How to Buy Bitcoins with Paypal — Ultimate Guide 2018

Buying cryptocurrency with PayPal is not all that easy. The problem lies with the fact that PayPal does not allow direct BTC purchases because of scammers: previously the scammers had bought Bitcoins from gullible PayPal users and later claimed that they had not received anything. Eventually such transactions got cancelled, thus the scammers managed to keep both the Bitcoins and their money. However, if you still want to use your PayPal account for BTC purchases, there are several ways to do just that.

To start with, there are two types of PayPal accounts: an account with a credit/debit card linked to it and an account without a card. In the former case, you need the article about buying Bitcoins with a debit card. If your PayPal account does not have a card, then this article is for you.

When using PayPal, you can make two kinds of BTC purchases:

  • A real purchase of BTC via an exchange, a brokerage, or a peer-to-peer service.

Such a purchase is visible on the blockchain and provides the real possibility to transfer Bitcoins between wallets. Nevertheless, account wallets on such resources are not actually controlled by users because users do not have access to the private key. To avoid losing your crypto assets it is recommended to withdraw Bitcoins to an external wallet shortly after purchase. Officially regulated exchanges are known to track user transactions on the blockchain and ban accounts that seem suspicious to them.

  • Purchase of a Bitcoin CFD (Contract For Difference) on eToro, AVA Trade, etc.

Bitcoin CFD is a financial derivative that enables you to trade Bitcoins without actually owning them and having them on your wallet (the exchange buys and holds BTC on your behalf). How does CFD work? The seller pays the buyer the difference between the current value of the contract and its value when it is closed. In the case of a negative difference, the buyer pays it to the seller.

Though CFD trading may seem convenient, there are additional risks. There is market risk, for example: if you want to get a Bitcoin CFD worth $1,000, and the margin rate is 10%, you have to deposit just 10% of the CFD value ($100 in this case) to open the trade. If the market rate moves by 20% in your favor, you gain $200 (twice than what you have initially invested), if it moves 20% against you, you lose $200. The reason is due to your market exposure — with CFDs it is the same as if you have actually bought BTC for $1,000.

Another risk is related to account close-out. If there are insufficient funds on your account (in case of market volatility and sharp rate changes), your positions may be closed automatically at an unfavorable price. That is why you need to monitor your account balance and provide extra deposits or close some positions to meet the margin requirements.

Another pitfall of CFD trading is holding costs: in some cases a small overnight fee is charged, and if a position is opened for too long, the holding costs can exceed your profit or aggravate your losses.

Web Resources that Support BTC Purchases with Paypal

VirWoX — Exchange, Real Purchase

VirWoX is a popular and reliable way to buy Bitcoins with PayPal. Launched in 2007, it was just an exchange of online game currencies at first (its name actually means “Virtual World Exchange”). But in 2011, Bitcoin support was added, and since then VirWoX has served as a safe and trustworthy BTC exchange. However, you cannot buy Bitcoins directly — first you will need to exchange your fiat money (USD, EUR, CHF, GBP) for Second Life Lindens (also called SLL), and then trade your SLL for Bitcoins. By the way, you do not need to create a account for the game Second Life. The major drawback of VirWox is its high commission fees as compared with other resources.

Apart from PayPal, VirWoX also supports credit and debit cards, OKPAY, Skrill SOFORT, Paysafecard, and uKash. As for it legal status, this exchange is officially regulated and has a physical office address in Graz, Austria.

Information about the exchange’s deposit limits is available here. The limit for a first deposit is 108 USD or 90 EUR.

How to Buy Bitcoins with PayPal on VirWoX 


1. Sign up (you will be required to provide your first and last name, the avatar is optional).


2. Verify your email and change your temporary password. If you do not change it, your account will be deleted within 24 hours.


3. Deposit fiat money from PayPal. You will be required to log in to your PayPal account. (PayPal charges a 2.9% withdrawal fee, and VirWoX charges a $0.3 deposit fee).


4. Trade the fiat money for SLL (the basic fee is 2.9%, but together with hidden fees for extra conversions the total fee is about 7%). It is possible to either make a purchase at the current price (executed immediately) or to place a limit order (an offer to buy or sell at a specific rate, it is executed when another user accepts the offer). The fee for limit orders ranges from 0.78% and 3.9% depending on the volume.


5. Trade SLL for Bitcoins. If you are a new user, your Bitcoins will appear on your account in 48 hours. To be on the safe side, withdraw BTC to an external account as soon as possible (the withdrawal fee is 0.001 BTC with no withdrawal limits). Some VirWoX users claim that their accounts were banned for no reason, but they got refunds from PayPal.


