Governments have been increasing their efforts to regulate and monitor digital currency operations. Many global exchanges now require identification to register on their sites. With politicians currently forming blockchain research groups and crafting Bitcoin legislation, it’s safe to say regulatory actions will continue.
Crypto-Exchanges With Little to Non-Existent Identity Verification Requirements
Even though a vast majority of popular Bitcoin exchanges require identification, there are still a few that enable buying and selling without identity verification.
Localbitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange that facilitates bitcoin trading for local currencies. The Finland-based company was founded in 2012 by Jeremias Kangas who designed a reputation system, escrow, and dispute resolution service into the platform. The exchange offers a wide array of payment choices to purchase and sell bitcoin such as cash, Paypal, gift cards, Western Union, bank wires, and more. Similar to Craigslist, users advertise whether they are looking to purchase or sell bitcoin. Localbitcoins has become popular worldwide and can be typically accessed from most local regions.
Users are not required to verify their identity to use the Localbitcoins platform, but can choose to do so if they so desire. There is an option to upload a state-issued identification card, license, and a phone number. Verifying these IDs does add more trust to the buying and selling process as far as reputation is concerned. However, users can opt out of these verification processes and still conduct trades on the platform.
Wall of Coins
The Sarasota-based Bitcoin marketplace, Wall of Coins, is also a peer-to-peer exchange that enables no verification crypto-trading. The cash-to-bitcoin exchange platform is available in multiple countries around the world, including Canada, Brazil, Germany, Latvia, Poland, and the Philippines. The company boasts that it has top notch security with all Bitcoin reserves held in cold storage and an infrastructure dedicated to privacy.
To prove the cold storage claim, Wall of Coin’s founder, Robert Genito, has made all of the company’s deposit addresses available to the public. Addresses are posted on their website signed with GPG keys so that deposits can be verified. There is no registration or identification required to use the Wall of Coins platform, and users can purchase and sell bitcoin in fifteen minutes.
Bitquick is another cash-to-bitcoin operation that offers an optional identity verification process. The Bitquick platform is similar to Wall of Coins and Localbitcoins by allowing people to purchase and sell bitcoin in a peer-to-peer fashion. Sellers simply advertise their sales and buyers deposit cash into one of Bitquick’s escrow bank accounts, like Bank of America or Wells Fargo. The company uses Bitgo’s multi-signature wallet framework and also has a proof-of-reserve system. The startup has offered peer-to-peer cash trading services since 2013 and will soon be adding Moneygram and Western Union options. Identity is optional on Bitquick but is required for transactions more than US$400, and users have to submit a few documents.
Bitsquare, the decentralized bitcoin exchange founded in 2014, is unique because it claims to have no central point of failure and requires no identification. The exchange offers Bitcoin trading against national currencies such as the USD, EUR, and also trades in altcoins. The platform is a desktop application where users can advertise the buying and selling of various cryptocurrencies. Users can remain completely anonymous on the platform as communication is streamlined over Tor.
Bitsquare uses an escrow system, multi-signature transactions, a security deposit, and a decentralized arbitration infrastructure. Arbitrators hold one of the keys in the 2-of-3 Multisig escrow scheme. The platform has become more popular over the past year for its decentralized aspects as people continue to lose money in exchange hacks. The recent announcement of Chinese Bitcoin exchanges suspending withdrawals is just another wake-up call for those holding funds on centralized platforms.
A lot of people like to remain private when purchasing and selling bitcoin. Some people don’t mind handing over licenses, bank statements and utility bills to get verified by an exchange. And there are plenty of these businesses available.
However, there are those who would rather not jump through identity verification hoops. This doesn’t mean privacy advocates are using Bitcoin for illegal activity. Furthermore, people may not want their information centrally held with a third-party that could be susceptible to breaches. Customer data is a hot commodity on the black market, and identity verification and registration processes can make people’s information susceptible to breaches. Luckily for Bitcoiners, there are still places to purchase and sell bitcoin without an ID.
Have you tried any of these exchanges? Let us know about your experiences below.
Images via Shutterstock, Bitquick, Wall of Coins, Localbitcoins, Bitsquare, and Pixabay.
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