Who Needs an Exchange? Three Unconventional Ways to Acquire Bitcoin

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Just recently we reported on four bitcoin exchanges that require very little identification. Alongside these peer-to-peer platforms, there are also other ways to purchase bitcoin without using a traditional exchange. There are other more unconventional methods, like purchasing bitcoin at a convenience shop or even with a store gift card.    

Also Read: Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Considers Bitcoin  

There are many trading platforms that people can use to purchase and sell bitcoin, but sometimes people don’t want to go through the hassle of registering with an exchange. On the other hand, some individuals also don’t want to use Localbitcoins as they may dislike the process of dealing with peer-to-peer traders. Many people don’t know that there are other types of methods individuals can use to purchase and sell bitcoin, and some of them may be at your local convenience store.

Three Unconventional Ways to Purchase and Sell Bitcoin

Liberty X

Who Needs an Exchange? Three Unconventional Ways to Acquire BitcoinThe company Liberty X (formally Liberty Teller) was founded in 2014 by launching the first bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. Since then the startup has grown into a different kind of business by operating as a “virtual” bitcoin ATM provider. In order to purchase bitcoin with Liberty X you have to download the app for either Android or iOS and register with your phone number.

Then you go onto the application’s map to find one of Liberty X’s local stores by typing in your zip code. Following this, a bunch of stores will pop up with red pendants, and you can choose the closest merchant near you. The highlighted store within the app will tell you the specific details on how much bitcoin you can buy and the fees associated with the purchase.

After you choose a store, you simply travel to the location to purchase a bitcoin voucher. On arrival, you buy a voucher from the cashier that enables you to redeem bitcoin to any address. Using Liberty X to purchase bitcoin is a different kind of buying experience, and people may appreciate purchasing from a convenience store.


Who Needs an Exchange? Three Unconventional Ways to Acquire BitcoinNow if you want to sell bitcoin there’s another way to obtain cash for your BTC that’s similar to the Liberty X transaction above. Using an iOS-only app called Spare users can sell bitcoins at local convenience stores located in Washington DC, Colorado, New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey with more locations to follow. Users sell bitcoins to the service and receive a one-time generated PIN to give to the nearest shop on their GPS map. The clerk at the local convenience store will then verify the Spare application’s PIN and pay cash in exchange. Spare began offering bitcoin for cash services this year, and the company believes it takes the hassle out of searching for a two-way bitcoin ATM.

“With Spare’s Bitcoin support, there will be no more wasting time searching for Bitcoin ATMs, as everything can be done directly from your iOS device. Alongside, inspired by a huge response in the domestic scene, we are now looking forward to pushing our game-changing service to international regions as well”, stated D’ontra Hughes, the founder of Spare.


Who Needs an Exchange? Three Unconventional Ways to Acquire BitcoinAnother unconventional method to purchase and sell bitcoins is by using retail store gift cards. The peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange Paxful offers users the ability to trade gift cards for bitcoins from a wide variety of stores. Gift cards Paxful traders accept include cards for Amazon, Walmart, Vanilla Visa, Nintendo e-shop, Forever 21, Itunes, Footlocker, Fandango, and many more. To use Paxful’s gift card service just enter the type of card you have and the platform’s search engine will find traders that are willing to sell bitcoin for those cards.

The founders of Paxful, Ray Youssef, and Artur Schaback say the platform services a lot of customers as the two told Bitcoin.com the company processes 8,000 bitcoin transactions per day. Paxful operates in a similar fashion to Localbitcoins, but the trading platform does not facilitate in-person local trades. Youssef says bitcoin has allowed the marketplace to provide different feature sets like gift card sales and other ways to trade.    

The advent of an instantly transferable digital currency like bitcoin has opened the door to an era of escrow services each catering to different niches and with different feature sets,” Youssef explained to Bitcoin.com.

The Many Niche Bitcoin Markets

All of the services mentioned above have different benefits for those who would rather not trade on an online bitcoin exchange. But they also add other aspects to the equation like having to drive to physical locations to exchange. However, people may find themselves more comfortable purchasing and selling bitcoins with a store clerk in a public setting. Or maybe a person was given a few store gift cards for their birthday and would rather sell them for bitcoins.

The fact is, as the ecosystem has shown immense growth over the years there are now many niche markets in 2017 that allow different ways to obtain bitcoin.

Have you tried any of these unconventional services? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Liberty X, Paxful, and Spare websites.

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