How to Buy Bitcoin with Cash at the Corner Store
If you’ve ever wondered where you can buy bitcoin — and whether you can do so in your own neighborhood, like at a corner store — the answer is yes!
There are more and more ways for you to buy bitcoin at a store, from apps that interact with the cashier to paper receipts printed from a coin collection kiosk. You can also use a peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange and have the seller meet you at a store, or ask them to wire it to your neighborhood superstore via Walmart2Walmart or MoneyGram transfer.
But let’s be honest … P2P exchanges are risky and require you to have a lot of blind trust in the seller. How do you really know they’ll send you the right amount of bitcoin, or at a fair price? Why would you want to do financial transactions with a stranger in the first place, let alone go meet them somewhere?
And buying bitcoin from the cashier at CVS is a bit complicated, because you have to download an additional app, start a purchase request, generate a bar code, have the cashier scan it (and explain to her what you’re doing) then give her the cash.
If you want to buy bitcoin from the coin kiosk at the grocery store, you have to find one that actually has the bitcoin option (the nearest one to Las Vegas is 70 miles away, so it’s not on every machine or in every major city). Then you put your cash in, get a printout from the machine, go to a website, enter your email, create an account, upload your ID and photo, manually input the receipt code, and then receive your bitcoin. Phew!
Easiest Way to Purchase Bitcoin at a Store
It’s nice to know you have options, but if you’d like to know the fastest and easiest option … it’s going to be a digital currency machine, a.k.a. Bitcoin ATM, like a CoinCloud.
You’ll find these machines at places like convenience stores, gas stations, souvenir shops, restaurants, casinos and more.
Bonus: you don’t need to deal with people in the process (although, if you want to, CoinCloud has live customer support available to help you).
With a CoinCloud, and some other Bitcoin ATMs, you can easily buy bitcoin with cash — and CoinClouds give you the option of 28 altcoins as well (find out more about these alternate virtual currencies in our free Ultimate Guide to Digital Currency.)
CoinClouds also let you sell your digital currency for cash, but we’ll save that for another day. Just know that most Bitcoin ATMs don’t allow this.
As far as buying bitcoin, most machines will operate in a similar manner, although some are more complicated and require more personal information. You’ll start a transaction, enter your phone number, verify with a text message, and purchase your bitcoin with cash. Wham, bam, thank you, Ma’am — done!
Other brands also ask for email addresses and ID right off the bat, or print out paper wallet receipts that you need to redeem elsewhere, but with a CoinCloud everything is done on the spot. You never need to enter your email and the ID is only required to verify you for higher transactions if you choose that — and then it’s just your driver’s license or passport.
No Paper Required
And CoinClouds don’t make you deal with paper … which, let’s face it, is easy to lose, or accidentally put through the wash, and isn’t really secure since anybody can scan it. If you try to store it safely, those thermal receipts fade to invisible over time as well.
If you find all this confusing and want to do a test run, we suggest just putting $1 into a CoinCloud (you won’t be able to do this with most other Bitcoin ATM brands, where minimums run between $5–20). Once you experience it for yourself, we’re confident you’ll come back to CoinCloud.