Key Features of VirWox

Registration Required
Identity verification Not required
ID verification time
Documents for ID verification
2-factor authentication Not supported
2FA options
Type of Ownership Medium-level (wallet without access to the private key)
First purchase limit 108 USD or 90 EUR
Other limits Level 0 limits:

90 EUR per 24 hours

270 EUR per 30 days

How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins? 48 hours for new users
Standard fees 2.9% PayPal withdrawal fee + $0.3 VirWoX deposit fee

2.9% conversion fee

~7% the total fee (with double conversions)

0.001 BTC withdrawal fee

Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price) ~7-9% premium (the total fee with the premium is up to 15%)
Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings Change your temporary password, otherwise your account will be deleted in 24 hours

First purchase of Bitcoins will appear on your account in 48 hours

Buy Bitcoins at VirWox

Localbitcoins — P2P Service, Real Purchase

Localbitcoins.net is a peer-to-peer service where people from all over the world can arrange Bitcoin purchases for a local currency. Sellers and buyers post ads where they state the desirable price and acceptable payment methods (ad authors also pay a 1% commission fee for each transaction). The website has a reputation and feedback system, as well as a conflict resolution service and an escrow system. Purchased Bitcoins remain in escrow until payment confirmation from the seller.

The indubitable disadvantage of Localbitcoins is that there may be fraudsters (even those with a perfect reputation and good feedback). However, if you buy Bitcoins with your PayPal account, you are quite safe due to the escrow system. But the real downside is that very few sellers accept PayPal for fear of scammers — what if you cancel your PayPal transaction after getting Bitcoins?

How to Buy Bitcoins with PayPal on Localbitcoins


1. Register an account.


2. Verify your identity by uploading a scan or a photo of an ID, a driver’s license or a passport. Automatic verification is very fast — takes about 1 minute


3. Use the filters to find suitable ads: insert the desirable amount, location, and choose PayPal as your payment method. Find a seller with a good reputation and a lot of trades (it is recommended to avoid new accounts and users with negative feedback). More information will be available after hitting the “Buy” button.


4. Every seller has their own terms: it can be an ID photo or a PayPal confirmation. You should read the terms attentively and take all of the necessary steps.


5. Transfer the specified amount before the payment window (usually 90 minutes) is over, otherwise the transaction will be cancelled by the system.


6. Make the payment. As soon as the seller confirms the payment, the Bitcoins will be released from escrow.


7. The purchased BTC will appear in your Localbitcoins wallet immediately. Please withdraw them to an external wallet,, because without access to the private key you do not actually control the account wallet and can lose your cryptocurrency in case of account blocking.


It is also possible to post your own Bitcoin purchase ads, but in that case you will have to pay the platform’s 1% fee.

Key Features of Localbitcoins

Registration Required
Identity verification Required
ID verification time 1 minute
Documents for ID verification A passport, a driver’s license, or another valid state- issued ID
2-factor authentication Supported, not necessary
2FA options Web authenticator app/ paper code
Type of Ownership Medium-level (a wallet without access to the private key)
First purchase limit Depends on the ad terms
Other limits Depend on the ad terms
How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins? As soon as the seller verifies your payment
Standard fees 1% fee for each transaction (paid by ad creators)

Outgoing transfer fee: 0.00005 BTC

Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price)
Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings Check the seller’s reputation and feedback
Buy Bitcoins at Localbitcoins

Wirex — Exchange, Real Purchase

Wirex functions like an exchange, providing users from the supported countries with an opportunity to actually buy Bitcoins with PayPal (apart from other payment methods such as bank transfers or credit and debit cards). Wirex is mostly known for its crypto-friendly Visa card, which is connected to Wirex crypto wallets and supports instant exchanges between USD, EUR, GBP, Bitcoin, and Litecoin.

If you want to exchange your PayPal fiat money for BTC, it is necessary to verify your account (which may take up to 10 business days) first and order a Wirex card (either plastic or virtual) for free. It is also possible to link your local 3-D Secure card to Wirex, but the limits will be very modest. After that you can connect it to PayPal and easily deposit fiat money to your Wirex wallet for subsequent BTC purchases. Keep in mind that Wirex undergoes all compliance procedures required by local regulations and laws.

How to Buy Bitcoins with PayPal on Wirex


1. Create a Wirex account.


2. Verify your account by providing personal information, an ID photo (a driver’s licence, a passport or a national ID would do), a selfie, and a proof of address (a bank statement, a utility bill or a local tax bill — in English or with a notarized translation, issued no earlier than 3 months ago). Verification might take up to 10 business days.


3. As soon as your account is verified, you can order a virtual Wirex card (a plastic Wirex card would also do, but you would have to wait a bit longer to receive it). For now, Wirex cards are available in the UK and in Europe, but by the end of 2018 all other parts of the world will be also supported.


