Update: You can buy Bitcoin instantly here.
If you are located in Sri Lanka, there are few ways you can buy bitcoin. As you know, buying bitcoins is not straightforward. Sometimes, buying bitcoin requires you to submit your ID and other verification. At the moment of writing there is no official exchange or service in Sri Lanka that lets you buy bitcoin, but there are few global methods that support buying bitcoin for Sri Lankans. Here are the best ways to buy bitcoin in Sri Lanka:
If you are living in Sri Lanka, Localbitcoins is one of the few ways where you can buy bitcoin without providing ID verification. LocalBitcoins is first on this list due to its anonymous nature. When you buy bitcoins from LocalBitcoins, you are buying directly from other sellers.
LocalBitcoins is completely free for buyers. The only fee is the bitcoin transaction fee for the network. Sellers are charged a fee of 1% when they sell using their ads. 0 fees for buyers and anonymous nature of LocalBitcoins is what attracted me to this service.
What is best about LocalBitcoins is that you can buy bitcoins with almost any payment method. This includes but not limited to PayPal, bank transfer, cash deposit, and wire transfer.
So, if you are Sri Lankan or living in Sri Lanka, you can use the “International Wire” payment method to buy bitcoins. You can also use “National bank transfer” or “Cash in Person” payment methods and search offers in Sri Lanka. Most Sri Lankans do not have a PayPal account, but if you are among the few who have PayPal, you can search offers in PayPal in almost any country.
Although LocalBitcoins doesn’t charge fees for buyers, sellers occasionally markup the price of a bitcoin. How much they markup is entirely dependent on the seller. Additionally, some sellers may require your ID or any other form of verification before selling. As for how long it takes to release bitcoin to your wallet is dependent on the seller.
Your bitcoin is held in escrow until the seller verifies your payment. Although anonymity is an attractive feature, high markups of bitcoin price are what incites anyone to look for other options to buy bitcoin.
Paxful and BitQuick are similar services.
Binance exchange allows anyone to buy cryptocurrency with a Credit/Debit card. Binance is partnered with Simplex to make this possible. In terms of fees, Binance takes 3.5% of the transaction or $10 fixed fee, whichever is higher.
Cryptocurrency is delivered to your wallet fairly quickly (within 10 mins) after payment. You are limited up to $20,000 worth of bitcoins daily and a monthly limit of $50,000. The minimum amount of purchase must be $50 or more.
Binance only allows purchases in USD or EUR. If you try to purchase with LKR (Sri Lankan Rupee), it will be first converted to USD or EUR. Then convert USD/EUR to Bitcoin. Depending on your bank, you may be charged a conversion fee.
You are required to go through a verification process before buying cryptocurrency.
Coinmama allows 226 countries, including Sri Lanka to buy bitcoin using credit/debit cards and bank transfers. The price Coinmama sells bitcoin includes their fee of 5.90%. If you are buying using a credit/debit card, there is an additional fee of 5.00%. However, bank transfers have no processing fee. Additionally, depending on your bank, you may incur extra fees. This fee is taken by your bank. Contact your bank if you are in doubt.
Coinmama is not an exchange like GDAX or Binance. It is built only to buy bitcoin. You are required to verify your identity before buying. Verifying your ID enables you to buy up to $7,500 worth of bitcoin.
Changelly supports buying over 130+ cryptocurrencies. You can buy cryptocurrencies with a credit/debit card. You can even convert cryptocurrencies to other cryptocurrencies. When you buy cryptocurrencies with cryptocurrency, there is almost no limitation, but there are limitations imposed when you buy cryptocurrency with fiat.
Sri Lanka and the majority of other countries are limited to buy only up to $100 in their first transaction. The next transaction can be done only after 4 days of the initial transaction and limited to $200. 7 days after the initial transaction, you can buy up to $500. After this, there are no more limitations.
Changelly charges a fee of 0.5%. The purpose of this exchange is to give you the best rate when buying cryptocurrency. To get the best rate, changelly always achieves the lowest bid.
Changelly is partnered with Simplex and Indacoin. Simplex requires users to verify their identity. Some fiat to cryptocurrency purchases goes through Simplex. Some crypto to crypto purchases goes through Indacoin (Example: Buying EOS with BTC). Indacoin doesn’t require you to verify identity. You can only buy cryptocurrency with USD or EUR. In this case, LKR will be first converted to USD and then USD to cryptocurrency.
In terms of speed, cryptocurrency is delivered to your wallet within 10 – 30 minutes.
CEX supports almost all countries including Sri Lanka. CEX allows you to trade cryptocurrency as well as buying of cryptocurrency. As of now, you can only buy:
BTC, ETH, BCG, BTG, DASH, LTC, XRP, XLM, ZEC. You can buy these cryptocurrencies with USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB. If your bank transacts with a different type of currency, it will be converted to one of these 4 currencies.
In terms of fees, CEX, unlike many other exchanges, charges fees based on your 30-day trading volume. As of now, buying cryptocurrency will always incur a taker fee of 0.25% and a maker fee of 0.16% from your 30-day trading volume. If you do not know what maker and taker mean, refer to this.
It is important to note that, unlike Coinmama and Changelly, CEX is also a trading platform. The fee schedule for trading cryptocurrencies is different from buying cryptocurrency. Taker and maker fee changes depending on your trading volume. You can see the complete breakdown of the fee schedule here.
These 5 methods are the best ways to buy bitcoin if you live in Sri Lanka. Binance, Coinmama, Changelly, and CEX are quite similar in process and fee structure. Using any one of these 4 wouldn’t necessarily gain an advantage over the other. All require ID verification and have limitations on buying. However, LocalBitcoins is number one on this list due to its anonymous nature and non-existence fees. Although sellers, markup the price when selling, on some rare occasions, you may find offers that are at or below the current price of bitcoin.