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How to buy Crypto or Bitcoin UK

How to buy Crypto or Bitcoin UK

Adrian Graham
Fact Checked
Aug 22, 2022

The UK is a hub for financial innovation and is home to some of the world's leading exchanges. While there are many different exchanges to choose from, not all of them offer the same features or operate in the same way.

That said, the easiest way to buy Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum in the United Kingdom is through a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) licensed exchange. We recommend a platform like eToro because they are regulated and are one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the United Kingdom.

Table of Contents

Platform Highlights

  • 80+ Cryptos and 8,000+ Stocks, ETFs & Commodities.
  • Low trading fees and fast GBP deposits via UK Bank Transfer.
  • Regulated and Licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
78% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Is Investing in Crypto legal in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, it is legal to trade and own cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released guidance on crypto assets including exchanges, wallets, and ICOs. The FCA does not consider crypto assets to be currency or money. Instead, they are classified as commodities​. This means that any crypto-related activity falls under the regulatory perimeter of the FCA.

In the United Kingdom, there is no specific legislation surrounding cryptocurrencies. However, because they are commodities, they are subject to general tax principles. For example, Crypto gains may be subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

How to Buy Crypto in the UK

You can buy or sell over 65 Cryptocurrencies with Great British Pounds (GBP) or Euros (EUR) from any bank account with eToro. Their platform is licensed by the FCA in the United Kingdom and Europe.

You can get started buying Crypto in the UK with this simple guide:

  1. Create an account: Sign up to the eToro trading platform and verify your personal or company identity in the United Kingdom.
  2. Deposit Fiat: Select the 'Deposit Funds' button at the bottom of your screen and deposit GBP or EUR via Bank Transfer, Credit Card/Debit Card, PayPal, or Skrill.
  3. Find your Asset: Select the 'Discover' page and find the crypto asset you want to buy.
  4. Execute your trade: Input the fiat amount of crypto tokens you want to buy and execute the order.
Buy Crypto eToro UK
Buying Crypto, Stocks, ETFs, and more with eToro UK.

Best Crypto Exchanges in the UK

As the popularity of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, more and more people are looking for ways to buy Bitcoin and other digital assets. In this article, we will list some of the best exchanges that allow crypto purchases with British pounds (GBP).

#1 eToro

eToro is a social trading and multi-asset brokerage platform with offices in Cyprus, Israel and the United Kingdom. The platform allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as well as to create and manage their own portfolios. eToro offers a wide range of cryptos, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, Polygon and 65 others.

The eToro platform is regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and in Cyprus by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

eToro UK
  • Available Assets: 70 Cryptocurrencies and over 7,000 Stocks, ETFs, Commodities and more.
  • Trading Fees: Zero commissions.
  • Licensing: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) & Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

#2 Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and offers a great user experience for buying crypto in the UK. The exchange accepts GBP deposits via bank transfer and credit/debit card, and fees start at 3.99% for bank transfers and 1.49% for credit/debit card purchases. Overall, Coinbase is a great option for those looking for an easy-to-use platform to buy crypto in the UK.

Coinbase UK
  • Available Assets: 150 Cryptocurrencies.
  • Trading Fees: 2.99% per trade.
  • Licensing: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

#3 Binance

Binance is another popular cryptocurrency exchange that offers a great user experience and a wide range of accepted payment methods, including GBP deposits via bank transfer, credit/debit card, and PayPal. Fees on Binance start at 0.5% and the exchange also offers a wide range of altcoins, making it a great option for those looking to buy crypto in the UK.

Binance UK
  • Available Assets: 600+ Cryptocurrencies.
  • Trading Fees: 0.5% per trade.
  • Licensing: Unclear - recently banned by the FCA.

#4 Kraken

Kraken is a well-established cryptocurrency exchange that offers a great user experience and a wide range of accepted payment methods, including GBP deposits via bank transfer and credit/debit card. Fees on Kraken start at 0.26% and the exchange also offers a wide range of altcoins, making it a great option for those looking to buy crypto in the UK.

Kraken UK
  • Available Assets: 100+ Cryptocurrencies.
  • Trading Fees: 0.26% per trade.
  • Licensing: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) & Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

#5 Bitstamp

Bitstamp is another well-established cryptocurrency exchange that offers a great user experience and accept GBP deposits via bank transfer. Fees on Bitstamp start at 0.25% and the exchange also offers a wide range of altcoins, making it a great option for those looking to buy crypto in the UK.

Bitstamp UK
  • Available Assets: 50+ Cryptocurrencies.
  • Trading Fees: 0.4% per trade.
  • Licensing: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) & Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

#6 CEX.IO

CEX.IO is a popular cryptocurrency exchange that offers a great user experience and accepts GBP deposits via credit/debit card and bank transfer. Fees on CEX.IO start at 3.5% for credit/debit card purchases and 1% for bank transfers, making it a great option for those looking to buy crypto in the UK.

CEX.io UK
  • Available Assets: 50+ Cryptocurrencies.
  • Trading Fees: 1% per trade.
  • Licensing: Unregulated - does not require KYC.

UK Trading Platforms Compared

The UK is one of the most crypto-crazy countries in the world, with over 5% of the population invested into the asset class. This demand has resulted in a wide number of cryptocurrency exchanges being built, which can make it confusing for consumers to know which one is best for them.

The table below is designed to compare the key features of the 3 best places to buy Crypto in the UK to help you decide which is best.

Buy Crypto UK eToro Buy Bitcoin Coinbase UK FTX UK
Trading Fees 0% 1.99% 0.2%
Available Coins 65+ 100+ 150+
Year Founded 2008 2013 2017
Deposit Methods Bank Transfer, Debit Card, Credit Card or PayPal Debit Card or Credit Card only Bank Transfer, Debit Card or Credit Card
Stocks/ETFs and other Assets Image Image Image
iOS/Mobile App Image Image Image
FCA Regulated Image Image Image
Overall Rating Image Image Image
Visit Website Visit eToro Visit Coinbase Visit FTX

Can I buy Crypto with Binance UK?

No, investors in the United Kingdom cannot buy cryptocurrencies with the Binance UK platform because they were banned from operating in the country by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Binance was ordered by the FCA to cease all market activities in the UK by June 30, 2022 - which means they are officially shut down in the country.

Official announcement by the FCA UK.

Are Banks in the UK Crypto-Friendly?

The short answer is, yes. UK Banks are crypto-friendly because they allow their customers to deposit and withdraw funds into FCA-licensed digital asset trading platforms.

This means that although they do not support cryptocurrency services themselves, they do allow customers to invest in the space without freezing accounts.

Adrian Graham

Co-Founder & former banker turned Full-Time DeFi analyst and researcher. Left traditional finance to pursue my interest in digital assets and decentralized finance.

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