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If you are looking for a reliable source of information regarding how to buy cryptocurrency in Ireland, then you came to the right place. Crypto continues to grow in popularity in Ireland and even throughout the bear market we continued to see interest in cryptocurrencies grow around the country.
Although crypto has moved more into the mainstream, the traditional banking sector in Ireland is still less than lukewarm towards crypto. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for Irish crypto companies to find banking partners in Ireland. Despite this, there’s an active Bitcoin startup scene in Ireland and some of the biggest international players such as Coinbase are setting up offices here.
Five things you should know before you buy Bitcoin
- It’s very volatile
- Transactions cannot be reversed
- Bitcoin is not anonymous (despite what you hear)
- Security is vital and something you need to be responsible for
- There are tax implications in Ireland if you buy and sell Bitcoin
Is Bitcoin legal in Ireland?
In a word, Yes, but let’s go into a bit more detail.
In terms of regulations then you can see on this map, that Ireland is not a global leader when it comes to crypto, but it’s also not banned here and the country is classified as improving (light green). We can see how crypto is perceived from an Irish central bank and tax revenue perspective. The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) views bitcoin as a form of digital money.
“Cryptocurrencies, also known as digital currencies or virtual currencies, are a form of digital money”
They do not currently consider it to be a currency, based on the standard economic definition and instead see if more as a speculative asset:
“In general, bitcoin is more like a very high-risk, speculative asset than standard currency.”
In terms of financial regulation, the EU has introduced the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive( 5AMLD) which now widens the AML/KYC net to include cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet providers. They define them as “virtual currency providers” and “custodian wallet providers”
“virtual currency provider” means an entity that provides services in respect of virtual currencies
“custodian wallet provider” means an entity that provides services to safeguard private cryptographic keys on behalf of its customers, to hold, store and transfer virtual currencies
However, MLD5’s reach only extends to exchanges that provide crypto on and off ramps. So, this means exchanges that exchange crypto for fiat (and vice versa) and not platforms that offer crypto-crypto trading.
5AMLD entered into force on 9 July 2018 and is being transposed by the Member States this year. The Bill was approved by the Irish Government on 3 January 2019.
From a tax perspective, the Irish revenue have advised on the Tax Treatment of Cryptocurrencies in Ireland. In summary, cryptocurrency like Bitcoin are exempt from VAT (deemed to be negotiable instruments), but subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) at 33% on any profits. Irish companies are also not permitted to prepare their accounts in cryptocurrencies and must convert crypto payments to staff into euros for tax . more on taxation of crypto, check out our article here.
Where to buy Bitcoin In Ireland?
Bitcoin ATMs in Ireland
Bitcoin ATMs are one of the easiest and fastest ways to buy and sell bitcoins. There’s currently over 7000 Bitcoin ATMs around the globe across 75 different countries. At the time of writing there are currently 16 Bitcoin ATMs in Ireland registered on Coinatmradar. Boinnex operates 7 of these ATMs throughout Cork, Limerick, Dublin, and Louth.
Using the machines is quick and easy. You select the amount you want to buy, scan the QR code of your wallet address and then insert euros. Once you hit buy, the bitcoin is sent directly to your bitcoin wallet. Check out this short video if you want to see a Bitcoin ATM in action.
Bitcoin ATM map as of 8th March 2020
In terms of fees, Bitcoin ATMs generally charge between 6-20%. The Boinnex Bitcoin ATMs currently charge a fee of 8% for buying Bitcoin and 3% for selling. We’re always doing promos and discounts so be sure to follow us on Twitter.
Buy Bitcoin on Localbitcoins
LocalBitcoins is a Helsinki based company that has been around since the early days. The website facilitates over-the-counter trading of local currency for bitcoins using an online P2P marketplace and escrow service. Purchases can be made online or in person for cash. Buyers and sellers advertise rates and agree on trade terms on the website and once a trade is initiated the escrow service can be used to secure bitcoins until payment is confirmed.
Note: there are many scammers that use localbitcoins so you need to be very cautious and always use escrow. LocalBitcoins will also automatically block some transactions to wallet addresses identified as high risk by their security system. However, you should never send bitcoins to anyone on localbitcoins before confirming the money is in your possession.
