While Bitcoin’s price has surged recently, especially in 2017, it still remains difficult to get one’s hands on Bitcoin as buying Bitcoin can often be convoluted or otherwise complicated, especially for users who aren’t as tech-savvy.
Today, PayPal is one of the main payment methods for online purchases and is both convenient and familiar for most people.
However, buying Bitcoin with a PayPal account can be complicated because of the way Bitcoin works.
One of the major features of Bitcoin is that transactions are unchangeable and irreversible. Once Bitcoins transactions are completed, there is nothing that can be done. The record of the transaction remains permanent.
With PayPal, users can issue chargebacks and get their money back for a given transaction, which means that many companies that deal in Bitcoin are wary of using PayPal as a settlement method since they don’t want to send a user Bitcoin and then have that user issue a chargeback and get their money back fraudulently, leaving companies with nothing but lost Bitcoin.
Moreover, PayPal is well known for its attempts to hinder Bitcoin’s development as a payment method as it directly challenges PayPal itself.
Despite these obstacles of chargebacks and competition, there are reliable ways of buying Bitcoin with Paypal.
VirWoX is a platform where players of the game Second Life, as well as others, can buy and sell virtual currencies like Second Life Lindens (SLL) and Bitcoin (BTC). Since users don’t buy BTC with PayPal directly on VirWoX, VirWoX is able to get around PayPal’s terms and conditions that don’t allow the direct purchase of Bitcoin with PayPal. Here’s how that works:
- Visit VirWoX and create an account
- Login and deposit your EUR or USD from PayPal into your VirWoX account
- Exchange your EUR or USD for SLL
- Exchange your SLL for BTC
While you can buy Bitcoin with PayPal on VirWoX using this workaround, there is a 10% fee charged by the platform. Moreover, transfers from VirWoX to your Bitcoin wallet can take up to two days to complete. There is also a limit on the amount you can initially deposit through your PayPal account or a credit card/debit card.
LocalBitcoins is an online, peer-to-peer market place where buyers and sellers can buy and sell Bitcoin from and to other people. LocalBitcoins is well known and can be a preferred method of using Paypal to buy Bitcoin, especially if you don’t like all the steps needed to buy Bitcoins from VirWoX.
PayPal is just one of many payment options that buyers of Bitcoin can choose from on LocalBitcoins. There is also a reputation system where buyers can filter sellers by reputation as well as an escrow system that protects both buyers and sellers during transactions by only releasing funds when both parties confirm a transaction.
All a Bitcoin buyer has to do on LocalBitcoins is open a free account and connect with a Bitcoin seller that accepts PayPal as a payment method. However, LocalBitcoins encourages their users to do their own due diligence to avoid being scammed.
Related: How to buy Bitcoin anonymously
Wirex is another option for those looking to buy Bitcoin with PayPal.
To begin, you should first get their free, virtual Visa card by creating and verifying a Wirex account. After receiving your virtual Wirex card, you can add it to PayPal as one of your PayPal payment methods.
To purchase Bitcoin, you must first withdraw funds from your PayPal account to your Wirex virtual card. Unfortunately, this process can take anywhere from one day to one week. Once your card is funded, you can purchase Bitcoins at market rate through Wirex’s easy to use interface.
While this method of buying Bitcoin might be relatively convenient, the Wirex service is only available for select countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, and other developed countries.
Paxful works similar to LocalBitcoins but has a different user interface. Paxful allows users to buy Bitcoins through a variety of ways – 300 to be exact. These methods include gift cards, cash deposits, online transfers, and through debit cards/credit cards.
However, users can only buy Bitcoin on Paxful if their PayPal account is US-verified. Not many qualify for this kind of verification since it entails connecting your US-based debit card/credit card and bank account and uploading your ID before making any purchases.
PayPal’s claim to fame is its ease of use and even today, nearly 20 years after its founding, it remains one of the leading payment methods online. However, while PayPal can be easily used to pay for many things online, it is difficult to buy Bitcoin with PayPal due to merchant wariness about PayPal chargebacks, as Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, and because of PayPal’s own resistance to Bitcoin as a challenger to its status as a predominant online payment solution.
Nevertheless, for those looking to use PayPal as a way to buy Bitcoin, there are still ways to do so, such as through VirWoX, LocalBitcoins, Wirex, and Paxful.