How to buy bitcoin in Hong Kong? The options for buying bitcoins may seem overwhelming at first.
Unlike with centralized systems such as Alipay or Paypal, there is no formal method of funding an account, and fees differ between services and locations. As a general rule, the more convenient and faster an HKD–>Bitcoin exchange is, the higher the fees.
Compared to selling bitcoins, buying has less fraud risks. Unfortunately, Bitcoin does not yet enjoy the legal status it deserves in Hong Kong, with banks unwilling to do business with companies and individuals associated with Bitcoin. In this environment, scammers can easily try and cheat you out of dollars or bitcoins on some transactions.
No matter how you purchase Bitcoin, always insist that the bitcoins are delivered to your personal wallet. We recommend against keeping Bitcoin in an exchange, your broker, on trading platforms, or like IOUs. Always insist to send your bitcoins to a private bitcoin wallet, which should not be the application provided by your exchange or broker.
You can download Bitcoin wallets to your phone and computer, or you can purchase hardware wallets. Only download apps from trusted sources, like the App Store and the Play Store. Buy hardware wallets only from licensed retailers, or from manufacturers themselves. You must configure the wallet on your own.
It will create a backup seed containing 12-24 words for you. Store that seed phrase with care, because anyone who has access to it can steal your funds. Do not upload this phrase onto the Internet, nor do you share it with others. If you lose your phone, computer, or hardware wallet, you can use this seed to recover your funds.
As banks are acting more aggressively towards bitcoin companies, trading Bitcoins in person has become popular again in Hong Kong lately. The site LocalBitcoins.com, along with platform Paxful, offer many listings for buying and selling. If you only need a few dollars worth to test or play around, then you are more than likely to find someone willing to negotiate during regular bitcoin meetups. Some of the over-the-counter (see below) exchanges will even handle cash deposits and withdrawals.
Clarify ahead of time with the exchange or dealer which currencies, notes, and forms of payment they will accept.
The most convenient way to purchase bitcoin is at ATMs. Usually, all you have to do is present your QR code for your Bitcoin address at an ATM, enter a banknote, and verify your exchange rate. The process takes under 30 seconds, is anonymous, but it may cost you as much as 8% in fees.
Prepare a wallet beforehand, bring precise amounts of cash.
ATMs will usually only accept Hong Kong dollar notes, with some insisting that your first notes must be in denominations of HKD 500 and above. There are now more than 100 bitcoin ATMs in Hong Kong, with locations changing often.
Buying bitcoins from an exchange is generally the cheaper option from the perspective of fees, as well as being relatively quick and convenient. But often, you will need several days to create an account and be verified, and you can expect Hong Kong-based exchanges to require proof of your personal information such as your HKID or address before you can begin using your account. Note that bitcoin exchanges should not be treated as banks.
We advise that you withdraw coins to your controllable wallet immediately following a purchase, and never hold funds in the exchange for a very long period of time.
Hong Kong Exchanges
There are two exchanges that serve Hong Kongs local market at this point. A third exchange, Liquid (see below), also offers the BTC/HKD exchange pairing from Japan.
Tidebit is a well-established Bitcoin exchange in Hong Kong. You can deposit with cash or by wire transfer. Withdrawals in Bitcoin are subject to significant fees.
iBTC is a Hong Kong Bitcoin exchange with low fees and small trading sizes.
They are affiliated with the BTC shops listed below.
For larger amounts, you may want to head over to OTC exchanges or brokers. A broker will give you a fast quote on a one-off transaction, typically upwards of 10 BTC. You will be able to sell or buy bitcoins with wire transfers.
Genesis Block Launched in September 2017, the Genesis Block serves as a hub for over-the-counter trading and also an event space.
Q9 Capital is a digital assets division of the Henyep Group. It provides live, OTC, executed prices on a 24-hour basis.
The OTC desk at CoinUnited operates a convenient location in Causeway Bay for OTC trading, as well as its ATMs throughout the city. One Satoshi offers fast and easy ETH and BTC settles straight into your wallet for either cash or octopus. Minimum exchange is HKS1000, personal details are collected beyond HKS80,000.
Some foreign exchanges cater to Hong Kong markets. Wire transfers on those exchanges are more expensive, but are generally more reliable, and have considerably greater market depth.
However, disputes cannot easily be resolved via the Hong Kong legal system, and they quickly get complex and costly to settle.
Liquid is a Japanese exchange offering depositing Hong Kong dollars in its Japanese bank accounts as well as trading in Hong Kong dollars.
Gemini is a New York-based exchange focusing on high volumes. It accepts deposits and trades in USD only.
Bitstamp is a crypto trading platform located in Slovenia.
They accept both USD and EUR deposits and withdrawals, and they welcome customers from Hong Kong.
Peer-to-peer exchanges do not have their own bank accounts. Instead, buyers and sellers communicate directly with one another as they exchange funds.
It is the users responsibility to comply with the proper rules for money laundering and Know Your Customer. Bitcoin is held in Escrow by the exchange. It is really important that you take advantage of those escrow options, and to be cautious about whom you are dealing with.
Binance is primarily known for their highly-regarded online trading platform, which offers an array of products, including their highly-rated P2P listings. Make sure you choose the HKS, and only trade with traders who have a higher level of satisfaction.
Paxful is a peer-to-peer exchange based in Estonia. Hong Kong-based users can exchange among themselves, using various payment methods including wire transfers and deposits, gift cards, Alipay, and PayMe.
XanPool allows easy buying and selling of bitcoins in Hong Kong and Singapore using PayMe. Funds are not held by an exchange.
Bisq (formerly Bitsquare) is not a corporation, nor is it managed by anyone. Instead, it operates as a network of users, and you join by downloading Bitsquares software. This software may at times be an experiment, but shows promise to pave the way for a truly decentralized future.
By far, the most cost-effective way to obtain bitcoins is by accepting them as a payment. Whether you are running a business, employed, doing freelance work, or a friend of yours owes you money, asking that those payments be made with Bitcoin might be a good idea. Especially on-line and for international transfers, Bitcoins instantaneous, nearly-free transactions are much better than those done by other means. If you own a business, you may want to think about accepting Bitcoins as a form of payment.
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