Buying Bitcoins to pay for VPN anonymously, a step by step guide. Part 3, buying Bitcoins

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

October 11, 2013

To jump to Part 1 of this step by step guide to buying Bitcoins to pay for VPN anonymously, please click here.

There are many ways to buy Bitcoins, a situation complicated by the fact that these vary depending on which country you are in, so it is probably best to search online for options available in your area. Check out How to Buy Bitcoins for an excellent list of resources for almost every country.

We decided on, which is an international (which suits our purposes for this guide) online marketplace for in-person Bitcoin trading. For maximum anonymity you can search for someone who lives nearby and arrange a face-to-face meeting with them to buy Bitcoins anonymously with cash, or you can buy online and pay with a bank transfer or other agreed method.

We opted for the second option – buy Bitcoins online – as it is easy, still affords a fairly high degree of anonymity as we are dealing with an individual private seller (and we plan to wash the coins afterwards anyway), and there was no one nearby willing to meet up for the small amount of coins we wanted to buy anyway!

1. You can search to find a seller who matches your criteria.

buy bitcoins anonymously
The prices are very reasonable. Compare them with those on Mt. Gox at the same time

buy bitcoins online

2. You can check out a seller’s history and feedback in much the same way as with eBay.


3. Once you have decided on a trader, you need to sign up for the website. This is free, although charges a 1% fee for purchases, and 0.0005 BTC (aprox. $0.07 at time of writing) per outgoing transfer from the wallet.

Note that no personally identifiable information is requested. We used an anonymously signed up for and disposable HushMail account for this purpose

4. Click on ‘Buy’ next to your chosen seller on the main trading page, then enter how many Bitcoins you want to buy. We only want to buy enough to pay for a VPN service, so 0.1 BTC (aprox. $14) should be plenty.


5. The requested coins are held in escrow (i.e. temporarily by until the seller receives payment. We opted to pay by bank transfer, which while not totally anonymous as the seller will see our bank number, is good enough for us since we plan to transfer the funds to another wallet, and then ‘wash’ them before using.


6. You will be notified by email once the transaction has been finalized and the funds released from escrow into a wallet created when you signed up for, and you will be asked to leave feedback for the seller. It took about five minutes from payment to our funds being released.


7. You can pay for services directly from the wallet (or send the coins to a mixer), but we’ll add another layer of distance between ourselves and the coin purchase by transferring them to the wallet we created in Part 2 of this guide.

Sending coins is simply a matter of entering the recipient wallet’s address, and the amount to send

blockchain 1
And there they are in our Blockchain wallet!

Buying Bitcoins online in this way was quick and reasonably anonymous (and if you wish to be even more anonymous you can arrange for a face-to-face meet up instead). The feedback system, together with the fact that money is held in escrow until the deal is completed, help ensure that problems are unlikely to occur (and an arbitration system is in place if they do). All in all we found buying Bitcoins online on to be a quick and painless process.

In Part 4 of this guide we’ll look at further anonymising our Bitcoins with a mixer service.

Check out the rest of this Guide:

Part 1: An introduction

Part 2: Choosing and setting up a Bitcoin  wallet

Part 4: Mixing your Bitcoins

Part 5: Paying for VPN with Bitcoins

Douglas Crawford

I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. You can now follow me on Twitter - @douglasjcrawf.

6 responses to “Buying Bitcoins to pay for VPN anonymously, a step by step guide. Part 3, buying Bitcoins

  1. Hi Douglas, this is great but the traders all want a photo of me holding my passport with the details legible, and photo of my bankcard, before they will make a first trade. No anonymity there? In fact, I’m queasy about providing that data online. I want to use bitcoins and VPN to be less visible online, just because I’m outraged by the surveillance bill the Government put through parliament today. I’m sure others will agree this is not how liberal democracies should conduct themselves. Chris

      1. Hi Douglas, Sorry been away a few days. Yes on Localbitcoins, I was following your guide to the letter. Seems quite widespread there. I’m assuming it didn’t used to be like that? Chris

        1. Hi Chris,

          I also apologize for the delay in replying, as I have been away on holiday. Hmm. No, it didn’t. I haven’t bought Bitcoins for a while, but this article needs updating. So when I have the time, I will investigate further.

    1. Hi Carl,

      Yeah – this guide is a little old (2013), but in substance it still holds up well. When I have a little spare time I will bring it up to data (just minor stuff like Mt. Gox, and the fact actual value of Bitcoins).

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