Bitcoin is certainly the best-known cryptocurrency as well as the consistent top performer. Thanks to its high exchange rate, many who have invested in Bitcoin at some point want to figure out how to turn it into USD or another fiat currency.
At the time of writing, one Bitcoin was the equivalent of $7,460.94 USD, giving you thousands of reasons to convert your crypto. The process of turning Bitcoin into USD can be as simple as you want, depending on the method you choose.
In fact, selling Bitcoin for USD is just like converting any other two currencies. The only difference is that because one is a cryptocurrency and one is fiat, you cannot simply head to your normal bank. Instead, you must find an individual or exchange that deals with both USD and BTC to get your cash out.
Why You May Want to Sell Bitcoin for USD
Everyone has a different reason for wanting to sell Bitcoin for USD. Some want to reduce the amount that they currently have invested in this cryptocurrency due to fears that the Bitcoin bubble will burst and the price will drop dramatically after being high for so long.
Others may simply want the ability to spend the money they have invested in Bitcoin. While more and more retailers accept Bitcoin, not all do, and it is much easier to spend cash than cryptocurrency.
Or perhaps you just feel more confident keeping the majority of your money in a traditional bank account with federal regulations and insurance instead of a cryptocurrency wallet.
Some people will sell all their Bitcoin for USD, but most will at least keep some of their cryptocurrency in an account even if they trade a large chunk of it for fiat currency. There is also always the option of buying more Bitcoin in the future if you decide to change too much, although you would have to pay for exchange fees.
Find a Buyer
The most obvious way to sell Bitcoin for USD would be to find an individual buyer who wants to purchase the exact amount of Bitcoin that you want to sell. If you are lucky enough to know someone looking to get into BTC or increase their investment, the process could be as simple as you sending the Bitcoin to their wallet and them doing a wire transfer to your bank account in USD in exchange.
The average person, however, does not happen to know someone who wants to buy Bitcoin face to face, let alone the exact quantity you are looking to sell.
For most people, the best method of finding a buyer for Bitcoin in your area would be a local peer-to-peer exchange. LocalBitcoins, for example, is among the most popular of these platforms.
You may even be able to sell your Bitcoin at a rate above market value if someone is very desperate to purchase BTC and there is a lack of sellers in your area.
On platforms like LocalBitcoins, you can browse the existing listings to see if you can find someone in your area who wants to purchase Bitcoin for USD and offers a rate you are happy with. Otherwise, you can choose to create your own listing, including the amount of Bitcoin for sale and your asking price.
The benefit of platforms like LocalBitcoins is that every user has a feedback score, so you can see how reputable a Bitcoin buyer is based on past transactions.
Although you sell Bitcoin to a stranger with platforms like LocalBitcoins, the best ones have protections in place to ensure both parties receive their money. Typically, you will send your BTC to an escrow account, which then releases the funds to the buyer once you receive the USD. Similar platforms worth considering include BitBargain, Bittylicious and BitQuick.
Use an Exchange for a Bank Deposit
The simpler option for many people is to simply use a cryptocurrency exchange that supports both crypto and fiat currencies. There are several of these exchanges available, so you have your choice of which one to make use of and you shouldn’t have a problem finding an exchange that operates in your country.
Some of the most popular options include Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, and Poloniex, although there are dozens of others.
Depending on your chosen exchange, you may be able to sell the Bitcoin without depositing it into an account. In many cases, you will have to first create an account with the exchange of choice then deposit your Bitcoin by sending it to a specific wallet address.
Next, you either enter the amount of Bitcoin you wish to sell or the amount in USD you want to receive. From there, you go through a few steps to confirm the quantities and the transaction will begin.
You may find an exchange that does not require you to deposit Bitcoin into your own account and instead lets you send it to a specific wallet address for the exchange. However, this is much more common among crypto-to-crypto exchanges that do not require verification and is incredibly rare for crypto-to-fiat exchanges.
In this case, you would enter the relevant information but may not need to make an account. Due to legal regulations involving fiat currency, however, you will have to look hard to find an exchange that works in your region and offers this option.
Choosing the Exchange to Sell Bitcoin On
If you choose to sell Bitcoin for USD on an exchange, take some time to research the various exchanges. Remember to pay attention to the commissions and other fees they charge, as well as the exchange rate they offer.
Most exchanges will not charge a fee for depositing but will for withdrawals and conversions. It is worth doing some research in this respect, particularly if you have a large quantity of Bitcoin to sell, since a rate above the market value may be offset by high fees.
