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Under 18 Years Old? Here’s How You Can Still Buy Bitcoin

The cryptocurrency revolution is supposed to be “permission-less” — at least in theory. But many interested would-be investors are coming up against a common constraint of centralized exchanges: “Thou shalt be at least 18 years of age to buy bitcoin.”

But these centralized exchanges aren’t the end-all-be-all when it comes to buying bitcoins.

Indeed, underage buyers have three main possibilities for now:

  • Bitcoin ATMs
  • P2P exchanges
  • eBay

1) Bitcoin ATMs

These specialized automatic-teller machines work just like they do for fiat currency. The main difference is that you won’t need a bank account to interact with a Bitcoin ATM. Instead, cold-hard cash will do just fine.

That’s why these machines are the most ideal option for underage buyers. You can walk up to one anywhere, anytime, and get however much bitcoin you desire.

The main con with Bitcoin ATMs? High fees — they’re usually pretty bad. But keep it in perspective — if BTC prices continue to climb for years to come, paying some hefty fees now may seem trivial in a decade.

2) P2P Exchanges

P2P means person-to-person. That means instead of going through a company to buy your BTC, you’ll just be going through another user like yourself. P2P exchanges facilitate users’ transactions in this manner.

There won’t be any crazy verification loops you have to jump through either. Some P2P exchanges even foster in-person meetups for transactions.

Some top P2P exchanges you can look at include:

  • BitSquare
  • LocalBitcoins
  • Huobi Pro
  • OKEx

3) eBay

You can buy Bitcoin on eBay, of course, but the prices are simply awful.

If you’re desperate to get some BTC and don’t see any other way, then maybe the eBay is right for you.

But you’ll end up getting a lot less BTC than you could’ve gotten for the same amount of dollars, euros, or pounds — whatever you’re using.

Just let eBay be your last option then.

And always remember: never invest more than you can afford to lose.

TLDR: Many exchanges require you to be 18 years of age to buy Bitcoin, but don’t let that limit you. There are ways to buy Bitcoin without being “old” enough. 

William M. Peaster is a cryptocurrency journalist and copy-editor based out of El Paso, Texas. He's an avid fan of Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and smart contracts in general.

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