The popularity of cryptocurrencies is constantly on the rise, with the most popular digital asset, Bitcoin (BTC), reaching a new all-time high. Other altcoins such as Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are also on the rise, proving that we are witnessing the era of digital assets as an alternative to fiat money. Cryptocurrencies offer much more possibilities than traditional money and therefore represent a lucrative asset for both tech enthusiasts and businessmen. There is also an interesting trend of more and more young people being interested in crypto and even blockchain technology.
The computer gaming culture, along with different tech and programming-related platforms that attract a large number of highly computer-literate youths has become increasingly connected with the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Now gamers can buy upgrades or unlock additional content in various games by paying in Bitcoin. This is just one of the many reasons why more and more young people want to get their own cryptocurrency, like BTC. How old do you have to be to buy cryptocurrency?
Technically, you have to be at least 18 to buy cryptocurrency just because only those at a legal age can have bank accounts, sign contracts, and make transactions. However, there are ways available you can try. For that reason, we’re going to take a look at the possibilities for those under legal age enthusiasts to purchase Bitcoin, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, and the options that are at their disposal.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Crypto
Let’s make one thing clear right from the start. There isn’t any kind of legal minimum age or age limit necessary for an individual to buy BTC defined by the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin isn’t illegal, and there isn’t any reason to ban underage people from using BTC since it is a currency used for various financial transactions, just like fiat money.
We all know that it is perfectly normal to go to a grocery store or to the movies with your friends and pay with cash when you’re a minor and there aren’t any laws that prohibit underage people from using money. However, in the world of fiat currency, a minor can’t open a bank account or carry out business transactions, own a credit card or debit card, or sign contracts.
In the world of cryptocurrencies, the situation is somewhat more flexible since although many options for obtaining cryptos like Bitcoin do require you to be at least 18 years old and provide a valid ID to prove it, there are numerous options to get some BTC even if you are younger. So, to answer your question: do you have to be 18 to buy crypto?
In a way, yes and we are going to show you some of the methods you can use to buy crypto, with a focus on BTC, even though you are underage. This isn’t in any form an illegal activity, and all of the options and advice we are going to give you are perfectly above board.
How Old to Buy Bitcoin
There are lots of different options if you are underage and want to buy some Bitcoin. The fact that someone is 15 or 16 years old shouldn’t disqualify them from being able to pay and transfer crypto assets.
Crypto exchange platforms are one of the most popular methods of buying Bitcoin in general. The most popular options are known to provide a trusted, safe, efficient, and fast service to users. You don’t have to worry about something going wrong when using a popular crypto exchange because its popularity is a sure sign of top-quality service. Once you buy some BTC, you can safely store them either on the platform’s account or transfer it to a crypto wallet for additional safety.
The thing is that many of the crypto platforms require you to be at least 18 years old and they demand user ID when creating an account. Coinbase is widely known as one of the most trusted exchanges on the web. Although the platform had no age restrictions to buy and exchange assets until recently, this policy is a thing of the past now. To use Coinbase, do you need to be 18 to buy crypto?
With Coinbase yes, but you can still use such a platform to buy some crypto or transfer it elsewhere if you ask a senior family member like your parents or older siblings to create an account on the platform using their ID. Explain to them simply and honestly what you need the account for and give them a quick brief on how Bitcoin is literally the same as normal cash but with a lot more options. You aren’t doing anything illegal this way, and you get a safe method for buying crypto online.
In case you can’t get a family member to sign up on an exchange platform for you, there’s no need to panic. You can still use many top-notch crypto exchanges while being underage. Binance is another one of the most trusted exchange platforms available and it’s famous for providing users with a fast and secure exchange of cryptos. How old do you have to be to trade crypto using Binance?
While the platform does require Know Your Customer (KYC) verification when transferring or buying large volumes of crypto assets, you can actually create an account without ID verification and start trading right away. In a way, this makes the age requirement for Binance nonexistent. The only thing you need to pay attention to is the KYC limit, which is the amount you can trade Bitcoin daily without having to provide an ID.