4. Link your PayPal account to the card. You will need to pay a verification fee (make sure that there is at least $3 on the card), and after that a verification code for PayPal will be provided.


5. Withdraw money from your PayPal account to Wirex.


6. As soon as fiat money appears in your Wirex account, exchange it for Bitcoins.


7. You will see the purchased Bitcoins in your Wirex wallet in several minutes. Remember that you do not have access to the private key to this wallet, so your crypto assets are controlled by the exchange. If you do not withdraw your BTC to an external wallet, you can lose it in case of account blocking. Dynamic miner fees are charged for withdrawal.


Key Features of Wirex

Registration Required
Identity verification Required
ID verification time Up to 10 business days
Documents for ID verification A passport, a driver’s license, or another valid state- issued ID

Proof of residence (bank statement, utility bill, local tax bill)

2-factor authentication Supported, not necessary
2FA options Google Authenticator
Type of Ownership Medium-level (a wallet without access to the private key)
First purchase limit Depends on the card limit
Other limits Wirex card:

Maximum balance of 7,500 GBP/8,000 EUR/10,000 USD

Minimum transaction 0.01 GBP/EUR/USD.

Unlimited transactions

Linked local card:

Minimum BTC purchase 25 GBP/EUR/USD

Total daily limit 1,000 GBP/EUR/USD

Up to 5 transactions per day

How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins? several minutes
Standard fees 1.50 USD monthly account maintenance fee

Dynamic miner’s fee depends on blockchain load

Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price)
Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings Account verification can take a long time
Buy Bitcoins at Wirex

eToro — Bitcoin CFD

eToro is a European-based trading service that supports Bitcoin CFDs. It is an officially regulated financial company that provides its services worldwide (except the US). It was founded in 2006 and has builtd a solid reputation over the years, which is why a lot of users choose it when trading in BTC. eToro’s unique feature is the “social trading network,”, which allows inexperienced users to copy top traders’ actions. Those who get copied by other traders receive extra income. All eToro accounts are held in USD.

The major risk of CFDs is that you can lose more than you have invested, if you are using leverage and increase your market exposure. On eToro it is possible to make investments without any leverage to minimize your risks. Please review the guide on eToro Bitcoin trading before buying CFDs, and get some practice using the Virtual Portfolio feature.

How to Buy Bitcoins with PayPal on eToro


1. Register an account or sign up with Facebook or Google. There is no 2-factor authentication, so the level of security leaves much to be desired.


2. Provide your personal information and answer questions regarding your financial situation.


3. Click on the “Deposit Funds” button, select PayPal as your payment method, and specify the amount. The minimum deposit is 500 USD, maximum 2300 USD for unverified accounts. After verification you will be able to deposit larger amounts.


4. You will be automatically redirected to the PayPal website to confirm the transfer (it will be processed immediately). If your PayPal account is not in USD, the transferred amount will be converted, and keep in mind that PayPal’s conversion rates are not favorable.


5. Buy a Bitcoin CFD with the deposited fiat money (since you do not actually own Bitcoins, you won’t need a crypto wallet). Remember that margin trade maximizes both gains and losses, so if you invest $500 and buy a CFD for 1 Bitcoin, you are likely to lose more than you have invested even if there is a minor price change. It is more safe to get a CFD for a fraction of a Bitcoin in order to reduce risks. By the way, you do not actually buy BTC, you open trades instead, and each purchase is a separate trade.


6. eToro charges a one-time 1.5% fee for buy trades (the spread), but if you open a sell trade to earn money on Bitcoin falling down, you will be charged a daily fee.


7. To sell Bitcoins on eToro you should close your buy trade (open your Portfolio, open “BTC” and click the red cross on the right side of the trade). This is what selling looks like on eToro.


8. Withdrawal is possible only for verified accounts. To verify your account you need to provide a photo of your ID or passport, proof of residency (a bank statement, a credit card statement or a utility bill not older than 6 months), and your tax ID. Verification can take several business days.


9. If you want to withdraw funds from eToro, please remember that the minimum withdrawal amount is 50 USD, and the withdrawal fee is 25 USD. You should avoid withdrawing small amounts. Withdrawals to PayPal are processed in 1-2 business days.


10. eToro charges a $10 monthly inactivity fee if a user does not log in for a long time (12 months for depositing accounts, four months for non-depositing). If you want to stop trading on eToro, do not forget to withdraw all of your funds.

