How to Buy Cryptocurrency in United Kingdom
Buying cryptocurrency in United Kingdom
In the UK, there seems to be a unified attitude towards crypto regulation. Since the UK is no longer part of the EU, the UK now has more leeway to create its crypto-regulation framework. Currently, different government authorities influence use of cryptocurrency to some degree, but the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the main regulatory body, regulating the prudential requirements, conduct of firms and anti-money laundering control. While there is a rising number of investigations conducted by the FCA, there seem to be no serious enforcement action taken deriving from crypto. However, this might change, considering the UK's 2021 ban on selling crypto-derivatives to retail consumers. Nevertheless, the UK banking sphere is quickly expanding. In January 2020, the first Authorized Payment Institution license was issued by the FCA to a crypto firm. Basically, the firm now provides payments services (online payment processing or money transfer) across the European Economic Area.
As of 20/03/2021
These exchanges all accept customers from United Kingdom. While they broadly offer the same services and you can buy cryptocurrency at all of them, there can be differences in transaction fees, security, verification requirements, deposit methods and features, as shown below
Binance is one of the largest crypto exchanges with low fees, 100s of coins, and high trading leverage. It is one of the easiest & cheapest exchanges for crypto trading.
- Hundreds of coins and pairs
- Very low fees
- High liquidity
- Trade without verification
- No US residents
67% of retail CFD accounts lose money. Cryptoassets are unregulated in some EU countries and the UK. No consumer protection. Your capital is at risk. US Residents - eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs, only real Crypto assets available.
eToro is a social trading platform that allows you to buy into cryptocurrencies, international stocks and shares and more complex financial assets. It also have an innovative Copy Trader feature where you can choose to follow other successful traders and automatically copy their trades to hopefully share in their success
- Fully regulated financial institution
- Trade crypto, stocks and other financial assets
- Follow and copy the trades of expert traders
- Fees (spreads) are high
- Only USD as base currency
Based in Isle of Man. Over 200,000 customers with min deposit as little as £5. Simple site for getting into Bitcoin.
- Simple user interface
- Autobuy feature for regular crypto saving / DCA
- You can earn Bitcoin on your shopping with their browser extension
- Limited range of coins
- No e-wallet feature
- No live chat support
Operating since 2012, Bitfinex has a huge range of coins and trading pairs, a good user interface and low trading fees.
- Very low trading fees
- Large range of coins and trading pairs
- High liquidity
- Slow account verification
- Two major hacks
OKEx is the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by volume. It posts over $2 billion in trades daily and has over 400 trading pairs.
- Good range of coins
- DEX trading
- No hacking history
- Not available in US
- KYC required
Founded in 2017, KuCoin has already managed to establish itself as “The People’s Exchange.” With 200+ cryptocurrencies and more than 400 markets, it has become one of the hubs for cryptocurrency trading.
- Vast selection of altcoins
- Ability to stake & earn crypto yields
- Robust security features
- No forced KYC checks
- No fiat currency deposits
- Trading volume is low
Changelly allows you to trade cryptocurrency without registration or verifying the identity through KYC. Being a non-custodial exchange, Changelly doesn’t require you to keep any deposits. The platform also works as a fiat-to-crypto gateway.
- Non-custodial exchange
- Great way to switch altcoins
- Doesn’t require extensive KYC
- 2FA security and high exchange limit
- A high transaction fee of 0.5%
- Unclear owners
- Sometimes their service is quite slow
Kraken has a good reputation for security and protection of your funds and operates across the USA (except NY), Canada, the EU and Japan
- It can be used to trade against fiat options
- Robust security measures
- Free SEPA deposits in Europe
- Not a very beginner-friendly interface.
- No card deposit options
Swyftx is an AUSTRAC registered trading platform exclusively designed for Australians. Based in Queensland, the platform works like a broker to find the best Bitcoin price both in USD and AUD
- Hybrid exchange
- Instant user verification
- AUSTRAC registered
- Real-time price feed
- For Aus and NZ residents only
- No option for margin trading