How To Buy Bitcoin With PayPal

Buy bitcoin using paypal

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Today PayPal is a household name around the world, the original founders have moved on to launch several other big tech companies, and yet the online payment gateway has gone from strength to strength since its launch back in 1998. Before having internet native money like bitcoin, we needed a centralised payment provider to be able to move money between users online.

Traditional banks, as always, were too slow to provide solutions, so fintech companies stepped in to fill the gap; today, we have a host of fintech companies that provide online money transfers but none as big as PayPal. PayPal has been giving consumers alternative ways to make purchases and send and receive money online and is even used as a bank account in some parts of the world due to its ease of use.

PayPal lets you pay for things online with a bank account instead of a credit card and keeps your payment information hidden from merchants. It also makes sending money, it allows you to hold balances in different currencies, but it does come at a hefty fee. PayPal dominates the digital payment scene having upwards of 360 million active users in more than 200 countries, and facilitates over ten billion payment transactions annually.

While PayPal has essentially made checks and costly wire transfer services obsolete, it does have its limitations, limitations that a payment network like bitcoin has. If you are a PayPal user looking to get bitcoin exposure and enjoy the freedoms that come with money you can self-custody, then here are a few methods of acquiring bitcoin or bitcoin exposure using your account.

Buying bitcoin natively with PayPal

If you’re looking for the easiest way to acquire bitcoin, your best bet would be to do it directly in PayPal. In October 2020, PayPal rolled out direct purchases of Bitcoin within the PayPal digital wallet. These purchases are conducted and custodied in partnership with Paxos. This allows users to buy, hold and sell bitcoin purchased through the service, as well as use them to pay PayPal-supported merchants. It’s important to note that holding bitcoin in a PayPal wallet means you’re taking custodial risk not only with PayPal, but their bitcoin custody provider, which you can avoid by taking custody of your funds with a bitcoin wallet that communicates directly with the time chain.

As of June 2022, PayPal also allows users to withdraw their coins into third-party wallets for personal storage or wider use throughout the ecosystem, so you have no excuse to leave your funds with PayPal.

If you do log in to PayPal and you don’t see the buy bitcoin option, it’s because this service only available for US users, with more countries planned in the next rollout. If you do try to buy bitcoin directly on PayPal you will have a maximum limit of $10,000 per week with no annual limit, while fees vary between 1.5% and 2.3%, depending on the size of the purchase.

Buying bitcoin from a centralised exchange using PayPal

If you’re not in the US and don’t have access to direct bitcoin purchases, your next option would be using a centralised exchange or trading platform, like:

Coinbase

Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges and added PayPal as a means of payment in 2022. Unfortunately, Coinbase doesn’t offer a full integration and users who want to buy directly using their PayPal balance are out of luck. You can only fund your Coinbase account through a debit card or bank account that is linked to your PayPal account, which in many cases rules out most users of PayPal.

One option to get around this would be to ask a friend who does have a PayPal attached to their card to fund the account and purchase the bitcoin, and you can top up their PayPal balance. The maximum daily limits are quite high at $25,000 per day, while fees for using PayPal to make a debit card purchase on Coinbase are 4% of each trade and bank deposits via PayPal cost 2.5%.

Etoro

eToro is another way to use PayPal to gain exposure to bitcoin, but this is more for those looking to speculate on the price of bitcoin. eToro is a social trading platform offering financial services and lets you deposit via PayPal. Once you hold the bitcoin in eToro, you can either sell it at a later stage and move the fiat to realise the gains or take custody of the bitcoin with a bitcoin hot wallet or cold storage device.

eToro doesn’t make this easy, though, and you will have to use another service called eToro Money, which is a mobile app available on both iOS and Android devices. Your username and password for the eToro Money app will match your trading account’s login credentials, and you can then request a bitcoin withdrawal to a wallet of your choice.

Buying bitcoin P2P using PayPal

If you’re looking for a little more freedom and a little less big brother financial surveillance and perform KYC-free trades when buying your bitcoin via PayPal, you might want to consider using one of the many P2P markets.

These markets allow you to either purchase bitcoin from users who accept PayPal payments or create an order offering up PayPal funds for bitcoin and hope that another user with bitcoin is keen to take you up on the offer.

It’s important to note that when dealing with P2P markets, you might gain anonymity, but this all comes at a price. Markets are rather illiquid, and you will have to deal with poor exchange rates, smaller purchases, high premiums, and the additional risk of dealing with and identifying the right individual sellers.

Turn your PayPal balance into a bitcoin balance

There are several ways you can buy Bitcoin with PayPal, but they all come with their trade-offs, and you will have to decide which ones you’re comfortable with and how you plan to hedge against them when conducting transactions.

When purchasing bitcoin using PayPal, you have to accept there are a lot of hands in this transaction, the fees PayPal charges, the fee the platform or seller charges you and finally, the mining fees for an on-chain transaction. You’ll have to factor all these costs into your decision to see if using PayPal is worth it or if you should use an alternative service.

If PayPal is your only option, but you have time on your hands, your best bet is to set up standing orders on P2P markets and wait for someone to come along and meet your bid.

How was your PayPal experience?

Have you used PayPal to purchase bitcoin? Which method did you use? How did it work out for you? Let us know in the comments.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. It is for educational and entertainment purposes only. As of the time posting, the writers may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency, as all investments contain risk. All opinions expressed in these articles are my own and are in no way a reflection of the opinions of The Bitcoin Manual

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