You don’t want to think you’ve found an amazing deal for your Bitcoin sale only to end up paying more than you would on other exchanges due to fees.
As we advised earlier, look at all the fees involved before using an exchange, particularly those related to withdrawals and buying or selling. It is common for different withdrawal methods to have varying fees, even within an exchange.
There may also be withdrawal limits, with or without account verification, or a delay in the amount of time it takes to receive your USD.
Speaking of account verification, consider how much personal information you are willing to share in order to complete the transaction. If you are only selling a small quantity of BTC, you may be able to find an exchange that does not require verification.
However, if you have at least 1 BTC or more to sell, be ready to provide information and documentation, such as a scan of your photo ID and proof of address. Some exchanges even require you to take a photo holding your identification, with or without a note stating the photo is for that exchange.
Use an Exchange to Transfer to Apple Pay or PayPal
Some cryptocurrency exchanges will also offer the option of receiving your USD via a digital fiat wallet such as PayPal or Apple Pay. The process will be very similar to selling Bitcoin for USD and sending it to your bank account.
The downside is that this type of transaction will frequently have lower limits and higher fees. However, if you mostly use your digital wallet instead of cash or a traditional bank account, it can still make sense as an option.
Get a Bitcoin Debit Card
Although this method will not immediately convert your Bitcoin into USD, it will eventually do the same thing. Many companies now offer Bitcoin debit cards that work just like a traditional debit card but are loaded with BTC instead of fiat currency.
You can use these debit cards at stores just like you would a card with USD. The merchant receives USD as payment, and the company behind the card automatically converts the amount of USD you pay to BTC, then subtracts that from your account.
Most Bitcoin debit cards can also be used at regular ATMs to withdraw USD, in which case the card would once again complete the conversion for you and automatically debit the amount. It would essentially work just like if you were using your debit or credit card in USD when traveling around Europe.
Some debit card options to look into include BitPay, Cryptopay, Xapo, Wirex and Shift. Before choosing the company to go with, take a close look at fees, requirements and functionality. Some Bitcoin debit cards may only work in specific regions, while others may require you to be a resident or citizen of a certain country.
There are also always fees associated with the cards. Look into those related to issuing the card, maintaining the card or account, reloading the card (in the case of prepaid ones), conversion fees and ATM withdrawal fees.
You should also confirm whether the card in question uses the current market rate for Bitcoin to USD or how much profit it makes on this conversion. Also, consider whether you want a card that has a PIN and chip.
Find a Bitcoin ATM
With the growth in popularity of Bitcoin, more and more areas have at least one Bitcoin ATM, although you may have to travel a bit to get to it.
These tend to be in areas with high traffic, like train stations or shopping malls, and you can do an online search or use an app to help you find one by you. A Bitcoin ATM works just like a regular fiat ATM, but you withdraw from your Bitcoin account.
The process is typically very straightforward, and there are likely to be step-by-step instructions on the screen as well. In most cases, you will tell the ATM how much cash you want to withdraw, and then it will give you a Bitcoin wallet address to send the relevant BTC to, which appears via a QR code.
You send the agreed-upon amount to the address and the machine dispenses cash, giving you a receipt, as well. While Bitcoin ATMs are an incredibly convenient method for selling Bitcoin for USD, they tend to come with high fees, so do some research ahead of time.
Turn It into a Gift Card or Buy Then Sell Something
This is the most time-consuming and complicated method of selling Bitcoin for USD, but it works. You can take advantage of the fact that more and more retailers accept Bitcoin for regular transactions.
You can make a purchase on one of these websites for a product that is in demand, then sell it and receive USD from the buyer.
Of course, you will typically lose money by reselling something since buyers expect to pay less from an individual than an actual store. If you know someone looking to make a purchase with a retailer that accepts Bitcoin, see if they would be willing to give you the cash and let you pay for the transaction in Bitcoin so you don’t take a loss.
You can also find some websites, such as Gyft, that let you sell Bitcoin and get gift cards in USD to popular stores. At this point, you can either use the gift card just like you would cash, so choose a store you know you shop at or sell the gift card.
No matter the reason that you want to sell your Bitcoin for USD, there are plenty of options that will let you seamlessly turn your digital currency into fiat. As you consider which route to go, keep factors like convenience, time spent and fees in mind.
You will also have to decide how much privacy you want. Then go ahead and try any of the above methods, although most people stick to either peer-to-peer or regular cryptocurrency exchanges.