your trades are protected by a customer support team that’s available 24/7.
Joining LocalCoinSwap is easy since there are barely any KYC/AML rules. This means that you can start trading without providing any sort of identification. However, it also means that, sometimes, bad actors on the market won’t be identified as well.
WhalesHaven, although similar in nature to the other platforms on this list, is an auction-based exchange that allows you to go straight into trading tokens from different blockchains through a unique swapping process. This process will let you swap different tokens from different networks without having to set up an account and provide any personal information.
Essentially, this means that you can trade right from the get-go and have the platform secure all your trades for you. All you’ll need is a multi-sig wallet—a wallet that requires two or more private keys to make transactions—and money to start buying and selling immediately.
4. Hodl Hodl
Hodl Hodl is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange without the need for a middleman. Just like the other platforms on this list, the trades are executed solely between buyers and sellers. Using multi-sig contracts, the Bitcoin and funds are protected using an escrow system.
Where Hodl Hodl differs, however, is the fee structure. They use a multi-tiered trading fee rate system wherein everyone starts at a 0.6% trading fee. However, you can begin to decrease that trading fee by doing specific actions.
For example, if you bring other people to the platform and they sign up using your referral code, your trading fee is brought down to 0.55%. If you complete the full verification process, it’s brought down once again to 0.5%. If you’re curious to see how much your trading fees are, you’ll be able to check it at any time on your profile.
Launched in 2012, LocalBitcoins has become one of the most popular Bitcoin marketplaces out there. They’ve been around for quite some time and have built themselves a good reputation among traders.
Just like Paxful and LocalCoinSwap, LocalBitcoins boasts a wide variety of payment options. Although it’s much less compared to the previous ones, the platform allows you to buy Bitcoin with over 60 payment options.
When it comes to fees, buying Bitcoin is completely free. However, there is a 1% fee when you create an advertisement for selling.
The Choice Is Yours
In most cases, the trading experience in all these platforms will be somewhat similar since they’re all peer-to-peer platforms. What the choice will boil down to is your personal preference—which of them appeals to you the most?
If you’re intrigued by any of them, be sure to dig a little deeper to get to know the platform more. Wherever it comes to these types of decisions, extra research can go a long way. If one of them catches your eye, take a look at the team behind the platform as well as their mission and vision.
Ready to dive into the world of Bitcoin?