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I want to buy some bitcoins. Ideally, I would like to buy them on the MtGox exchange (because the consensus seems to be that this is the most reputable exchange), however I have found the system for transferring USD to MtGox to be very disappointing. I would have liked to be able to add funds with PayPal or directly with a credit card, however both of these are not possible.

My question has two parts:

  1. Is there an easy way to use a credit card to add USD funds to my MtGox account. Liberty Reserve, Dwolla, and Paxum seem to be the financial institutions of choice for MtGox and the rest of the exchanges. Is any of these simple to fund using a credit card, or are they all basically PayPal analogues (which Paxum seems to be) that require a large amount of setup?
  2. If it is not possible for MtGox, is there another, hopefully reputable, exchange that I can use PayPal or a Credit Card to buy bitcoins with?
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You should be able to send money by credit card via Western Union to one of the services supported by one of the bitoin exchanges. It's impractical and the fees will probably be high. – Roy May 7 '13 at 11:09
Related question:… – Murch Sep 13 '13 at 16:00

13 Answers 13

I noticed this question was posted a long time ago and perhaps things have changed so I took the liberty to dig in again and also aggregate most of the answers given here and here’s what I found:

  1. It’s indeed impossible to buy Bitcoins with Paypal DIRECTLY even today and it's mainly because of Paypal’s TOS (Section 3.7 here) and the issues of chargeback.

  2. Having said that there are still a few ways you can buy Bitcoin with Paypal

    a. Use VirWox to buy SLL with Paypal and then transfer that SLL to BTC (has high comission, transaction can take between 1 hour to 2 days). The full process is explained here.

    b. You can use Local Bitcoins and perhaps find someone in your area to sell you Bitcoins with cash or even someone not in your area to sell you Bitcoins with Paypal or a credit card.

    c. If you’re only into trading Bitcoins for their volitility and not actaully keep them you can use platforms such as AvaTrade or Plus500 to trade CFDs. However CFDs are for more experience traders and your capital is at risk so take that into account.

    d. If you have a Paypal Debit card you can actually connect it to your Circle account and use the funds on your card to get BTC. This is relevant to US residents only.

  3. Same thing goes for credit cards. Because of chargeback issues there’s no direct way to buy Bitcoins with them. Currently some options for credit cards are CoinMama, Circle or Cubits.

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Maybe they should've called it a BitBlock instead of BitCoin. If I'm looking to buy 1 bitcoin, currently, it's "selling" for $395+. What can I get for $100? BitGrain? – ILMostro_7 Dec 7 '15 at 14:31
up vote 48 down vote accepted

I did some more digging on and answered my own question. According to the FAQ and the list of payment methods, the reason that Paypal and Credit Cards are not accepted is to prevent fraud (by doing a fraudulent charge-back). For this reason, none of the exchanges accept these as forms of payment.

In short, you cannot (directly) use these to buy bitcoins at exchanges.

Edit: I did have some luck buying some Bitcoins using Paypal using #bitcoin-otc. It takes a bit of setup and it's a bit more expensive, and you can't buy in significant quantities but it's possible you can find someone willing to sell to unrated users (liked I did).

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PayPal's user agreement prohibits the use of their payment network for buying digital currency.

Here's an approach. With VirWoX you can buy SLL and pay with either credit card or Paypal. Then you can trade your SLL for BTC:

Sporadically you will find inventory on BTCQuick:

And finally, there is the ability to deposit cash at a bank (presuming you are in the U.S.), the need to use something like PayPal has lessened.

If you are a U.S. citizen and dont mind going through an ID verfication process, you can buy bitcoins and litecoins instantly with credit card at

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Yes and they have 8% commissions. 5% to buy and 3% to sell. (I don't know why they just don't have 4% either way.) – shoeless joe Dec 27 '11 at 6:02
You can fund bitcoins with ACH (bank) using – chovy Jan 9 '13 at 6:46
You can also transfer USD to VirWox via Skrill Moneybookers (CreditCard) and then buy SLL... – MiPnamic Jul 24 '13 at 22:26

Buying bitcoins for credit card or PayPal is very problematic, but all hope is not yet lost.

Every now and then a new service pops up that thinks it cracked the secret of how to do this sustainably - seems to be the flavor of the month. Such services usually take a very high fee.

CoinPal was a great service when it ran, and they said they're considering returning with credit card payments. They know what they're doing so they may actually pull it off.

Also, sell casascius physical bitcoins which you can buy and redeem (or not).