The daily limit that doesn’t require KYC verification is 2 BTC. If we know that Bitcoin has recently reached 60.000 U.S. dollars, then it is totally clear that hardly any underage person would need to have access to a higher trading volume than 2 BTC daily. This is why Binance is a great option for buying and exchanging BTC if you are a minor.
Another practical option for buying BTC as an underage is peer-to-peer exchanges like LocalBitcoins. Peer-to-peer exchanges are simply platforms that are used to directly connect interested parties that want to buy or sell digital currency. Exchanges like LocalBitcoins merely find sellers and buyers for you, and then you freely decide which offer suits your needs. The platform facilitates a direct connection between you and the other party and you can reach an agreement on how to carry out the transfer, whether by Paypal, cash deposit, e-transfer, gift cards, or any other method.
Over-the-Counter Bitcoin Brokerage
Over-the-counter brokers are another method for underage individuals to buy or sell BTC. OTC exchanges of cryptocurrencies simply mean that the transfer isn’t facilitated by an exchange platform, but directly with a crypto broker. There are estimates that the actual crypto market is far larger than the official market capitalization statistics show. The official statistics are drawn from the transfer volume of crypto exchanges, but unknown amounts of digital assets are actually exchanged over-the-counter by brokers who deal with crypto independently of official platforms.
Crypto-related online forums or Facebook groups are good places to search for OTC brokers. The good thing with this type of brokers is that they probably won’t ask for your exact age and they won’t have a problem exchanging BTC with you.
However, you should definitely be careful when using an OTC exchange because some individuals could try to take advantage of you and persuade you to agree to a deal that isn’t in your best interest, so just be wary of scams and don’t make any quick decisions. This is why it is important to find recommendations for a trustworthy OTC broker on a web forum or social media group. If you find several people who are satisfied with a certain broker, you should contact them and give it a try.
Bitcoin ATMs are a smooth option for buying some BTC if you are underage. This option is surely among the safest, since you don’t have to deal with strangers and the whole buying process is really simple. The number of Bitcoin ATMs is far lower than that of classic bank ATMs. There are currently some 4,000 of these machines worldwide, so it might be difficult to reach one if there aren’t any in your local area. This means that you should first check on the internet to find the nearest BTC ATM and if you do manage to find one, then you are quite lucky.
All you have to do is go to the ATM with some cash and follow the rather simple instructions provided by the machine to trade your fiat money for BTC. Bitcoin ATMs do have higher fees than online crypto trading platforms (up to 8.5%), but these fees are really worth it to avoid all the extra hassle when you are a minor that wants to buy some BTC. The safety and convenience is worth the fee.
Just keep in mind that some ATMs do request ID verification in case you want to buy or sell a certain amount, but this threshold is again certainly high enough that it won’t be an issue for an underage client. This option is highly recommended for minors both for safety and simplicity.
Another safe and easy way to purchase BTC if you are a minor is to use prepaid gift cards. You can find various kinds of gift cards in super markets, convenience stores, shopping malls, and gas stations. Once you purchase a gift card such as Amazon Gift Card, iTunes Gift Card, Google Play Gift Card or any other sort of prepaid gift card, you can use it on the Paxful platform which offers several hundreds of gift card options as payment method for buying Bitcoin.
You can check the full list of supported gift cards on the Paxful website. All you have to do is buy some of these cards with cash. Then you have a fully legit and simple paying method, and you don’t have to provide any ID, which means minors can use this method to purchase BTC freely.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Few Words Before You Go…
As you can see, buying BTC can be a bit of a complex process for underage, but it is essentially simple once you get the hang of it and find the method that suits you best. The good thing is that you surely won’t have to use these methods your whole life because once you reach 18, you can buy or sell Bitcoin as much as you want and even take part in crypto trading. In the meantime, these are some of the best ways to buy BTC while you wait!