If you are living in Costa Rica, there are a couple of ways you can buy bitcoin. The easiest and the most straightforward way to buy Bitcoin in Costa Rica is to use a Bitcoin ATM.
If you are located in San Jose, there are few Bitcoin ATMs available. Check here to see all available ATMs in Costa Rica.
However, if there is no Bitcoin ATM near you, you may want to look for other methods of buying Bitcoin. Bitcoins ATMs are known to charge higher fees. Using a Bitcoin ATM means you are paying extra for the convenience. Since there are not many Bitcoin ATMs available, owners of these ATMs can afford to charge a little bit extra.
If fees are a big concern or there is no Bitcoin ATM nearby, these are the alternate ways of buying Bitcoin in Costa Rica:
There are no fees charged by LocalBitcoins when buying Bitcoin. However, sellers usually mark up the price when selling.
LocalBitcoins support multiple payment methods. If you are living in Costa Rica, the cheapest payment method available to you is “National Bank Transfer” or “Cash in Person”.
Alternatively, you can use “PayPal” or “International Wire” payment method to buy Bitcoins globally.
LocalBitcoins does not require ID verification but please be aware, some sellers require you to provide ID verification prior to buying.
In terms of how fast your bitcoin is delivered, it depends on the seller and the payment method. Depending on the payment method, sellers may wait a few days until the transaction is reflected in their bank account.
Binance charges 3.5% of the transaction amount or a flat $10 fee (whichever is higher).
Be aware, when you buy Bitcoin from Binance, your local currency will first be converted to USD or EUR and then USD/EUR to BTC. If your bank transacts with Costa Rican ColóN (CRC), it will be converted to USD/EUR. Depending on the bank, you may incur a conversion fee from the bank.
You are limited to a daily limit of 20k USD. Bitcoin is delivered to your wallet within 10 – 30 minutes.
Coinmama is a service that allows users to buy bitcoin. Unlike Binance, Coinmama is not a trading platform. Coinmama is specifically built to allow crypto purchases. As of now, you can buy few cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin.
Costa Rica is one of their supported countries. You can buy Bitcoin with a credit/debit card or a bank transfer.
Coinmama charges a fee of 5.90% of the total transaction. Please be aware that buying with a credit card will incur an additional 5% fee. There is no additional fee for bank transfers.
The Bitcoin price displayed on their website includes the fee of 5.90%. So, do not be mislead by the marked-up price displayed on the website.
Once your payment is verified, your Bitcoin is delivered to your wallet immediately. You are required to verify your identity before buying cryptocurrency form Coinmama.
Changelly is another service that can be used by Costa Ricans to buy Bitcoin. Changelly is integrated with large cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Poloniex. When you buy cryptocurrency from Changelly, it places bids and asks on these platforms and give you the best available deal.
Changelly supports crypto to crypto transactions. Changelly charges a very low fee of 0.5% for crypto to crypto transactions. The fee is quite high for fiat to crypto transactions. The total fee can be high as 10%.
Although there are no minimum/maximum amount required for transactions, there are few restrictions for your first set of transactions. As for Costa Rica, you are limited to $100 in your first transaction. You can see more information here.
Changelly boasts that buying cryptocurrency with Changelly is anonymous. But, anonymity is not guaranteed with changelly. In some occasions, if Changelly sees your activity as suspicious, you may be required to provide ID documents. If anonymity is not your biggest concern, this will not be an issue.
You have the option to buy Bitcoin with a credit/debit card or a bank transfer. Credit/debit card purchases will be charged a fee of 2.99%. Bank transfers are free. But, please be aware that your bank may charge a conversion fee, as deposits to CEX can only be made with USD, EUR, GBP or RUB. In this case, Costa Rican ColóN (CRC) will be converted to USD.
Card transactions are processed instantly and your bitcoins will be credited to your account right after purchase. CEX allows you to buy an unlimited amount of bitcoins after you verify your identity.
What is the Best Way to Buy Bitcoin in Costa Rica?
Now that you know the top 5 ways to buy Bitcoin in Costa Rica, your next question should be “Which method should you use”. Before I evaluate the best method, it is important to understand what you define as “best method”. As “best method” is a subjective matter, I have to make an assumption here. I will assume the “best method” as the cheapest and the safest method of buying Bitcoin.
If you take into account cost and safety, CEX is undoubtedly the best way to buy Bitcoin. CEX has the lowest fee out of all the exchanges listed above. CEX is registered with FinCEN in the US and registered ICO in the UK. CEX has a certificate of compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). CEX stores its cryptocurrency in cold storage.
Binance is the next best way to buy Bitcoin. The reputation of Binance is second to none but the fee is slightly higher than CEX.
In terms of anonymity, your best option is LocalBitcoins or Changelly. Be aware that anonymity usually comes with a price. In this case, you are sacrificing low fees for anonymity.