Tip: Be sure to check the reputation of the seller. A better reputation means a more trustable seller. If the reputation is not exceptional then avoid.
Irish Bitcoin Meetups
As mentioned, there’s a very active crypto scene in Ireland. Before even buying any cryptocurrency, we recommend you check out one of the local meetups held in Cork and Dublin. Bitcoin Dublin has over 1000 members and regularly holds events. Bitcoin Cork and the Cork Cryptocurrency meetups are also good options for people down south. These meetups are a great place to exchange knowledge and also a welcoming place where you can buy and sell person to person if you find someone that wants to trade.
Buy Bitcoin using online exchanges
The most popular place where Irish people buy is definelly online exchanges. Check out our review of the best places to buy bitcoin online.
We’re big fans of Kraken because it has some of the best security and lowest fees in the market. Binance is another popular exchange and is considered one of the biggest exchanges in the world in terms of trading volumes. It also supports trading of over 100 different cryptocurrencies and although initially they didn’t support buying crypto with fiat, they now offer this service.
Remember, never leave your coins on an exchange. After purchasing on the exchange, transfer to your own personal wallet where you control the keys. The phrase ‘Not your keys, not your coins’’ is particularly important when you consider the amount of exchanges that are hacked. Exchanges are always at risk of attack, especially when they are doing a lot of business because they become a central point for hackers to attack.
Some of the wallets we would suggest are:
Buy Bitcoin with debit or credit card in Ireland
This is one of the most popular methods of buying Bitcoins since it’s so quick and easy. The tradeoff is usually lower limits and higher transaction fees.
Switchere is a crypto exchange based out of Estonia that offers users the ability to buy bitcoin using debit or credit card. They pride themselves on being a safe, transparent and fair exchange for cryptocurrency. The company is a licensed provider of financial service and if you are looking for a convenient and safe way to buy cryptocurrencies, this is a good place to go.
Irish Bitcoin OTC Desks
For large volume trades then Over-the-counter (OTC) is the preferred option for most people. OTCrefers to the process of transacting directly between two parties without using an exchange service. Exchanges often lack liquidity for large trades and if these trades land on an exchange order book then they can result in a lot of price slippage.
Boinnex Over-the-counter (OTC) trading combines access to deep market liquidity with complete privacy and uncompromising security
Bitcoin Trackers available in Ireland
If you want a way to invest in the value of Bitcoin, without actually owning any then Bitcoin trackers might be for you. You can buy shares in a Bitcoin tracker from a stockbroker such as DEGIRO.
There are ETNs (Exchange traded Notes) that track Bitcoin available on DEGIRO. For example:
- BITCOIN TRACKER ONE EUR (BITCOIN XBTE)
- BITCOIN TRACKER ONE (COINXBT)
Future contracts, or just futures for short, are a type of derivative instrument. It is a legal agreement to buy or sell a particular commodity or asset at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future. Futures contracts are standardized to facilitate trading on a futures exchange such as Bakkt.
Bitcoin futures contracts have been around for a while, but before the regulated players entered the market, they were only available on crypto derivatives exchanges as unregulated assets. BitMEX for example offered bitcoin futures in 2015 and other players such as Kraken and Binance have recently followed suit.
For more on check out our article on Bakkt and Bitcoin futures contract.
On March 24 2020, for the first time Ireland will publicly auction off $125,000 worth of bitcoin seized from criminals. The seized cryptocurrency will be sold by Ireland-based auction house, Wilsons Auctions. Although the auction will be conducted online, it will be controlled from Wilsons’ office in Dublin, Ireland. Bidders can place bids on lots from 0.25 BTC up to 1 BTC.
This is the first crypto auction in Ireland, but with recent CAB seizures you can expect more bitcoin auctions in the coming years.
Despite the recent bear market, the Irish Bitcoin community continues to thrive. Awareness and involvement is continuously growing, as evidenced by the growing number of Bitcoin ATMs scattered around the country.
We hope you find this guide useful, Any questions, you can always reach out to us at email@example.com
Check out our Irish Bitcoin Investment report:https://boinnex.com/bitcoin-investment-report-q4-2019/
Disclaimer: Boinnex is not a registered financial institution or advisor and this guide should not be construed as investment advice. Always DYOR.