Key Features of eToro

Registration Required
Identity verification Required for deposits larger than 2,000 EUR and for withdrawals
ID verification time Several days
Documents for ID verification ID or passport

Proof of residency (utility bill, bank statement, credit card statement)

Tax ID number

2-factor authentication Not supported
2FA options
Type of Ownership Weak (CFD trading)
First purchase limit Minimum single deposit: 500 USD

Maximum deposit for unverified users: 2,000 EUR

Other limits Maximum single deposit for verified users: 5,000 USD

Maximum deposit per month: 10,000 USD

How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins? CFD is concluded instantly
Standard fees 1.5% spread for buy trades

25 USD withdrawal fee

10 USD monthly inactivity fee (no login for 12 months)

Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price)
Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings Learn about margin trading before investing large amounts
Buy Bitcoins at eToro

AVA Trade — Bitcoin CFD

Ava Trade is another trading service that supports buying Bitcoin CFDs through PayPal. It provides worldwide coverage (except the US) and is officially regulated in Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and Japan. AVA Trade has been successfully operating for over 10 years and has more than 200,000 users from all over the world. Its offers advanced trading features: both manual and automated platforms with built-in analytic tools. Aside from that, this platform does not charge inactivity fees nor withdrawal fees.

The risks of Bitcoin CFDs are the same as with eToro. Please consult margin trading guides to avoid making unreasonable investments.You do not actually own the Bitcoins you trade; the broker owns them on your behalf.

How to Buy Bitcoins with PayPal on AVA Trade


1. Click “Open a real account” or sign in via Facebook or Google.


2. Provide your personal information and choose the base currency (either USD or EUR).


3. Click “Deposit now”, choose PayPal as the payment method, and specify the amount for deposit. PayPal deposits from the US, Canada, Turkey, China, and India are not accepted due to regulatory reasons. The minimum deposit amount is 100 USD, the maximum amount is 20,000 USD.


4. You will be redirected to PayPal’s website to complete the transfer. Crediting of the money to your AVA Trade account can take up to 24 hours. It is recommended to use the same email for PayPal and AVA Trade accounts, otherwise your deposit can be delayed.


5. As soon as the money is deposited, you can start trading instantly. But remember that verification documents must be provided within 10 business days. Otherwise your account will be temporarily blocked until the necessary documents are uploaded.


6. Verification documents include a state-issued ID card (a passport or a driver’s licence are also accepted) and proof of residency (a utility bill, a bank statement, vehicle insurance policy, etc. — nothing older than 6 months). Verification takes up to 24 hours.


7. You may create several trading accounts (both live and demo ones) that will be shown on the “My Account” page.


8. Get acquainted with AVA Trade’s trading conditions and charges, choose the trading platform (for example, MetaTrader 4 is very user-friendly) and buy Bitcoin CFDs (the same as on eToro). The fee is 0.75%, and the overnight fee is 0.08% — if you hold the CFD for too long, you will have to pay a significant total fee, which is why it is not suitable for long-term investment.


9. Funds can be withdrawn only to the source from which the deposit was made (due to AML regulations). The typical time of withdrawal processing is about 102 business days, but in some cases it may take up to 10 business days. No withdrawal fees are charged.


Key Features of AVA Trade

Registration Required
Identity verification Required in 10 days after first deposit
ID verification time 24 hours
Documents for ID verification ID, driver’s license  or passport

Proof of residency (utility bill, bank statement, credit card statement, etc.)

2-factor authentication Not supported
2FA options
Type of Ownership Weak (CFD trading)
First purchase limit 0.10 Minimum Nominal Trade Size
Other limits Minimum deposit 100 USD

Maximum deposit 20,000 USD

How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins? CFD is concluded instantly
Standard fees 0.75% over-market

0.08% overnight fee

Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price)
Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings Learn about margin trading before investing large amounts
Buy Bitcoins at AVA Trade

Conclusions

The quickest way to buy Bitcoins with PayPal is eToro, that is if your account is already verified. But it is not very secure because CFD contracts can entail extra risks, and, besides, there is no 2-factor authentication.

If you are a new eToro user, verification can take up to several business days — so in this case the quickest option would be VirWoX (no verification at all) or LocalBitcoins (speed depends on the seller’s terms, but you can try to find a quick one).

The most secure way to buy Bitcoins with PayPal is Wirex, because it is completely legit, supports 2FA authentication, and does not involve CFD trading risks. Localbitcoins is also a good option, since as a PayPal buyer you do not actually risk anything (but your seller does). Remember, though, that this service is not officially regulated and even banned in some countries (Germany, Russia, New York State).

The most confidential way is VirWox, which does not require any ID photos or proof of address. However, your identity is already verified by PayPal, so there is no actual confidentiality in this case.

The most profitable one would probably be Localbitcoins as there is no commission fees for buyers, and sellers on this platform set lower prices than on other resources (on average).

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