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I strongly recommend not using such services. They are doomed to fail for a very simple reason -- they have to charge high fees, legitimate users are generally not willing to pay high fees, but scammers always are since it's not their money. Thus most users of such services will inevitably be scammers, and the business will collapse -- possibly while holding your money. – David Schwartz Dec 21 '11 at 17:51
@DavidSchwartz - good point. – ripper234 Dec 21 '11 at 18:35
@DavidSchwartz: I understand your sentiment but I'll have to disagree. First, because these transactions should complete in a matter of minutes, and the chance the business will collapse with your money in a few minutes is slim. Second, because this doesn't apply to services which know what they're doing - CoinPal with its anti-fraud mechanisms offered reasonable fees and did not have a problem with fraud, only with PayPal freezing. – Meni Rosenfeld Dec 22 '11 at 5:42
They should complete in a matter of minutes. Whether they will when the company is collapsing is another story. CoinPal succeeded for a time because they made PayPal deal with the fraud, which of course is something PayPal is not willing to do. You can only pass your costs on to someone else for so long. The fact is, it costs more to support reversible transactions and that cost will have to be passed on. Honest customers have no reason to pay that fee. Fraudsters have no reason not to. I think this is an inherent problem. – David Schwartz Dec 22 '11 at 5:48
PayPal forwards fraud costs to the merchant, they don't absorb them. CoinPal succeeded and had very few chargebacks because they had heuristics to identify suspicious customers. PayPal froze their account because of their policies, not because of fraud. – Meni Rosenfeld Dec 22 '11 at 11:38

You cannot turn paypal into bitcoin but you can do it the other way around. Check out this site:

They accept cash deposits (US only) and are also supposed to speed up the different transfers they allow. For example, from dwolla, paxum or liberty reserve to mtgox or tradehill. I haven't tried it myself though.

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Not really an answer, should have been a comment - the question is about buying, not selling. – ripper234 Dec 31 '11 at 2:46 Sells via OKPAY which is a Russian PayPal analogue. Like PayPal, it allows you to directly fund a transaction from a credit/debit card.

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You can buy small numbers of Bitcoins with a credit card at (or at least, you could as of March 21, 2013).

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Looks like a parked domain now. – jorijnsmit Mar 5 '15 at 21:09

[Update: This exchange method is no longer available.]

a website with the url of has converted my paypal funds to bitcoins for quite a while now, i have always received the bitcoins :).

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I know, a Russian exchange service with a good reputation (tracked on various bitcoin-forums).

There, one can

  • buy bitcoins for qiwi, a Russian payment system (where your account is identified with your mobile telephone number, and you can choose to confirm your payments through your mobile phone),
  • and one can pay in qiwi with a VISA/MasterCard (you have to register your card as a payment method beforehand, and validate that you own the card by providing to qiwi the information about a random small amount that has been blocked on your card by qiwi for a short period of time).

Qiwi charges 0.75% for payments with a card, and Metabank charges 4% commission for such an exchange (the exchange rate is the current price at MtGox).

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As for now, I can't open this site. (Probably, it closed down quite a while ago, because this business became too dangerous or tricky from its owner's point of view.) – imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev May 13 '15 at 16:05

Since you are asking if there is an exchange that accepts PayPal -> Bitcoin the short answer is no. However; Localbitcoins is a great place where you can meet other buyers/sellers such as yourself who are willing to convert your Paypal funds to Bitcoin.

Make sure to look at the seller/buyer's feedback so to not get scammed. It is relatively safe, and is much safer now that PayPal acknowledges bitcoin and does not shut down people's accounts for using PayPal for Bitcoin related activities. For a great tutorial with a video on how to convert your Paypal funds to Bitcoin using Localbitcoin visit:

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Brawker solves this by letting you fulfill fiat currency orders for other people, which then release BTC for you upon completion of the order.

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I can recommend my favorite instant exchange although they have quite strict verification requirements for orders paid by credit cards and order limit starts from $100 for first order, their rate is very good and their support is very helpful. It's rather new exchange, but it's run by financial company, website is PCI compliant so using 247exchange is a reliable way to buy bitcoins with credit card.

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Virwox Exchange is my favorite. I live in INDIA and we don't have Bitinstant support here so Virwox is the fastest and trustworthy option for me.

They do charge a premium, but you can always get a good price if you wait for a while before buying or selling BTC’s until the BTC exchange rates in the VirWox marketplace are within your target range.

For detailed instructions check here.

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