Buying Bitcoin in China is Easy.
Part 1: Buying Bitcoin
There is more than one way to do this. I’m only going to explain what I’ve done to buy Bitcoin with RMB and move hundreds of dollars out of the “guo.” If there’s someone reading this that has found a better process or service, I would love to hear about it.
Just a quick note before I go into this: Bitcoin is not FDIC insured, and the price fluctuates often. So it’s up to you to do your homework to ensure these different exchanges don’t erode your wealth.
If you don’t know much about Bitcoin, this is one of the best tell-me-like-I’m-five guides: http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-explained-five-year-old/
When I was researching this topic, I found this guide about buying Bitcoin in China: http://www.tutorialgeek.net/2014/03/how-to-use-bitcoin-to-transfer-money.html
The problem was that the company recommended (BTCC) is no longer available to American nationals like me. They are still in the process of getting the licenses necessary.
I had to find another way to make the purchase, exchange the coin for dollars, and then transfer the cash to my U.S. bank account.
Here are the steps:
1. First, you need to have a way to pay electronically for the Bitcoins, be it bank transfer, Alipay, or WeChat wallet. If you don’t know how to get your WeChat wallet set up, you can take a look at my previous post.
2. Next, you can go to Local Bitcoins and check the listings. Just a quick note: If you’re in mainland China, you’re going to need a VPN to register on the site. For more information on VPN recommendations, you can go here.
After you register and verify your email address, you’ll see “Quick Buy” selected at the top of the main page. Change the currency to in the box to CNY. Now you’ll see all the people who have Bitcoin in China who are looking to sell. In the middle column, you can see what kind of payment they accept.
I’ve noticed when visiting Local Bitcoins, I’ve had some difficulty selecting CNY as my currency of choice and China as the country I want to do business in at the same time. Wierd bug. To circumvent this, I’ve found that after selecting CNY as my choice currency, I can scroll down to the drop-down menu that reads “Show more…”. From there, I can select “All in Chinese Yuan”, and all the sellers will appear in a list like normal. As of 5/25/2017, everything has been functioning perfectly again.
You’ll find that if you purchase larger amounts, say over 10,000 RMB worth, you’ll get better rates. I recommend testing it out first by buying and transferring about 500 RMB, just to build your confidence.
Note: Some people get scared off by the price when they see how much they’re paying over the market rate. Take notice that every region has a different rate. To see China’s rate, run a search on Google, “BTC to CNY”. You’ll notice that all of the prices on Local Bitcoins are much higher than that. To get some perspective, you must also look at the rates on the sellers’ page. You’ll find that they’re not only are people selling at well above the market rate, they’re also buying back at higher prices.
After deciding on a seller and making sure you have the means to pay them, make sure that you check their ratings. By clicking on the name of a trader, you can take a look at their history and how many coins they’ve traded. Everyone you do business with should have a 100% feedback rating.
3. After deciding on a seller, click the “Buy” button at the end of the row. Then enter how much in Bitcoins you want to buy into the CNY field.
Note: You can buy ANY amount of Bitcoin. Many people are scared away by the prospect of buying Bitcoin when they see the price of one coin and think, “I can’t afford that.” You don’t have to buy a whole coin! If you want to buy 300 RMB worth, you can!
After you hit the “Send trade request button,” a notification will be sent to the seller that they’re in business. In the next window, the seller will respond. Each time they send a message, you should get a message directed to your email.
4. After they’re ready, it’s time to pay the seller. If you want to pay via WeChat, you can add their ID into the contacts field and transfer the CNY. As soon as you’ve made the transfer and the seller accepts it, make sure you click the button on the site to report that the seller has received payment. At that point, the seller is obligated to release the coin to your account.
5. After the seller releases, and you see your Bitcoin number in the upper right, make sure to thank them. Give them a trusted ranking. If you’ve had difficulty with any of these steps, either leave a comment below, or send me a message here. I’m happy to help.
Part 2: Sending Money Home
These steps will differ depending on your country of residence. I am an American, so what I tend to do is send the money back to my Coinbase account connected to my U.S. Bank Account. But you don’t have to. You can also simply turn around and sell your coin for the currency of your choice through Paypal (or any of the other payment methods included in the LocalBitcoins drop-down menu). Edit: Actually, I DON’T recommend selling through Paypal. It’s too easy for someone to ask for a chargeback and scam you out of the money while keeping your Bitcoin. Transferring to Coinbase and selling is much safer.
If you decide to open an account at Coinbase, make sure you follow the necessary procedures described on the site to secure your account. After signing up, it will take a few days before the service is available for use. Here is my referral link to get established at Coinbase:
On the Coinbase main page, you’ll see in the upper right a link that says “Get bitcoin address.” You can copy/paste that long string of letters and numbers back into your “Receiving Bitcoins Address” on LocalBitcoins.com. After clicking the blue button that reads, “Continue,” you’ll get an email notification if the transfer is successful.
After the money is in your Coinbase account, you can either sell it or hold it as an investment by transferring the coin into your Bitcoin vault.
Part 3: Selling Bitcoin in China
Let’s say you’re running low on the cash you need for food other utilities while in China. You can easily buy Bitcoin with a credit card or debit card through Coinmama (Check the “Buy Bitcoin” widget in the lower left corner of this website), transfer the Bitcoin to Local Bitcoins.com and then sell it for RMB.
Selling BTC on Local Bitcoins.com is about as simple as buying it.
If you’re already registered on the site, you can click “Quick Sell” at the top of the main page. After selecting China and RMB, you can take a look at the listings below until you find a rate and a payment method you agree to.
Click “Sell” and you’ll find a similar menu to the buy one you’ve seen before. Enter the amount of money in Bitcoins and then click the green button. You can send them your contact information, whether you want the buyer to send you payment through WeChat or Alipay.
After the money is confirmed in your account, all you have to do is click “Release Bitcoins,” and the money in your LocalBitcoins wallet will be transferred to their account. Give them a trusted rating.
And there you have it. You now know of a way to circumvent a time-consuming day spent at the bank by conveniently exchanging money in the privacy of your home. I hope you found this guide helpful. Let me know if there’s anything I should clarify better.