Getting your hands on your first Bitcoin – or few Satoshis – is one of the most exciting and important things you can ever do. However, in a world of KYC and tight regulations, certain people are struggling to get into the crypto world – especially minors. For KYC, most exchanges want a form of ID as well as a bank statement showing transaction history or utility statement. Minors (those usually under the age of 18 or 16) don’t always have access to these types of KYC documents, meaning buying crypto can be a challenge.
That being said, there are still a few ways for minors that don’t have a bank account to get their hands on crypto.
Ask Family for Help
The first place any minor should start is by asking parents or family members for help. Your parent of guardian should be able to pass the KYC process on any crypto exchange and can buy the Bitcoin for you. Then, make sure they transfer it to a crypto wallet – preferably a hardware wallet – that only you have the private keys for. The number one rule of crypto is not your keys, not your crypto, so keep that in mind when asking someone else for help.
Go to a Bitcoin ATM
All over the world, there are these magical ATMs just for Bitcoin. Users can walk right up to them and buy Bitcoin in an instant – it’s as simple as using a regular ATM. Most transactions through Bitcoin ATMs are limited to $400, but they don’t require any KYC – maybe a mobile phone number at most. Coinstar launched Bitcoin ATMs all over America, but these require an email address, a selfie, an ID card number, name, and mobile phone number. Lots of 2-way Bitcoin ATMs will only ask you for an email address or mobile number, so it’s well worth considering using one of these.
LocalBitcoins is one of the most popular peer-to-peer crypto exchange platforms out there, and it could be the lifeline that minors and unbanked individuals all around the globe need. However, due to a recent KYC and AML crackdown, paying for Bitcoin in cash has been banned on the platform. Users can still swap Bitcoin with other people using PayPal or various other vouchers – all of which can be bought in stores with cash. However, meeting a stranger from the internet isn’t advised as it can be rather risky. Back in October 2018, a young man in Norway was stabbed for his Bitcoin – so take an adult with you if you need people in person.
Just Use Bisq
If you’re new to trading, then Bisq might be a little daunting at first, but don’t worry – it doesn’t take long to get used to. Bisq is a decentralized peer-to-peer crypto exchange, meaning you don’t need to complete any KYC processes to get your hands on Bitcoin or trade your Bitcoin for fiat. You will need some way to get your money into Bisq, whether it’s from a bank card or wire transfer. However, you do need a bit of Bitcoin to be able to use the platform – it’s called a security deposit. This can make it tricky for minors to get into Bitcoin, but there are plenty of ways to get free Bitcoin so you can get your account up and running.
There are plenty of ways to get your hands on Bitcoin, but some are a lot tougher and more dangerous than others. Your best bet is to ask your parents or family for help should you be under 18 – even if they think Bitcoin is stupid.