With Bitcoin’s utility on the rise, more and more people are exploring their options before joining the market. The growing interest in alternatives to centralized exchanges (CEXs) means that peer-to-peer (P2P platforms are finally getting the attention they deserve. This article will mainly focus on 5 Popular P2P Platforms that Allow you to Buy BTC with a Gift Card.
What makes P2P platforms so different from their traditional counterparts? In CEXs, people trade Bitcoin without ever interacting with the person on the other end. This does two things: first, it guarantees the users’ anonymity; second, it adds an extra step in the process. While some may prefer this approach, others don’t realize that the extra step means paying more fees in the process.
This is what decentralized exchanges (DEXs), like P2P platforms, try to avoid. By allowing users to trade directly with each other, users are able to choose the rates they trade at and participate in trades without a bank account, among other benefits. The absence of a managing party or intermediary also means you can trade with little to no fees.
Overall security is also helped by the fact that P2P platforms won’t be holding all the funds involved. This makes it less likely that these exchanges will be targeted by malicious hacks since the tradeable assets are held by the users themselves.
The popularity of Bitcoin also means that people are getting creative with how they buy BTC. In recent years, gift cards have allowed people to participate in trades without ever having to deposit their fiat currency.
If you think about it, this makes Bitcoin much more accessible. People can get gift cards as, well, as gifts from relatives and friends, providing them an easy way to get started with Bitcoin. For others, buying gift cards for Bitcoin trading is simply better because they can sometimes get gift cards at a discounted price on popular platforms.
In either case, finding a P2P exchange that allows you to trade via gift cards is a practical first step. After all, you wouldn’t want to waste any gift card that comes your way in the future, right?
5 Popular P2P Platforms that Allow you to Buy BTC with a Gift Card
Now that we have a better understanding of what these platforms are, let’s take a look at some of the best that allow you to trade BTC for gift cards. We’ll give you the pros and cons of each one to make it a little easier for you to pick.
Paxful is a platform that has gained popularity with its support for more than 450 payment options. This flexibility lets them provide users with different options for things like Bitcoin investment or remittances.
They have also recently introduced their Gift Card Hub, a hub where users can get gift cards at special prices. Their support for a variety of gift cards (e.g. Steam Wallet, Starbucks, IKEA, etc.) has given a lot of people easier access to the Bitcoin market. You can even convert your Bitcoin to gift cards whenever you need to.
Pros: Paxful makes use of an escrow account to store BTC while trades are underway. This prevents any malicious intent from either party as the BTC will be held in escrow until both parties verify the transaction.
Cons: To help secure larger trades, Paxful will require that users take extra steps in verifying their information.
Localbitcoins is a P2P exchange that was established in 2012. This experience has helped them grow to be one of the best of its kind. The platform charges users no fees during trades but will charge users, instead, for advertising either their intent to sell or buy. Trades made through advertisements will be charged 1% of the transaction.
Pros: Localbitcoins provide users with a cheap way to get started and can brag about being veterans in the industry. They even have a few guides up on their website for those who need to learn a little more about trading on the platform.
Cons: There seems to be no native support for users who want to trade gift cards. Those transactions will have to be placed under Other online payments, instead.
In a similar vein, Hodl Hodl is a platform that aims to prioritize anonymity and low fees. To that end, they charge every transaction a total of 0.6% of the trade, with each party paying half (0.3%) of the fee. Traders on Hodl Hodl also have instant access to the platform, needing no further verification.
Pros: Anyone can start trading right away. Hodl Hodl’s model also makes use of an escrow that is the sole intermediary in the process, with transactions happening as close to wallet-to-wallet as possible.
Cons: Users will have to pay close attention to who they’re trading with. Despite the availability of escrow, it is still possible for users to get scammed by others since the whole community is anonymous.
With around 250 available payment methods, LocalCoinSwap is another platform that has given people a level of flexibility when it comes to paying for their Bitcoin. While no ID verification is required by the platform, some members of the community may ask for ID for trades that use bank transfers.
Pros: LocalCoinSwap is similar to Paxful and Hodl Hodl in that they use an escrow service to protect their traders. They also give users access to their diverse altcoin options, supporting 25 different cryptocurrencies.
Cons: As with Hodl Hodl, users are suggested to filter through their options before following through with a deal. These are decentralized exchanges, after all, and the lack of ID verification for large transactions can put some people at risk.
Bisq’s platform aims to connect users from all over the world through their exchange. To support this, the platform allows more than 50 different payment methods which help users connect with each other financially. They even have native support for gift cards, although in a limited capacity.
Pros: Bisq users are given a downloadable application tailored to their Bisq trading needs. This level of support makes them a good option for people who want to get into the details of the market.
Cons: Getting started will take a few more steps, particularly with the application. Users who choose Bisq will either need a level of technical know-how or some patience to learn.
At the end of the day, the point is that anyone can get started with Bitcoin at any time. Long gone are the days when the coin was just an investment tool. Nowadays, people can actually depend on it for their remittances, donations, and even their shopping. In a secure Bitcoin market, as we have now, all users need to do is do their own research and get started with Bitcoin.